Sunday, August 21, 2022

Poem 4

Drinking water



Charles Cicirella

Poem 3 (Groceries)



garlic bread

coca cola

Charles Cicirella

Poem 2

Lying on the mattress, cowboys and injuns making bedlam on my soul                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                     I cannot breathe this                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                     polluted anxiety anymore

Charles Cicirella


Sunday, August 07, 2022


The raging river sounds like a highway of tears repeat after me I will not drown in my subconscious I will not drown in my subconscious

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, July 16, 2022

This is how I write.

It’s how I’ve always written.
I’m in and out the door in ten to fifteen minutes.
The imagery lies in wait like a big cat on the prowl.

Streams of consciousness freely flowing like jagged puzzle pieces down an opaque river.
Poetry is in my blood like chunky alphabet soup served at the shelter for the culturally ill-defined.
This is how I write as I hardly break a sweat churning out the pulp like a versifier high on noir and sodden bread.

Reasonable doubt goes out the window as a jury of my peers stare blankly back at me from gothic mirrors leaving nothing, but the macabre to the convulsed imagination.
I believe I fell in love because her soul was just as polluted as mine and when she did the tango it was for keeps.
This is how I blindside you by not once coming up for air until all the inflatable poets are deflated and another beat writer rehearses for his overdue retirement.

This game of to have and have not never impressed me so I left community college and refused to look back.
The stage like the gallows is the only place I’ve ever let it all hang out as an audience of Titanic faces fights over the very last lifeboat.
Look up at the moon and tell me how little it has changed since first writing about it thirty nine years ago.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Blood

  His voice uncovers the great mystery. Darkness lifts as the stone is pushed away and a new man walks free. Rob’s “A Voice from on High” is the song the Israelites heard as they escaped Egypt because Rob carries a great burden in his soul. All honest to God prophets must sacrifice everything before a burning bush is revealed to them. Blood covers his voice because it’s Blood carrying us through as we’re freed from bondage and enter the Promise Land dressed in sackcloth and fresh tears.  

Charles Cicirella

Monday, July 04, 2022

Bursting Through Unconsciousness #3

No one’s paying attention
No one gives a shit
The cross the poet carries a cloak of invisibility in a hell-scape of attention seekers

Lying to oneself gets you five to ten on a long list of forget-me-nots who never learned smelling the flowers is crucial to one’s survival
Quickly lost interest in porn so I started paying attention to the plight of the worker ants and their day to day struggle to stay poor and angry
Our productivity mustn’t be the key to someone else’s happiness because our souls are ours alone to protect and serve

No one’s lifting a finger to change a damn thing
The Supreme Court continues to supremely fuck us as the Wild West comes back into vogue like ethnic cleansing
We must burst through unconsciousness and discover ourselves at the end of a long, dark tunnel where the light still favors a happy ending.

Charles Cicirella

Bursting Through Unconsciousness #2

He’s gone
Another poet dead and buried
He shot pomp and circumstance in the head

He wasn’t full of shit and pathos like too many Cleveland poets
First time I saw him read I felt both unnerved and like I’d been hugged by the universe
His hunger never abated and his quest for knowledge was never satiated

He was the very first poet astronaut I’ve ever met. He introduced me to the cosmos when he laid down his words like a red carpet of blood and synapses
The news of his passing punched me in the gut and I swear I’ll never be the same again
One of the good ones who knew the jig was up and never judged the foxes too harshly for raiding the henhouse

He’s out of here
Another poet shot into space
He introduced each and every one of us to a kind heart and the beauty of an unabashed shooting star

I love and already terribly miss you Terry

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Life Preserver (For Emily Davis)

Ipps cry from the wilderness like a dog with no bone.
A prescient yelp from a Whitman soul that knows no boundaries or borderlines.
I was screaming while I wrote this and Emily nor Bo were either phased nor in the least little bit concerned for their safety.

Poetry isn’t for wimps no matter how you slice or dice it.
Recess was never much fun until I discovered Sue Leair and her skunks and number nine mythologies.
When staring into the void it’s best to have both eyes shut in case a vesper or pebble gets through your lowly defenses.

Emily sings louder than all the rest because her soul mustn’t be contained as the hellhounds on her trail stop off at a hotel in San Antonio where they hear tell of a journeyman laying down the real blues medicine.
I can’t fight this feeling because I’m a child of the eighties where big hair and Porky’s got the best of many of us.
My prom had a Bon Jovi theme because we were still wanted dead or alive as we wished for the horror of high school to be laid to rest.

This life preserver turns no one away because Emily believes that charity is not only a false Christian construct.
I wish I could get Lamont Thomas on drums as I screamed this poem to the high Heavens.
More inflatable consonants and vociferous vowels to lead us past the flames and into a paradise of pomegranates and purring Siamese cats.

Ipps inflate nothing because they understand how crucial it is to be counted in a forest of starving roadblocks and frozen impediments.
One more false prophet flaking out because their bourbon wasn’t top shelf as Emily stands tall by never turning her back on anyone.
Bo and Emily are in my heart because I’ve had enough of false equivalents.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac were not beat.
Another misnomer in a cemetery of fossilized writers who deserve way better than they ultimately got.
I’ll never understand why Brautigan is called a beat, but lazy people throwing around loaded terminology catch us up in the fan blades of humdrum mediocrity.

Self-righteousness runs rampant in a hierarchy where the quizlings trivialize the very last bastion of humanity because they’ve got nothing better to do as they serve out their life sentences for being disingenuous to the nth degree.
To the victor go the spoiled sour grapes once the dagger is pulled from their Caesar backs and the taste of crow is accepted as a delicacy.
False prophets are a dime a dozen in a crisis of conscience chronicled in blistering Chesterton fashion.

He asked why I kept doing this and I answered because I’m tired of people not paying attention.
The Peter Principle continues fucking us as the incompetent are handed trophies while the truly gifted get their heads served up on a platter.
Think of Cassidy as John the Baptist and Judas as Sal Paradise, another dharma bum fixated on writing the next great American road atlas.

I’m plum out of regrets because notoriety was never a dark enough horse for me to bet upon.
The writing game is something I never took lightly because I realized early on how great the sacrifices are that must be made.
Wise men dispense with the accolades and get down to doing the honest to God work before it’s too late.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


I think the diabetes has finally caught up with me
I pray I’m wrong, but if not I guess I’ll finally have to admit I’m not invincible
Turning a blind eye only lasts so long as the one eyed king is permitted to fuck without a condom

I met a Russian Muppet and she took whatever money I had and went on her merry way
I never learn my lesson as insanity rots both my brain and my six and a half inch cock
She represents something I’ve never had and probably never will

All I desire is to be naked and to cuddle against the impending apocalypse with my Russian Muppet
She says she has a moderately sized ass which makes me laugh because she knows just how to tickle my Jewish-Sicilian funny bone
When she first admitted she was shy I felt her walls come tumbling down like Jericho or the Iron Curtain

The music is just loud enough to cut into my skull like a sickle and hammer
I’m frozen like a deer in the headlights of another disastrous life choice
Katherine blows up my purpose with her excuses and a sense of ill-advised timing leaving anyone paying attention blown away like Alice in Wonderland playing cards.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Bursting Through Consciousness #3

The stained glass our unconscious mind
A revelatory conclusion to the heresy of a concussed life
Even Moses stammered and stuttered in the eye of a Pharaoh’s disapproval

We mustn’t allow ourselves to believe we’re landlocked
The universal mind far more equipped for a prison break than you can possibly imagine
None of us are limited if we set our minds out of bounds and break on through the tyranny of manmade labor and fear

I am not dreaming as I write this, but if I were I’d be Harold and the purple crayon would drive me like my brothers Suzuki GS1100 around the cautionary bend
We’re all hard boiled eggs whose yoke teeters on losing its sense of humor as we ride off into the sunset like Zane Grey cowpunchers
My spirit animal is Red Skeleton as another dad joke falls flat and I climb the monkey bars in my recessed and conclave mind

I wish to visit Terry in Hospice because I believe I can offer some solace and perhaps a dash of serenity to the place where he now floats
The Glass Bead Game is indeed real and to gain entrance you best renounce your citizenship and bask in the profound absurdity of our ancient minds
The terror of isolation overrated once we stand firm on accepting we are loved as the creative mind forms a chrysalis around our butterfly godheads and we are free to fly through the blue untethered skies.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, June 03, 2022

Bursting Through Consciousness #2

Punching the clock is a concept well past its expiration date.
Our souls must thrive; not be imprisoned or starved.
Feeding our consciousness best be our number one priority otherwise what’s the point of temporary insanity?

Lucy was never going to give Charlie Brown the satisfaction of kicking the football, but Charlie possessed a kind of hope which never bordered on naiveté or stubborn ignorance.
Our country teeters on planned obsolescence while continuing to throw the baby out with the lead bathwater.
We’ll never learn as 19 dead children become yet another footnote in our confrontational history where gun ownership trumps a child’s right to grow up.

Punching the clock is a slave mentality which rots us through and through as capitalism sits on our faces and takes a shit on the pursuit of happiness.
What Terry Provost has always represented to me is a juggernaut of clarity in a disingenuous society of widgets and Whac-A-Mole bean counters.
When he gets up on stage and roars his poetry you know words have consequences.

Our cartoon lives another fish wrapped obituary that no fishwife could ever render useful or tasty in the least little bit.
Our misanthropic lives as dense as Russian literature because we refuse to see the protagonist through the strip-mined trees.
All I want for Hanukah is a romance I can believe in and all I want for Terry and his family, the beauty of an enduring conversation of trust.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, May 30, 2022

Bursting Through Consciousness

Rocket scientist poet
Teacher of the analytical mind
Einstein has nothing on you

Striving to be all you can be
Chips down, but never counted out
Receiving messages from another side

The conscious mind is subjective
It’s true; ask any daydreamer or merchant of nightmares
We’re at our best when we cross the Rubicon

I’ve never had much faith in hope
Disappointment puts the fear of a manufactured God into me
I wanted to hold his hand, but he was wearing gardening gloves and refused to return my telepathic messages

Rocket scientist rock star
Professor of the unanalyzed and unresolved riddles of the Sphinx
Our loved ones mustn’t catch up with us while we’re running outside of time and mindfulness

I met him and liked him immediately
Cut through the poetic fat of a city starving for more steak
Terry challenges me to resist mediocrity and go for the gold standard

Our unconscious mind the first step toward freedom of creative autonomy
A lesson we must learn before taking off our training wheels
Love is the realest construct of them all.

Charles Cicirella


I climbed through the television screen and jumped into the water.
I clambered into your mind and forsook all of your memories.
The hardest part of being an artist is believing your work has merit. The hardest part of being human is keeping the secret you’re not okay.

There was a shooting and 19 children and 2 adults were slaughtered as the police stood by and did nothing.
We cannot understand how such a thing could happen because we refuse to believe in the incompetence of people who only care about covering their own asses.
Look at Cruz and his smug bearded erudite facade and know this is the smirk of pure evil.

If we’re ever to stop the madness we must first understand what is wrong with this picture.
Thinking you’ll be okay because you live in a white privileged neighborhood shows just how out of touch you are as the Fox Kool-Aid dribbles down your concealed carry expressionless faces.
We’re all liable to get mowed down sooner than later if the paid suits continue turning a blind eye to all of the carnage happening right outside our rose-tinted windows.

I watched as the blue mask was removed only to be replaced with mirrored sunglasses.
The crime noir air reeked of hung juries as another chalk outline took shape and flew like a kite along the bloody beach of crucified dreams.
The hardest part of being alive is knowing everyday you face death because of another stupid human who refuses to color outside of the lines.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, April 25, 2022

Smart Phone Poet

Pick up the phone, God is calling.
She’s pissed off at your displays of empty bravado leaving you looking like a pathetic ghost or worse yet an American corpse.
This train wreck we call capitalism has just about run its course as white privilege and white noise cancel each other out.

Answer your smart phone with the big screen and multiple cameras.
Answer your smart phone before it figures out how to cancel you.
Answer the questions the Grand Inquisitor implodes upon you like reality checks to a failing conscience.

Do you recall when you starred in your very own Spaghetti Western and the good, the bad and the ugly were not even a footnote?
Your CliffsNotes are soaked in the blood of a student body that never studied quite hard enough to evade their own busted and broken lives.
I turned my back on the status quo a long time ago because I already knew keeping up with the Joneses was tantamount to your head being discovered in a freezer in Wisconsin.

Pick up the phone, Batman is calling.
He needs your help to rid Gotham of the crime wave spreading like another unchecked STD.
He figures you being a poet might make you impervious to all the jackals tearing out peoples’ throats as easily as opening a letter.

Answer this question why do we continue to turn our backs on all the disuse and discredit plaguing us?
Why are we so ready and willing to protect the criminals while allowing the victims to constantly suffer?
This train wreck we call life and life only is just another failed excuse to a marriage of convenience and a divorce from the truth.

Charles Cicirella

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Head Space

We look at the sun and are afraid to burn.
We look at our faces in the mirror and are already scorched.
There’s a lesson distilled in all of us, if we’d only learn to turn the page and walk away from everything and everyone that is doing us harm.

The boxes we bury ourselves in day in and day out would be far less constricting if we only put down the pipe and learned how to forgive ourselves.
We’ll never speak the language of the stars if we continue to lie in the gutter like some guttersnipe or little rascal.
I desired to pet your kitty until realizing your kitty was just as poisoned as our junk food ideals and celebrity recipes for martyrdom.

The Gambler was right “You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em Know when to walk away And know when to run.”
My friend was recently detoxed and it saved his life, but please understand everyone struggles with their own addictions and the rabbit hole is just one step away.
Snapchat and Instagram recently did my head in with all the paid escorts who are one more false façade in a sea of greed and treachery.

Babu, I give you money.
Babu is the only one getting paid as the rest of us hunger for a human touch or lash of a compensatory whip.
I’ve been down this road before as the sun licks its lips and whispers sweet nothings into my tumor ears.

Call me Icarus or “Call Me Ishmael” either way I’m ready to head back to dry land because all this water has got me sea sick or worse yet sea dead.
I remember the first time we fucked without our masks and how freeing it was until you took out your eyes and I realized we’re all just black holes doing our very best to avoid the potholes and orange barrels along Cedar Road.
Jim found his escape hatch because he was sick and tired of wrestling with choices that he had already decided were no big deal. One more whiskey priest dead and gone, one more whiskey priest cash poor and cashed out.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

A Birthday Poem for You

brittle broken bones                                covered in skin                                                sex on video a bridge too far               Katherine lightning in a bottle        Katherine the surprise at the bottom of a Cracker Jack's box                            Katherine always wants to be the banker when she plays Monopoly                         let's stand beneath the sun and pray for rain                                                                 let's strip off our skivvies and run through the sprinkler at top speed                         let's show Santa our nakedness and ride his white beard like a haystack

Charles Cicirella


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Meditation (For a Rhinestone Cowboy)

For years I’ve heard “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)” was about God, but not until hearing Rob McNurlin sing it did I understand.
It’s a meditation on death and all that comes before and after this Spaghetti Western we call life.
Survival of the fittest is not always in the cards because oftentimes the quickest draw only gets you drawn and quartered.

A prayer of redemption and a lamentation to a God who doesn’t always have his or her ducks in a row.
That’s the beauty of The Mystery because Christ is in the details and once the architecture speaks to you the sky is just the beginning.
He saddled up his horse and rode through the ruins toward the town of his birth.

Rob towers over me like a giant and I’d have it no other way because he makes me feel safe and protected from an onslaught of sin.
We dropped everything to hear him sing in a small church in Kentucky and it’s one of the few times I laid my burden down and lowered my guard completely.
The hymns he sings are about the blood spilled as demons are vanquished in the name of Jehovah.

Let’s get one thing straight we’re all crooked to a degree and doing our best to straighten out and free ourselves from our chains.
Street Legal is my favorite Bob Dylan record because I find it to be his most human as he wrestles the shadows for the light of foresight.
I was waiting for a friend, so I pulled over to the side of the road as Rob ambled up and tipped his cowboy hat my way.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, March 11, 2022

Swimming with Sharks

Arguing with guppies.
That’s my lot in life.
I believe I’m God and still I play second fiddle to demons.

It’s both a blessing and a curse.
Nailing myself to a cross and then bitching because I’ve been crucified in a bad neighborhood.
I blow my trumpet so much I feel like Miles before the whores and blue moods turned him into molten lava.

Most of us are chum even if we refuse to admit it. The rest of us are DOA even before our Fairy Godmother punches out our lights.
Don’t believe you can trust angels because even they have an ulterior motive.
Brando’s Godfather had it going on as his lines were fed to him and he tore us to shreds with an open heart.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, March 10, 2022


This inferno will not abate
Your hands around my neck unnecessary
This brute force will not go unnoticed

Labors of love covered in skin and blood
A country invaded by Russian thugs
Sunflower seeds rubbed into their lying eyes

Everyone hands off as cowardice reigns supreme
An embattled President stands tall and stays put
The resilience of the Ukrainian people puts us all to shame

War crimes committed never you mind
Sanctions a drop in the bucket as the blood on our hands places us on the wrong side of history
Politicians shouldn’t be in charge of our consciences

It’s cold blooded murder reigning down from the skies
As we continue to sit on the sidelines biding our precious time
Watchdogs can go to hell when they only pay attention when their bottom line is threatened

Razor sharp implements stuck into the invaders like lipstick on a pig
We talk a good game only when the game is rigged in our favor
Flowers tossed onto the graves of children blown up by our unwillingness to do the right thing.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, February 21, 2022

Rocky (For the Kran family)

Even though no one else sees the resemblance, Lee has always reminded me of Burt Young.
I’ve known him most of my life and I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about him.
Both he and his wife Sharon always treated me exceedingly well and their generosity and kindness never fails to regenerate my faith.
So many people talk about paying it forward while doing nothing even close to that while Lee and Sharon were always thinking of others and how to payback for the blessings bestowed upon them.

I don’t recall a time when Lori and I weren’t friends and I’m even counting the moments when one of us was holding a grudge or allowing some silly disagreement to place us in a timeout.
Sometimes years passed before we saw each other again and yet we’ve always picked back up where we’d left off because that’s what true friends do.
I was there when Lee and Sharon renewed their wedding vows and I believe there’s still a video of that out there somewhere.

I’ll never understand why people have to die. I wish like the Energizer Bunny we could continue onward-forward-infinite through the end times and toward a new beginning of everlasting bliss.
Of course for all I know when we are no more what awaits us is even fuller of possibilities and a new, fledgling hope.
I know Lee is missing Sharon something terrible and that they will be reunited. I hope that gives Lori and Randy some peace at this difficult time.

He’s Rocky, fighting the good fight and making sure he’s always a champion in the eyes of those he loves and who so dearly love him back.
Writing poetry for the family is a great honor because they are true Guardians of the Eternal Flame.
Lip service gets no one anywhere in this crazy, cockeyed world, but if you live your truth like Lee does I can assure you that God looks upon you favorably.

Charles Cicirella


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Lie down.

I lie down and process God.
That may mean nothing to you, but it means everything to me.
Sleep is rejuvenation from the cult of status quo uneasiness.

I believe this is a poem and I write it both knowingly and unknowingly.
My willful and unwilled selves have trained for this for many birth and death cycles.
Here I sit and stand alleviating all stress by letting go of pre-ejaculated fears.

Why do we dilly dally waiting for what is believed to be an eminent attack?
A surprise party must still be planned by someone and so there must be a way to cease and desist from the delivery of balloons and the arrival of a clown or magician.
I’m not joking in the least little bit when I say discovery is for the birds when the beasts have already decided to consume everything lower than them on the food chain.

I lie down and profess my sins.
That may mean nothing to you and even I question its legitimacy.
Real or fake these parallel universes plague me like a Lynchian nightmare.
Jimmy Scott never seemed more fatalistic than when singing under the sycamore trees.

This is not a confession nor a statement of fact.
It’s one person’s unobserved observations drawn and quartered through streams of red velvet cake consciousness.
Here’s where it begins and ends as a populace is silenced through their own censuring of the written word.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, February 05, 2022

I'm in it for blood.

I’m in it for blood as my hands become covered in the consonants and vowels of a billion unborn poems.
There’s no denying poets play God as we enter the operating theater praying "Day of the Locusts" is not in the mix.
“I'm a steamroller baby; I'm 'bout to roll all over you.”

I believe it’s my moxie turning people off, that and the stench of fearlessness wafting off of me from all the poets I’ve left in the beaten down, academic dust.
Irascibility is my middle name because I learned a long time ago making friends will get you absolutely nowhere as they stab you in the back for their fifteen minutes in the unbleached sun.
Hank Williams Sr. had it right dying of a heart attack at the age of 29 in the backseat of his 1952 powder blue Cadillac.

I’m in it for blood; fuck the glory and the megalomania oftentimes rearing its ugly head as you win another 5 games on Jeopardy! while forsaking all of your heart torn followers.
There’s something to be said about going gentle into that good night especially if you’re a drunk and always make a mess of things while attempting to get it right.
“Hey, hey, babe, I got blood in my eyes for you. Hey, hey, babe, I got blood in my eyes for you.”

Charles Cicirella


Started this poem a thousand times and still nothing was set in cement.
I think that’s why I find you so refreshing on Twitter because you clearly are realistic while also keeping a sense of mystery about you.
You cannot force funny and most people don’t understand that while your clever asides never fail to slay the dragon that exists inside of me.

I know you’re a married mommy, but there is no denying how sexy you are as you flirt like a champ, pulling out right when it might get interesting.
Your facial expressions are epic as you tell a thousand stories with a raised eyebrow or curled "King of Rock and Roll" lip.
So many people playing catch up on social media while you lead the pack with your smoldering sexuality leaving tarts half your age wondering what has hit them.

Started this poem a thousand times and nothing quite fit until I stopped trying and opened myself to the muse that is Laura Marie.
You leave me catatonic and in a state of gleeful abandon as I forge ahead with your kind words and sharp tongued PowerPoint presentation.
Snark without heart is a colossal waste of time and you know that and so much more as you make us all your fans and even more than that honest to goodness friends. Thank you.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, February 04, 2022

Self-loathing vs. Self-preservation

Clean all of the chemicals from your vessel.
All those crutches do is put you in the ground quicker.
Sound mind and body is the key to the kingdom.

The pain of birth and the pain of dying are two very different sides of a coin that spend the same.
In the end we begin and in the beginning there’s an ending we can never quite fathom.
The stillness of the night breaks us down as our adult selves hide in the terror of a new day breaking.

Expel all the fear, loneliness and negative energy and become as weightless as a red cardinal or black crow.
All the doubt festering inside you must stop foisting upon yourself like unholy relics or blasphemous deeds from a torturous past.
We are magicians and must learn to heal ourselves before consumed by our own disinterests.

The discovery of joy and the realignment with our innocence is a decree written in blood, served in the soul kitchens of good deeds paid forward.
Divine providence angels watch over us at the most perilous of times and do our bidding when we are threatened with excommunication from the Temple Mount.
Close your eyes and allow me to tell you a secret that will both heal you and protect you from this day forward.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, January 31, 2022

Stand Back I Don’t Know How Big This Thing Gets (For Provost, Sagan, Kesey and La Charity)

Our consciousness is not the problem.
Only when we’re unconscious do problems arise.
I’ve been writing stream of consciousness since the moon turned me from a werewolf back into a human.

Listening to Dylan because oftentimes he’s the only thing that cuts through the din.
Fourteen years old and my best friend had four legs. Dominic, Mark and Bobby wanted nothing to do with me.
Highway 61 Revisited came to me like a thief in the night and replaced my nightmares with dreams of alchemy and blood.

When Brautigan wrote about that hamburger, bullets and American dust I knew exactly where he had been and where he was going.
He gutted me like no fisherman ever has as Moby Dick calls out to me like a lost refrain from your favorite hymn.

Before you know it perhaps I’ll write my Requiem and then I’ll move to Big Sur and wait for California to fall into the ocean, it won’t be long now.
Our worst devils seems to be the only thing we’re listening to as scientific voices are drummed out by demigods and paper tigers.
Somethings you just cannot make up as parents sacrifice their children and raping and pillaging becomes a national pastime.

The writing on the walls has been scrawled over with snot and blood and even some semen to keep it fluid.
The drunken, football hoards are coming for us with their non-vaxxed status and a sense of entitlement that’s sickening to witness.
Why can’t we for once do the right thing instead of throwing around words like freedom and patriotism like they actually mean something? Fuck anybody who doesn’t believe in God and fuck everybody too stupid to do the right thing.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, January 22, 2022


Put the words in the wringer and see how they turn out.
I don’t think you know how brave you are and I wish you did.
Our poetry is so different, but the dedication we both have for our crafts could be doppelgangers.

The other night on the phone you said you liked how I read my poetry and it filled me with so much joy I nearly burst.
I’m thinking now about the time you said you liked my growl. You cut through my defenses like no one else I’ve ever known.
I know you care very deeply what people think, but I also know you could give a shit less if someone doesn’t get you and that empowers you and I wanted you to know it has also empowered me.

Put the consonants and vowels in the blender and press all of the buttons at once as your poems paint murals of blood and fury on seething walls of infamy.
You once wrote a poem for me that was very different than anything else of yours I’ve ever read and I know that poem wasn’t your favorite, but it still sticks to my heart like warm goo.
You’ve never worn blinders when it comes to seeing the world for how fucked it is or believed that seeing through rose tinted glasses would solve anything.

Your stance on stage resembles some femme fatale singer from a punk band in the seventies.
I know it’s not about the performance for you and yet the way you spit out your poems never fails to stab me in the face with glitter and shards of stained glass.
Put the words in the wringer and stand back because your chemistry set poetry brings us all back to life.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, January 21, 2022

We all desire to be seen.

It’s not about fairy tales or lullabies.
It’s not about holding tight until the pressure breaks you down.
It’s not about withholding personal information because intimacy scares the hell out of you.

It is about being seen for who you are and for what you believe.
It is about letting down your hair even if you don’t have any.
It is about your drumbeat being heard over the din of melancholia.

We all desire to be noticed even if the odds seem stacked against us.
We all desire to be at peace even if the headstones are uncomfortable against our sleepy noggins.
We all desire to be loved even if love appears out of reach and it has been decades since someone has said those words to you.

Landing the biggest fish in the pond is never what’s important.
Pretending you’re someone you’re not will only vanquish your most secretive of imaginings as night comes on like a slave trader.
The music inside my heart speaks loudest when I’m alone because getting on with people has never made much sense to me.

The light at the end of the tunnel makes up for lost time when hope stops equating fear.
We must forgo the voices inside our heads telling us not to try and accept chaos as a friend and not as an enemy.
Self-love and self-acceptance are the only drugs we need to get us completely wasted and lost in the tendrils of the sun.

Charles Cicirella

I Can’t Remember if I Took a Shit Today.

I can’t remember if I prayed.
I can’t remember if there’s a mask in my pocket.
I can’t remember if that condom from 1984 is still in my wallet.

I can’t remember if I loaded the chamber with actual bullets and not more Alec Baldwin blanks.
I can’t remember if I told her I loved her before I broke her heart.
I can’t remember if I’m still using the excuse that I’m an artist or if I’m finally admitting I am a scumbag.

I can’t remember if I cleaned the air fryer.
I can’t remember if I spoke out of turn for the millionth time.
I can’t remember if I looked back and if I did why I’m not now a pillar of Morton’s Salt.

I can’t remember if I shook it enough or if my boxers will again smell like pee.
I can’t remember if I closed your eyes after you breathed your last stuffed animal breath.
I can’t remember if it was me or you who decimated the mini bar and who really cares when neither one of us has a proper credit card to cover it.

I can’t remember if I paid the ferryman of Hades or if I still owe Death for all of my many misgivings.
I can’t remember if my passive aggression is warranted or if I’m just another prick who cannot find a sheath to fit into.
I can’t remember much of anything and that’s after I stopped smoking pot and gave up all the many crutches that only hold you back from meeting your destiny head on.

Charles Cicirella

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

We stand to lose everything.

It’s right there in front of our faces
Life eternally present until it’s not
We mustn’t get too caught up in the details if we wish to seize the day and not make a mess of everything

These words are for you because I couldn’t afford flowers
I offer you my soul and I pray it’s enough
The truth is I’m not much of a romantic, but I am hopeless

Editors cannot figure out the line breaks in my poetry
It’s a headache having to redesign their small pages with my large thoughts
In this same building over twenty years ago Jim Murray read me back one of my poems and he hit every mark

That was the same apartment building where I first saw Last Tango in Paris and Dylan’s masterpiece Renaldo and Clara
I’m no happier than I was then and in fact I believe I’m even worse off
I finally picked myself up and moved to Columbus. I wonder what major move I’ll need to make now to stop feeling so numb

It’s right here for the world to see
A bloody pageantry of fists bumping and tongues wagging
A calliope of worthless tropes and memes burying us in endless silences

These words are for you because it’s easier to pick myself apart than pick out the perfect gift
My mother always said not to bother buying her anything for her birthday and she meant it
I believe that’s because my mom had expensive taste and knew nothing I could afford she’d want.

Charles Cicirella

Ghost Memories

Living ghosts linger on longer than dead ones.
Trauma is a drug we cannot get enough of.
America is on its knees, gun in mouth, taking it willfully up the ass.

Wearing slippers from Aldi’s; discovered socks are not necessary and my feet can now breathe.
Who doesn’t want Puff the Magic Dragon as their friend? It all makes sense when an imaginary beast befriends you.
Let’s stop futzing around and accept if we don’t push back, the basket of deplorables will continue to consume us and in the end we’ll be worse off than a cadaver.

We must up the ante and accept it’s not house money we’re playing with. We’re all in jeopardy if we don’t soon see the forest through the trees and listen more closely as a bear takes a healthy shit on our faces.
Living ghosts have their regrets, but it’s nothing compared to our many regrets as we turn a blind eye to another priest or celebrity whore diddling our children for sport.
We’re the ones to blame if we continue allowing all this slipshod shit to seep through the floorboards as we pretend all is well and a virus isn’t coming for us all.

This land was never our land and the proof in the pudding contains so much high fructose corn syrup our children become junkies even before the methadone clinic can open for business.
Why does no one want to admit what Kobe Bryant did and does his legendary status really give him a pass for demanding that chopper to go up, killing everyone, including his own daughter?
We mustn’t govern by focus group if we ever want to make any real headway and finally find out what happened to Virginia Dare.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Real Beat (For Ralph)

Known him longer than either one of us would care to admit.
Known him since time bled from its many cuts and no civil servant could cauterize the wounds.
We’re old dogs who have always understood that the sacrifice is eternally baked in.

It wasn’t the alcohol that killed Jack, but instead his aspirations to write the great American novel.
When he was labeled a Beat he knew that was a death sentence he’d never shake off.
We now look at the Beat Movement as quaint when nothing could be further from the truth.

Poets nowadays celebrate their non-compliance to the muse which is precisely why none of them write from inspiration and instead get lost in the ironweeds.
I’ve blown my horn from time to time and all it has gotten me is a crick in the neck and my own well-earned disrespect.
Ralph bellows from the rafters like a blown out Tarzan that has always known the jig was up.

It’s not about pointing fingers, but is instead about doing the actual work and turning one’s back on all the asinine accolades piled up and ready to be set ablaze.
We must accept we’re castaways, long exiled from a community of do-gooders who do nothing but pass judgement and massacre the innocent.
We’re old dogs that believe pomp and circumstance will get you five to ten in a mass grave of Dharma Bums that go pop in the American night.

Charles Cicirella

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Exceptional (For Johnrick Hole) 

I want to write a poem that’s exceptional.
I’ll probably fail, but for Johnrick Hole I’ll take my chances.
The alphabet haunts me like Oswald haunts Camelot.

Doing my best to wash the white off of my hands because none of our lives matter if just one of us dies in vain.
Can you imagine someone dying over an air freshener or a broken taillight? Why are so many cops racist and how can any one of them look in the mirror and not cringe?
This isn’t a soapbox I’m standing behind nor is this a chip on my shoulder. I just think if you’re going to do so many poetry events you could feature Cleveland poets other than yourself.

I want to delve further back in my mind than I’ve ever gone and witness the Big Bang for all its shock and awe.
I bet it was like Brando on the set of Apocalypse Now, but leaner and willing to take direction.
Do you remember the forts we’d build as children and how an entire afternoon could be lost in mere sheets and blankets?

When Johnrick goes out of his way to share one of my poems on Facebook I’m left speechless and not only because no one bothers with poetry these days, if they ever did.
I know he means it as a compliment, just like the time he stepped up for me at Milo when I was being railroaded for being a red hot lover.
Johnrick Hole is the kind of friend everyone needs because he doesn’t sugarcoat anything or leave a person out in the desolate and unforgiving cold.

Charles Cicirella

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

It’s a losing proposition.

Delving into others’ souls and expecting even a twinge of acknowledgment. Forget about it.
I cannot listen to any more excuses as I try to navigate a globe of self-introspection and self-doubt.
Thinking you have a real connection with someone will always bite you in the ass because even real people are rarely present.

Learned a long time ago even being the bigger person doesn’t mean the plank you’re walking is a two way street.
That goes double if your intellect is as sharp as a hatpin, popping everyone’s vapid balloon of snapdragon synergy.
Your intentions may be the gold standard and still alchemy ain’t for losers in a metaphysical world of don’t you dares.

Touched the hot stove at my Aunt Hilda’s and though I remember how my finger hurt I still oftentimes will jump into the flames because a curious cat will never learn to steer clear from another’s bubbling cauldron of duress.
Call it reckless or careless behavior while I believe I have a calling having everything to do with pressing my ear against the wall of a humanity forever bleeding and breeding discontent and misinformation.

It’s a losing proposition walking out onto the edge and actually expecting anyone to notice the grand and oftentimes stupid gestures you make.
Doctors may have a God complex while poets have a people complex meaning they will attempt to connect with people who want simply to be left alone.
I knocked on the door and when there was no answer I scurried away like a king rat or great magician.

Charles Cicirella

Friday, January 07, 2022


I write from pillar to post and this poem’s for you
I hope that doesn’t piss you off too much

Met you were you were 18 and you’ve never liked me
Never quite sure why, but I’ve always figured it is what it is

Your parents have always been two of my favorite people in the world
Your father never failed to make me laugh and your mother is someone I’d defend to my death

Even when push came to shove I wouldn’t tell you off because I don’t believe that you deserve it
The poetry is what sustains me as I breathe art like oxygen

I wanted to do something nice for your birthday and I hope this poem finds you well
I know I’m playing with fire writing you these words and I pray I don’t get too badly burned.

Charles Cicirella

Mother and Child

Radiant beauty
Bejeweled starlet
Mother lioness

Child of consciousness
Wide awake to the world
Taking it all in for the first time

Teaching him right from wrong
Showing him unconditional love
Two humans glowing and growing

Charles Cicirella

I Know I Have Greatness Inside of Me.

Possibilities endless once you turn your back to the crowd.
Everything tied up with a nice neat bow isn’t how things work in an unhinged world with so many selfish people.
You’d think at this point we’d have reached herd immunity for stupid, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Art for art’s sake is all she wrote no matter the conditions, no matter the cost.
Sounds noble when in fact it has nothing whatsoever to do with nobility.
Chivalry isn’t dead it just lies dormant waiting for the sleeping tiger to perish in the acid rains of sputtering forethought.

Woody Guthrie was a traveling troubadour giving hope to the poor just like Robin Hood and Betty White.
The Golden Girls are all now gone because God needed a laugh after so many cold winters abroad.
I know I have greatness inside of me, but trust me I’m not bragging because with greatness comes responsibility and sacrifice.

Hemp is no longer something I rely upon because I must hunker down and focus on the task at hand.
We must work our fingers to the bone as our intellects trade punches with an invisible champ and we refuse to take another dive.
Living by your wits is nothing like living by the grace of God; just ask the birds and the fishes and the monsters underneath your bed.

Endless possibilities come knocking like Martin Luther’s 95 Theses nailed to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church.
My mother said I suffered from delusions of grandeur which I believe is better than suffering from delusions of mediocrity.
Nothing is worse than people being handed the keys to the kingdom and settling instead for more strife and a paradise lost in the wreckage.

Charles Cicirella

Monday, January 03, 2022


Stand still.
Hail stings.
Phone rings.

She stood there naked.
A ball of light shown down.
Absolute beginners choking on this nativity scene.

Landlocked like a hermit crab or suburban night crawler.
Talked to Juliet on the phone the other night and I asked her to write a poem about the disposal of my mother’s ashes.
We’re poets and we know it and we could care less what you think of our words covered in dog shit and sardonic whimsy.

We made so much noise that Tom and Linda complained. Of course that’s only because neither one of them was getting any.
It was another time when Grandview didn’t seem so small and I still believed in something.
We could have lit the world on fire, but decided instead to go to McDonald’s where Juliet ate her McNuggets in order of their worthiness.

One night I woke up and she was watching me.
I’ve written about this before and I’m still shocked.
I believe she was just stunned by how quiet I am when lost in dreamland.

Stand tall.
Sun warms.
Phone whirrs.

Charles Cicirella

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Obliteration (For Joni)

Picks up the paintbrush and paints our psyches
The sacrifices she makes for her heart - art you’ll never understand
The life of an artist is a lonely one. Just ask Vincent

We talked on the phone recently, and for the first time I was scared because I heard a terror in her voice I’ve not heard before
We thumb our noses at God, but it does us no favors except damn us to another decade of pointless puzzle solving
Joni knows the secrets of the past because she works only in the future

Was fired from some bullshit dollar store for stealing tampons, but we both know the truth is stranger than that
The reality she brandishes leaves everyone in the cowboy dust, and that goes triple for anyone who underestimates her fairy spirit
We got reacquainted in, of all places, a Greyhound bus station in Indiana. I’ll be forever grateful for that fateful meeting

Walks onto the open stage and delivers a song about Crazy Horse that brings people to tears as Joni takes away our emotional cobwebs
As funny as they come when she is comfortable in her surroundings
I wish she could find a home and that her holocaust mind stopped giving her lemons

The life of an artist is something no book or movie will ever adequately capture
The nobility of a creative soul is lost in the cremation ovens of the status quo
Joni picked me up so long ago, and I pray she never puts me down.

Charles Cicirella

Holly Goddess II

The line has been drawn in the sand
The die has been cast
Loneliness mustn’t become our national pastime

Living is easier said than done, death a mystery we mistake for the unknown
Think about before you were born
Think about the lasting impressions made when we own up to our shortcomings and admit we’ve been defeated by our own self-doubts

The blood on our hands is not a metaphor and the red paint my grandpa covered everything and anything with doesn’t excuse the mistakes made when we allow ourselves to be ruled by fear
We connect because neither one of us will accept anything less than the truth when everything is on the line and the lions outside of the library refuse to check out any more knowledge to us

Even Bogie and Bacall hit a rough patch every now and then and alcoholism was definitely a factor as was the life of two Hollywood legends being placed under a microscope and dissected for sport
What if we disconnected ourselves from past traumas and did our very best to squash the little voices in our heads, feeding into all of our insecurities?
What if we braved the cold of a last cigarette and stopped pretending we had all of the answers and a winning lottery ticket?

The line of residual guilt exhausts folks like us as we delve deeper into the fondness of fondue and the heartbreaking moment we realize we’re lactose intolerant
The die-cast toys only remind us how fragile we all are when everything is crashing and burning around us and our inner strength calls in sick for five days straight
I’m not interested in rounding the bases if I’m returning home to a partner I barely recognize.

Charles Cicirella