LAUGHTER AT A FUNERAL

there is this old man, right. and his wife passes away and he can’t get over the grief of her
death so takes her cremated ashes and puts them inside of a mason jar and he takes that
thing with him everywhere he goes, except the fact that he never really goes much of
anywhere. he just sits around the house with the mason jar beside him on the couch
and he watches repeat episodes of the price is right and let’s make a deal and wheel
of fortune and just game shows all day long and his eyes twinkle at the success of the
people on the television screen and he turns to his wife’s ashes and he says “oh my lord, helen – did you see that? that man just won 50,000 big ones.” and helen, of course, says
nothing, because she is just a mason jar but not the way our old man sees it. he sees this as his only opportunity to hold onto the love of his life. the best way he can keep her alive without actually keeping her alive and god damnit, there’s not always something out there that you have to go seek out and find. yes, it’s important to meet people and see new places and gain new experiences but every single minute of this life is a new experience and sometimes you just find one you like, and sometimes that one that you like is the one where you and your loved one sit on the couch and watch game shows together. and after 50 years of that, that is the only life you need. that simplistic idea of home and safety, those paintings on the wall collecting dust and that water stain on the ceiling that’s been there forever are what you’ve made and that person you are with is the one that you give to. that’s fine. be like the old man. build a boat from scratch and then sail it until it gives out. no one ever talks about laughter at a funeral but it does exist. it should exist. this is all just a glimpse at what could happen and it passes so fucking fast so you have to take a minute to look around and see where you’re at and when you are and maybe who you are if you can swing the time but it moves fast and it’s all about saying goodbye to things and sometimes doing what you can so that you don’t have to say goodbye.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “OXYGEN LIMITLESS”

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WATERING THE WALLFLOWER

is it a crime to be a wallflower? am i not allowed to sit and listen to the wallpaper listening to me? must my name be known? other people isn’t always the answer to a bad case of lonely. i can breathe with my mouth shut. my ears open like a great gramophone to the everything we are. we are we are. great big clouds melting and billowing and motioning omniscently across the sky. try and grab us and we disappear. i do not need my name 13 stories high over a grand old theater because every time i look up at the stars, i see my name in lights. i sway like a pendulum on a great grandfather clock. i sway like a dvd menu loop. like the electronic waves in a cheesy youtube meditation video. let me be. i let you be. do not grab me by the neck and throw me into the mosh pit. do not push me. i push myself. i pull myself. i water my kneecaps, i turn my palms up to the sun and wait patiently. an ancient dying man sitting at a closed down bus stop. desert dust and broken bottles of old granddad. let me be. please just let me be.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “A POEM BY HAN SHAN”

DINOSAURS

you know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? what happens when you rip a picture in half? is each half worth 500 words or do they each become worth a thousand? does it lose all value? a picture may be worth a thousand words but there is an aboriginal belief that a picture takes away a piece of your soul, so is a piece of your soul worth a thousand words? they say the soul is twenty one grams because when the average person dies they find that the body weighs that much less. so assuming that each gram constitute a piece of your soul, that means your soul is worth twenty one thousand words. the average novel is about sixty some odd thousand words. so if you get three people together, you have a novel. sounds about right. because when two people talk to each other, you have a conflict, but when three people talk, you’ve got something bigger to consider. that’s three short stories clashing together. that’s sixty-three thousand words. that’s sixty three pictures. when you times that by two billion, you get the world, and what you end up with is a big big big big mess, but certain souls weigh more than twenty-one grams. i believe that. some people feed their souls. as hemingway said, some people burn the fat off their souls. but they might replace that with muscle. there’s not much here. if anything i’m saying i want my soul to be a heavy one. i want my footprints to be deep. i want to scratch my name into the styrofoam to-go box and proclaim BRICE. B. R. I. C. E. Until time washes that away and all that is left is a fossil of my footprints in the earth, and they will blame it on the dinosaurs.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “ESCAPE FROM THE FILM NOIR CITY”

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.

AND NOW WE PRAY

just thought i’d shoot from the hip today. last night, i drank some wine with some of my best friends, logan and emma. it was wonderful. we talked. just sat here in this basement apartment and exchanged stories and laughed and were as honest as people should always be.

this is what it’s all about, folks. i know there’s a big battle going on out there for the american throne, but while people are out there trying to choose coke or pepsi, trying to sway the wind in the direction they prefer, i think we’re missing out on something important. sometimes i think we get so hooked on foreign policy, we forget the most miniscule of domestic policy. how to talk to one another. i’m not the first one to say it, and i won’t be the last.

the elections always make me see this great polarization between people. all of a sudden we seem to be in a civil war with democrats versus republicans. the system isn’t perfect. if you can’t acknowledge that, then you’ve got some thinking to do, but what i know of this world is we are all radical agents of change. we were given the ability to think things into existence.

what i’m trying to get at is we should stop putting up signs about diversity, and start talking to people who are different than us, and we are all different. we are all some version of weird and some version of interesting. we are all a hodgepodge of stories waiting to be heard. all we can do is share experience to learn to love better.

treat people behind counters like human beings. call the people you love who are far away. call the ones who are close. meet your neighbors. respect everyone. i heard a poem once at the mercury cafe, here in denver, where the poet said “why is honoring your children not a commandment?” there is a lot of truth in that.

i’ve been having a rough time, lately. the writing hasn’t been coming as strongly. i’ve felt a very heavy boulder on my shoulders and i’ve tried so many things to cure what ails me. in the end, i know i need the people around me. buildings without people are just archaeology. a testament to what once happened there. it’s not a stage until the lights come up and someone says something to someone. kerouac says “because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. climb that goddamn mountain.” but i think it’s clear that mountain isn’t just hiking mount everest. it’s not going on a road trip to the end of the world. these things are important, but each time you talk to someone you’ve never talked to before, heart-to-heart, you are climbing that goddamn mountain.

i know this has all been said, but i don’t think you can hear it too much. this isn’t my normal type of post, but i never want to lie to my audience. i want to have heart-to-hearts with my readers, because i know no one cares how intelligent i can make myself seem. no one cares what the most interesting mask i can put on is. the trick is to rip the mask off. to rip off the cover of the book and start reading.

thanks for reading,
love,
brice

THE GRAFFITI ARTIST

He told me he was addicted to pain killers for over three years. He said it had been several months since he had taken any but he was still getting high off of the residual effects of the drugs in his system. He looked me in the eyes like he was afraid that he would feel everything again all at once. He said for years he wore too small of shoes. He said he would need major surgery to repair the overlapping and cracked bones of his feet. Said that without pain killers he would be in a wheelchair for several months teaching himself how to walk again. He said when he slept with all the girls that he did, he couldn’t feel a thing; said because of this he could go for hours. He told me about how all of the girls hated that. He told me they rarely got a satisfying response from his numb body. He was a high school student. Had been kicked of several schools for fighting. He talked to everyone in the same voice, in the same tone, about the same things, and he would talk as long as someone was listening. He told me he did graffiti. He taught me how to create a tag, and for the only night I ever spent talking to him, I watched him, without a hint of emotion, tell me everything; I felt, in a way, that I understood him better than myself.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “AND I START TO WONDER IF MY NICE LITTLE PILLS IN THE RED DESIGNER CONTAINER ARE STARTING TO CUT OFF MY ABILITY TO RAMBLE”