Disposable Darlings Anything but Disposable: a review by Julie Valin

Disposable Darlings Anything but Disposable

Todd Cirillo’s new collection of poems, Disposable Darlings, is like a “cosmic jukebox” of the human condition, playing all our favorite songs, depending on our mood. You want a love song? Go to the very first poem, “Magnolias,” and move to the sounds and scents of Spring—a new love blooming. Or flip through the raw mornings-after and cracked sidewalks to get to “A Romantic Gesture,” and feel like its your own heart you’re stepping over. You want to drink with the regulars at your favorite neighborhood bar? Drop a dollar for some Waylon and sit like saints on your chosen “barstool thrones,” admiring the liquor bottles that stand “like Gods under Christmas lights,” drinking down those gifts at the bottom of every glass. Sometimes you’re feeling introspective, and in that case you might shuffle over to “Luckenbach, Texas,” where your life matches your ripped jeans, busted heart, and a country song. Or turn to “The Poet Vs. The Artists,” where all you hope for is to “crawl off” with a free beer and a few lines to craft a poem alone. Feel like thrashing? Move to “Natural Disaster” and “Kick Out the Jams, Motherfucker.” After that, you will want nothing more than to sit on the back porch, humming the Blues. True rock ‘n roll comes through in the poem, “The Deal.” This poem rages against mediocrity and always walks away the cool guy without even trying, a cigarette pack rolled in its sleeve. “Skeletons” might as well be the collection’s theme song. It is everything portrayed in these poems, whether it be Cirillo’s broken bones and loves, self-deprecating wit, places and things he left behind, souvenirs and pirate treasure he collected along the way, bartenders who know his name, or subtle longing for someone to come home to—we all come out asking the question of ourselves: Didn’t you want it to be better?

The poems in Disposable Darlings are anything but disposable, but that’s not what Cirillo means. He is talking about moments. Moments he perpetually seeks that blink the word LOVE in neon lights. These moments are collected and captured for as long as the poem is written. They live by us coming back to the page, like playing our favorite songs.

—Julie Valin, author of Songs For Ghosts

Purchase DISPOSABLE DARLINGS at https://www.magicaljeep.com/product/darlings/158

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