August 2-8, 2004: Randall Forsyth and Michael Cirelli

week of August 2-8, 2004

Randall Forsyth and Michael Cirelli

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Randall Forsyth

Bio (auto)

Randall Forsyth lives and works in Los Angeles He is an educator.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Randall Forsyth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Indigo shadows, cold loft, 7:53 P.M ,
a single candlestick burns A visitor carries it from easel to
easel, look, that one, this painting In the kitchen on the table the flame
slowly expands into a sun glaring out
the window The cement blisters The
icy steam pipe and window glass soften and
melt The whole structure oozes, bubbles–
boiling steel, red hot Seconds, minutes,
three city blocks away a woman exhausted in
the rain waits for a bus, notices a light She has a different hairdo She is dressed
in deep crimson silks The bus pulls up to
the stop She closes her purse, removes her
shoes She gingerly steps into the bus as it
quickly pulls away towards Olympic, a
sudden holiday, a house full of fat cousins,
one lavender rose.

Tilman Avenue

I am sitting
at the edge of
a shadow which is
growing The breeze
and the birds
rustle in an orchard of
black fruit There is the sound
of traffic–
a hushed roar
not 200 yards away I am alone I wonder:
What is the weight of
my right leg
crossed over my
left? I reach
and feel the wall of my
beige house It is rough
to the touch and it is cool
because it,
too, is in the shade I
hesitate to write anymore I believe my throat clears
itself of a word
each time I write a word I
pause, start,
stop, breathe deeply The bird’s
voices repeat The fruit,
round, warms in the light.


Cobalt sky,
blue as your contact
your breath,
the scolding tradewinds,
you take out
the plate,
the pineapple,
the sharpened knife,
cut the pineapple symmetrically,
I refuse to taste it
but the scent
carries me
three islands away,
sun rising,
where we first
it was the cool black
of your hair
startled me

and the way
chased off
the tourists
who wanted
a picture
while you
brushed your hair
and smiled.

Michael Cirelli


Michael Cirelli has been an Individual Finalist at The National Poetry Slam and is currently working on his MFA at The New School He has recently published a poetry curriculum, Hip-Hop Poetry & The Classics (Milk Mug 2004), and has poems in the New York Quarterly He is also the director of Urban Word NYC, which provides free creative writing and performance opportunities for NYC teens

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Michael Cirelli and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

American Music (for Democracy)

There was a little
.blue elephant

that my nana gave
me when I was born

and it played You are my

Four years later my mom
cried the final scales

of pops out of her throat
as she vacuumed around tiny

soldiers and belted I will
like the pain had coated

her voice in hot wax So we sang, on the way to hockey

games, the beach, I want a new drug,
Wind Beneath My Wings; she even bought

me Run DMC Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive
was the theme to high school,

3 O’Clock Roadblock in college, all the way through
Indie Rock(to get certain girls)and back to Slick

But now it’s Song of Myself
And as I dissect the dozen or so words

that differentiate the young erect Walt,
from him sucking air on his death turf,

I wonder if a picture of God’s face
.hangs on a thumb

tack in the thin room of my lung?
I wonder if the music of my heart

makes the frame rattle
like the back window of a Skylark

bumping Milkshake as my sunshine
veils the road ahead of me,

and blue elephants sing for my vote.


Deep in the Boogie Down
.the bassinet of rap
.where the trinity is The Treacherous Three,

English is the third language
.behind Bronx and Puerto Rican
.and I was nervous

because I only speak Catholic school
.and I’m a Red Sox fan

I’m just a student of KRS 1, not a son,

on a train fourteen stops beyond my comfort
.zone hiding behind headphones coughing
.bass, and a backpack full of lyrics:

Notorious B.I.G , Rakim, Hughes,
Brooks, Run DMC, wanting to be real cool,

wanting to be their “dog”
.but feeling like a mailman,
.another Elvis

to the students I will lead
.through a workshop with a language

.I itch to get my rusted cavities around.

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