I DON’T KNOW

be the savior of my religion
be the hand beneath my pillow
be the paperweight on my papers in the wind
be the kiss that beats my alarm clock

i’ll be the dust on your stage
i’ll be the canary to your coal mine
i’ll be the detour to your house
i’ll be the fire to your attic

we’ll be until we can’t
we’ll move like wind ahead of hurricanes
we’ll dance like we’re drunk
in my parent’s basement

then you’ll be the ghost under my stairs
then you’ll be beneath my flowers and my letters
then you’ll be the flowers that rise to your grave
then you’ll be cumulonimbic swan songs

then i’ll be with you amongst the madness
then i’ll be swimming beside you like two halves
of a pair of scissors piercing through paper chaos
then i’ll remember the way we felt

i’ll remember the way we felt

then i don’t know
i don’t know
i don’t know
i don’t know

we’ll make it up as we go along.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “THE WALL AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE”

About these ads

THE HANDS THAT REACH FOR WINTER

the hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the hands that reach for winter
the nights that reach for pain
the guns that reach for murder
the fire burns the same

the beds that burn for lovers
the streets that turn like time
the art of stabbing in the back
the acidity of lime

the words that clasp like thunder
the planes that land unharmed
every righteous number
that we shoot into our arms

the man from california
the woman from d.c.
every foreign victim
from sea to shining sea

comforter of angels
chancellor of drugs
loving heart of death now
now the death of love

brilliant manifesto
child in the gutter
orphan military
absent-minded mothers

the sermon on the mount
the dusting of the crops
the clicking of the gears
the roller coaster drops

we fall
and we fall
and we fall
some more

we dig our graves
and dance with death

we talk like
virgins

we walk like
whores

we eat
until
there’s nothing left.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “HAIKU #1″

02.21

0221

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(the etiquette of anger.)

you move like tarantulas across the ocean floor
you take love from my veins and i beg you to take more
you twist and you shout
you twist and you shout

you’re a catalyst for nighttime and a beast in the sack
you’re raging in my covers and your covered in smack
you’re dying for the grit of the gravel
we’re all dying for the grit of the gravel here

come inside my house with me
come inside my house with me

you’re turning my stomach like battery acid
i’m leaning on your fencepost til it falls to the ground

you leave me sore on the everywhere
you kiss the wound with salt on the rim
you go through men like a chain smoker
you exit the building like you committed a murder
but when you enter
you come crawling across the floor of my bedroom
forever the etiquette of anger
forever the etiquette of anger

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.22, THE NEXT ENTRY IN THE 02.2013 PROJECT

02.2013 is a twenty-eight day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

CIGARETTE

you’re home late one night
sitting on the couch
and you’ve had a stressful day
and you don’t have a plan for the evening
but you jump in the car
and you drive down the street
to your local seven eleven
where the nice man
behind the counter asks you
what he can get you
and you say
can i get a pack
of
marlboro
red
one-hundreds
and he reaches for the box
and he sets them on the counter
and maybe he asks to see your i.d.
and you grab a white lighter
and he rings you up
as across the register screen flashes
MARLBORO 5.39
unless of course
you are a camel person
in which case you see
CAMEL 5.39
if you smoke turkish royales
because everyone knows
those are the best
and you sit in your car
and you roll down the window
and you smack that pack
of cigarettes against the dashboard
and you smack and you smack
packing those cigarettes
in ritual
beautiful american ritual
and you undo that gold string
like you are undressing
a beautiful hooker
and you open the lid
and you pull off the front wrapper
and you blow on the nicotine sawdust
and there before you
are twenty
pristine
white cigarettes
and you take one out
and you flip it over
and that’s your lucky cigarette
and you take that lighter
and you use your car key
and you rip off the safety
and you stick the cigarette
into your mouth
and you turn on your car
and you roll down the window
and you take in
the very first puff
of a pack
of twenty cigarettes
as the little bit of wrapper
with nothing in it burns
and there is fire
at your beg and call
at the end of
your cigarette
and you hold the smoke
in your lungs
and you let it out
and a cloud of white
sneaks past your lips
and out the window
into the night
that doesn’t feel so lonely now
and you put the car in reverse
and the window is down still
and the wind blows
and you put the car into drive
and you’re driving back home
and you’re taking another drag
and you let it out
and watch it roll out the window
behind you
out into the world around you
and at the stop light
you don’t look over
but the car beside you
has no choice
but to note
that you are smoking
and you turn your stereo up
just a little
and you feel like a bad ass
and the light turns green
and cigarette-in-mouth
you take off
a little faster
than the cars around you
and you get to your place
before you finish your cigarette
so you sit for a minute
you and the radio
and you watch
as the paper wanes
if there’s words on the side
as the words burn away
you make something disappear
and you feel the buzz
your headache is gone
you are lighter
a little bit dizzy
a little bit high
you care a little less
you eat your stress
and it burns a little more
and it burns a little more
until you’re left with
the butt of a cigarette
and you throw it on the ground
and you grind it with your foot
and you are a little taller
your pocket filled with a box
of nineteen more cigarettes
and you think to yourself
i’ll do this again sometime
and maybe you do
and either way
you’re right back on your couch
right where you were before

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CHESS”

I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING

i am an apartment building
way too new to look so old
the grass in my front yard
grows ancient and unkempt
it is manic vicious refuses to be cut
it climbs my stoop
where angry looking children
play dice games and punch each other
as hard as they can

my front door is red
you can see it from down the street
it sings like it wants something
it is trying to fill the unoccupied spaces
in my body

there are plenty of vacant spaces left within me
squatters decorate the rooms with their presence,
their knick knacks their petty sentimental garbage
and i’ve grown to cherish what they leave inside of me
if only temporarily

in the room of my head
there is a jazz club with a roof garden
the walls are rich thick wood
and the view is spectacular
the whole city is technicolor after a rainstorm from there

the jazz club is always kickin busy on the weekends
women in breathing black dresses sway to the wind blowing through
pulled along by men in nice suits with fancy hats
who know how to swing dance
they all appreciate the bass player
the way he tugs at his strings in the shadows
unseen but resonating in the blood of the party
the music is rarely driven by the words
it is all just tasteful chaos in here
on the best weekends the ghost of charlie parker comes
and plays his saxophone like he died doing that

the weekdays at the jazz club are hungover and dreary
the tables are messy, the help keep their hands full
clearing off the half full half empty wine glasses
they scrub the scuff marks out of the floors
they water the plants and they see the city around me
in the morning, when its ugly birthmarks are exposed
but they all find it beautiful and it is, just the same

in apartment number 303
there is a mad man, a painter, an artist
pacing like he, pacing like he, pacing like he
can’t finish his painting, he’s stuck, he can’t do it
he cringes in the empty corners, he holds his shins
he inspects the flecks of color on his denim jeans
he is neurotic, useless, talking to his easel and he
is lost, distant, unavailable, phone turned off, mailbox full
he has learned the art of not calling back credit card companies
he stares out windows like the world is staring in at him
he looks around paranoid for the telescopes and the spies
that probably aren’t there, but you can’t be too sure
he heard a crackle on the phone line, he keeps his chain lock on
and he has been known to play music to drown out the madness
of his babblings from the twisted ear listening in
he still hasn’t thought about his painting

in apartment 207
there’s a mother and a father with a brand new baby girl
and a jealous little boy who had to realize
there is a small possibility he is not the center of it all
they rock the little girl asleep and the boy goes out to the patio a lot
he watches the woman draining her soaked sheets the floor below
sometimes he’ll catch the rambling painter creating smoke above him
he looks out at the city like it isn’t real
like it’s something he made up to pass the time between now and then

the mother and father put the kids to bed at nine
the boy just lays awake restless in his dark bed
while the father puts a record on, gently places the needle
and him and the mother dance on yesterday’s newspaper
so they don’t spill wine on the rented carpet
they are careful not to wake their children with their need to love

the architect who designed this building must have been on drugs
there are staircases that don’t go anywhere
and there are attics where there should be basements
there are furnace rooms where there should be janitor closets
and there is this constant creaking
like the floors aren’t going to last much longer

in apartment 808
the bass bumps at inappropriate hours of the night
there is a black poet who lives there
who hums om to the radio until the frequencies pour through him
and he releases onto the white page of america
a cataclysmic inspired verse of devastating honesty
a drum beat manufactured from pieces of the artist soul
and held together with the glue of audacity
he carves his letters deep into the paper
in all caps with the taste of jaeger biting the ink

sometimes in the middle of the night
ghosts bang on his door, claw at the wood, moan in anger
but he never answers them, he just puts his headphones on
and sinks into the weight of horn-honking reality

in apartment 102
there is a 17 year old girl who ran away from home and lives alone
her boxes are half-unpacked and the rancid air is half-baked
as absurd as it sounds, she is building a tree in her windowless apartment
she is teaching it how to not need to be watered
but how to drink what is within you
she has a doll that she is teaching how to be a lady with your legs uncrossed
and how to love yourself more than anyone else ever could
because nothing is ever as unpredictable as someone else’s heart
she drew a painting of a window to hang on her wall
to feel like she can see what is outside of her room
there are mirrors all over her apartment, though she never looks in them

this building is not young
it has its history
there are plenty of people
who have been buried
beneath the floorboards
there is not really anything
to get bloodstains out of carpet

the ghosts they meander where and when they want to
they have no conception of daylight moonlight
they are not being afraid of being seen
they have learned that there is a beauty to be invisible
there is a certain power that comes with being dead
they mostly dance with one another
the hard part for them is always letting go
when the music stops, when that great something
evicts them from my apartment building

the wallpaper in the halls is peeling
the tenants take their hands and try to push it back up
but it wants to fall
reveal that beneath repetitive floral patterns
is porous walls that haven’t breathed in centuries

there is a great coat rack in the foyer
that will hold the hats of strange male guests
and the secrets of lonely old-fashioned women
it will hold the hands of crying honesty
and it will put your coat on your shoulders when you’re cold

in apartment 719
there is a couple that only leaves to let out the dog
to fetch the paper that they never read and to
buy the groceries that they’re so sick of buying
and they fight like the room had poisoned them
and they yell like they hoped someone would hear
the floor is broken dishes, the living room
is an out-of-business wedding chapel where they
look through old photographs that are starting
to not look like them anymore

in apartment 117
there is a back door that a tenant leaves unlocked
and on cold city nights, a couple sneaks in
and they lay on the bed that doesn’t have any sheets
and they take each other’s clothes off with their teeth
and they stare at each other naked and the talk to each other naked
and they find that after the roar of the heat of their sex
after they roll around on someone else’s bed
they find that they only want to stare at each other’s eyes
blinking and watching them dilate like ecstatic black holes
they leave scratches on each other’s backs
sometimes they write things in each other’s skin
“i would have kissed you while the twin towers fell”

sometimes they lay on their backs and watch the fan blades turn
in the heat of the summer they let open the back door
and they don’t worry about getting caught
because they haven’t really done anything wrong

the tenants change, the rooms get better then worse
the landlord mostly keeps out of the building
except for an occasional late night call
where he shows up with a flashlight and a wrench
and a midnight hangover to fix the frozen pipes

everyone shares the same washer and dryer there
everyone pays the rent as late as they possibly can
everyone knocks on someone else’s door at some point

i am not a model home
filled with hypnotic real estate agents
thick wallets yapping their mouths up and down
and little pieces of cheese pierced by toothpicks

i am not a suburban ranch style home
with sparkling floors and one family that i hold dearly

one of these nights
one of my tenants will be drunk and reckless
passed out in oblivion on some shitty couch
they will forget they turned the burner on
the hot stove will set fire to the walls
i will burn down and those who occupy me
will flee in quick fast lines
but once they are safe
they will turn and watch me go
taking with them what they can

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO

READ “WAKA”

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”