“If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way to make life more bearable.” - Kurt Vonnegut
I was attending college to study graphic design, and I was ghost writing student's research papers to support myself. Rather odd, that being an academically driven student in a place where the right side of the brain is dominant.
This was the start of my signature. My preferred medium was on the tip of my tongue.
It was the tip of a pen.
Copyright © Charlie Chirico 2012. All rights reserved.
The green light appears.
Awake, and Facebook likes this.
In a time when privacy is a place setting,
consumed by food for thought,
a spoon is a form of intimacy that
can hardly be cut with a knife.
A napkin on a lap isn't meant
to touch lips. Just as something seen
appetizing doesn't become bad taste
because of a lack of likes.
In the digital age, we share bits
of information. Something we can
bite off, chew on, and swallow without
expecting a lump in the throat.
The best advice I was
given about writing was:
write appropriately, suit the reader,
don't make the assumption that they're careless enough not to notice sentence after sentence of redundancies. Most of all, avoid confusion.
And even though I'm young, I try to write for
a younger generation, my generation, one that produced the notion that it is feasible to aspire to write without having the will or desire to read. Welcome this juxtaposed generation with delight. They were born to dream, and there isn't a need for articulation when you keep your eyes closed.
What words will make a bigger impact?
Because what is wit to a man that only
finds enjoyment from himself. The outsider
at this point would rather listen to a person's
complete hatred of napkins. Because they're
just a paper towel folded twice.
Kids want money and fame and respect.
And who doesn't to some degree.
So maybe I must act accordingly.
I smacked a bitch to know
what it feels like. And I keep a gun in my glove
compartment. Don't even ask about the trunk,
because you already know it's locked.
I do drugs because they make me feel good,
and when I feel bad everyone else will, too.
When I crack open a beer I pour some out.
That's for my friends that have passed.
When I pop champagne I pour it on tits.
Because a two-thousand dollar shower
doesn't require clothes.
If that's not what's normal, I don't know what is.
But it's almost as if this generation is
too ignorant to care. Being underprivileged
isn't ironic when talked about wearing
thrift shop clothes, but that changes when you
hop on private airplanes to deliver the message.
And I'm not trying to say I'm different,
I have twenty dollars in my pocket, like most,
although I'm only looking for a come-up.
He has this nervous tick.
When a person is lying he will open his mouth.
Sometimes his jaw will hit the floor.
Sometimes words will come out.
And sometimes there are consequences,
if not only a sore jaw.
He is an affable man.
Many would say he's a good sport
and in good nature, even though he's not
athletic and has severe allergies.
Handshakes are important to him.
And he understands the appeal of a thumbs-up.
Hugs are reserved for holidays,
and tears were only had at funerals.
Sunglasses optional, but the only pair
he owns he keeps
in the jacket of his black suit.
Any man that has a tendency to speak too freely,
or too much, will have to learn to talk their way out of a potentially harmful situation.
The "Gift of Gab"did not die with the smock.
It evolved with the suit.
It became five words said in three.
It is in relation to political correctness.
It's knowing that government is not retarded,
but many representatives are mentally challenged.
He tries to stay ahead of his mannerisms.
But some things cannot be hid.
Like the vein in his forehead.
And of course his verbal diarrhea.
But he would rather expell insight
and opinion rather than hold
it in only to force it out later in privacy.
People involved in Fine Art are shot on site.
Possession of a canvas brings a life sentence.
The art departments are born from advertising.
False pretense is considered flexible.
When the program used is for the sole purpose
of manipulation you aren't expected to become angry. Government turns the clocks back, stretching time and truth,
with knowledge of a man who has done
the same, and was considered a master.
Metaphysics and a mustache,
he changed the world with a canvas,
and with an open mouth he expelled truth
and injustice to a contemporary audience.
He applied his paint with a poetic eye.
Soon he learned that you don't need
to start a fire to melt a clock.
All you need is a brush,
and sometimes a barren tree.
Today, I'm going to kill them with kindness.
I'll walk the streets with a skip in my step,
corners of my mouth arched, skin tough.
I will be rubber. I will not be glue.
I will avoid sticks and stones.
I will be Teflon.
Yesterday, I killed someone, with kindness.
I created art, in many ways, I created Hell.
A page filled with gestures may seem ageless, however,
a spectacular self-awareness occurs.
There is closure. There is completion.
Unlike the manipulation of one's face.
There too is completion, but closure is not
always certain. Some leave with last words
that linger. Some lift their arms to The Lord,
Lord hear their prayer. And others find
themselves at peace, living on in the hearts
and minds of others, loved or not.
Is a legacy more important to an Atheist?
That's speculative, I suppose. But if what they
say is true, and most CEO's are psychopaths,
then I would assume that it is. Monetary value
will always triumph over theoretical morality.
And I say that morals and ethics can be theory
to a man certain of his faith, because in the end,
sin can be absolved. Faith in a higher being, in
something bigger than yourself, often leaves
thought of peers as dismissible. For they have
their own demons to overcome.
How do you accept indifference in a system
that is above natural law? Omnipotence should
never be exposed to have a grey area, especially
when it is considered to be set in stone. Oxygen
and gravity aren't, but tell that to a man who
is falling and trying to catch his last breath.
Lastly, consider art.
As the creator, the mastermind hidden in
the clouds to let his work speak volumes.
The divine grace that is told in brush strokes,
in notes placed to play, to be presented.
That's a beauty that is foresaken.
Another key representation of something
seen but not seen.
Even a deaf man delivered notes he could not
hear, rivaled ones able, and challenged normality.
The difference between an artist, and
a person producing art, is that an artist
will use blood, whereas the latter
searches for a comparable color.
Thanks for reading.
A vehement deity,
father of a carpenter,
and proprietor of creationism,
looked down upon his work,
both literally and figuratively.
When an ecosystem falls to the
egocentricity of man, a vessel
will be sought, and contained is
the righteousness of a mortal.
Serenity became inclination, and
with loss of the feminine beauty
came regret. For sin masqueraded
as black clouds, and whether
change occurs, torrential rain begets
growth in an environment. Wash over
the sins of the damned; what is current
can only be exposed as a fallacy when
revelation is prevalent,
and save for the innocent:
Even in Hell a cyprus tree would be
surrounded by wildflowers.
Noah knew not of damnation, and
with calloused hands raised to the sky,
a hammer came crashing down.
Not unlike stone tablets
etched with command,
the world lay on granite,
with a universal epitaph.
For Noah to ignore his destiny
would be blasphemous.
It takes three days to pick up a habit.
How sound this is, I'm not sure,
because some habits seem as inconsequential
as a statement regarding time and vice.
It makes one wonder how long it takes
to believe a statement to be true.
Possibly as long as
a pot of coffee to be brewed.
Surely the amount of time will
vary by the weight of the statement.
But even a measurement is prone to
be thrown off by unforeseen additions.
Eight cups of water, and four scoops of grinds,
you're bound to have a little too much or
a little less than expected.
It becomes harder to tell
when dealing with a slow drip.
Brewing coffee may be completely divisible
when dealing with a recipe, but
hardly unequivocal when
the time comes to measure up.
This follows suit with patrons
and their proclivity.
Only in fiction is the coffee shop patron enigmatic.
Only in fiction can the patron enjoy a cigarette indoors.
Men and women wake and
head to their cubicles,
coffee in hand,
five days a week.
By the third day
a habit has formed,
and maybe that is why
acceptance is had midweek
and why the first day of the
nine-to-five seems so everlasting,
if not inscrutable.
"It's good, but maybe you should write shorter," I was told.
Granted this was told to me by a man that believes the word artistic
to be closely related to the word autistic, but I can only assume that riding any
unfamiliar wavelength is terribly confusing, if not immeasurably difficult.
Knowing that you can confide in yourself, whether or not I'm misinterpreting
individual delegation for conscience, I believe altruism to be fundamental to
a person before growth can occur. Unless of course you're writing short poems.
And if you're curious enough to implement apathy, sarcasm is a fine starting point.
They say that if you want to master something you need to perform daily.
Accompany this with the old adage, "Love what you do," and you can imagine the potential.
Mastering an activity with love is transcendent, calm although sometimes piquant.
Passion and pleasure aren't identical, but imagine the potential.
I don't bleed ink.
It has to be an attempt at benevolence, to say that.
Extreme literary pretensions you must have to bleed out.
Writing should have a pulse. It. Should. Make. Each. Word. Count.
Yet, when this man told me that my words are good, but I should keep it shorter,
knowing not if I could or would, I became curious as to why he worried more about
length and not the content and story as a whole. Then I had to rationalize this to myself, and thought: It would be easier to convey words with images, like a film or animation.
But I don't bleed ink,
and I guess I don't bleed popcorn.
Buckled at the knees, face in the dirt,
one can only pray for enlightenment, but
at a time when morality is valued by
silver and gold,
a baton twirled
is mightier than the sword dipped in ink
and sprawled across ancient parchment.
Men march in unison, into foreign lands,
while chanting words of a dead language:
Democratia Sit Virtus
Flag inserted into the land, the
obligatory explanation is written
on paper, covered with black marks, in soot.
Erupt in glory, a city once was.
Redacted sentences are had for
to keep characters in the dark.
Transparency is only a concept that
belongs on the back of a bookmark.
clouds and envelopes the sky,
as dark and as black as superstition.
We speak with symbols, because subliminal
advertising becomes cogitative rather than
entering one ear and leaving the other.
What belongs in the border is bold, as we
marginalize open space, although the occasional
proverbial foot will cross the line. A slash of the
throat will tell you that all eyes are dotted,
just as some lines are crossed.
Like an olive branch exposed as thorns.
A proper medium is exploiting
vulnerability under rule.
Hot air is expelled when converting oxygen,
or exclaiming honesty and integrity;
lest we forget land comes from sea.
It is in their nature; our nature to build
Better to keep intricacies hidden.
Never is an iceberg fully exposed.
Certainly a vault.
What you keep from the people
is for the people.
And common ground is neither
left nor right,
despite what you've been made
It's about the courage
to think before you speak.
It's the courage it takes
to gather strength and
beseech the weak.
An hour out to sea, by land, and as early as the sun rises, the thumbs hit the road looking for a way into town, out of town.
Gulls speak in vowels,
melodious as wind carries the sounds
under the pier, through nets being cast
to sea. Glimmer in the fisherman's eye,
staring at the waves that crash below.
Erosion is the fear of councilmen and
the faces plastered on billboards,
but nature isn't a mistake. We have only
wrapped ourselves in a blanket we call
chemistry. A beach turned to glass,
we still wouldn't see the ocean clearly,
and we would still ask why the sky is blue.
Driving down roads, ten miles in between
each town. I've never seen so many thumbs out.
In cities, from which I've seen, a middle finger is customary. But not here. A thumb is an absolute,
and a blinker on a car pulling to the side is a
flash of compassion. Ocean from side to side, pastel houses scattered on land beside sea shells
and surf shops.
And the hitchhiker walks,
with a backpack,
and one can make out a peace sign,
and long, sun spotted hair. Someone that
knows the land.
Businesses hang "Going Out of Business" signs,
but that is embellished. That is because the pastel
houses only flourish during seasons. For people
who want a taste of a simpler life. Who call out
to an ocean breeze, with hopes of casting away
a stress level that would change a footprint
on sand into a window to the soul. And here I sit with my feet in the sand, tear running down my
cheek, because men do cry, especially when staring out to sea. I've seen shore, but I would
not ask a local what coastal means to them,
I wouldn't understand.
Where I come from, people hold out their hand.
A thumb is a rarity.
There have been orientations
that hit home, hard.
Ones that were held in auditoriums,
which brought outstanding projections.
Of voice and talent,
speaking to talentless voices that seek
increments of the number ten.
Tens of hundreds, speaking excrement.
Cause shit, even a ten is divisible by the number two.
There have been orientations
that hit home, hard.
Ones that were held in back rooms,
with walls plastered with common sense.
Of apologies and service,
speaking to employees that service apologies
to miserable men waiting for change.
Tens and hundreds, purchasing excrement.
Cause shit, even the box that holds an engagement
can be discarded.
Orientations are set up.
They're made to entice and integrate,
but in all actuality they're erroneous and agitate.
They speak fate,
but hinder the great.
They mark you.
Like I've previously stated:
Orientations are set up.
They're not a debate.
An idiot makes the same mistake twice.
That "fatherly advice" is trapped
within my head,
bouncing back and forth,
causing a headache,
but who's to say that
the mistake isn't the cause
of pulsating temples and closed eyes.
In one ear and out the other,
one could hope for.
But these days it's in
one nostril and down the throat.
Down "Shit's Creek" in a soluble boat.
But don't call home.
The heart left.
The telephone has been off the hook--
inanimate objects have it easy.
Complications in your love life,
as shapes, must start with the triangle.
Alone you’re a line,
in the beginning at least, because the addition of
another line creates the letter L.
And when placed on the forehead, this sign can
become as daunting as a scarlet letter.
Port to port,
squares and rectangles
are contained. They come
to pass, by seas and oceans,
purple mountains majesty,
onto rusted tracks that have not
progressed since a golden stake
joined two separate ways of life.
At one-hundred miles an hour,
a written word is not as powerful
as a shape, a collection of shapes,
a unified image that is logistical.
Conception brought round full circle,
until repetitive nature and routine
become systematic, if not lackadaisical.
As the world turns, one side sleeps,
another wakens with intent to distribute.
And somewhere in a lost city, or suburb,
two people that have formed a triangle,
sit between a lit candle, on top of a square table.
And in the breast pocket of a man’s suit sits a
square box, holding a gold circle.
Shapes become meaningful.
And sometimes answers are explained
by shapes yet defined. But the answer
that was given at the square table
was displayed in the shape
of a tear drop.
My family doctor suggested bed rest.
If that was a statement rather than a suggestion,
I wouldn't know, because the redundancy of those
two words was enough to keep me idle,
awake, agitated for days.
It was around the time he carefully
scribbled his script onto the blue pad
that I began to chuckle. This prefixed
prescript was only a temporary solution
that was barely legible. Whether or not
a scribe in this profession is meant to
be as erratic as nomadic cavern canvas,
it speaks volumes that the DSM IV considers
substantial. Until a once thought preconceived
notion becomes precedent in the ongoing
sought after expansion of knowledge.
A continuation of disorder and disease,
the facts and fallacies,
all become testing.
The standard practice is only as strong
as its weakest hypothesis.
More so when it becomes general practice.
I would like to believe
this to be an emergency,
but the white-coat before me
felt the need to sidetrack,
and thought it appropriate to mention
youth in Asia.
The deadpan humor
But not as unnerving
as the redundancies that
were given to me as a solution
for my sporadic sleep.
Reassure me, doctor!
So, he did,
through his proclivity
In 2005, I had $101.
In 2005, I had $101.
is what I called you.
God of Euphoria.
In 2005, I had $101.
had a street
I bought four,
the dollar bill,
was crisp enough to roll.
A different world together,
Greedy for the feeling of calm,
I would grasp tighter,
hand eventually crushing hand.
Morose disposition spirals through a cut straw.
A last straw; an unwanted kiss.
Hand holding hand is a symbolic image,
but don't confuse the inflection of these words.
This is about
the deteriorating hands.
This is about
the deteriorating nostrils.
Not so much about cheap thrills.
Not so much anything,
Home Depot: Aisle Four: Shelves & Brackets.
Screws should be in the toolbox at home.
Toolbox...yes, in the garage, next to the miter saw, and
my old skates, the four-wheeled skates, not the inline,
never in line because of a rebellious nature.
A leather jacket kind of resistance.
A motorbike brilliance.
Now riding lawnmower equipment.
Dad's don't walk, we're brazen.
The ancient toolbox next to
an ancient cardboard box.
Scribbled on the front, the marking of youth,
my name, my print. Such ugly handwriting.
For God's sake.
But as for keepsakes:
The only objects that hold more merit
have more and most accumulative dust.
Yearbooks, pictured peers, so many memories
and faces. So many faces in this book.
The trophies. Number three. MVP.
A wipe of the thumb revealed the number.
And the rhyme is new.
Wit came with later age, I suppose.
Sports in adolescence, the physicality, the egotism,
it clouds critical thinking, or maybe wry remarks, too.
"Gay" and "Asshole" become some of the favorites.
And now this leads to an obligatory pun.
Grass stained knees. Sacking. The loser is gay.
Other contents of the box are various marks.
Grades; graduations; girls.
Three G's that I've
always evaded because of laziness.
Because fuck dignity, right?
At least at that age integrity is as foreign
as the idea of it even being instilled.
How can you know if you're being raised
in the wrong?
Well, you've come to the right place.
I'm sure two examples is sufficient.
It's usually the acquaintance my son
brings home that opens my refrigerator door
before saying hello.
Or sometimes it's his friend,
our neighbor's youngest son, who boasts about his parent's
material possessions, while his parents ask
my wife and I if he can stay at our home for the night,
as they argue in the dark because the electric bill
is overdue, and their credit is scored
by the proverbial scissors.
Not ones used to cut red ribbons, but
the ones you're told not to run with.
"Of course he can. I'm sure they'll love a sleepover," I answer passively.
"Thanks, we owe you one," he responds abruptly before disconnecting.
I could have said that owing people one
got them into their predicament.
But, like they say in the Good Book,
(The book I've always let collect dust,
not to be confused with the dust
on the box in the garage.)
Love Thy Neighbor.
And sometimes you never know
when you'll need a cup of sugar.
Thankfully I know there is sugar in the cupboard.
Milk and eggs in the refrigerator.
But no shelves or brackets.
Aisle four, Home Depot, no help.
I figure any will do, and at home
I'm screwed, I mean I have screws.
I'll ask my son to help me hang them,
somewhat for the company,
also because they're for his belongings.
The neighbor's son will talk about the
elaborate woodwork on the rare chestnut
shelves his dad owns.
Surely it's perception, something
mood lighting can fix,
which his parents are arguing over,
well the lack of lighting,
seeing as how their mood is already set.
My boy and I will place his
trophies on the shelves,
as I tell my boy I was number three.
Once an MVP.
And the neighbor's son
will tell me
his father was
Life's a circus,
I was told, I think.
It's hard to tell
when juggling the Earth
in the palm of your hand.
As tightrope transcends land,
vertigo becomes a fault line.
In retrospect, there must be special
shoes to walk across twine.
Patience not to fall, trying not
to test time.
what is the speed of a memory?
Solve for X,
evolve with Y.
No late fees.
on loan, on their time.
Credit to the blue collar
workers who pays their bills
Save minimum wage or
incur a fine.
To keep big business profitable,
they must nickel and dime.
People are in the practice
of pinching pennies,
with hopes of avoiding
Prosperity and posterity
is now a foreign concept,
or spoken in a different language.
The idea of it is sent overseas,
as third world countries
receive a taste of a marketable life.
Some assembly required.
Independence goes in the vault.
Lock and key.
Land of the fee.
Well, free with an
or the start of a new account.
Better to have you accounted for.
Better to put all of their eggs in one basket.
A basket that is fashioned
in another country.
For a country
that is going to hell,
and can't afford
Tables have turned.
Seas have parted.
has been bestowed
upon the misanthrope.
Red, once white bandages,
cover up the cut throat.
Naivete is labeled onto
those who seek hope.
Never showing is worse
than time taking its course.
Hoping that a course
is precedent in the time
of a foreseeable corpse,
a young man close by
exclaims, "Fresh to death!"
Rotting flesh, covered
by a Maker's Mark,
or a Target,
never something seen Beneficial.
It's not like we could ever
But as this young man
exclaims a new age adage,
I close my eyes,
and hope and pray
that he's right.
Disenfranchised nation, stand together, hold your brothers up!
Advantage lies overseas!
Third world work ethic can keep profits from plummeting!
Eat in the restaurants you work in!
Pick up your trash, along with the city's!
Buy the books your students need!
Employee discount is considered a raise!
Wrap your third-degree burn with your third degree!
Start to think about getting a job overseas!
Everything became interchangeable.
Words of wisdom,
which weren't welcoming,
were washed willingly.
Only now knowing
that the definition of a "wash"
is a sensitivity.
An appropriate metaphor
would have been a description
of an undertow; hands over feet,
because a cartwheel is superfluous
The fact that the
white whale can
signify the tepid tactic
of the once sought
The decisiveness of another party.
A warm body to lay beside.
Another to lift the veil.
To speak love and hate
with full confidence.
Understanding that love and hate
Aloof to the fact that
the love and hate.
teeth has become customary,
the prospect of "sucking face"
It's only until the lack of movement
It's the lack of fucking.
But, it's manageable?
It's knowing that what was
sought after was temporary,
that a sealed kiss will
eventually lead to an
Then after time has taken its course,
you will be inside of another,
and another will be inside of her,
but the difference isn't the physicality.
It's the emotion that kills you.