I’m going on vacation to Moab for a couple weeks, so I won’t be posting for a couple weeks. Hope to come back with lots of new good stuff.
Happy Fourth, Everyone.
I am stuffed to the brim with hamburgers and hotdogs and carne asada tacos and yeah. I’m a big fan of Independence Day. America and I definitely have a love/hate relationship, but honestly, I don’t think I could ask for a better muse. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve probably written a couple dozen poems about America, many of which are featured on this blog:
A BREAKUP LETTER TO AMERICA is the one on the blog that got the most views. Definitely falls more on the end of my struggles with America then any other poem I’ve written on the subject. It’s also the only poem I’ve ever said ‘nigger’ in:
Do you realize, America,
that you called Joe Frazier
a nigger when he wasn’t in the ring
and a God
when he had your flag on his shoulders?
I don’t feel super comfortable using such a hateful word but it was the only way to be honest to the subject matter. I felt it had to be said. This poem is definitely one of my favorites.
BLOOD ON THE AMERICAN HIGHWAY was honestly me just playing around with American iconography. When I threw it out there, I thought it was trash and a year later I read it again and found that I really liked the poem. Plus, it’s just so much fun writing a poem called “Blood on the American Highway.”
A GIRL NAMED AMERICA I’m really not sure where it came from. I think, key word ‘think’, that it kind of came out of seeing the creepy beauty pageants in the movie Little Miss Sunshine and just how very American in a sense it seemed to shove a child on stage and make them perform for a crowd of adoring and viciously aggressive onlookers. The title I think came from A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. I just love that. A something named something.
AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT came to me after spending some time in Southern California at an old friend’s parent’s house. They had this wonderful house and nice patch of land. The house was blue and they had chickens in the yard. It reminded me of The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams. I also was fairly into Edward Hopper’s art around that time so I was enamored of the idea of trying to paint with words.
MAYBE AMERICA I wrote in a doctor’s office while I waited to see the doctor. Haha. On my way over I really did see the first line in real life:
maybe america is one of those guys on suburban street corners in a lady liberty costume waving a sign about taxes and loans who makes minimum wage and has music in his ears to help pass the time
and it just came from there. Just pondering different scenarios. One of the more fun poems I’ve ever written, just trying to sample the culture, which never fills satisfying, especially in a country as big as ours.
Tonight I stumbled on a great poem on WordPress on the site “Bitchtopia” by a poet named Kiarra. The poem was kind of a continuance of Allen Ginsberg’s poem America. My favorite line from Kiarra’s poem is:
had vodka for dinner that night.
America keeps her vibrator in her backpack for emergencies
in which she will need to resuscitate herself.
America’s favorite book is whatever is the cheapest and
America misses her stop.
Check out Kiarra’s poem and the rest of Bitchtopia, which seems to be a badass site, HERE.
Tomorrow night, I’ll be posting an old poem of mine, one of my favorite America poems that I’ve written, entitled AMERICAN HONEY. Which was the first poem I ever wrote about America and probably my favorite.
Otherwise, folks. Thanks for just always supporting me. It’s been 3 great years on this blog and a few months ago I thought poetry and I had parted ways, but turns out it’s that emotionally abusive ex-girlfriend I can’t say no to, and I’m that delusion boy romantic who answers when she calls at 2 in the morning.
Sorry to rant at ya, just thought you might want to know.
Two years ago today, I started this blog, and it’s been two amazing years. 3000+ followers later, it is good to know that someone out there still reads and enjoys poetry. Lately I’ve been rekindling my love for poetry and blogging and, honestly, it’s been difficult. Finding a balance between work and life and poetry isn’t as easy as it seems but every like, every sincere comment and every view I get reminds me why it’s important. Whether it’s brilliance or bullshit, every word you say could be the one that someone needed to hear. I think where I would be without the words of my fellow bloggers, without Kerouac, without Bukowski, without Vonnegut, without local poets, without music, without my family and friends and random strangers and without everything that has ever been said to me and it amazes me. Every word I say on this page came from somewhere else, so thank you all for keeping the words coming.
i just wanted to take a second to say
that i haven’t been posting online for
a few months, really.
i was spending all my free time on the computer
and it was eating away at me
i think i’m back.
i know from time to time
i get on here
i post a new piece
and then i disappear again.
i’m gonna try to not do that again.
i get a lot out of posting.
i can’t promise it’ll be poetry.
i can’t promise it will be good
but i will do the best i can
to keep it coming.
whatever it is.
it could be anything really
a commentary on post-capitalism
and the cyclical nature of society.
it might be a just-waxed red hot rod.
it might be a video of me performing
beethoven’s fifth symphony
impromptu on an out-of-tune harmonica
while under the influence
of twelve and a half pounds
of pure mexican black tar heroine.
i guess mostly
i’m just saying sorry for the poor communication
but i’m back.
in some weird way where i’m still afraid to commit
but i’ve found that running away from the blog
isn’t gonna fix the problems i had with it
so i’m ready for battle
got my warpaint on
and a whiskey bottle full
of adrenaline and testosterone
so bring it on, bitches.
COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014
When I was in high school, I was a skinny, skinny kid. You could see my ribs. I had chicken legs, and I could eat anything I wanted whenever I wanted, then puberty hit me like the prodigal piano falling from the sky. I gained a lot of weight. When I was 18, I was working at the movie theater, living on a diet of buttered popcorn and raspberry Italian sodas. I had never learned how to regulate what I ate. It was irrelevant to me. I kind of had a hard time in my early twenties and just kind of lived carelessly, day-to-day, and it reflected in my weight.
Then I decided to try to change that. A couple years ago, I was proud of myself for losing thirty pounds through a summer of tennis, good eating habits and Power 90, but alas somewhere along the way I learned when you’re working out, you need protein; all I heard was I can eat hamburgers, and next thing I knew I was back to my old habits.
I wanted to be skinny again. I wanted to be my old self again. I missed how I looked. I knew myself as skinny Brice, and I thought I’ve myself as the artist formerly known as skinny Brice, but something happened to me a few months ago.
I looked in the mirror and I noticed that I am a wide person. I have very broad shoulders and hips and I basically have the body structure of a dictionary, and I realized, I don’t want to be skinny – I want to be strong.
SInce then, I’ve started focusing more on lifting weights, building muscle, and God, it’s a beautiful thing that fat turns into muscle. I can see myself getting stronger, and it makes me feel so much better. I can see what I’ve been through in my arms, in my chest, in my legs.
But this post isn’t a fitness post. This is not a health blog.
What I’ve realized is what this really means to me.
Before, all I wanted to do was get rid of every ounce of fat on my body, and it never worked. I’d always lose momentum along the way. What I know now is that I want to take what I’ve been, and become something I never thought I could be. I want to become stronger.
Tragedy is tragic. The news is dripping with it, it feels like. Bombings. Shootings. War. I feel like the aisle of our country is parting like evaporating ocean, and today it became the most overwhelming it’s become. I just wanted to separate from it. To remove this toxic fat off my body. Take a knife and tear it off from the fibers, but I can’t do that. We can’t do that.
You cannot remove something from who you are, as much as plastic surgery would have you believe you can. You have to do something with it. Race has come up lately. Trayvon Martin died, and it has changed things. There’s those hairs that raise on the back of your neck after a storm passes.
I was walking to the gym the day after the passing of the final verdict of the Trayvon Martin case, when I came upon a twentysomething black kid walking down the street, and I could tell there was something there. Indescribable almost. To be following him down the road the day after that case was plastered on every lit up screen was bizarre. That’s the only word I can say for it. It was almost surreal. I wanted to say something, but what would I say? How do you act like nothing has happened?
I didn’t say anything. I just walked by. I should have said something. I’m shy, yes, but I should have said something. Just said hey how’s it going. Anything, but there I was, trying to cut off that fat instead of turning it into muscle. Choosing complacency over courage. Ignoring what was there instead of grabbing it and ringing it out like a towel.
Today I was driving home from the store when the car in front of me broke down. I drove around this elderly woman, bewildered behind the wheel and thought to myself
I should help her.
I don’t know what I could do for her though.
She probably has a phone.
It couldn’t hurt to offer to help her.
But my light turned green and I drove off. Coward, I thought. I circled the block, and came back behind her. I got out of my car and went to help her, but she was gone. I wish my impulse would have been to help. I wish I knew what to do right away.
The fact of the matter is our gut isn’t always right. Trust me. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. Your instinct is often wrong. That’s why when you approach that good-looking person, you think of what to say afterwards. That’s why you think of the perfect witty retort as soon as your competitive coworker walks away. Your gut is not always right. In fact, it is often wrong.
That is why we have to build muscle. We have to train ourselves to do what is best for ourselves. Pain, pain, pain, pain, then pleasure. We have to reach further then we think we can. You have to stretch your muscle to the point of discomfort so it will grow, and after you do, you will feel so good. So good. The best high there is is the way you feel after you do the right thing, but there’s a hangover. You will be sore the next day. We question even the hero in ourselves.
Hero, admittedly, is the wrong word. This all is about being a good fucking human being. For yourself, if for no one else. Do it for the feeling that you did the right thing. You might even find that the smile on the person’s face who you talk to, who you invite into your life, who you help change the busted tired of – that smile may be what you remember, not how awesome you are. I bet you quickly forget about yourself as soon as you realize how they feel. When you recognize them as someone outside of you that you have affected for the better.
We have to build muscle. To rearrange the old cliche a bit, buy someone a fishing pole, not a fish dinner. Buy seeds, not tomatoes. Invest in your future happiness. Don’t throw makeup on the ugly parts of the world. Show them how they can be beautiful.
Don’t burn bridges. Create scenic routes. Get in your car. Drive aimlessly. Meet someone new. Spend some time alone. Do something. Do anything. Don’t sit around starving yourself. Turn what’s in your stomach into energy and turn that energy into force and force blood to your arms, your legs, your heart. Never forget your heart. Don’t lose weight. You should carry that with you always. Don’t lose weight. Don’t cut off your fat. Build muscle.
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