CITY OF BONES

i live
in the city of
bones

the city
where the salt of
the earth
and the great heat
of fire
have met
dancing together in
the middle of
america

i don’t know
when i got here
and i don’t know
when i leave
time is hopelessly
against me
but i do know
that this is the
place that i find myself
when the well dries up
and the other cities
just point and laugh
at me

i live
in the city of
bones

i am the
great pharaoh
of the city of
bones

i am
lonely and delicate
flower
sipping water
from the poison
soil
trying to grow
my way into your
american heaven
in the city
of bones

i am lost
and worn down
and soldier
to nonsense
and the answer
to dry echoes

i am vultures
stalking from up
above
and angels claiming
sanctuary
away from the
city of bones

i am hallelujah
of vast, radiant and solo
and eternal sidewalk
and red rock
and an equal right
to death
and to live
but crawling
knees and elbows

i am
the city of
bones
and it is
me
and the ebola
of silence
and the cancer
of the
wind
but still
when the sun hits me
i beam it right back
at it
and some days are tequila
and some days
are bad tequila
and some days
are too dry
and too hot to leave the house
but here i am
king
of the
city of bones

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “DRUNK AT LEELA’S”

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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”

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”

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”

DIGITALLY MASTERED PHOTOGRAPHS

you can have your big birthday bashes
your clam shell tubs
your heated saltwater pools
your easy-bake ovens in your robin’s egg blue
nurseries

you can have your five-course-meals
and your ivory pianos that go unplayed

you can have your da vinci veneers
and your exclusive yoga resorts
your thirty-thousand television channels
and your personal foreign masseuse

you can have your granite stone lazy susans
and your egyptian cotton table runners
your chandeliers from western somalia
and your china cabinets filled to the brim
with your tiffany blue diamond encrusted
china cups collecting dust
await earthquakes that will be covered by your
super-fantastic fear insurance

you can have your rhinestone dresses
and your tailor-made suits
your neiman marcus children
and your norman rockwell dog

you can have your summer homes
your recreational vehicles
your collection of glorious horses
your large plots of empty land and
your enviable glamping adventures
amongst the itinerated outdoors

you can eat every last page
of your skymall magazine
on your personal jet plane
flying thousands of expensive miles
above my lowly head

you can bury yourself in egyptian tombs
or have your ashes spread into the playa del carman
as dolphins backflip for you
in honor of your nancy meyer movie life
let the fireworks celebrate your incredible ability
to make phone calls and place orders and command people
to your very whimsy with your nepotist magic wand
and your mary poppins purse
but i am no dolphin
and i will not flip for you

i will be here
in my tin can
with my spaghettios
and my poetry
and smiling
the way you can only appear to
in your digitally mastered
photographs

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “AMERICAN MEDITATION”

AMERICAN MEDITATION

driving home from the fight
speeding down 285
blaring good old fashioned american rock and roll
drowning my worries into night headlights

i could close my eyes in a silent field
i could breathe in and out slowly
i could focus on my blood flowing through my veins
but this is america
so i’m at home watching the god damn television
and i’m at home drinking the god damn whiskey
and i’m definitely not gonna call her

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “EMERSON BRIDGE”

EMERSON BRIDGE

there’s a tree outside my window blowing in the wind and today it’s hard for me to not see it as a blessing
that amongst the concrete the astroturf the drywall the linoleum there is still a hint of life
leaves blowing in the wind meandering around complex apartment complexes and fences where no fences once were
across the forty mile per hour street is a motionless park a boddhisattva named for some white dude
but it was a boddhisattva long before that and it will remain one when the vines cave in the sign – the flag
driving down the highway yesterday in my four chairs on wheels we went under a bridge in denver named emerson
and there was not a tree a bush a river a flower to be found nearby but the road did lead to a whole foods for what that is worth
somewhere in the ground is emerson as trees are chopped down to form the pages of his books and the purists fight against ebooks
and things are getting a bit confusing as teddy roosevelt barricaded the national parks with a shotgun in his hand
and i guess there’s a balance to everything i think as i type this poem on my wooden desk next to my wooden guitar
and my wooden furniture and we are nature too but we yell at wild animals for sneaking into our homes as the bark at us
for doing the same like the souls of native americans as we drive around colorado with bumper stickers that say “native” on them
and we were driving past emerson bridge down i-25 to 6th avenue and 6th avenue to i-70 through city traffic and then
we dove into the mountains because we were all starting to get cabin fever from sitting in the house all day and we needed
to get out so at six p.m. i ran around the house and i said to kathryn hey do you want to go for a drive into the mountains
and i said to logan hey do you want to go for a drive into the mountains and they said yes yes yes can we please
and we hopped in the car with our hiking boots on and a big jug of water and we listened to john denver and bobby dylan
as we moved along the mountain road beside the river like a crying child walking with their grandparents and we moved
at sixty-five miles per hour deeper into the rocky mountains and we rolled the windows down until we had to admit that
we were getting too cold and our ears were popping from the altitude so we rolled the windows back up and we turned on the air conditioning
the man-made wind and we listened to the beatles sing ob-la-di life goes on and we listened to the beatles sing there are places
i remember all my life though some have changed and i couldn’t stop thinking about emerson bridge as logan sniffled from his allergies
and kathryn had her feet out the window and people tried to cut me off like they were in a rush to get out of the mountains and i
just didn’t understand how you could be in a rush to get out of the mountains and i thought once again about emerson bridge and
about john muir getting mad when they built a chapel in yosemite because why would you need to put a church inside of a church
and we listened to the beatles singing about the fool on the hill watching the sun go down and we heard bobby dylan reminding us
that the answer is blowing in the wind and reminding us that we are his friend and i thought once again about emerson bridge as
we went through the eisenhower tunnel and we tried to hold our breath but we couldn’t but we tried we tried to defy our nature
but breathlessly we were reminded that you cannot defy your nature because your nature will win and weeds are always growing
always tearing the foundations of buildings to the ground as they build more buildings on top of the weeds and we live in the
most beautiful of hypocrisies we all live beneath emerson bridge and when we arrived in breckenridge we stepped out of the car
and we felt twenty pounds lighter and logan said yeah the air is lighter up here and i didn’t want to argue with him but that
wasn’t quite all of it for me it was more than that i had chipped off the concrete parts of my soul and walking around breckenridge
we didn’t run into the forest we went and found an ice cream shop and i had a scoop of ice cream in a cone and it was perfect
and the cabin fever was an hour and a half away and then we went back down back home and the beatles sang we are on our way home
and let it be and we crossed beneath emerson bridge and i didn’t even notice that we had crossed and the beatles sang let it be so i let it be.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “MOUSEKETEER”

2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two years ago today, I started this blog, and it’s been two amazing years. 3000+ followers later, it is good to know that someone out there still reads and enjoys poetry. Lately I’ve been rekindling my love for poetry and blogging and, honestly, it’s been difficult. Finding a balance between work and life and poetry isn’t as easy as it seems but every like, every sincere comment and every view I get reminds me why it’s important. Whether it’s brilliance or bullshit, every word you say could be the one that someone needed to hear. I think where I would be without the words of my fellow bloggers, without Kerouac, without Bukowski, without Vonnegut, without local poets, without music, without my family and friends and random strangers and without everything that has ever been said to me and it amazes me. Every word I say on this page came from somewhere else, so thank you all for keeping the words coming.

Love,
Brice

READ “MOUSEKETEER”

MOUSEKETEER

Art by Neal Fox

Art by Neal Fox

and laying in this
thing
place
this
oversized coffin
i think
almost audibly
i am not a poet
i am just a lazy novelist

i am some
american millenial
who wants to be
some
mouseketeer
for the beat generation
because damn
did they stab society in the gut
and because
damn
did they every look cool
smoking those cigarettes

here
in this oversized
coffin

where i love my cobwebs
and the dust that rises
from the floorboards
when i fall as unsober
as life is sobering
against them

i can’t quit biting my nails
and i’m far too cheap
for anxiety pills
so i guess i’ll just put on
my little black hat
with its little black ears

M-I-C
K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “GALACTIC BISCOTTI”