NO POST TODAY…

peace sign #1

…but please, check out some of my recent stuff.

A BEAR IN TOKYO is a short story I wrote about a strange night I had recently.

AMERICAN HONEY I wrote back in 2012. It’s one of my favorite poems.

Have a great seventh of July, and if you can’t, have a fifth of whiskey. ;)

Love,
Brice

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A BEAR IN TOKYO

a factory in denver. we arrived at the manic disco like roided out bulls entering an interstellar china shop. we meandered through the crowd of fairies and monsters
and pushed as close to the alter as we could. all around us faces were crashing together like bangkok cars. there were snake charmers floating up the walls; paid entertainment for the day glow princesses and the queens and kings of the beat. we found our seat and met rabbit who offered to take us with him on his journey but we told him we weren’t big fans of wonderland and were happy just staying where we were, amongst the digital ocean waves and the illusions of heaven. amongst the dirty vibrations and the organic computers of seratonin we hid our beers in the corner where no one would mess with them and we headed out to the dance floor where we swam the technological wavepool.

i was dressed as jack kerouac as usual and she was dressed as bohemian ingalls wilder. there was a group of hissing girls on the dance floor dressed like tim burton mean girls. they danced like sandworms in their black and white striped slinky dresses. fuck-me pocahantas was at the bar ordering a long island iced tea, she asked her boy galactus if he had eaten and he said no he was stuffed from eating planets all day.

i breathed. just took a minute to breathe. i wasn’t used to this much energy. it was a bit overwhelming, like being at a city zoo in a different galaxy. saturn was out on the dance floor spinning her rings and her boy was watching in awe from the sidelines of the space gym. dj gnome was twisting the color of the room so it sounded less red and more blue. i kept breathing, and looking over i realized that i was the luckiest guy in the room, having the company of bohemian ingalls wilder. i asked her how she was doing and she said “fine” like none of this could break her zen. i was so in love. the idea of someone who could meditate at a circus like this was something to admire and something i wanted in my own life. i myself always fluctuate between dalai lama and mad scientist. between cool hand luke and yosemite sam. in a sense, i’m a basket case, but she seemed to be the apples i was looking for to fill the bushel of my psyche.

the red room was spinning. the day glow princess and her royal party hovered over the room looking down at us like electric greek gods. saturn was still spinning her rings. i was getting tired which means i needed to push myself a lot further down the beer spectrum if i had any chance of surviving the evening. i excused myself from boho ingalls wilder and went to the corner where i chugged down three of my cervezas like it was the end of the world party, and for all i knew it was. i felt like i was on the inside of a television. even the walls with all their wiring and weird technology looked like the clockwork guts of a tv. my stomach felt overloaded as i finished the last beer. it was then miss mayor of fuzzytown found me, wearing her official fuzzy sport coat. “hi” she said. “hi” i said. “touch my arm” she said. “why?” i said. “just trust me.” never being one to distrust i placed my palm flat against her forearm and looked into her cosmic empty eyes. i was not attracted to this woman, but it was clear she was attracted to me. why was i so trusting to do what this stranger asked of me? i guess it’s just this writer’s curse: carpe fabula, seize the story. I could never say no to people. “come sit with me” she said. “okay” of course i said. she took me to the next room, less astrological, but far more menacing than the former. the paintings seemed to be changing, mingling with each other. she sat me down with a jester and a man wearing a burglar’s costume. “there must be some kind of way out of here” i said to them, pointing at the joker then the thief, but they didn’t catch on. these were supposed to be the brilliant minds, the enlightened souls, the kind eyes of modern times but it seemed to no one could muster up a damn conversation. i guess at the end of the day we’re all still millenials. we sat there watching act after act of the circus, miss mayor of fuzzytown just kept staring at me and i myself started to feel a bit odd. i knew i had to escape the clutches of this oversized couch. i saw a man, a normal looking young man staring at one of the paintings on the wall; i knew they wouldn’t be offended if i excused myself to go speak with him, so i did just that. he was the aura of normalcy i had been looking for.

i approached him from the side as he stared at a painting of a cow in space and another one of a bear in tokyo. tonight i related to these characters in these paintings. torn from my normal habitat i found myself thousands of miles away from home. i asked him which one he liked more.
“i can’t decide” he said, staring at me. “i want to buy one.” day glow princess had invited me here tonight, and i knew this was her home that these paintings helped pay for – this amazing factory of nonsense, so i went subtle salesman on this unsuspecting cat. “you should buy one” i said vigorously, as to be heard over the roaring music. “these are great.” “i can’t decide” he said again. “i like the bear better” i said. “i think i do too” i said. “maybe i’ll get both.” these paintings were a couple hundred bucks each. i was intrigued that in this room full of lavish bums there seemed to be a wealthy simpleton. “i want to buy one” he said again. “yeah, you said that” i said. “i want to buy one” he said again. i looked in his eyes and thus began my suspicions that this stranger was in fact a robot: with only so many preprogrammed phrases. “where you from?” i asked him. it was time to uncover the truth of it all. “chicago” he said. a robot factory in chicago, i thought to myself, but i couldn’t let him catch on to my feelings. i thought about bohemian ingalls wilder in the next room, realizing i had abandoned a beautiful red riding hood in a room full of wolves. i looked back over my shoulder. the robot man could see i was lost in something. “i’m sorry” i said “what brings you to denver?” “i like to travel” he said, not blinking his robot eyes. “i think i’ll buy one” he said again. “why denver?” i asked, preparing myself for his rant about how weed is legal here and there’s a cultural revolution afoot and how he just wanted to see it for himself “weed, honestly.” he said. i laughed. “yeah… we do have that here i said “chicago is so stuck up sometimes” he told me. maybe he wasn’t a robot after all. “everyone is moving so fast there and it’s almost as if everyone is in a silent battle with each other. denver is just so chill.”

i couldn’t argue with him. i loved this city. always had. it’s like this secret show for one of your favorite bands. all of the intimacy and joy you want and no one else has to know about it, but don’t tell anyone i told you that about denver. “i’m gonna get both” he said. “i think i’m gonna buy them” he said. “you should!” i said “i can grab mallory to check you out?” “i’m not sure if i’m gonna buy them” he said. “alright” i said. i had tried, but it seemed he wasn’t a human nor a robot. maybe an android. i couldn’t be bothered with his android problems anymore. i went back to bohemian ingalls wilder.

surprise surprise a man in ultraviolet briefs and a hugh hefner red robe had found a seat beside boho ingalls wilder. she had those big scared listening eyes as he explained to her the nature of the universe, how we are all one, how there is but one consciousness and she oh so politely took in the lesson, as if she hadn’t heard it all before. “hi” i said to him, politely, i did leave her alone in the room after all “hey i’m rocket” he said to me. of course he was rocket. “nice to meet you, rocket” i said “how do you know everyone?” “i don’t” he said “i was just over at eskimo bar across the street and heard music so i wandered on over here. the factory, day glow princess’s kingdom, had open admission to their events. anyone willing to pitch the few bucks could get in. it was a bit jarring to see these people at a birthday party, who were unaware it was someone’s birthday. rocket went right back to his pontification to boho. boho gave me the help me look. “wanna go grab another beer?” i asked her. “yes” she said.

we went to the bar this time. through the course of the evening i had killed the six pack i had snuck in. “two pbr’s” i said to the octopus bartender. boho gave me a look as the bartender fetched the beers with her tentacles. “what?” i said. “pbr’s?” she said “you hipster you.” “look” i said. “it’s not that i want to be a hipster. it’s just that i’m not rich enough not to be, if that makes sense.” she said nothing. she was one of those quiet ones where every thing she didn’t say could drive you crazy with curiosity.

“what do you say we sneak out back with these?” i asked her. “sounds good” she said. i threw the bartender the total and the best tip i could manage and boho ingalls wilder and i snuck behind a couple curtains, climbed a very unsafe ladder, and made our way up to the rough. i was feeling fairly romantic, and then i felt the midnight wind outside. i snuck up first, so i called down to boho and asked her if she minded. she didn’t mind. of course not. this girl wasn’t one to say no. the romantic man who lives in my heart was break dancing. we sat on the roof top on some wooden crates and we didn’t say much at all. i’d say we stared up at the stars but in the light pollution of denver there weren’t really too many stars to be seen. we watched the cars drive by below and then i looked over at her.

“i’ve got a question for you,” i said, gathering myself, “is this a date?”
she smiled. “a date?” she said.
“yeah” i said “i always do this to myself. i ask girls to go to things with me and i mean it to be a date but i never tell them it’s a date and i never know”
“you always ask girls on non-date?”
“that’s not what i mean. but is this a date?”
“no” she said “i didn’t think of this as a date.” the romantic man who lives in my heart proceeded to die of a heart attack.
“oh” i said, the saddest living man in denver.
“i’m sorry but my heart belongs to someone else” i wanted to think what she said there was stupid, a cheesy way of saying ‘i’m seeing someone’ but there was a sincerity there i knew not to fuck with. her heart really did belong to someone else. had i been trying to trick her into a date with me? why couldn’t i have just said ‘this is a date.’ that’s all i had to say.
“i appreciate you being honest,” i said.
“i try to be honest” she said, “i don’t like the games, you know?”
“yeah, me neither.” i looked up at the sky. “it’s still nice to get away from it all with you up here.” she smiled at me with that brutal sincerity.
“cheers” she said, gesturing her beer neck towards me.
“cheers” i said.

it was strange to think of the monsters lurking and the peacocks peacocking below us. the bass slipped through the ceiling to the roof but barely. everything in me felt like i should be in the mindset of disappointment, but escaped from the circus below, just sharing the company with such a beautiful person left me with very little to not be grateful for.

we winded our way back down the ladder. she took off, giving me the longest, most fearless hug i’ve ever received and i was left with the leftovers of madness. she had vanished. i made a pillow of my jacket and i fell asleep, wondering if i was entering or leaving a dream.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “ALARM CLOCK”

ALARM CLOCK

god damnit!
will you shut up?!
it blares and blares! and blares!
caffeine headaches!
ax to the skull!
i don’t care what time it is!
didn’t request a wake up call!
let me see reality as a dream!
get your foghorn out of my face!

i’m unplugging my internal clocks

life is but one day
where we meander the winding road
between dreams and reality

so stop yelling at me!
you have nothing important to tell me!
one more time!
and i will set this hotel room on fire!

i want to measure my day in miles today
songs on the radio
exit signs
semi-trucks that add up to
nothing really

99 bottles of beer on the wall
this coma is exactly what i want
so i’m pulling both our plugs

alarm clock!
angry nonsense!
let me be.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “AMERICAN HONEY”

AMERICAN HONEY

and it pours down my throat
like jesus molasses
pioneers heading west
towards the belly of the beat
east meets west
but i’m slipping

american honey
how do you dance the way you do?
the way you slide down that fireman’s pole
sound the alarm
calling all cars
this country
is a corvette
making the jump to warp speed
where we’re going
we don’t need roads

american honey
stay the night with me
in a jim morrison dream
we can fight the nightmare hangover
in the musky morning

let’s dance to destruction
a line dance
in a three-dimensional world
a house of cards in space
and american honey
your sweat is so sweet
and you are the last girl we will ever
stay the night with
wake your indian ancestors in their graves
with ghosts songs
and the bump of raves

american honey
your curves mimic colfax avenue
san francisco hills
in a red white and blue bikini
that kills

american honey
dollars hanging on you like a christmas tree
white men flock to you like a drug
the hypnotic way you swing your hips
around the washington monument
as lincoln watches
hard as a rock
dance for me
decay dance
rain dance
acid rain
pounds pounds pounds on the grave
of syd barrett
and the dark side of the moon
is our final frontierland
tomorrowland
fantasyland
adventureland
we always want what we can’t have
american honey
you never give me your money
i only give you my funny papers
and you never let me kiss you on the mouth
never let me touch you
when i tell you i love you
you never hear me beneath the sound
of manhattan traffic

american honey
you burn the back of my throat
like cigarettes
like lung cancer
like crosses in the bible belt
setting free a million white ghosts
in their pointed little hats
and glancing down you say
“everything’s bigger in texas”

american honey
sometimes i want you to be a slow dance
in oklahoma
last call dance whiskey in hand
as you whisper in my ear
that you want to make love
but you’re always snorting coca-cola
in your dressing room
under the bright fluorescent lights
of the hollywood sign
you’re always putting makeup
on the four-headed hydra
of south dakota
applying red #40 lipstick

you dance like television commercials
and big blockbuster movies
american honey
you always sneak out in the middle of the night
it’s always hide and seek with you
never spin the bottle
i find you in crack-cocaine alleyways of brooklyn
and tucked in the spaces between the green scrolling
billboards of wall street
but i could never find your soul

buried with hoffa
and the american dream

oh where oh where can she be?
oh my darling
you were lost and gone forever
dreadful sorry

american honey
you tell me you feel like ratso
as alcoholic sweat pours down your face
on a bus to florida
and i tell you everything is gonna be alright
your eyes are doing ringling brothers backflips
and you’re eating yourself alive
like cannibalistic polar bears
your toenails are chipped like the shoulders
of politicians
hidden under shoulder pads
like american sports teams
and i wish i could have seen you dance one more time
but you’re dying on me
your knees shake like east coast earthquakes
that we all feel the tremors of
don’t you go dying on me, american honey
i’m in love with your blue eyes like frank sinatra
and your red hair like lucille ball
your white skin and the way your house always
smells like your grandmother’s cooking

american honey
twenty-one gun salute for you
america’s sweet heart
beating no more
i think about you sometimes
in the white of night
when the clouds creep over the grand canyon
like an american flag over an empty grave

hooker with a heart of gold
frankenstein’s monster with betty davis eyes
and we created you
and all of edison’s electricity
couldn’t bring you back to life
all of carnegie’s steel
and all of ford’s men
and we still
couldn’t put you back together
again

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “OH I GOT A DEMON”

POEMS ABOUT AMERICA

ginsberg uncle sam

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:

America
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.

MERICA!

Love,
Brice

 

OH I GOT A DEMON

 

oh i got a demon
and that is a fact
and this demon won’t stop
clawing my back

oh i got a demon
and this demon just does
whatever its heart desires

from breaking windows
to starting fires

from tearing down boundaries
to putting up walls

i got a demon
yeah i got a demon

oh i got a demon
and i named him frank
i figured he’d stick around
oh i got a demon
and if i’m not careful
he’ll tear me into the ground

i got a demon
and no reason for livin
this demon is takin
but boy, he ain’t givin

i’m stepping outside on the good days
i’m staying inside on the bad
i’m sending devotion to all my past lovers
i’m devotionally married to sad

i’m carryin my groceries
i’m carryin my crosses
i’m carryin my sore wins
and more my sore losses

because
i got a demon
and no reason for livin
this demon is takin
but boy, he ain’t givin

this demon i leave him home some days
i leave him some days, it’s true
but i’ve got him with me wherever i go
cause i don’t want to give him
to you

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “KICKIN IT”

KICKIN IT

mimosas and screwdrivers and
white boys and white girls
and mad beats and crazy raps
and just kickin it on a
sunday afternoon

scrambled eggs and fried
tomatoes and head buzz and
good times and light shining in
from the cracked blinds
as we’re kickin it on a
sunday afternoon

bass vocals and
beats dropping and
new rhymes and moments of
embarassment and phili
sophical debate and
we were just kickin it
on a sunday afternoon

we should call ourselves
space monkees
no we should call ourselves
the sanitation department
nah we should call ourselves
dharma bums
no elevator music
i like that
elevator music
whatever
let’s just keep kickin it
on a sunday afternoon

how many damn drinks have we had
and oh my god i’m faded and
you should drop a snare on that
and let me run through that one more
time and just a bunch of brilliant
idiots sitting around making
mad beats and crazy raps
drinking mimosas and later on
screwdrivers and the sun peaks in
and the clouds float through the room
on a sunday afternoon

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “HAVE YOU EVER ENTERED THE DIAMOND EYE OF THE NIGHT?”

HAVE YOU EVER ENTERED THE DIAMOND EYE OF THE NIGHT?

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

have you ever entered the diamond eye of the night
when particles of light float around your home
in the dead twilight of silence and you are left at last
to contemplate why your mind and your heart have decided
to always dance this dance?

have you ever entered the very soul of the human cocoon
sat in a room alone with a book and a cup of humble tea
or maybe across a chess board from a mind more brilliant
and taken in the breaths the pulsating pulses between
the words and the music and the humming of the refrigerator
but felt nothing but raw honest purpose?

have you ever awoken from an eternal slumber to find yourself
naked and hungover and lost in post-beligerant confusion
looking into the mirror at your hair grown manic grown spastic
and you find your keys in the freezer but you can’t seem to find
your psyche anywhere?

have you ever knelt before gentle giants that put their hands out to you
grab the stars from the sky breaking constellation chains and they put
those stars into a big woven apple basket and collect them and
they hand one to you and you just continue to kneel and don’t know what to say
but your song is just the word ‘grateful’ again and again?

have you ever apologized for something you didn’t do wrong?
have you ever done the less fun thing because it meant so much to someone?
have you ever had a conversation with a mad man who believed the system
the system man it’s all just the system and the government and do you take
this bus often but seriously we’re all being fucked and part of you thinks
this person is fucking nuts but another part of you thinks
maybe he’s right and i’m the crazy one?
have you ever sacrificed a night of sleep for a beautiful girl
in the back of a 1995 honda civic with a manual transmission
and a broken window?
have you ever walked through hot ashes to get a gallon of milk?
have you ever stepped outside of your little shack on the side of a mountain
and realized that you are hanging upside down?
have you ever read the koran, the bible, the diamond sutra
in the eyes of someone who wasn’t you?

have you ever realized that we are each and every one of us
a thousand watt lightbulb bursting slowly in a dark room?

nevermind.
sorry if i got a bit carried away back there.
whoops.
oh me oh my.
i just can’t help myself.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “ENNUI”