Monday, March 19, 2012

Leonard Cirino Presenté

When a poet dies, a light goes out and the consciousness of the universe is a bit dimmer. It is with great sadness that we lose Leonard Cirino to liver cancer. Leonard was and continues to be an inspiration. As I wrote him a month ago, it may be small consolation but, for writers, our words live on beyond our moral existence. Leonord Cirino's mortal existence ended on March 9th. He was a prolific poet who authored over 24 books. He also mentored and published many others as Pygmy Forest Press. The Blue Collar Review was fortunate to have published his poetry over the years and to count him as a supporter. He is and will be missed.

Every once in a while I’ve run into what I call a “pure poet” – all the dross burned away – someone whose only desire is to tune in, and to help others tune in, to the source of poetry. I love these people. Leonard Cirino was one of them.
Leonard taught himself poetry while he was an inmate in an institution for the criminally insane. He learned it by reading and writing. When he found a good thing, he ran with it, using the words of those he considered masters as springboards into his own work.

He made poetry with the rain and wind. He took fragments of a cup that had been dropped and broken and made them into a vessel to carry living water. Leonard has gone into the great silence, but the words he left behind keep echoing.

–Barbara LaMorticella

for Arthur Longworth

My poems flutter, crows hooded in darkness,
but now the sun is so bright it's colder
than when fog huddles down in the valley.
After a while winter makes prisoners
of us all, even those with four-wheel trucks,
snowblowers to get out of their driveways.
In your cold cell you sleep under a blanket
so thin the light left on all night shines through.
Outside, the crows watch over great meadows
where sheep and cows gather to gain
a little warmth and comfort. Oh those birds,
singing out the daily obituaries.

-- Leonard Cirino


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this poem and these kind words for Leonard, who a good friend, an excellent poet, and an even better human being. His words will live on as will his spirit.

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

4:55 PM  
Blogger Lyle Daggett said...

Leonard and I never met face to face, but we did correspond by mail now and then over the years, and then in more recent years by e-mail once in a while. It had been a few years since we'd been in contact with each other.

During the years we were in contact, he published a couple of my poems, one in his magazine Semi-Dwarf Review, and one in a broadside series he did.

I know very little of his life or circumstances. The little bit that I got to know him, as it was, through the mail, I sensed him to be a person of great creative energies and gentle humanity. I was very sad to hear the news of his passing.

Thanks for posting this.

11:44 PM  

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