Tag Archives: humor

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

The Monkey’s Got Your Poems!

5 new poems by Todd Cirillo published at Bold Monkey! Poems for a great northerner, a beautiful Californian, the biggest loss of the New Year, and that force that keeps us trying. Enjoy. You can get Todd’s latest book, Burning the Evidence (Epic Rites Press, 2017) at Amazon.com

https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/featuring-todd-cirillo.html

Featuring Todd Cirillo


Gravitational Force

Even at this moment,

sitting across from you
working on our computers
separately and silently,
I can feel it,
like the tides
reaching for the moon,
an unseen force
pulling me
towards
you.
Still Drinking Alone
 
11:46a.m.
Monday.
Lunch at the Witt’s Inn.
I sit at the bar
the only other customer
orders another
shot of Samba
and a Budweiser.
Speaks out loud
to no one particular,
me I guess,
“I was born
in 1958,
in the Navy
we drank Ouzo
in Greece.
There’s been
a lot of hard living
between then
and now.”
At 11:48a.m.
on a Monday
I believe him.
Good Strategy
            –for Wolfgang Carstens
There is a man
way up north,
beyond borders, plains, 
and mountain ranges.
Without his beard he looks respectable
even—
harmless.
He has a wife,
mortgage, a snow blower,
more kids, bills, and responsibilities
than I will ever know. 
I imagine him 
at a mild-mannered job
maybe wearing a uniform,
stocking shelves.
A man working
peacefully within the system.
Volunteers for the graveyard shift
allowing the darker words
to form under the florescent glow
of aisle 9
but at home
when the seal is broken,
the fridge is stocked,
and he is firing on all cylinders,
he is a motherfucking Mack truck
of a man
barreling through every barricade—
poetic and otherwise,
smoking, drinking,
making videos 
of himself reading 
tough and unforgiving 
poems he has written.
Until it is time to punch in once again.
I can only sit back
in awe and admiration
at his brutal strategy
of total retaliation
against
ALL of it.
(Epic Rites Broadside, 2017)
December 31st
Last year 
we celebrated 
your birthday
and the new year
together.
I told you
to blow out
the candle
and make a wish
over a 
Mexican dessert
but not to tell me
what you wished for.
This year
we don’t 
speak.
I like to tell myself
you wished for
a new car.
 
Thanks Sweetie
            for Annie Menebroker
“Hi sweetie”,
were the first words 
Annie spoke to me
and that is all it took.
Over the years,
I would call her
my traveling partner.
She would laugh
and tell me she was a 
traveling partner 
who didn’t travel anywhere.
She would open our conversations with,
“love to see all your pictures
of the places you go,
things you see, 
and hear the music 
you get to dance to”.
In June,
we spoke by phone 
and ended 
as we always did,
Annie telling me,
“thanks for calling sweetie”
followed by my,
“love you Annie”.
except this time,
each of us added 
a goodbye.
My traveling partner 
provided me with more
stories than she would admit to
and material for the heart
to last my lifetime–
and perhaps that’s why 
I live in New Orleans
where I get called “sweetie”
at least twice a day,
and everytime
I am reminded 
of my traveling partner
so I always say,
“thanks sweetie” back,
just in case
I never told her enough
while she
was still
here.

Todd Cirillo loves good times and shiny moments. He lives in New Orleans so there are plenty of those to be found. His latest book is Burning the Evidence, (Epic Rites Press, 2017). He can be found at afterhourspoetry.com and youtube.

2 Comments

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

New Poem published by In Between Hangovers today by Todd Cirillo

Here’s a true story for ya….

https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/marketing-by-todd-cirillo/

Marketing by Todd Cirillo

On the plane
reading your book,
Lipstick and Bullet Holes
the green eyed stewardess
stood in the aisle
leaning over me.
She asked
what kind of book
I was reading.
I told her, poetry.
She said,
“oh I wondered
because I thought
it was called,
Lipstick and Buttholes.”
We laughed
and figured out
it was the font
and the way
my fingers covered
part of the word,
Bullet.
She read some of the poems
as the cabin doors closed
and said she liked them.
She gave me her number.

I take it as a compliment
for both of us.

2 Comments

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

Slutty review of Burning the Evidence by Todd Cirillo

Only a true fan of Todd Cirillo’s poetry could write this review (keep them coming):

Reading Todd Cirillo’ s Burning The Evidence feels sweaty, like a hot summer afternoon in the French Quarter. Slutty, like a stranger who opens her heart and legs to you for reasons she doesn’t even know. And drunken, Spoken in the moments between sober confusion and drunken clarity. Sweaty,slutty,and drunken. All things I like, A lot.–Anonymous Verified Amazon Purchase

French Quarter Happy Hour starts by clicking this link to order the Sazerac of poetry:

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Evidence-Todd-Cirillo/dp/1926860586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492724932&sr=8-1&keywords=todd+cirillo#customerReviewsthumb_img_8755_1024

Leave a comment

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

Todd Cirillo book release reading 3/29-New Orleans

On Wednesday March 29th at 8pm at BJ’s Lounge in the Bywater 4301 Burgundy St. for the Blood Jet Poetry Series, Todd will be celebrating the release of his new book of poems Burning the Evidence published by Epic Rites Press with a reading along with poet Clare Welsh. Come on down, there will be strong drinks, cheap books for sale (only $10), great jukebox, slanted pool table, corner bar beauty and fun.IMG_8818

Leave a comment

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

Midnight Lane Boutique features Todd Cirillo

The incomparable Midnight Lane Boutique features Todd Cirillo and publishes three new poems. Click the link below and you can also order Todd’s new book Burning the Evidence (Epic Rites Press 2017) at the end of the article.

https://midnightlanegalleryii.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/feature-poet-todd-cirillo/

Feature Poet: Todd Cirillo

Todd Cirillo is co-founder and editor of Six Ft. Swells Press. His poems have appeared in numerous national and international literary journals, magazines and cocktail napkins everywhere. His books include ROXY (R.L. Crow Publications, 2003), Everybody Knows the Dice are Loaded (Rattlesnake Press, 2006), This Troubled Heart(Lummox Press, 2010), Sucker’s Paradise (Six Ft. Swells Press, 2012), and Sexy Devils (Epic Rites Press, 2016), among others. Todd lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and can be found at afterhourspoetry.com or epicrites.org.

*

In Complete Agreement

She stood me up
on a Sunday.
On Monday
she sent me a text
saying she
ended up getting drunk
with an old boyfriend
but she was sorry
and it would never
happen again.

I looked at my phone
in complete agreement
with her
as I
hit
delete.

*

Nothing Wasted

I am using the last
of your shampoo.
I spent the .84 cents
left on the desk
where there once stood
a vase with yellow flowers.
I am playing
the Pink Floyd album
you forgot.
I gave the leftover
pack of cigarettes
to the first
homeless person
I saw.

Instead of throwing
it all away
I thought,
why waste it.

There has been enough
of that already.

*

Premonition

Everyone was dancing—
except you.
It was supposed
to be a good time.
You and I
and a thousand
other lovers
under the moon,
listening
to the Rebirth Brass Band
sing from the stage,
“I used to love her
but it’s all over now.”

I went and ordered
two more beers,
thinking
that might loosen
the evening.
You did not want another.
“Two for me then,”
I thought out loud,
and smiling
up at the white moon
felt the breeze
come off the river
and watched the girls’ dresses
rise as they twirled.

I continued to dance
and make friends
with those around us,
our space on the lawn
getting smaller and smaller.
You had no idea
what was coming,

but I sure did.

*

All Hail! Todd Cirillo’s latest collection, Burning the Evidence (2017), is available via Epic Rites Press.* Please, click on the cover image below to learn more . . .

Cirillo Cover

*Cover photo by Matt Amott; cover design by Julie Valin.

1 Comment

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

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