YOU PAINT YOURSELF IN RED AND I PAINT MYSELF IN BLUE

you paint yourself in red
and i paint myself in blue
and i keep painting-
and i keep painting-
and i keep painting-
and my paintbrush escapes
the crooked-cruel-edges of my canvas
and i explode like bluestars across the blacksky
and i paint my entire house (in blue)
and i don’t miss the ceilings no sir i do not
and this – all reckless
and you, all restless
and me – all deathless and dreaming of death
i take a breath. and i breath in the red of you-
and i wonder where we are and who we are and wait what-
where the fuck is my refill on coffee?
and where the fuck are the stars in this nightless sky??
and where the fuck am i??? dead and alive
and angelic and, lost and, finding comfort in your red paints
and your lighthouse when i’m lost at sea
(always lost at sea this one – always lost and never found and
al ways painting portraits of the back of my head
with shotgun hands and sinking ships for lips
and my adam’s apple elevator stuck between floor one and two
the heart and the head it meanders through my throat
like a lost child in a target store
where the what the who the why the fuck am i?
i am blue i paint myself in blue and i lie on the floor of my kitchen
as dull knives live boring knives in drawers
forever will they ever find their way out i don’t know
i am not wise man – i am the boy with firecrackers for hands
trying to dance with girls drenched in kerosene
i am love ha ha ha nope that’s not how this song goes
but i am trying like hell to soak my sheets in sweat of compassion
night terror alcoholics sing to me through open city windows
howling like mad wolves lost in their tiny coffin apartments
where the what the who the why the fuck am i?
i paint myself in blue you paint yourself in red
and the purple mountains majesty
that live in my parking lot
will laugh that we can’t be half what they have always been
nope we never will be what they be
)

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WHATIF”

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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”

JUNE 10TH, 2014

all i needed was four days off
in a row i guess
that, and the proceeding 25
years before it
moved my parents like chess pieces
to their new home
took the contents of my tea kettle skull
and poured it off the side of a cliff

a Kerouacian hallelujah chorus

a substantial amount of this pressure
i’m finding
was self-imposed
went to the doctor
bloodwork came back fine
urine sample came back fine
doctor told me to take a chill pill
and eat less
and move more
(in a nice doctory way though)

i’ve been listening
and so far i’ve been happy and exhausted

i’ve been feeling romantic
like drive all night to find my love
and she’s been driving all night
and our cars break down
in some diner in Baltimore
and we see each other and
boom
romantic

i’ve been ingesting
a fair amount of alone time
(which means
listening to Radiohead
in my room
and the occasional coming-to-Jesus
talk in those showers
where you sit on the floor
and let the water hit your face
and time doesn’t exist)

time is the most mystical
chocolate chip cookie
ever baked

(don’t read too much
into that last sentence)

june 10th, 2014
got rained on
during my hike today
it was strange
i didn’t feel like i was
in the right place in time
until it started raining
but then it did

it was as if
i was in search for an
original experience
but i felt like one of the
good ole littleton natives
until it rained
watching the fanny pack families
run down the mountain
in their t-shirts
that will end up in thrift stores
“i was in colorado” shirts
“i like to travel” shirts
but they ran
and i kept walking
despite the thunder and lightning
and i said to myself
“this isn’t how i die,”
like Edward Bloom in Big Fish
and i was right
so call me crazy
but i pushed through the rain
and now i have this story
on the back of a receipt
in my back pocket

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “THIS HOUSE IS EMPTY.”

02.05 (LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET FROM A YOUNG POET)

02.05

 

 

(letters to a young poet from a young poet.)

i’ve heard too many times
“i am not very good at poetry,”
that is like saying
“i am not good at breathing,”
you’re going to do this
whether you want to or not
so you might as well
make your breaths deep
take in the fragrance in the air
along with the carbon monoxide
write your poetry
like a carpenter would make
his own crucifix

if you are uninspired
and you are a poet
it is time
to start sneaking into movie theaters
time to drive your car home in reverse
spend a day trapped inside your home
dressed like emily dickinson
stalking a housefly
attempt to roll uphill

your blood is eighty-five percent water
come to a rolling boil
you were not made to be luke warm
if you are body temperature
you are denying yourself
the chance to be something other than a body

you will write shitty poems
you will have shitty relationships
and shitty jobs with shitty bosses
and sometimes the most precious of poems
gets damaged in a move

you are not a poet
until you type your soul on a screen
and forget to save
but when that computer crashes
you will learn
that some things cannot be taken away from you

there are plenty of people out there
who won’t want to hear your poetry
but you do not speak for them
we all speak to the ears that want to hear
there is a method to the madness
of bees and their flowers

you do not have to share your poems
but document your heart beats
and your heart murmurs alike

sometimes a bad poem
is the prosthetic legs
of a good poem

as far as love
you have to love
loneliness is a bitch
big, big bitch
the fat kid in class
who steals your lunch
because he can’t get full on his
but you have to love
throw yourself into uncomfortable

pad your bed with broken dreams
make strangers less strange
and embrace their stories as your own
because time turns us into alphabet soup
and no one can claim the letters as theirs for long
your mouth carries the fiber of the universe
your dreams form our reality
speak now
or forever hold your peace

write everyday
write with borrowed pens on napkins at diners
and write with scratches on the backs of lovers
tiger stripe God’s car
throw eggs at his driveway
ding dong ditch his front door
leave a flaming bag of dog shit for him to put out
God knows only how to smile
at the precocious little monster you’re being
someday you’ll just be glad you made some memories

a poet is one hell of a hard thing to be
there is no health care, no 401k
no big benefits package
you don’t get sick time
but you will make money off of it
you’ll just be dead by then

the wealth of a poet is measured
in the lint in your pocket
and the gems you’ve placed
in the pocket of the hearts
of those around you

a friend once said to me
the worst thing someone can be to you
is bad poetry
and i believe that to be true
i cannot unhear what i have heard
and you cannot say
what you decided to let be unsaid

take a second
close your eyes
and take in a deep breath
now
before you start turning blue
let it out

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.06, DAY 6 OF THE 28 DAY 02.2013 PROJECT

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

ON THE HUNT FOR THE HEART THAT BEATS LIKE MINE

and i have run into several interesting kinds along the way
the girl whose heart ticked like a richter scale
whose pulse i feared to make rise
because along with the waves in her blood, her skin
came seismic cracks in the land, tsunamis and volcanos
the devastation of flash flood like we were all
drowning in her childhood

there was the one whose heart i could not feel beat at all
silent the crevice of her chest sounded of a hand over a mouth
a door that had been boarded up with nails and bad habits
she said she wanted to die so anyone else could live
and i tried to tell her that you cannot die for a stranger
if you are not able to live your life for yourself
but she sure as hell tried and refused to give up
as i found myself giving up on her

some hearts are made arrhythmic
they bounce around the chest cavity
like a schizophrenic cell mate
they dance in heavy drugged delirium
they twist through psychosis
and they refuse to acknowledge
that someone else may catch on to the pattern
in what they thought was
their complete lack of pattern

those seem to be my favorite to catch
and the ones that are best at getting away

this one heart
beat like a symphony all on its own
like a great deep dark jazz drum rumbling
it echoed through me and still does
my bones the beams for it to try to tear to shambles
it filled me with black oceans where i could not see through
and i just kept swimming along through this haze
and i’m still just swimming through this haze
on the hunt for the heart that beats like mine

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “HOW A RAVEN IS LIKE A WRITING DESK”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

LOST AND BEAT AND NOW

we’ve been through a lot of time in the desert
we’ve been through the hollow barrel of a pistol
we’ve been through a seance
a table of writers stirring over dotting a question mark
we’ve been lost amongst ourselves
robbed apartments, gutted houses, fumigated homes
dead lawns, sprayed down by chemical agents of chaos
we were hollow. we were stuffed.
we paraded around in ambulances.

we’ve been through a lot of time barefoot on the living room floor
we’ve been through smoky headlights in new york city
we’ve been bruised, and bloodied up
for spitting on the sidewalk
we’ve been left with pens and notebooks in psych wards
we’ve been pressed for time, energy and money
we’ve found our sunflower and allowed it to wilt

now i’m  not  so certain of what we are
we’re some cosmic whirlpool of our grandfather’s dust
intentionally unintentional violent reactions of peace
we are made with metal bones and eyes like pixels
we are lighting the kerosene rope so the past can’t climb up after us
we are drowning out the television in our dirty bathwater
we are rebuilding our houses with more tolerance between the bricks
we are putting down hardwood floors over our burial plots
we are burning down bridges because we can swim across oceans
we are here to be labeled by you, dear future
we will try to be kind if you promise to do your best to be

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “FEAR”

MY BOOK SPINE POEM

I’ve seen these floating around the interwebs lately. I still haven’t decided if I’m a fan or not of “book spine poems,” but I admire the spirit behind them and I thought I’d give one a chance:

image

WHY I WRITE

welcome
to the monkey
house, in a lonely
street; the
beat scene – a
light
in the attic.

return
to the city of
white donkeys.

new york city
bones.

SEND ME LINKS TO YOUR BOOK SPINE POEMS!