A SELF-ANALYSIS

some days i leave my arms at home
to give other people the chance to show me
how to conduct a symphony

i am an owl in many ways
but most of all the way i like to be alone
at night
staring out my window
sitting on my tree branch
waiting for the field mice to come to me

when i look at the hairs on my legs
i see a thousand tiny trees and i think about
the day each seed was planted
i think about the way i am so very large
because i am one billion things so small

i have a hard time with spiders
because i don’t want to kill them and
i know that i am ultimately unimportant to them
but i feel them crawling up my leg in bed
and when i look they’re never there
but my vulnerability is sometimes counter-intuitive
to my survival instinct
there is a certain amount of acceptance of death
that comes along with trust

i refill ice trays in the freezer like a madman
like some great fleshy robot filled
with a singular algorithm to make sure there is never
one moment where this house will be without ice
i don’t drink enough water

in the middle of the twilight i talk to ghosts
they carry all these stories about regret and war
and i’m just trying to sing myself
to sleep with songs of faith and renewal
but they clean their guns on the edge of my bed
and sometimes i like to swim
on top of their uneasy oceans

i papercut my finger
on my contract to myself sometimes
and when the blood begins to run
i put it beneath the cold water faucet
and watch as it pours down the drain
and sometimes the water rises
and the sink fills up and the bathroom floods
until i’m underwater in my apartment
scuttling along like a crab
on the warped wood floor
but i do not drown i sleep best in rip tide
i dance in disaster

sometimes i fall asleep to radio static
there is a room so quiet you can hear your blood
in your veins and the silence will drive you mad they say
i talk so loud about how good i am at silence
how american it is to always know what to say and
that’s the thing i think i’m an auditory citizen of the world
until it gets quiet and i can hear the national anthem reminder
that i don’t know how to sight read a page of rest symbols

i dance like i am protesting dancing
like if i flail my arms enough they’ll call it satire

when i dance with women i follow their hips
and pretend i am so keen to the difference between
control and influence
maybe i should take a class or two

sometimes i get stuck in the middle of a poem
and i don’t know how to end it
sometimes i’ll get real cute
and just throw out a one-liner like something
oscar wilde would say at a cocktail party
but sometimes i’ll just take a minute to be in it
i’ll walk around the poem like an empty apartment
opening the closets looking for clues about
the person who lived here before
and sometimes i’ll find that there’s nothing but
wire hangers in the closet
or sometimes i’ll run out screaming
chased by skeletons

not tonight.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

I DON’T REMEMBER WRITING THIS

i hit the bottle and punched the forest
and then bam it came pouring out
like niagara fucking falls
verse after verse of subjective majesty
it came pouring out
tears to my ears
it just ran rampant across the page
like a street dog through suburbia
and i loved it
a snowstorm in a warm winter
a drastic makeover to my soul
i call her elvira
you can call her whatever you want
it’s just a god damn soul
the point is
pouring out
like niagara falls
crazy kerouacian
bordeline ginsbergian
not to compare
just the same amount of i don’t care
it came pouring out
smoke and whiskey
lies new religion
like pure ecstasy
like something to stick on your tongue and treasure
and will it happen again?
when the yellow morning finds me
will i be radiant red
or blue blue blue
in the face face face?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

40 THIEVES

up to my neck in shark infested waters
lost wandering under street lamps
bare feet on jagged rocks
hands out parallel like i’m ready to be crucified
winds shake me like a powerful sermon
and i’m lost in the gospel of the madness

the kind of blurry vision that glasses can’t fix
the blood runs through the bandaids
i’m trying to balance on the sharp edge of a clock hand
everywhere i drive it seems to be midnight
and the street signs are missing and the shops are all sleeping
i’m running on empty i can hear my car dry heave up the gravel

the red light of the cameras are all lit
i’m sitting at a stop light lost in time but someone is watching
i am all skeleton and wooden windchime
i am the ghost hands on the player piano
broken. stuck on the same three notes
and just as i go to jerk the wheel i hear it all around me

the conversations
the ones that we shuffle through the white noise to get to
i watch as my stupid humanity echoes into your mouth
and it’s okay. really i promise it’s all okay.

this world is built on love and dream and netflix
so i promise you this – it is all okay
and thank you for that
seriously. thank you for that

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

DEAD RABBIT

i found a dead rabbit
in the backyard of my soul

i took a minute to take it in
the sun beating down on the animal
surrounded by flies

and when that too passed
i took a spade and carved a space for it
in the ground

i gave it a funeral
where i remembered its rabbit life:

running across suburban roads
digging underground tunnels
i reminisced about its rabbit lovers
and its abandoned children

and then i put it into the ground
covered it with the earth
and it was gone

i thought about the worms in the ground
feeding on its protein
i thought about how it would decay
and eventually disappear
as would the worms as well
as would my very thought of it
and this funeral
and this notion that my soul is safe from death
when the truth is i am always burying rabbits
in the backyard of my soul
and at night i lay on that familiar patch of dirt
and i count the stars that i will never have to bury

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

A Call for Support

Hey guys,

I recently put in an application to volunteer time each week to chatting with people on a crisis website i.e. folks contemplating suicide, struggling with depression and other mental health issues, or just looking for someone to talk to. This is me reaching out asking you to help me reach my goal of $250 to help pay for my training. Any donation and any share is more than appreciated. Thank you all for your time and helping me to have this opportunity to give back to those in need.

To donate click HERE.

“IMAlive is the world’s first virtual crisis center. It is the world’s first crisis center where 100% of the volunteers are trained in crisis intervention. In the first year since the launch IMAlive has helped thousands of people in crisis.”

If you yourself are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can find more info here.

threehundredmillionmilesperhour

and i jump into the car and i start driving
and i’m driving onehundred-onefifty-twohundredthousand
miles per hour through the swerving mountain roads of my skull
the river bends beside me the sun beats down on me like it ever
had a chance of stopping me but i will not stop my foot stuck
down on the accelerator i push through endless tunnels and turns
upside down and rightside up again i move through time like a bullet
freed from the chamber i move through time like an escaped prisoner
for i know not where i’m going but the thrill of the speed hits my gut
like a pot shot and i keep going and i think about the past rolling
down green hills of my childhood and kissing girls behind garages
i think about the giant hersheys kiss i buried in the playground lot
and i wonder what ever became of it if a giant chocolate tree ever
grew from the ashes and i think about being lost and how happy that was
not knowing where i was going in the halls of my high school and
the trees blur around me on the road i think about how beautifully blurry
i must be to them and the trees they keep coming they tally like marks
on prison walls of my past mistakes as i dive through water and come up
the other side threehundredmillionmilesperhour and i shoot into the stratosphere
and look down at the vastness of the grand canyon i look down at the
sheer length of the great wall of china and sometimes i think maybe i
am the great wall of china protecting my dynasty of scattered pages and
i look in my rearview mirror and i watch my face writhe into the faces of
everyone i’ve ever met and i watch as my skin goes dry and wrinkles form like
mountains at the sides of my eyes and this is what happens when you go this fast
and i swerve to miss the memories of my half-hearted friends crossing the road
and i barely miss them and it’s still ups and downs always these ups and downs
and sometimes i’m climbing for miles and sometimes they are one after another
as the lights blur around me like warp speed and all i hear is the voice of
my mother warning me to be careful and i hear my own voice like a howl at the
moon and i adderall amphetamine jukebox chaos roar at death who chases me
in a black ferrari but i am too fast for him and he is distracted by his own
arrogance as i am by mine and i look in my rearview mirror again and i see
that i myself have become death black cloak and dark star face and i
see an approaching crossroads and i see the shadow of something standing there
and i yell for it to move but it doesn’t move and i’m drawing closer so i slam
on my brakes as the screams i’ve held so tight for one thousand years escape
from my rubber tires and out into the echos of the mountains around me and the
shadow draws closer and my car comes to a stop and my adrenaline becomes benzadrine
as my eyes focus to see you, beautiful tall-hearted woman, standing before me
holding a sign that says slow down and we stay here still for quite a while before
you come up to my driver’s side door and i see your eyes for the first time
simultaneously still and still moving at threehundredmillionmilesperhour into my
frantic heart and you say scoot over i’ll drive for a bit and we travel down a
scenic road into the fiery leaves of aspen of your love where we go slow enough
that i can see as the fiery leaves bloom and as they fall to the ground letting
the wind catch their fall so when they hit the dead ground it’s not so bad.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

SALT

i won’t
tell you not to
cry
but take
your salt water
and make
it an ocean
and chop down the fences
around your
summer home heart
and make a
boat
and sail to me
sail
to wherever if
not me
than sail into the sun
sail into
dreams that you’ve had
or dream
of the dreams you’ve yet to
dream
because there are planets in the vastness
of your rattling rib cage
and there
are planets
in the vastness of each breath
you swallow
and each you return to fill the space
you left behind
and each penny on the ground
is a child
waiting to be born
we think our thoughts and they kind of
swish around like mouthwash
for a minute
there
and
then when we’re done we spit them
out
into the great rusty pipes of the world
and these baby crocodile ideas
get into the
sewers and in
the sewers they grow into great alligator magnum opus
transcontinental hands held high
in celebration
of not being hate
of not being disappointment
of being the dot beneath the question
mark and not the windy road
that leads the way
and we are not toy soldiers
nor masks nor silent
we are amphitheater
we are starlight and music and unintentional
intention
uninvented invention
the dew that drips from our tongue
trapped in teeth
forced to send carrier pigeons
except when we lower the draw bridge
and let in the inevitable sensation
of another
in one moment of pure recklessness
we invite in waves of sensation
our lighthouse beams
guiding them to the shores of the future
which rest in our hungry bellies
where the salty ocean of our tears
always resides

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

KEN’S LAKE

somedays i’m amazed with how much peace i’ve found in my life
there is a rhythm to cooking eggs in the morning
to turning the shower head against the wall to avoid the shock of the water
to listening to morning music while i eat the eggs alone in my living room

there is a brightness to morning that can’t be mimicked by anything
i fall in love each night with the headlights that slide along my bedroom ceiling
i am grateful for the whistle of a teapot
i am grateful for the slow and simple in this long and languid life
i am grateful for your liquid sunshine faces, for your moonlight sonata

it’s okay to be a heavy rock at the bottom of a river
the white rapids will paint stories on your freckled back

if you’re feeling lonely
there’s a missed opportunity in there
to let a stranger into your home
sometimes that’s what it takes
when family is too familiar
and friends echo on the other side
of the invisible wall you add stones to
leave your door wide open
and see who the wind blows in

this poem is hard to write
because right now i just am
there is no war in my chest
there is an armistice in my arms
and i can still feel my hands push through
the reflections of clouds
on the thick water
of ken’s lake

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015