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About this poet

Michael Cirelli is the author of several books of poems, including The Grind (Hanging Loose Press, 2013). Cirelli is the executive director of Urban Word NYC, has been a National Poetry Slam finalist, and was featured on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam.

Birthplace

Michael Cirelli

Deep in the Boogie Down—
	the bassinet of the boom bap
	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, Perdomo,
Run DMC, Brooks, wanting to be real cool,

wanting to be their "dawg"—
	but feeling like a mailman,
		another Elvis

to the students I will lead 
	through a workshop in a language

		I itch to get my rusted cavities around.

From Vacations on the Black Star Line. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Cirelli. Used with permission of Hanging Loose Press.

From Vacations on the Black Star Line. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Cirelli. Used with permission of Hanging Loose Press.

Michael Cirelli

Michael Cirelli is the author of several books of poems, including The Grind (Hanging Loose Press, 2013).

by this poet

poem

for Basquiat, Wylie Dufresne, Bob Viscusi, Trish Hicks


We all do the same ol’ same ol’ same. 
(Some don’t.) Basquiat
Dubbed it SAMO©. The buildings made
Of bricks the poems about poetry.
Viscusi said the hyphenated can’t stop yapping
About Nonna, gravy, the