Poetry from Michael Ceraolo

Letter to a Departing City Official

January 27, 2022

I read in the weekly paper today
that you will be leaving at the end of next week,
moving from our inner-ring suburb,
only a handful of employees under you,
to take a job in the big city
where you will oversee hundreds of employees
and tens of thousands more housing units,
offering you the opportunity
for illegal and unnecessary demolition
on a much greater scale

Legalities be damned!
Environmentalism be damned!
Homelessness be damned!
Keloization forever!

Congratulations to you
Condolences to the tens of thousands
of your future victims

A Speech

And in conclusion,
                            once more
                                             from our leaders:

"We've polished up the American dream"
"the legal right of the millionaire to his millions"
"Sure, I'm one of the fat cats"
"I'm the fattest cat"
"What kind of society isn't structured on greed?
"Forget loyalty"
                        "an oft-invoked ideal
that applies to fewer and fewer people"
"Liquidate labor,
                        liquidate stocks,
                                                 liquidate farmers"
"our scheme does not ask any initiative in a man
We do not care for his initiative"
"How come when I want a pair of hands
I get a human being as well?"
"This isn't rocket science"
"It's the economy, stupid"
"it is an existing evil"
"and we must endure it
and give it such protection
as is guaranteed by the constitution"
"Greed is even more contagious than fever"
"Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess"
"I have,
            I fear,
confused power with greatness"
"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac"
"do not let so great an achievement
suffer from any taint of legality"
"A man always has two reasons for what he does---
a good one and the real one"
"If I am to speak for ten minutes,
I need a week for preparation;
if fifteen minutes, three days;
if an hour, I am ready now"
"a virtually limitless supply of bullshit"
"God ordained that I should be
the next President of the United States"

Thank you, 
and good night


Though not yet named,
and with no diagnostic criteria, or treatment,
it is the most common mental defect in America:
thinking everyone else is as stupid as you are

Too Close to Home?

The editor said he enjoyed reading the poet's poems, but he wanted more personal work for his journal.

So the poet sent a piece about his misadventures with a different editor.  And the editor, perhaps thinking the poet was referring to him, never bothered to respond to the submission.

Michael Ceraolo is a 65-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more in the publication pipeline.”