the louderARTS Project

Michael Cirelli

Michael Cirelli has been a National Poetry Slam individual finalist and the only person to make all three Bay area slam teams in the same year, winning the finals in both San Francisco and Berkeley. A two-time member of both Oakland and Long Beach, Cirelli has performed all over the country, while teaching writing workshops to teenagers up and down the West coast. While in L.A., he was the director of PEN Center West's, Poet In The Classroom program. He is currently an MFA candidate at the New School University and the Director of Urban Word NYC.

michaelcirelli at yahoo dot com




Dearest workshop

I’m sorry if my poem
hit you over the head today.

I was trying to beef it up,
give it more punch and

apparently the ending got
away from me, wiggled

off the line like a feisty rainbow
trout. But it was just humiliating

last week limping through school
with that giant shiner around

my left eye. All week I worked
my abstract, pumped irony, stayed

up late praying to my avant-guardian
angel, burned incense to Ashbury—

and after all that, my sentences are still
flat. It seems I’ve busted my index

finger in a word playground, the loaded pun
shot blanks in my foot, carnal syntax

got the best of me. Porno and play station
has sucked the milk from my days.

But this week, I promise to lock myself
in a stanza and throw away the keyboard

until I stink so damn good you’ll say
I wouldn’t change a thing.

Welcome to my sauna where everyone
speaks peanuts here! This is where

I rub turtle wax all over my verses
until they are more polished than my

grandpa’s Town Car. I want you
to see yourself in them.



© Michael Cirelli



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