THINK OUTSIDE OF THE HEART-SHAPED BOX

Last week, Lana Del Rey covered the song “Heart-Shaped Box” originally by Nirvana, spurring an interesting response by Courtney Love over Twitter.  Courtney Love composed a now infamous Tweet about how the song is about her vagina:

PHOTO COURTESY OF AUSTIN KLEON

Hey. Wait. I’ve got a new complaint:

What I’d like to say is Huffington Post got it right when they called Courtney Love “outspoken.” I don’t care if you talk about your vagina online. That doesn’t bother me in the least. What bothers me is how Courtney Love managed to demean this song for me and possibly plenty of people around me. I am a big Nirvana fan. I place Nevermind on the list of my favorite albums, up there with The Beatles’ White Album and Hail to the Thief by Radiohead.

“Heart-Shaped Box,” off of In Utero is not about your vagina, Courtney Love.

Who am I to say this? Courtney Love was married to Kurt Cobain, for crying out loud. She would know if the song was about her lady business.

Let’s go back: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. “Oh, that song is about LSD,” said every moron ever. These songs are not about drugs, they are not about Courtney Love’s vagina. Sure, Heart-Shaped Box has a very sexual connotation. Sure, Courtney Love might have written some of the lyrics. What I don’t appreciate is limiting the ideas of what a song is.

Heart-Shaped Box, to me, is about the claustrophobia of love. It’s about the addiction of being lost in someone. Once again, this quickly leads to a sexual connotation, but there’s an intention to that too. I think Courtney Love would acknowledge this as well, but God, is she so desperate for press that she makes these outlandish statements?

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, to me, is about childhood innocence. It’s about vibrant life, it’s about imagination, and yes, John Lennon being the cryptic genius he was, I guarantee it’s no accident that the name also spells out LSD.

Note that I put “to me”, because this is all subjective. The fight I’m trying to fight is people who limit their perspective on what music is about, or limit what anything is about to something as simple as “Courtney Love’s vagina,” or “drugs.” This idea strikes me hard as a writer, specifically as a poet, because when I write, and when most of the people around me make art of any kind, it’s never as shallow as writing about one controversial topic. They have something to say. That’s why it angers me when a complex and timeless song like Heart-Shaped Box gets put inside of another box, gets limited. I just want to challenge people here to not let that song become a one-note song. Don’t let it become an allusion to that one time Courtney Love opened her mouth on Twitter. The same way I challenge you not to define yourself as a hippie, or a hipster, or a rockabilly performance artist, or a mom, or a senator. These things are important to who you are, and may help you find yourself, but you cannot be describe in 140 characters or less, and neither can Heart-Shaped Box.

More on Courtney Love’s vagina:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-lana-del-rey-heart-shaped-box_n_1723074.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

http://www.nme.com/news/courtney-love/65224

http://whfs.radio.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-wants-lana-del-rey-to-think-about-her-vagina/

http://nounmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/stop-everything-things-are-happening-on-the-internet/

About these ads

SUBTERRANEA

for two years now i’ve been underground
residing in these mute walls
with the spiders and the earwigs
there’s no sun in here
only artificial light filters into this
artificial underground apartment
where i count the ceiling tiles over and over
at the end of the work day
that descent down the narrow stairs
is passage through a threshold
here in subterranea
the winters are a little colder
the summers are hotter
the furnace never shuts the hell up
always hissing and moaning
the air stale
underneath the furnace’s song
i can hear harsh footsteps above my head
in the middle of the night
the sound of earthworms crawling through the walls
it’s a well-furnished casket is what it is
it’s like living inside of my head
and somedays
stuck in subterranea
i just sit in the claustrophobic bathroom naked
and let the shower water run down
and the steam occupy the apartment
(when you’re trapped underground
this is sanctuary)

and the dishwasher runs
and the fan dances
and the tv talks to me
and he says to me
“none of us are alive in here”
and he says to me
“someone commits suicide once a minute”
the tv is no company at all
he is just the glare on the wall
in subterranea

somedays
subterranea can be a muse
occasionally the walls are warm
and subterranea opens its doors to my friends
and within subterranea we laugh and we share
but it’s just putting on a show
painting petrified wood walls
a skeleton putting on a wedding dress
as soon as they go
she’s naked to me again
the psychotic state of subterranea
it feeds my dark side
(but when you’ve been in pitch black so long
you’d give anything to be blinded in the sun)
subterranea is an ugly girl with a big heart
stubborn
a different animal

here in subterranea it’s always the witching hour
the fridge hums dumbly
my bed is cold
the poster faces i hang on the wall have shifty eyes
it’s only a matter of time before the pipes break
in rebellion and the whole thing is flooded
it’s only a matter of time before the nuclear family
reality upstairs falls through the ceiling-floor and
crushes me
these walls are getting smaller
i reside in a closed casket funeral
amongst the bugs and sad furniture
where playing old records only makes it lonelier
and god, do i love it here
it’s a dark abstract painting of peace
my own personal bermuda triangle
i’ll continue to hang my hat on its melting walls
because someday i’ll have to say goodbye
and someone somewhere i’ll never meet
will be the next lover-victim of
subterranea

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “TWILIGHT IN THE WORLD OF BALLOONS”

TWILIGHT IN THE WORLD OF BALLOONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTHONY LUEBBERT

and the earth
feels as old as
dirt again

the violins
still mimicking the crickets
and not
the other
way around

the sky is the canvas
we will inject
kandinskily
with the raging crayola
120 pack of color-lustful-majesty

we burn with love
floating amongst the
cosmos

we are as illuminated
as we are
in love
as we are
slightly drunk – only
slightly

out here with the distant
stars
levitating in baskets
crushing
the blurs of
people like ants
with our
blinking
eyes

we distance ourselves

and holding our

breaths

we look at the
world
through the glass
cover above its
brushstrokes

and in the hangover
we descend
flickering flames
rejoining the torch of
humanity

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTHONY LUEBBERT: http://www.anthonyluebbert.info/http://www.monkfishjowls.com/

READ “WHEN I WAS MAYBE TWELVE YEARS OLD”

SK Poetry Competition

Sakina Katib, a fellow blogger and very talented poet, is hosting a poetry competition on her blog, asking competitors to write a poem using the words “dusk” and “dawn”. The best is if you win, you get a $50 Amazon gift card!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

WHEN I WAS MAYBE TWELVE YEARS OLD

i jammed a piece of pencil lead into the skin over my heart

this is a true story
it never came out
the skin grew over it
and i am convinced that little freakin piece of lead is shuffling around inside of me still
it mostly squats in my skull
listening to bad 90′s music at three in the morning
reminding me how much life is a drag off a bummed cigarette
a piece of lead with a penchant for marcy playground and nada surf
when it’s not doing that it lodges itself into the joint of my knees
reminding me of my father
who sacrificed his knees to the insatiable gods of retail in return for warm meals

i like when the lead makes my knees sting a bit
sometimes the piece of lead goes to my liver
usually the weekends
it duct tapes my liver hostage and demands i waterboard him with whiskey unil he spills all his secrets
this piece of lead wreaks havoc in this vessel
little red cartoon demon with a pitchfork
sometimes he stands in front of my retinas
playing home movies of ex-girlfriends
stupid fights
sober drunken moments of pure cherished regret

in my nose he burns the incense of their perfumes
he meditates
and when he lodges himself in my heart i hate him most

he tugs at my heart strings like the ghost in the bell tower and i ring out everything everywhere all at once

i ring my mother’s chicken noodle soup
i ring my sister’s diamond soul
i ring my father’s fireplace hugs
i ring death waltzing with life
and the karma of martyred hearts

the cosmic kaleidoscope of america
i ring bad knees and good fridays and pilot episodes of life stories that rest in jars in doctor’s offices
i ring the towers falling down
and people without legs standing up

i ring the man whose job is to talk people out of suicides and i ring the times he fails
i ring for nothing – that lies between second hands stroking but i ring
everything everywhere for everyone ever all at once

sometimes the piece of lead travels to my pencil
but i just set the pencil down
don’t want to write him off just yet
this ghost in my belltower
i won’t let him out.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “REDHEAD (TO DENVER)”

And the winner is…

SHOSHANA SARAH!

Out of dozens of entries, Shoshana’s poem, Ants, is the winner of the first ever Rant Poetry Competition!

You can see Shoshana’s poem here:

http://flashlightcityblues.wordpress.com/featured-guest-poem/

Thank you to everyone who participated, and be on the lookout for the second Rant Poetry Competition come the end of August.
Sincerely,
Brice

Special recognition to Jessica Accardi, who was our first runner-up, and D.G. Vachal, our second runner up.

POLL ON BLOG CONTENT. PLEASE TAKE

Aside

REDHEAD (TO DENVER)

my dear
you
are between a rock and a hard place
your face does not illuminate the same as the others
your lights are few and speckled
but i’ve always loved freckles
you are a grid system at first glance
i know they tell you real women have curves
but real women know better than that
sometimes you are cold and the conversation runs dry
but it’s not easy being as high as you are all the time
i love you
i never want to leave you
and i know you don’t believe me
but you are the nerdy, artsy girl
who turns out to be an angel in disguise
your heart is too full
you take in the battered, the bruised, the hungry the used and they try to tell you your heart is a cash register
but i have heard your heart ticking at the cabaret tower
sixteenth street the prettiest string to play on your cello soul
i am in love with you
you smell like the west
you are the little sister anxiously awaiting her groom
california, california, california
they all leave you for california
but you and i both know they’ll be back
california is a pathological liar
her lie detector tests look like her richter scales
it is you i love
when i am within you i hear your quiet insecure voice
you’ve been torn up, torn down
and the mountains will always put a blanket on your cold bare shoulders
your children
they play along the light rail tracks
they run off to school at d.u. at m.s.c.d. at b.f.e.
but at the end of the night, they’ll always come back
i am a part of you, beautiful
let the jesters run off to hollywood
we will show our unpainted faces to the world together
“next stop, 10th and osage” you whisper
“convention center”
“pepsi center elitch gardens”
let them think you’re vain
i know why you stop where you do
i know in december you get lonesome for your heroes
you refrigerate poetry in your cold air
the mercury cafe measuring your temperature
big blue bear
your awkward oversized blatant invitation
2 am your resignation
some cities neep to sleep
new york never dreams
my love, don’t cry
the tears will freeze in your eyes
you are the red winter rose that grows slowly
you are an indie movie theater
you are a redhead
you are my lover
my midnight streetlight as i caress up and down you elevators
you are leela’s coffee
and the tarantula billiards
you are not wells fargo
they may tattoo you
but you are swing dancing at dazzle and above poetry cafes
you are 18th and market 21st and wynkoop union station tattered cover cheeseman park wash park everywhere inside of yourself
you are two-fisted mario’s blasting shit metal into your bitter chilly hair
you are the girl in a hoody and a skirt
hot dog stands that new york rejected and chicago was too tired for
you are the moodiest girl i know
you get a little too drunk on coors light
and you let far too many stoners crash on your city park couch
your heating bill is way too high
and you are never the same person twice
but i like crazy girls
the mad ones
and i know you will get the everything you desire
just keep being a mile above the rest
freckleface
a beautiful underdog who dances best drunk

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “BOSTON LOGAN”