Poetry by David Cicerone

Selections from poetry collection, “Read The Book–See The Movie–Shoot The Hostages”

David Cicerone


They’ve engineered a manhunt for my alter ego!!!
I’m running on the fumes of reason & being force-fed sanity as supplement to a steady diet of nothing
Watching myself regress to a hippie in toenails only as necessary illusion replaces reason as that which sets man apart from beast
As Stephen Hawking reads the Kama Sutra to audiences awestruck to the point of lockjaw
As those who want to “find themselves” begin to look down shotgun barrels
As talkative parents are spoonfed the same laxatives better used on international playboys in full fertility mode
As people slowly but surely come to understand that the only naivete in this world is thinking it’s ever possible to be certain of anything, & that the point of life is to avoid at all costs becoming that which you have always hated-
As the grunt recedes into the death mask
As personal sins stack themselves high as houses of cards
As the condemned man demands carrot juice & applesauce for his final meal
While world leaders cannibalize gangrene & tarantula cupcakes in lieu of dolphin fondue,
Having hunted the world’s most dangerous game since they were old enough to refuse dessert–
As the line to the fountain of youth remains as long as the one to the movie theater’s latest celebrity slasher
As the great woman behind the great man becomes the man in drag
As germ warfare remains as incomprehensible as a midget’s voyeur tactics
As teenage atheists confuse “rapist” with “one who murders monks”& as the best answer to the question “what have YOU done for the human race lately?” becomes “I’ve removed myself from it,”
The most depraved among us stalk ever-onward into tombs of our own making,
Scrawling decadent epitaphs in as unforced a prose as a death letter–
Encyclopedic as any faulty lobotomy & as collaborative a will as any used to defeat a common enemy

David Cicerone is a poet based out of North Carolina. Cicerone may be reached at dpc0729@hotmail.com.

To Sociopaths Everywhere
Excitable stooges wait flustered in the wings
Troubled only by lack of boredom
If not by other, more marketable things
Projected to bankrupt their investors mercilessly & leave them playing with socks and watching cartoons
In mansions they never spent a night in during youth
But should come to frequent in excessive age;
Glamorizing all things related to simplicity
With an unparalleled repertoire in the ways and means of self-deceit

Former assassins drift by dreamy as born-again gun owners
Letting the whole team down as if before a jury of society’s least admired peers
A thousand half-remembered agonies
Wail from their cesspools
Spewing weak prophecies & weaker testaments
From throats rendered mute by every censor imaginable–
An insult to sociopaths everywhere
To whom the common sense of the human is a laughable thing

Stone Cat’s Nap
Sanity’s last battalion limps in retreat more inconvenient myth than immediate legend
Having brokered a truce that displaces millions but lines silk pockets with corkscrews & refugees’ prayers
Proclaiming the anarchist to a mankind so frightened of being human that it struggles to define itself with anything more substantial than prayer;
Regularly betraying its own better judgment but still refusing to allow common sense to become a full-time occupation
All the while exploiting the savage tendency of the unconscious to construct entire worlds out of nothing
As it marginalizes the intellect down to the realm of idle melodrama & recognizes the tears of a sage as the seeds of visions they began as and ever so gradually aged into

Evangelize This!
You use your mind for religious gospel
I use mine of my own accord
You send my sense to the hospital
I send your God to the morgue

Terror props up its police state
On a throne as bloody as the frenzied slashes
Left by the worst kind of werewolf–
One who’s replaced the Monkey’s Paw with his own splintered clawing & now begs endlessly for surrender
As he strips his burdens to the bone & back,
Making the beast within worthy of a worst nightmare

Varieties of General Insanity
Galleries of sanitized indiscretions offering admission only to the most blessedly oblivious to anything but absolute reality
Absolving existence of its tepid reflex to imitate home movies
The whole malevolent archive gone over with devotion to idea to false freedom to premature decay of what once passed for the senses
Enshrining the naked cusp of Rapture wound in the same shroud that clothed the wounds of the most worthy;
Robotic blood as sluggish as the sloth it fosters with such unvarnished zeal
I feel the way someone would feel if they smoked my ashes:
As infinite as an invalid, & as resourceful & as haphazardly colorful in my earnestness;
As nocturnal as an amateur prostitute
As religiously oppressed as a cat thief
As forsaken as the average non-celebrity

Self-interest is now just the most elusive optical illusion, & brings the most fleeting relief
Nightmare eschews the normal course of events for something far more stately & far more sinister;
Something less removed from doubt yet only as real as its latest & greatest victim
A whole slew of formerly exalted ideas roll merrily by,
Green as the grass of humanity’s common home
Racing to enchant that which they despaired in life to cast off & never remember–

As many varieties of general insanity as you can count

Police Chase Cakewalk
The journeyman chokes on laughing gas
While led to the gallows
His clinical approach anathema to the more orthodox
Tastes of his executioners;
As unreliable as any forced confession, he drifts along,
Badgering only easy prey & asking no mercy in return
May fortune smile on his homespun Jewish soldiers
Who grow from rock & gravel what he grew
From burial ground

Crimes of the Century That Mattered
Armageddon’s eyewitness wills the next catastrophe into crude being,
Sedates the spoiled child of the brain with regular injections of reality & robs repeatedly the mass grave of human emotion;
Having already pandered to mankind’s free will fetish & lobotomized each and every fanatical outburst that blunts the edge of the modern taste into one strictly for vengeance;
Now ready and willing to shoot its way into power just to approve its own assassination:
To shout continuously from plutonium airwaves with the gross grace of the sociopath
To declare a state of martial law upon the blithering idiot who dared voice opposition to the most glaring denunciations of common sense
To enact as law one hour of daily obedience to a television program that analyzes the motives of the common shoplifter
To publicize the fantasies of any dimestore supreme intellect
To disembowel the bastard lore that constitutes one’s own personal history & substantially rework what was already a masterpiece of posterity merely by adding a series of several past suicide attempts run in slow-motion
To vindicate the naked inspiration of the ignoramus and reprimand with a scrap-iron fist the bulk of humanity for not following suit at once
To become known as the most evil man in the world and then to have anyone who disagrees with this shot on sight–
Always ready & willing to mow down any disagreeable factions with machine guns full of champagne & to banter jovially with the operatives of the most heinous systems of indoctrination on the planet and to describe them as men of “fine character” and “unimpeachable good sense,”
Forever ascribing the predicted value of “simpleton” or “pretender” to anyone whose notions of truth go beyond that which is reported on the nightly news
Tampering with atomic weapons systems and laughing it away beneath the convenient guise of the drunk
Inventing the position of Nuclear Vagabond and staffing it with ingrates unfit for even the most minor public office
Keeping genocidal maniacs alive for scientific study but never talking to them about anything other than the number of sugar spoonfuls they take in their tea
Drinking cheaply from the bar mitzvahs of the soul’s oasis
Redefining the concept of “corrupted morals” just to turn a buck
Skydiving the North Pole to expose the fraud of Santa Claus
Flooding the world with the boiled tears of whatever deity can best be used to ignite social revolution & then retiring to kiss the ancient sex organs of modernization with a milkshake smile:
To drive demons away from the nude beach reserved for families of imaginary friends
To shroud the degenerate in the kind of sex appeal that wouldn’t even pass a laugh test
To re-familiarize the pauper with his silver-spoon salvation
To compact the collected wisdom of the world’s holy books onto a single grain of rice & then to sic German shepherds on anyone who chooses it for a last meal
To relegate the central idea of Jesus Christ to the darkrooms of history on the overwhelming evidence that a crucified man cannot talk
To enter the spiritual realm with all the zeal of a common pickpocket only to con the archangels out of the silk from which their voices spring
To always treat even the wisest among us as the proper imbecile he’ll become on Judgment Day
To disrupt again and again the messianic spectacle for which one is too bewildered to adequately question
To stand in unholy awe at the eternal spectacle of the moon and stars, and to curse no evil
heart though millions deserve it, & then ascend to the heights of the universe and lose sight only of what prevents one from being holy;
All to auction one’s own salvation with the body as opening bid
To take mankind off the gold standard of the soul and replace it with a counterfeit future
that springs from a bankrupt past & then barter tooth & nail for the chump change of the most miserly penitent
Who pawns the price on his own head for base expense to cover the cost of a hot meal;
To mutate precisely, with all the abandon in the world, toward a newer and more tender future
With the vigor of a saint known by all but exalted by none

Self-immolation hearkens back to the style it not only bowed before but sang to
Steeling itself for the inevitable confrontation with the forces of endlessness
Yet fully equipped to orchestrate the coming insurrection:
To leap laughing through the grave with the blood of millions smeared across its lip by an unknown hand–
As singlemindedly simpleminded as its forefathers
Whose laws of nature fail to apply when it comes to having a good time

Last Blues
Life’s too absurd to know what I believe
Love’s too new to need a friend who never says a word
And love itself is out for more than blood
And time has run again,
I know too well it’s never quite enough
I’ve never done it but the rage is there
I’ve never told no one but that don’t mean it’s never crossed my mind
And I’d hide from what it means all the life of me,
And spend my life in line but twenty-one’s a mirror and I’m time
And I never dreamed there’d be no reason why
I’d think my life away but I don’t think
I’m ever gonna die

Vigilante Snake-Eyes
Prophets limp on silver seas
Huddled over crutches they remain so blissfully unaware they’d begged for
No traction against the inevitable
Fall from neither grace nor flooded coffin,
But rather from sick bed
Out of which they’d fail to rise any higher than the average Christ impersonator
Though always with the same mercenary zeal
That fueled their original death wish–
No vigilante snake-eyes,
Just primitive adrenaline left to fester in the swill it hath wrought;
Animated with destiny’s subtle mystery
As it fills out a bit part
In heaven’s latest & least obvious rendezvous with itself

Manchurian Deathgrip
The sword swallower marries the fire-breather to the belly dancer
Each of whom speak like animal rights activists with lactation fetishes
Yet laugh as if gasping for a date-rape drug
Retiring to a breakfast of chicken-pox pancake
As Lady Pol Pot feeds cyanide strawberries to her plague of overzealous saints & guardian angels,
Whose tribal fusion plays itself out to cataclysm & revolution in equal measure

Severed Claw

Crystallized sensitivities with as many faces as the average sycophant plugging their latest escapades across the airwaves in broadcasts with all the flair of a military tribunal–

Alien hieroglyphics on the walls of windowless cells lined with scalp & dead talent, ever the straight man to the imagination’s psychotic jester, jury selected by blood lottery for the psyche’s withered court, all jaded beyond any naked impulse–earthquake realization in fiercest clover desecrated far past the point of natural delusion, the ego’s still-raw exit wound gutted as much by butcher knife as by its own inevitable relapse
into guilt-ridden mania–

Dowsing for underground scars where gold & amber once lay as though never to rise–paranoia’s latest and least colorful tattoo transposed to a key as minor as the one who mutates into what is irreplaceable with so precise a mutilated abandon–precision belonging to the perennial
Outsider & his ever-merry counsel of enlightened halfwits-all tormenting rightfully the fully fledged & fleshed-out fugitives they were fated to become; reason’s foul advance daubed in bloody cuneiform, making torturous haste to ultimate doom; clotting terror’s arteries hard as any aluminum cupcake–Iron hurricane softly tread the doorway of the unspoken, humanity prone to self-parody as television sitcom, viewed only by a zeitgeist whose lone yearning is for collective self-sabotage–

Whose feats of imaginative derangement leave an acrid taste on any tongue of hellfire

Godless automatons vomit up furnaces, foreheads & cheese-grating accidents, the gnomish banter subliminally mistaken for the latest child prophet’s inaugural rampage–
Demystifying the whole archaic cast of churning pretenders,
Steaming the steel throne in mist & incense, trading Oriental perfumes for teardrops
Squeezed from sow’s eyes yellow as sunflowers, gaping abjectly at a life laid bare as a severed claw…

King’s Ward
Come back with your shield or on it
Bleed from outside or from in
The only faith I’ve ever known
Is the faith I’ve kept within

I have no sense of patience
Nor a sense of fate’s surprise
The only tale I want to hear
Is the tale of my demise

Hallucinations in the place
Of what had passed before the eyes
The only place I call my own
Is the ashes from which I rise

Now all I ask for is the last word
Hail, hail the King’s Ward
All I ask is to be cast out
& left to sleep through an endless war

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