Todd Cirillo is a poet and person who is unafraid or stupid enough to place his heart of the railroad tracks. He always holds the idiotic optimism that this time it will work out. He is also a poet, publisher, and pirate.
I have never met a pirate. Tell me one of your adventures?
My adventures are numerous and can fill an entire night under the neon lights. Almost all involve travel, Otis Redding, poetry, drinks, love, breakdowns and a search for connection and shiny moments.
Once I met a person who said to me: I’ve always dreamt of becoming a drinker. What would you say to this person?
I would tell them that the first round is on me.
Hahaha so cool! Do ladies often find you cool?
I would hope that women find me genuine.
But I am shallow enough to take cool as well.
Oh, I see, genuine is something less shallow than cool:)
Genuine to me is that they see a level of talent, humor, compassion, and weirdness. Also, it is a commitment to connecting with another person for inspiration, acceptance, fun, a place to lay your head, creating shiny moments. And all of this goes both ways, I do not believe in one-sided connections.
This is truly wonderful! Now I will keep talking about ladies, for I see that your poetry is mostly inspired by love?
I like to say that all of my poems are love poems in some form or fashion, even when they are not explicitly about someone that I am interested in or have loved. Sometimes it is good to fall in love with something new. Be it a situation, a scene, a moment or something that has zero to do with me…I just observe it and write about it.
Is there a woman in your life, who is your Muse more than every other person?
If I am fortunate, yes and if the universe is smiling then there are more than one. I have been lucky enough to have a few true Muses who I continue to miss to this day, no matter how painful it may have been at the time and how much I wish it had worked out. Sometimes it’s all about timing. I am proud to say I have had true connections with extraordinary people.
What attracts you most in women?
I am attracted by their wildness, their worldview, their style and their ability to make everything ok. There is a good reason why women are the inspiration for every great song, poem, story etc.
How do you feel about being famous? Don’t you fear for your privacy?
I am a very social creature and I truly love being around others and performing in front of an audience. I am most comfortable on a stage. Especially, when the audience is having fun and interacting with me. That makes me perform better. In truth, I always want them to fall in love with me and my work. I suppose I am in a constant search for people to love and people to love me. In fact, usually, when I write, I go out to a bar or other place where there are other people I can listen to or observe.
I rarely will write alone at home.
“I am not a reader, I am a writer” – does that apply to you as well?
No, I believe that it does a writer well to read what came before, what is going on now and keep an eye out for what may come next. I usually am reading something that inspires me and I try to read other poets out there but I am not necessarily inspired by a lot of what is out there.
Have you worked in collaboration with other authors/poets?
Yes, quite a few. I enjoy collaborations with writers/poets that I admire and inspire me. I have had some wonderful books and projects that have been published with others.
Quote your favorite poet?
Interesting question, though what immediately comes to mind are quotes from my favorite writers not necessarily poets such as ‘But why think about that when all the golden land’s ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?” Jack Kerouac and “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark–that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.’ Hunter S. Thompson
What does a poet think of dirty talking?
I can’t speak for other poets because some may view a dirty talk by another as competition! But I find it absolutely inspirational and enhancing of the moment. Both partners should have the greatest time while together and be unafraid.
What’s the most important feeling for intimacy?
Comfort in one moment, not getting caught in another moment, primal desire in another, deepest affection another time.
Have you felt that ripeness in life and how did that transform you?
I simply love life; good or ill. I enjoy creating stories through moments. One has to have the guts to go out and create the moments, whether they turn out positive or just plain weird.
So you entertain people with your poetry. How does it feel to stand at the microphone and recite your poetry in front of people?
It feels like the only thing that I truly do well in the world.
Are you deeply jealous?
I try not to be. I believe comfort is the key to success. Sometimes it is more challenging than others but it is all about comfort and communication. It is important for partners to have each other’s back.
I try to be deeply loving.
Do you like spending time in the kitchen?
Of course! Sexy is sometimes putting on great tunes, opening a bottle, and spending time cooking something fun. I also love to wash dishes. it is weirdness of mine. I find it meditative. But I despise mopping floors.
Amazing! What else do you like in terms of hobbies?
I travel, I go see live music, I go for walks, I live in the greatest city in the world, New Orleans, so I am usually wearing glitter or some costume, going to parades and parties. I am all about road trips. I love fun.
Why is New Orleans the greatest city in the world? Why is it called The Big Easy? Did jazz really originate there?
The answer to that would take an entire interview of itself. But in short, New Orleans is the greatest city in the world because we love big, we lose big, we are genuine in celebration, in death, in life. There is creativity that exists in the history, in the beauty, in the music, in the food, in the fuckedupness, the weird and otherworldly that is encouraged and revered. No one here will turn their head if someone is drinking a bottle of rum wearing a fish costume at 11 am on a Tuesday here. The people are truly friendly. Though it is the best of the best and the worst of the worst as well. It is different down here; we are not like the others. locals don’t call it The Big Easy. Yes, jazz was invented here. It is the only truly original form of American music. But we have the best of every kind of music here; jazz, blues, funk, rock, brass bands, bounce, hip-hop, etc. and you can find it all just walking down the block.
Do you have someone to share the morning coffee with?
I don’t drink coffee, although I wish I did, it always looks very cool to me.
If you have to renovate your house, what basic color will you choose?
A bright yellow or orange. I don’t know if those are basic colors.
How did that parrot land upon your arm?
Parrots love pirates.
Which brings me to the beginning of the interview – the most romantic gesture a pirate is capable of is….
What do you spend your money on, except obviously bills and taxes?
My publishing company, Six Ft. Swells Press, gifts for friends and drinks.
Do you like making people happy?
I really do.
What is necessary to make people happy?
All the things I mention in this interview. Fun, caring, love, humor, adventure, compassion, weirdness, creativity, someone to let you lay your head in their lap, forgiveness, poetry, honesty etc.
Thank you, Todd, wishing you a lot of these!
People can order Todd’s books and send him messages and read poems etc. at www.toddcirillo.com
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