Tag Archives: after-hours poetry

Poets Underground featuring Todd Cirillo

Now on small screens everywhere, poet Todd Cirillo is featured on the internationally acclaimed Poets Underground show with host Wolfgang Carstens. This critically lauded episode features the two legendary poets and writers in conversation and performance. A must see for poetry fans and good time people alike. So open up a sixer, mix a tall drink and enjoy as Todd and Wolfgang bring the goods to the world. Click below to watch.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinking, lost love, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Amazing Screaming with Brevity review of Todd Cirillo’s new book

Looking for new poetry to read? Not really into poetry? Check out this review written by Matthew J. Hall of Screaming with Brevity of Burning with Brevity by Todd Cirillo and find a book that will make you love poetry or renew your faith in it!

http://www.screamingwithbrevity.com/review-burning-evidence-todd-cirillo/

Order copies at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Evidence-Todd-Cirillo/dp/1926860586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484887624&sr=8-1&keywords=todd+cirillo

A Review: Burning the Evidence by Todd Cirillo

Todd Cirillo’s Burning the Evidence, published by Epic Rites Press, is one of those rare collections where the poetry begins before the first page is turned. The front cover’s photograph captures a darkened place, illuminated by a woman holding an un-capped and ignited Zippo. The flame only provides the slightest impression of this mysterious woman’s right breast, a partial yet clear right bicep in a short-sleeved and striped garment and three fingers holding the lighter, the index fingernail is varnished, electric pink. Had I not been given a review copy of this book I would have purchased it on the strength of its cover design alone. And I would have been right to do so. Much like the woman of mystery, the poems she represents are stripped of the details that rightly belong to the reader. Cirillo’s Zippo woman becomes my Zippo woman as I unintentionally begin to complete her features and personality. Like any meaningful relationship, the one between writer and reader is burdened by obstacle and compromise. The following poems are clearly the work of a well-practiced writer who has learnt how to massage his reader’s agenda into submission, making clear the path for his own. He is a poet who understands the intimate and somewhat tenuous bond between writer and reader; an author who not only recognises, but utilises, the wide range of memory, emotion and opinion a reader brings to a book.

In place of the back cover’s usual blurb and praise, there is a well-chosen poem from the book, which represents the overriding theme and the pared down style of the poems within.

Today’s Forecast
The day began –
it was sunny and warm,
blue sky and barbecues blazing.
Then the wind, rain and darkness fell.
Hail shattered windshields
leaving glass thrown
up and down the street,
pieces of trees were everywhere.

I stood and looked down the block –
it reminded me
of every great relationship
I’ve ever had.
(Today’s Forecast, quoted in full, from the back cover and p 58)

I audibly groan when I think back to all the time I wasted during my early literary efforts, reading all those bloody articles on various “writing” blogs, pertaining to good writing. Almost without exception, all of those articles lamented on the woes of writing about writing; a contradiction in terms by very definition and one that, thankfully, Cirillo defies as he writes about writing poetry, reading poetry, day-to-day poetry and indeed, the poetry that comes along once in a lifetime.

In the poem, I Fell In Love With A Poet, our narrator – as the title suggests – recalls his dalliance with a fellow poet.

…her words are so good
that I will end up
stealing them one day.
Not whole poems,
but a word or two,
a line she says
when we wake up
in the hungover morning
or as she reaches over me
for a cocktail napkin,
pen in one hand,
burning cigarette
in the other
without spilling her drink,
the coolest person
in the place.
(from I Fell In Love With a Poet, p 14)

A truly terrible combination; two poets together, an unholy union of hellish personality traits resulting in this beautiful poem which brings to mind words from T. S. Eliot, immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

Cirillo’s women are, without exception, femme fatales. They drink, smoke, tend bar, hook up with weird and destructive types and on occasion, shoot a .357 Magnum with deadly precision.

Pretty Smile
It’s a strange moment
when the bartender
smiles at me
from the other end
of the bar.

I never know
if it’s because
she wants my money
or my number,
or because
she knows
she can get both.
(Pretty Smile, p 20)

True to the mystery of the front cover’s woman, this woman’s only definite is a pretty smile, allowing me, the reader, to fulfil my part of the deal by the completion of her particulars; she is a few inches proud of five foot, brunette, has a mischievous glint in her brown eyes and, like God, is capable of giving and taking away.

You would be misinformed if I were to describe this book as a collection of bar poems, but wherever you are in terms of page number, you are never too far away from one of Cirillo’s bars. They are the type of bars that no longer exist in my part of the world; visiting them in Burning the Evidence has been a wonderfully nostalgic affair. They are the taverns, pubs and bars that the heartless, money-hungry fucks have driven out of business. They are now in the hands of the greedy whose only concern is a profit margin. These are smoke free and classless. They are dressed up as family joints, which means that every time you leave your bar stool for a cigarette in the rain, you trip over a jittery seven-year old who’s running around, wired on processed junk and sugary drinks. They don’t even have a fucking jukebox!

Cirillo’s bars are where men and women go to smoke and drink in the company of like-minded people, and the bartender knows how to pour a drink and talk, or pour a drink and not talk, depending on the order of the day.

“Do you have a drink menu?”
she giggles to the bartender.
“No” the bartender responds.
“You don’t HAVE a drink menu?”
“No honey, we make it up as we go along.”
(from Shot and a Beer Joint, p 25)

While alcohol and romance are staples within this work, there is far more to this book than idle drinking and gratuitous sex.

She asked me,
“What do you write about?”
In a moment of total honesty,
I told her,
“Booze, broken hearts and blowjobs.”
(from Cash Ain’t Always King, p 56)

There are more broken hearts than blowjobs in this collection and while booze is a constant, it is never the sole focal point. In the poem, The Only Sound Tonight, the poet pays tribute to loneliness, acknowledges its sovereignty, its power to come and go, dominating as it pleases. In, Don’t Forget, friendship is Todd Cirillo, Burning the Evidencecelebrated; real friendship, of the type where knowing that you are sharing time and space, breathing in the same air as a particular person is compensation enough for all the dreary days gone and those yet to come. The poem, Who Knew, is as much a tribute to the ubiquitous she, as it is to the blues and its ability to heal. In the title poem, Burning the Evidence, a piece about the odds being stacked against the creative mind, we find an artist who knows that it is better to be killed by that which you love, than to live with all that you hate.

Perhaps, our only option
is throw gasoline all around us,
flick the Zippo
high into the air,
burning the evidence
of ourselves
to become stars.
(from Burning the Evidence, p 40)

Burning the Evidence is about intense moments of friendship. It is for those who need a little dysfunction in order to function. It is a platform for shared experience. It is made up of love poems, but the love here is a sickness, a drug, an addiction. And Todd Cirillo is one of those recovering addicts who always wants more. Not because he doesn’t know better; regardless of lessons learnt, he can’t help but open himself up to that hard-drinking poet, who has a cigarette clasped between her lips, an uncapped and ignited Zippo in her right hand and a .357 Magnum in her left.

 

 

***************
Title: Burning the Evidence
Author: Todd Cirillo
Publisher: Epic Rites Press
P
ublication Date: January 2017
Price: $10.00, paperback
Page count: 70

1 Comment

Filed under break up, Drinking, lost love, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Burning the Evidence poems by Todd Cirillo available to order now!

thumb_img_8755_1024

Todd Cirillo’s book Burning the Evidence by Epic Rites Press is filled with snapshot observations from his Polaroid eye for detail, thieves’ ear for dialogue, and optimistic attempts at love and affection in all situations. Cirillo accomplishes a rare feat; he makes poetry relatable and accessible to every person. In these poems, he lays his heart bare on the bar, sometimes stupidly, other times sacrificially, but always sincerely. Some poems are punches to the gut, others are chocolates on the pillow or the last glimpse of red taillights fading away. Despite the disasters in life and love, Cirillo finds beauty “forever shining down on the whole filthy set up” and after reading this book, you will too.

You can order the book at http://www.epicrites.org/pre-order.html or http://www.epicrites.org

Dear friends: I would love to send each of you a copy with all my love, however, that would be unfair to the publisher, Epic Rites Press, who spent much time and money to put this collection into the world. So, even though the book is not free, my love is, especially if you support Epic Rites Press and this poet by purchasing a copy or ten (they make incredible gifts!) At an affordable $10, this a happy hour deal not to be missed. Cheers!

“Like the great Bill Gainer, Todd Cirillo says more in a few words than most of us can say in volumes. This book is full of love, heartbreak, music and the occasional watering hole. Cirillo doesn’t just burn the evidence, he lights up the night sky with it, baring his heart, like a neon highway sign, beating 24/7–with words.” –John Dorsey, Tombstone Factory

“Language chiseled onto the page and wholly accessible. A poet of unmistakable voice–tough but capable of tenderness…” –Wayne F. Burke, DICKHEAD

“You don’t have to look far. Just throw a dart at the map, you’ll find a little piece of his heart – broken, a girl burning his number in an ashtray, and a beer soaked napkin bleeding a two word not – You Bastard…It’s always a good place for Cirillo to start, that’s why I love this guy – and his poems.” –Bill Gainer, Lipstick and Bullet Holes

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under break up, Drinking, lost love, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing

Madeline Levy and Todd Cirillo radio interview 9/28 at 5pm

Poets Madeline Levy and Todd Cirillo will be interviewed tomorrow at 5pm (Central Time) on the radio (www.whivfm.org) to promote Madeline’s new book of poems Perfume & Cigarettes from Six Ft. Swells Press.  Click the link below to listen (hit ON AIR to listen live):

http://www.whivfm.org

Also, you can order Madeline’s book below:

http://www.amazon.com/Perfume-Cigarettes-Madeline-Levy/dp/0985307544/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443369771&sr=8-1&keywords=madeline+levy

IMG_3787_2

2 Comments

Filed under lost love, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing

Get it today! Perfume & Cigarettes now available!!

We at Six Ft. Swells Press are celebrating and invite you to celebrate with us. Out today, the new book of poetry by Madeline Levy, click the link below to purchase your copies. This is an extraordinary book of poems from and exceptionally talented poet and person and we are proud to add Madeline’s work to the Six Ft. Swells catalogue, which continues to pillage the poetry world in true After-Hours style. Don’t believe us? Read her words and see how your heart feels after…

http://www.amazon.com/Perfume-Cigarettes-Madeline-Levy/dp/0985307544/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443192726&sr=8-1&keywords=madeline+levy

Perfume&Cigs-med

The poems in Perfume & Cigarettes by Madeline Levy come at you like Tom

Waits driving a 1957 Cadillac onto the sleek asphalt of night, with only the

red glow of taillights sending kisses on the road to everywhere. These poems

take us places, somewhere between the proper and the profane, the dive

bars and the five-star restaurants. These are poems with wicked grins and

sharp edges that will leave a “tiny-sized cut in the back of your heart,” and

make us believe that “apple pie & cyanide” are a good idea.

Leave a comment

Filed under break up, Drinking, lost love, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing

The Swells Grow Bigger by the Day

Sometimes when we stand at the shore and look out to the horizon we can see the swells grow bigger and bigger, feel the trade winds shift and pick up, and we know something big is on the way.  Stay tuned lovers of poetry and our press…..keep watch, batten down the hatches, put on your favorite Perfume and bum a Cigarette….the time to set sail, pillage and plunder is upon us once again. No need to hide the women and children though bring ’em along. You are all invited.

 

SFS_LOGO

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinking, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Happy Holidays-Let’s Get Under the Mistletoe, See What Happens…

Happy Holidays from your pirates and poets at Six Ft. Swells Press

Happy Holidays from your pirates and poets at Six Ft. Swells Press

We at Six Ft. Swells Press want to wish everyone many presents under the tree and much joy in the New Year.  Just because we are tried and true pirates does not mean we are above expressing our appreciation and gratitude to each of you for supporting us over the last year and many many moonlit evenings before that.  SFS ended the year on a high note; releasing Amber’s book and a poetry contest with a newly crowned poetry champion of the neons.  Our sincere thanks for that.  Whether it is buying our books, coming to our shows, liking and/or commenting on our posts, buying us a round, giving us a hug, sending a postcard, or just telling us you miss us, it means a lot and in lieu of actual dollars, gives us the goods to keep sailing.

Whether you are naughty or nice, near or far, on the beach, in the foothills, in the city or in the great north woods, keep sailing with us.  We can’t promise riches but we can promise poetry that will kick you in the sleigh bells, tremendous laughs, a shot and a beer (or nine), adventure, gibberish, a chance to fall in love, a discreet rebound, and a full and open heart.  Big waves are headed your way from Six Ft. Swells Press this coming year.  After all, the only time to get things done is right now, come hellfire or high-water and we are totally comfortable with both dear brothers and sisters.

Santa must be cutting through the sky at a whiplash pace because there are flashes of lightening high above and vague sounds of bells in the distance….whoops…scratch that, could have been the sound of the bottles we just knocked over… But you never know….it is christmas eve after all…

A toast to all of you, we will have a blue blue christmas without you,

Todd, Julie, and Matt (SFS Board of Directors, Publishers, Editors, Thieves, Poets, Pirates, Friends, Reasons for the Season, Two UnWise Men and One Wise Woman, New Years Babies, Sugar-Plums)

Leave a comment

Filed under Drinking, Publishing, The Writer's Life