SITTING IN YOUR DARK LIVING ROOM, WHILE YOU BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR

and i don’t know how long these things take
but i am quickly learning
across the room
you are wearing a beautiful, flowy dress
like always
your hand is on your hip
as your other hand grips the dryer
as hot wind blows
through your manic hair
the chairs in the living room
aren’t saying anything
the television
is completely off
you ask me
if i want a book to read or something
but i couldn’t be happier
than sitting in your dark living room
while you blowdry your hair

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “GENESIS”

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GENESIS

in the morning
the water disappears down the drain
the bathroom floor is always wet
the mirror never lets go of all of its fog
there is nothing outside the window
the kamikaze grass beneath the rotating blades

in the morning
the news report is muffled and uninteresting
the television screen is blurry
there’s never enough time for a cup of coffee
there’s never a good place to put my keys
the apartment is stale and the lights are synthetic

in the morning
the car is never warm enough
the radio is always commercials, never the song
the stop lights are always red
the cops are always bored in their long-snouted cars
the roads are always a collection of potholes
the mirrors always need adjusting

in the morning
the gate never opens when i enter the code
the totalitarian parking lot is always full
there’s always someone double-parked
the headache is always hollow like acid in an empty stomach
the people walking in with me never want to talk
the security guards at the door are never friendly

in the morning
the world is always new
genesis
it needs some conditioning
it’s learning how to become better than it was born

in the morning
it is literally impossible
to know which side of the bed
is the right side to wake up on
and by the time you wake up
it’s too late to decide

this is why
we have the afternoon
and the evening
and the late evening
and night
and the night
and the late night
and the later night
and the refusal of dawn coming
to correct this all
and if we fail
there is always the new morning
ugly as hell
and ready to be loved

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS”

TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS

i can see them outside of my window
the angry faceless masses in riot
the cracking of windows
the breaking down of the front door
they’ve got their torches
they’ve got their pitchforks
they’re after the something i have
that they know they will never possess

they’re shuffling through my drawers
knocking over my lamp shades
they’re filing sinister through my papers
my computer, my phone, my internet search history
they know where i’ve been
and they’d probably have a pretty good guess
at where i was going
if i was trying to escape

they’re tying me to the chair
they’re cracking my ankles
they’re breaking my neck
they’re poisoning my mind
they’ve got me tied to the chair
and they’re pacing confused
and they’re pacing confused
and it all comes burning down
and their yells fall lower
and their demands become useless
they can’t have it

they will never have it
the smirk on my face
the smile that i’ll wear
under the thickest of torture
under the heaviest of trials
under the darkest of genocide
the cloudiest of fog
i will always be the same
under the worst persecution
i will remain
that locked box within my heart
in the light of any torch
or through the piercing of any pitchfork

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MAMA, I AIN’T SAD (I’M JUST SINGING THE BLUES)”

MAMA, I AIN’T SAD (I’M JUST SINGING THE BLUES)

i can see you now
in a nighttime gown
by a windowsill
with that mother’s frown

but mama
i tell you all the time
and it’s always true
i ain’t sad
i’m just singing the blues

i know you worry
but mama, i’m grown
as long as there’s blues
i’m never alone

this is just my way
of kissing goodbye the day
it’s just my right
to stay up every night

cause mama
i tell you all the time
and it’s always true
i ain’t sad
i’m just singing the blues

that telephone ain’t gon’ ring
after darkness falls
but mama, won’t you hear me
that i thank you for it all

this is just my way
of kissing goodbye the day
it’s just my right
to stay up every night

but mama
i tell you all the time
and it’s always true
i ain’t sad
i’m just singing the blues

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD MOMENT”

RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD MOMENT

i was sitting here la dee da at the computer listening to wonderful music discovering sensible rhythms when i stumbled onto a kerouac poem. now me and kerouac aren’t too familiar with one another. i’ve heard a few of his ramblings, i’ve read some of on the road and i generally know the spirit of the guy, but sitting here i stumbled onto “october in the railroad earth”, which i clicked on the stereo and i was in love. this man made my rambles look terse straight to the point, dishonest even. i clicked it on and he started talking about san francisco, a recent lover of mine, and i could have misinterpreted but i think he predicted in the piece that rich men would come and take over the city, which they did. don’t get me wrong, there’s still something about san francisco, i learned that during my time out there, but kerouac was on the ball. steven allen behind him kicking those white keys just as hard as the black ones, all live, all real, all viral and not sterile and megalithic and true. jazz. duh, it was jazz. i was enamoured and it went on and on and on and i followed along with the text and then the text came to an end. but it went on and on and on and i was still in love with jack kerouac and i understood a little better what ginsberg said when he said he fell in love with jack kerouac. everything was making sense. the walls were falling down and just when i thought i was on the trip back from hearing and discovering every great poet there was that there’s ever been here came jack like a good, solid nineteen fifties jazz bar punch in the face to wake me up. cold whiskey thrown at me. punch drunk and rawly starstruck it kept going and then it ended. and then a commercial for mcdonalds holiday smoothies came on the speakers and ruined a perfectly good moment.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “VENTI SKINNY VANILLA NO FOAM LATTE”

VENTI SKINNY VANILLA NO FOAM LATTE

i know what it’s like to be so lonely that anyone will do
i know what it’s like to chase after a dream that was never going to become reality
i know what it’s like to find yourself lost in your own house in a room full of the people you know the best
i know what it’s like to lay awake in bed all night because the adderall stops you from sleeping but it’s that important that you learn to focus
i know what it’s like to accomplish everyone of your new year’s resolutions and still feel like it wasn’t enough
i know what it’s like to be stared at like a monster or the most charming person in the world
i know what grass tastes like and i know what the bottom of a whiskey bottle tastes like too
i know what apple cider vinegar tastes like and i’ll tell you this; it’s way worse than any whiskey
i know what it’s like to be under the bright lights of an operating table
i know what it’s like to stand beside a woman i love(d) on the stage of a church as her parents stare at me with hateful eyes
i know what it’s like to dig holes for eight hours for free
i know what it’s like to be 350 feet off the ground
and i know what it’s like to like six feet underground
i know what it’s like to not answer the phone for bill collectors
and i know what it’s like to wait by the phone to find out if someone is still alive
i know what it’s like to not have a car, to take the bus in the heart of denver’s winter
and i know what it’s like to have nothing to complain about when i look over and see a woman with two strollers and a bag full of food stamp groceries doing the same thing
i know what it’s like to learn you’re on the wrong side of history
and i know what it’s like to be waken up by sprinklers on a strangers lawn
i know that none of this is worth not knowing

if i’ve learned anything from this
it’s that the things that have taught me the most about myself
are never the motivational speakers on the grand stand
they are never the power point presentations on happiness
or the venn diagrams on good versus evil
the things that have taught me the most
are the burns on my tongue from drinking coffee too fast
and the moments that tasted bitter going down my throat
shitty coffee from waffle house at who cares o clock
served by some waitress who’s hard to look at
and doesn’t give a shit about me
never a venti skinny vanilla no foam latte
handed to me by some trust fund brat in a green apron

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “HANGOVER”

HANGOVER

i sold most of my books, almost sold my guitar
i have cleared the shelves of this apartment
emptied the attic and the stale memories of a different me
i have burnt break-up letters
and let go of friends like a hand off the edge of a bridge
i have kissed goodbye the roads i thought holy
i have watched the sun be swallowed by the mountains
and thought that maybe if i head west i too will be lost
in the gut of the earth, alone with echoes and hollow
i took down the pictures of a younger me
and now i spend my days painting a portrait of an older me
and now i just don’t know what i’m doing
i’m looking at ants through a magnifying glass
and i can’t look away when the heat condenses and they start to set on fire
i put my car up for sale and i sell viles of my blood in the wanted ads
i sleep in a white room with no posters, hopeless and cold
on a perfect bed with one half severely empty and i wonder
in porcelain moments like these
that knock on the door at two in the morning
am i practicing how to die
or trying to give myself another chance to live?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “WHY I WRITE POETRY”

WHY I WRITE POETRY

because
when it comes
it comes like a mack truck
and i don’t have the strength
to plant my heels
firmly in the dirt
and slow it down
and i don’t want it to pass on by
so my only choice
is to stick out my thumb
jump in
and ride along
with this shady methed-out
truck driver
until one of us
is ready to kill the other

because
when it comes
it comes like a great woman
and i’m usually and inconveniently drunk
so i ask her to dance
in a loud room
where maybe she won’t notice my slurring
and i wear my cologne thick
so maybe she won’t smell
the booze on my breath
and the dance never lasts long
and usually
i end up taking a cab home
and usually
she goes her own separate way
but sometimes
she comes with me
and we spend the night together
tossed in madness and revelation

because
when it comes
it comes like shock therapy
and in the pain
the swelling of the temples
the shaking of the muscles
the boiling of blood cells
sometimes
there is a moment of strong breath
where some ghost escapes
and someone else sees it
and them and me
will always have that
even if i’m not all there

because
when it comes
it comes like a letter bomb
and i could just throw it away
never open it
and the truth is
if i did that
i would be fine
but time and again
i play russian roulette
i do what’s worst for me
i open the letter
i inhale the toxins
i remind myself
that i am not god
and i am reasonably sure
that god would not be himself
if any of us
were ever considerate enough
to give him a choice
in the matter

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT”

MISSION STREET BLUES

there’s a swarm of bees meandering the streets of san francisco. there’s women in homicidal heels and men in nothing too special. everyone’s got their hoods up and their eyes high and it’s making me sad that no one seems to have the time to look around. this city is on fire, desperate for attention. it’s beautiful. these buildings have scars all over them and they’re the good kind of scars, but everyone is just pushing the stroller. everyone is just carrying the bag. everyone looks too damn preoccupied with the inside of their heads to realize that there is a living thing surrounding them. clockwork. there’s hipster girls and gay boys in pairs. there’s peacoats and taxis and bars filled to the brim with chewing faces, beautiful asian women, beards and yeah, a few too many pairs of judgmental eyes. lights everywhere.

and i miss denver. this city makes denver look like a bad comedian but god, i miss denver. i miss my friends. i miss my family. i miss denver’s crooked smile and her warm heart and the barcade and sixteen street and the mountains.

i’ve got the golden gate bridge and the bay and the city and the hills and the smell of sea salt in the air and all i want is to lay down in my mediocre bed with denver. i want to sit in my basement apartment and talk until three in the morning with my friends and i want to listen to the beatles on my record player.

“i bet it’s snowing in denver,” says francis, facetiously and i say,
“i hope so. i love the snow. i love my city that doesn’t have a barney’s and doesn’t have an apple store the size of steve job’s ego and i love that we were almost the ones who travelled to the end of the world, but stopped because we remembered that sometimes being land-locked just means you’ve got four walls around you. sometimes living in a square state means you know your boundaries. you know when to call it a night and just lay down in front of a fire with the door cracked open.

don’t get me wrong, francis, you’re great. really, you are. you’re by far the curviest girl i’ve ever met. you’ve got a way better personality than los angeles and you have beautiful buildings flowing through your veins. and yeah, you’re really god damn progressive. you’ve got your shit together. but you’re the dream, and i want the reality. i want to settle down. you’re kind of an indie marilyn and i’m looking for a jackie-o. that’s all.