PUNCHDRUNK THE ANTHEM

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
we become afraid of our own shadows as they sweep over us
like a smallpox blanket but we will not go blindly

we will hang streamers from the rafters in the high school gymnasium of hell

we will paint with our fingers on the skin of our lovers

we will hold their hand as we descend the stairs into our parent’s basement
and this great depression which might be more of a grand canyon

we are armed with our teeth our bones and the best playlist ever made
the will to not will to the powerful powers that be
we know that the past has an ace up his dirty fucking sleeve
so we challenge him to a game of chinese checkers
and the wind blows into the gluten free donut shops
like a zen song like a child who has never seen a television set

men with legs like bicycles
women with wings like gods
the cash register building like the mountains of nepal
sinking slowly into the tarpits of new amsterdam

we were born a cactus patch but whereas you might assume
we would try to splay our arms outward
praying to every single cellular god there is
the truth is we just really want someone to embrace us
and sing us the song of freedom
the one that i heard as a child

rage
rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because it’s a shitty hotel you’ll find yourself in
with dollar store wallpaper and see through toilet paper
with neighbors that scrape at the walls and haunted bedsheets
but the view ain’t too bad if you know what you’re looking at
and they got netflix there, so there is that

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
def
y rul
es
dive into the 3 foot section of the pool of the eyes of the person
sitting right fucking next you to on the bus because you ain’t got no car
you don’t need no car but you do need to take a vacation
and unwind you overwound wind-up bird and you need someone to love
i believe this i believe before anyotherthing i believe
and have a chocolate bar too ya know
because life is short and shit

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because the movies are scary and the movies are depressing indie flicks
but you just might learn a god damn thing or two about yourself
as you stay up all night dancing around your scattered papers
arm in arm with insomnia and mary jane and insomnia and mary jane

because love can coexist with freedom you just have to put in
a great deal of effort if you want to learn to juggle fire
in a suit soaked in kerosene

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
and make your room your empire of confusion and madness
because empires are made to fall and new ones will rise
and those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and then those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and i’m gonna watch it from the rooftops sipping sizzurp with ginsberg
and the ghost of christmas present
and the roof will cave in i’m sure
and i will fall like alice through the miles and miles of bullshit
and when i land it will be at the bottom of a well
in the black night of the soul
and i will rage
smiling
and punch
drunk
into
the
black night
of the soul.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WE CAN EAT YOU NOW”

About these ads

WE CAN EAT YOU NOW

I had 13 new voicemails on my phone. I knew it was time for me to check them. Normally the process of “checking voicemails” for me looked a lot like hitting the number 7 over and over again until my phone indicated that I no longer had any new voicemails. Sure, the occasional message from a friend got lost in the mix, but the sweet justice of not hearing to hear a robot lady voice informing me that it’s urgent and important that I contact them for a business matter far outweighed the cons.

This time around though, I couldn’t delete my voicemail. Each time I pressed 7 the message would just start over again and again:

“This is a communication regarding a debt from – This is a communication regarding a debt from – This is a comm – This is a comm,”

I hit the button to end the call but the message just began again:

“This is a communication regarding a debt from ABC Collections. You have been scheduled for a mandatory hearing regarding a flexible repayment plan on Saturday, July 25, 2019 at 1200 hours at the National Trust Tower at 1400 S River Street in Suite 1213. Please be at least 30 minutes early for your hearing and bringing legal proof of income and two forms of identification. Thank you.”

I knew which debt they were referring to, my student loan debt. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to repay it, it was just that I didn’t have any money. Sure, I was riddled with guilt every time I picked up a new vinyl record or treated myself to a nice lunch with a friend, but I couldn’t give up my sanity or my life to repay this absurdly high stack of money I had borrowed. Maybe the hearing would do me well. Give me a chance to plead my case and let them know that I was trying, I really was, I just needed time; maybe a year or two to get my shit together so I could start repaying my debt. They had to understand. I wasn’t the first person to be in this situation and they did mention a flexible repayment plan.

*****

I arrived at the National Trust Tower a half hour early on the 25th. I felt I’d never seen the building before despite the fact that I drove down 14th Street everyday on my way to work. It rose probably 16 stories off the ground and left an ominous shadow over a large portion of the park that it lurked over.

I entered the building where I was checked in by security. I removed my keys my phone and my wallet and watch and put them in a bin to be scanned as I passed through the metal detector. I had my proof of income, my last paycheck from The Burger Shack tucked under my arm. The security guard was dead behind the eyes as her white gloves patted me up and down. It always bugged me how half-assed the pat down is. I’m not requesting a cavity search or anything but a couple love taps didn’t seem very thorough to me.

“Please regather your items. Elevators are straight ahead of you, sir,”

I did as she said and filtered towards the golden elevator doors along with the great masses of other people, sheep being lead to the slaughterhouse. The doors opened and we all gathered in. I pressed twelve on the elevator door before the continuing rush of people on the elevator pushed me quickly towards the back.

The elevator was balls hot. People coughing and clearing their throats dressed in shirt and ties and blouses, some didn’t even bother to dress up. It was no small elevator either. I guess they’d figured with the traffic they’d be experiencing something similar to a freight elevator was the way to go.

The floors ticked by and the elevator got more comfortable, but very slowly. Lots of folks in lanyards with name badges got off on Floor 10, I’d figured it was an administrative floor or something to that effect.

Now it was just me and one woman in the elevator. She gently cried to herself, I couldn’t figure out why and it didn’t seem right for me to ask why. As the elevator pinged for Floor 11 she glanced back at me and quickly exited. Alone in the elevator I could hear the cables pulling me up. I couldn’t help but think of those cables as a knotted rope and the elevator itself my head caught in its fray.

The doors opened as if they were automated gentlemen welcoming me to the last place on Earth I wanted to be at the moment. Ahead of me was a great long hallway with door after door, all closed.

I began walking down the hall searching for my room number. I glanced down at my proof of income where I’d written ‘1213’ as a reminder to myself. The rooms all had placards stating “HEARING ROOM 1201”, “HEARING ROOM 1202,” and so on until there in front of me was ‘HEARING ROOM 1213.”

I dusted myself off, tucked my shirt in and entered into the room.

It was nothing like what I expected. Where I thought I’d find a waiting room or a warm office, similar to a DA’s office, there in front of me was a giant white space, clinical and echoing. There before me was one empty chair and across the room a long table where a board of professional looking people sat and stared at me blankly.

“Please Mr. Carney, have a seat…” said a woman, her voice carrying through the room. She wore a pink business suit and black stilletos. She was incredibly blonde with an incredibly big smile and a flight attendant tone in her voice that echoed through the hollow room. “We appreciate your punctuality,”

I took a seat as their three sets of eyes pierced me, watching me like some foreign zoo animal they didn’t understand. Their desk was clear, except for one stack of papers that the woman in the middle shuffled through. Looking up I noticed a giant two-armed fan circulating on the ceiling, like a great blade that I half expected to descend upon me.

“For the record, you are in fact Mr. James Douglas Carney Jr., correct?”

“Yes, mam,” I said, the cool air pressing down against my face.

“Did you bring your two forms of identification and your proof of employment and income, Mr. Carney?”

“Yes, I did,” I began to stand to bring them to her.

“No, please Mr. Carney, remain seated. Mr. Jetson, please retrieve Mr. Carney’s documents,”

Mr. Jetson was a big fucker. Probably 6’4” 270 pounds. I had this lurking feeling that that was a big factor in his position here with the ABC Collections Agency. I handed him my Driver’s License, my expired student ID and my proof of income from The Burger Shack.
Mr. Jetson presented the documents to the woman who put on her glasses to assess their validity.

“Very good, Mr. Carney. From here, I would like to go through a line of questioning with you, if you don’t mind. If you have any questions or concerns, please save them for the end of the inquisition,”

“Okay,” I said, my voice cracking slightly.

“Mr. Carney, you have been brought here today concerning your remaining debt of twenty-two thousand, eight-hundred and sixty-four dollars accrued during your freshman and sophomore years at Trenton Community College. Following your exit from their education program, you had a six month grace period allotted to you during which time no payment was due, however, after that time you were put on a payment plan of two-hundred and fifty dollars per month, which you failed to acknowledge for a period of 24 months leading up to the present. Is the preceding information correct, Mr. Carney?”

“Yes, it is,”

“Now I see here, Mr. Carney you are employed by The Burger Shack. Is that correct, Mr. Carney?”

“Yes, mam,”

“What is your official title at The Burger Shack, Mr. Carney?”

“I guess I really don’t have one,”

“I’m showing you make eight dollars an hour at The Burger Shack, Mr. Carney?”

“That’s right,” I said, “Just above minimum wage,”

“Mr. Carney, please don’t veer from the questions I’m asking you, okay?”
This woman was scary. I suspected her of being a kind of Stepford Wife. I half expected there to be a wind-up key in her back.

“Now, let’s get back on subject if we could – Mr. Carney, why have you been neglecting to pay your student loan debt to us here at ABC Collections?”

“Well, honestly. I don’t have the money. When I have the choice between eating and paying my student loan, the first one tends to take priority for me,”

“Have you considered getting a second job, Mr. Carney?”

“I have, and I’ve tried, but no one seems to be hiring, and even if they are, they have been unwilling to work around my schedule at The Burger Shack,”

“Mr. Carney, we’re not here to hear your excuses. The bottom line is your generation seems to have a large issue with accountability. When you take out a loan, you are making a promise to return that money, and your complete disinterest in doing so is beyond disturbing to me. How would you feel if I asked you to borrow twenty dollars and I didn’t pay you back?”

“I don’t have twenty dollars to lend you…”

“Mr. Carney, you are missing the point. You need to take ownership of the fact that you dropped out of college and thus, you have put yourself in this scenario. You have to pay us back,”

“What if I can’t? What are you going to do if I can’t? Sue me for the money I don’t have? Throw me in jail and deny me my horrible fucking life flipping burgers at The Burger Shack?”

“Actually, Mr. Carney, we are going to eat you now,”

I must have misheard her.

“You are going to do what?”

“You have defaulted on your student loans, young man. We have no choice but to eat you,”

“To eat me? Is that some sort of legal jargon for something?”

“No, I’m sorry, Mr. Carney. What I mean to say is we are going to tear off your limbs and eat you,”

“What the fuck? You can’t eat me?! That’s not… what the fuck?!”

“Section 14, Clause B of your student loan agreement states ‘In the scenario the aforementioned signee defaults on their student loan, it is left at the discretion of the lender to take whatever action is deemed most reasonable to ensure fairness in the agreed upon transaction, not limited to, or excluding, execution,”

“I’m getting out of here,” I said, rushing for the door, but as I did it padlocked.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Carney, but we can’t allow you to leave. We’re so very hungry, and you owe us a very large sum of money,”

They rose at their table, as I rushed towards it flipping the table over, their papers flying every which way.

“I never agreed to this!” I said, cornering myself as the three of them lurked all the closer to me.

“Yes, you did, Mr. Carney. Fair is fair. Your word is your bond and you have to understand that sometimes human blood is the cost of a good education,”

The big guy held me down as the other two began to rip my clothes off. I squirmed but it was no use. I felt the blonde woman biting into my stomach as the other man penetrated his teeth into my neck. I saw my blood pouring out all over my naked skin. I felt my heart raging. Looking up above me in excruciating pain, blinding pain, I saw the fan blades spinning still, over and over as the searing pain overtook me, and I slipped into unconsciousness.

*****

Heaven is maybe the wrong word for where we go after we die. If Earth is a Beatles CD, Heaven is like a first edition vinyl of the White Album. What I’m trying to say is Heaven is a lot like Earth in its imperfections, but just a little bit better. There’s no anxiety pills here, you wouldn’t need them. There’s no wars, sure there’s fights, but at the end of the night, we leave them behind us. There’s too much to be grateful for to waste your time with hatred or jealousy. It’s like a good camping trip. Good company and good conversation and a few good beers. There’s no palm trees or clear blue water, at least not in my Heaven. That stuff never was the truth to me.

In Heaven, there’s no danger in the United States Postal Service going out of business. The mailman just comes every day, smiling, because he doesn’t have to do his job. He can stop in the middle of his shift and take a nap if he wants. It will get done when it gets done. Why would anyone deliver the mail by choice? Well, because that’s the whole thing here. They have the choice. No one is forcing you to do anything. There’s no salary, there’s no 401k, there’s no credit check. Autonomy is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I meet up with the mailman one day, and he’s smiling, like I knew he would be. He gives me my letters and I look through them. I got a postcard from my grandfather, letting me know he’s gonna spend a couple more weeks in Mexico up here in Heaven. Says he met a nice woman who is teaching him the true way to dance. I got another postcard from my friend Paulie who is inviting me to come up to his lodge in Aspen in Heaven. Says in Aspen in Heaven it’s always fall and it’s always beautiful. Says he’s got an endless fire going and we can sit around it and drink some whiskey.

My final piece of mail for the day is in a white envelope with just my name on it. I open it up in anticipation and I read it to myself:

“This is a communication regarding a debt from ABC Collections. You have been scheduled for a mandatory hearing regarding a flexible repayment plan on Tuesday, July 28, 2019 at 1200 hours at the National Trust Tower at 1400 S River Street in Suite 1213. Please be at least 30 minutes early for your hearing and bringing legal proof of income and two forms of identification. Thank you.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “BATHROOM STALL…”

BATHROOM STALL AT THE KING SOOPERS ON MONACO AND LEETSDALE

on one wall of the bathroom stall
at monaco and leetsdale
someone took the time
to carve an upside down crucifix into the wall
beneath which they carved
“FUCK GOD. GOD IS EVIL.”

to which another stranger retorted
“IF GOD IS EVIL
THEN THE ONLY TRUTH
IS DEATH”

someone in agreeance
circled the world “DEATH”
and added “EXACTLY!”

another someone put
“THESE PEOPLE NEED GOD IN THEIR LIVES”

and one person
holiest of them all
wrote
“I’M JUST HERE 2 POOP”

Hallelujah. Amen.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WALLFLOWER AT THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE”

WALLFLOWER AT THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE

i sit with my back against the wall
with the boy with head gear braces
and the girl doodling in her notebook

there’s a band up on stage performing
there’s a table nearby with streamers
sometimes i smile when people come by
to refill their neverending punch cup
sometimes i can’t manage the conversation

sometimes i’m watching you out on the dance floor
dancing and smiling and dancing and smiling
the auditorium lights seem to follow you

it eats at me
that i should be smiling with you
that i should be dancing with you
but somebody has got to flower this damn wall

but then it hits me like a fist hitting a locker

for the first time in my life i realize
i’m not supposed to be out on the dance floor
i’m supposed to be up on the stage
giving them something worth dancing for
and showing you why
you should be dancing
with me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “HOT MUSTARD”

HOT MUSTARD

McDonaldsHotMustard

I walked down the way to the neighborhood McDonald’s like I did every day. It wasn’t too far. I was very lucky to live within walking distance of the burger establishment. The day was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. It seemed as if the heavens were smiling down upon me.

I walked into the McDonald’s and saw people all around me. Some were smiling as they ingested their reasonably priced burgers but some of them looked less than happy. I walked to the counter where Jim, a nice young man who regularly helped me with my daily transaction, smiled at me and said

“Hey Al, how are you doing today? Welcome to McDonald’s,”

“Thanks, Jim. I’ll just have my usual,”

“A Big Mac combo?”

“Yeah, super-sized,”

“Well, Al, we don’t do super-sized anymore, but I can make it a large for you?”

“Large is fine,” I said, “I just really like saying ‘Super-Sized’,”

Jim took my five dollar bill and exact change and gave me my receipt which I crumpled and put in my pocket.

“Here’s your cup, Al,”

“Thanks, Jim,” I said, snatching the cup from his hand, I went over to the soft drink dispenser and filled my cup with very light ice and 48 ounces of ice cold Coca-Cola. I grabbed a large lid and a straw. I unwrapped half off the straw and then blowing into the straw, shot the other half of the wrapper into the trash. From there, I went back over to the lobby and waited, my arms crossed for my burger and fresh French fries.

I watched a lady and her son gather their food as they called out her order. She got a chicken wrap with a large French fry and her son had gotten a happy meal with chicken nuggets. The woman guided her son to a booth and they began to eat.

A skinny man who had rung up just as I had entered the McDonald’s came up to gather his four Spicy McChicken Sandwiches. I was marveled that such a skinny guy could eat so much food!

Then I heard them call my order out. BIG MAC AND LARGE FRENCH FRY? I went to gather my lunch and said to the lady behind the counter,

“Excuse me, miss? Can I get some hot mustard to dip my French fries in?”

The woman looked at me sadly with a smirk.

“You know, I’m very sorry, but we don’t have hot mustard sauce any longer. They discontinued it,”

“What?” I said, “There must be some sort of mistake. You see, I get hot mustard sauce everyday to dip my fries into. Are you sure you’re not just out?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, sir. We simply don’t have it anymore.”

Her voice sounded slower each second. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears and my hands shaking. A great red rage began to overcome me as the woman behind the counter looked at me, her eyes filled with terror.

“You have to have some back there somewhere?”

“I’m really very sorry, sir. We are all out,”

“You can’t be all out!” I yelled, “You just can’t be!”

“I could get you some barbecue sauce, sir? The French fries are very good in barbecue sauce?”

“I don’t want the barbecue sauce! I want the hot mustard sauce! I come here everyday!”

It was then the anger overtook me. I threw my tray of food behind the counter and screamed ferociously as a coffee pot was shaken off the counter and crashed onto the floor.

“I want my hot mustard!” I yelled again, punching my fist into the Coca-Cola drink machine and knocking over the lids and straws, the salt and pepper and the little packets of ketchup. Some people began heading for the door, as others out on the patio looked in intrigue. I could feel their eyes on me as great globs of sweat began pouring down my face.

“I come here everyday!”

A manager came out from behind the counter, his hands out in front of him as he said to me,

“Sir, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to need you to calm down. You are being out of line. I’m sure we can solve this in a rational manner or I’m going to have to ask you to leave,”

“ALL I WANT IS MY HOT MUSTARD FOR MY FRENCH FRIES! THAT’S ALL I WANT!”

I felt my hand curl up into a stone fist and saw myself swinging at the manager. Next thing I knew he was out cold, as the rest of the restaurant exited out the door. I began flipping tables, I threw a chair threw the window where there was an ad for a new burger sandwich. I could see the red in my fists. I jumped over the counter and shouted my demands again to them employees. I grabbed a teenaged employee by the red polo and demanded that he find me hot mustard. I threw him down and he crawled out the drive-through window in fear for his life.

“HOT MUSTARD!” I said, “I COME HERE EVERYDAY!” I said, throwing the deep fryer onto the floor as cornered employees screamed in terror. “I DESERVE HOT MUSTARD!” I said. “I NEED HOT MUSTARD!”

I pulled the drawers of burgers out, I swiped the mess off the counter as I lurked closer and closer to the cornered workers.

“It’s not our fault!” they said to me, but I knew better than that. They worked for McDonald’s. They were McDonald’s. They were keeping the hot mustard all for themselves. They looked at me like I was the devil himself, but I knew I was in the right here. The customer is always right. I yelled it at them.

“The customer is always right!” I yelled. I was a hero, standing up for my rights. You can’t just give someone something they love then take it away from them. That’s not fair. I approached them even closer my breaths ugly and harsh now on their faces.

“Please don’t hurt us,” said one brave employee desperately, wearing their McDonald’s employee visor, “Here, here’s a coupon for a free Big Mac combo.”

“Oh, that would be great,” I said, taking the coupon and exiting the McDonald’s. The day really was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. Maybe tomorrow I would go back and try the Sweet and Sour sauce.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “IN REALITY”

IN REALITY

to a friend

look
i’m a single white dude
living in the middle of america
and sometimes i get overwhelmed

i think you have a pretty
valid reason to get overwhelmed
i mean
you work forty hours a week
at a job
that some weeks eats at people
like a disease
and you still manage to
take care of
your two little girls
(who seem to be everything
to you)
and i think that alone
is pretty fucking amazing

if that wasn’t enough
you are out there seeking love
trying to put the spotlight
on a beating heart
during the shit show
that is dating in your
twenties
(probably dating at all)
and you say you don’t even know
how to love someone
but from everything i’ve ever seen
that seems to be all
that you ever do

life throws a lot
at all of us
and it does it
in a way that is anything
but just
but there is a certain
fairness in the fact that
it doesn’t discriminate
it just comes in
out of nowhere
like a tornado
and picks up your nice cottage home
along with any other riff raff
it gets too close to
and throws it down the
street

what i really want to tell you is
when you said that you
feel like a crazy person
who can’t even manage their life
that couldn’t be further from
the truth

in reality
you are an amazing person
who somehow
finds a way to manage
her crazy life
every damn day

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “THE GREAT WAVE OF KANAGAWA”

THE GREAT WAVE OF KANAGAWA

there is sunlight dancing in dust
on the other side of my bed where you could be
where we could be
and be and just truly be
fingers like eyes surveying the horizon
warmth radiating like the birth of a new sun
betweenus no thing and everythingever
we could yin and yang and rock and roll
until we both push out every single stressful breath
left within our sore souls and our clumsy bodies
left to rest beside you resting beside me
(resting beside you resting beside me)
this we could have this we are we are we have always
been and always will be the truth of love
and the desperate desire of skin
to touch the skin of your skin
the cracked paint of your weathered home
legs twisting around mine like unstoppable vines
like restless music through the wall
but you are not through the wall you are
mount fuji (sacred) and i am the great wave of kanagawa
crashing upon you
in this painting somewhere
on the other side of the world
tucked away
behind bulletproof glass

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WAITING ROOM”

DONNIE DARKO

this is a photo of a window. it is intentional bleak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the past and the future
come crashing into my room
like a jet engine
like my name is
donnie darko
like the world can’t just
sit still for a second
like the world is
a 7 year old boy
who just ate a box of
trix cereal and
a bunch of cocaine
and i hear the monsters
through the paper wall
at 9:52 in the
grey morning
i hear the monster mother
yelling at her monster children
to get into their monster minivan
or they’re going to be late
for the day
that none of them look forward to
and if she ever sees me
she will smile
and all of a sudden
she will be as serene as monk
and the children will be silent
but that doesn’t solve my headache
and the truth that makes it swell
so i tinker at the
technological typewriter
and i calculate my odds
of finding a sincere real romantic
and human connection
on a planet
that can’t even wait in line
without tugging ferociously
on the sun’s pant leg
asking
are we there yet
are we there yet
are we there yet
and the sun imagines backhanding
the earth and how gratifying
that would be
but the sun knows that is wrong
and the planetary police
can’t arrest you
for what you stop yourself from doing
and looks like here we go
i should make myself some eggs and toast
i should open the blinds
and let that sun shine down on me
like an interrogation lamp
like an officer’s flashlight
as he asks me have you had anything to drink
and i say to him
i wish

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “AMERICAN CHAOS”

AMERICAN CHAOS

Artwork by Patrick Beery

Artwork by Patrick Beery

one million murderers crash on the eastern shore of an occupied nation
never forget that handshakes were originally a way of indicating that you were unarmed
i guess that makes our ancestors liars and now we have come so far guns blazing swat teams swatting
riots in the streets of little old ferguson missouri
a black boy is dead and a white man of authority shot him down
we’ve heard this story before
will emmett till ever get some rest?
but we’re far too saturated with top ten
tips for improving your garden and top twenty
celebrities making human mistakes to stop and listen to the six gun
shots to listen to the hum be
neath the radio broadcasts
our heads filled with wifi and blue
tooth and wars on the other side of the world we are too damn frozen
to see that we live in the freezer of a cold war
heads on ice american dreams getting frost bite and still
the television plays on and the men in nice suits sitting behind desks
can talk the talk but without legs they may find it difficult to walk the walk but
still our love is buy one get one free our souls are being sold with free
shipping on the raging amazon and to protect and serve
they were meant to protect and serve but somedays it seems
all they do is threaten and order
and cheerios and campbells soup
skittles and arizona iced tea
hamburgers and hot dogs
right and wrong and right and wrong
and the kangaroos in the courtroom
and the elephants overcrowding the room and
right and wrong and black and
white and 2000 television channels as the news
papers burn on the streets as the true grit
journalists squat on craigslist row
and gonzo is just another muppet
and death before dishonor and
ladies first except
when they have
something to say
and the civil war is a cigarette
that never stopped burning and the two
towers never stopped burning and we’re all
afraid of the flames and the flames
spread like wildfire across
the spine of the rocky
mountains as smoke
billows below in denver
and marriage is being
confused with love
and love is being
confused with happiness
and we are locked up
in this fancy restaurant
with an overdraft fee
and we’re cleaning
someone else’s
dirty dishes
to try and pay
the tab
cleaning dirty
dishes to
try and
pay the tab
we’re cleaning
dirty dishes
just to
try and
pay the
tab

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR POETRY BRO”

ARTWORK PROVIDED BY PATRICK BEERY. FOLLOW HIM ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE.