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

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02.26

0226

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(when you said you liked the beatles.)

when you said you liked the beatles
the oxygenless night exploded into day
the grey clouds were wiped from the sky
like billows of white from a chalkboard
your eyes lit up like a thousand suns
into the reflection of my radioactive moonlight
and we eclipsed into the caverns of love

when you said you liked the beatles
i could feel my heart growing like bamboo
on steroids into the hollows of my arms
and overwhelmed my body began to sing
a duet with you laced with great hope
a great hope in the divine and that the heavens
weren’t just those blue squigglies above
the red house and the brown dog in a child’s drawing
on a fridge

when you said you liked the beatles
i became filled with a rage of joy
something i didn’t think possible
i found myself dancing through lines
at the d.m.v. and driving one hundred mph
into the mountains to go find the heart
that i now knew was still beating

when you said you liked the beatles
fantastic wings sprouted from your back
and i began to paint an electric portrait of you
psychedelic and visceral and honest to the aura
you possess inside your home of a house

when you said you liked the beatles
i fell in love with you
as we danced to something
pouring out of the loudspeakers
in the streets of denver
like crystalline drops of water
that have resonated eternally
through the last fifty years
and will continue to resonate
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves and
everyone loves the beatles
the beatles are everyone’s band
but when you said you loved the beatles
i remembered there are such things
in this world that exist that we all feel
that will never be captured
that do not drown in the sands of an hourglass
but form great glasshouses
immune to any stones you could throw

they just remain
in the minds
and the hearts
and the guts
of the mass populace
of incredible lovely people
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves
like the crescendo
in the middle of
a day in the life

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.27, 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

HOW A RAVEN IS LIKE A WRITING DESK

raven writing desk

when asking one’s self
how a raven is like a writing desk
things can get a bit
unnecessarily complex;
it is not hard to see
how a credible
and verifiable answer
may be hard to come by.
in this piece,
i will attempt to answer this question
which really
should have been answered long ago.

the first thing one must do
is to qualify
what exactly defines a raven.
experience points us towards the idea
that ravens are inconsistently
the strangest of businessmen.
note that all ravens crave independence
and a nice warm bowl of soup.
another less common accusation
of the raven kind
is that a multitude of their chamomile
is that which provides
shelter for storm drains
and by association
wormholes in the eternal treetrunk.

this is great and all
but what is the use of such conviction
unless we dive equally as deep
into the trenches of
orange libraries
to ask ourselves
what is a writing desk?
many scholars
have written on this
but in my research
i have found
they rarely remind us
that historically
writing desks
have been predatory creatures;
often confused with old crows
and barkeepers
who say things like
“put the jam beside the marmalade”.
i implore you
to not be ignorant;
to acknowledge
that bishops and angels
both use writing desks
as a source of inspiration
for their dissertations
of the latter subject
and the ladder observations.
writing desks taste of freedom
though the splinters
have been known to clog the drain
and leave a nasty hangover.

and now for the big question:
how are they alike?
it’s been suggested
that poe wrote on both
but i have no time
for absurd claims.
one’s life
is far too short
to get lost in logical nonsense.
we must be men
and stopping being children.
as we discussed earlier
ravens are the genesis of polka
whereas writing desks
symbolize the civil war
and the flamingos
who became martyrs
for its mahogany cause.
which is really the key here:
architecture.
both seem to have
a keen design
a design that suggests
dances with drunk waiters
and orbital malnourishment
which plagues us all the same.
a writing desk is to sweater vests
as a raven is to bubble bath water.
from there
certain jumps in logic
can be established
and we can find ourselves absolved
of the great question
which so long has burdened us all.

in conclusion
though it may be difficult at times
to find a system to something
as absurd as this
i find that these: two things
may be more alike
than we are willing to acknowledge.
the badgers of humanity
have a knack
for refusing to accept
that tolerance and compassion
towards washer machines and
the occasional stomach rumble
leads us to living in a glass onion
where we stop saying
to the top hat cricket on our shoulder
the ways that a raven
is unlike a writing desk
and start to genuflect
on the passing notion
that a raven
and a writing desk
are in factualitization
the exact
same
thing.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CRICKETS”

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THINK OUTSIDE OF THE HEART-SHAPED BOX

Last week, Lana Del Rey covered the song “Heart-Shaped Box” originally by Nirvana, spurring an interesting response by Courtney Love over Twitter. ¬†Courtney Love composed a now infamous Tweet about how the song is about her vagina:

PHOTO COURTESY OF AUSTIN KLEON

Hey. Wait. I’ve got a new complaint:

What I’d like to say is Huffington Post got it right when they called Courtney Love “outspoken.” I don’t care if you talk about your vagina online. That doesn’t bother me in the least. What bothers me is how Courtney Love managed to demean this song for me and possibly plenty of people around me. I am a big Nirvana fan. I place Nevermind on the list of my favorite albums, up there with The Beatles’ White Album and Hail to the Thief by Radiohead.

“Heart-Shaped Box,” off of In Utero is not about your vagina, Courtney Love.

Who am I to say this? Courtney Love was married to Kurt Cobain, for crying out loud. She would know if the song was about her lady business.

Let’s go back: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. “Oh, that song is about LSD,” said every moron ever. These songs are not about drugs, they are not about Courtney Love’s vagina. Sure, Heart-Shaped Box has a very sexual connotation. Sure, Courtney Love might have written some of the lyrics. What I don’t appreciate is limiting the ideas of what a song is.

Heart-Shaped Box, to me, is about the claustrophobia of love. It’s about the addiction of being lost in someone. Once again, this quickly leads to a sexual connotation, but there’s an intention to that too. I think Courtney Love would acknowledge this as well, but God, is she so desperate for press that she makes these outlandish statements?

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, to me, is about childhood innocence. It’s about vibrant life, it’s about imagination, and yes, John Lennon being the cryptic genius he was, I guarantee it’s no accident that the name also spells out LSD.

Note that I put “to me”, because this is all subjective. The fight I’m trying to fight is people who limit their perspective on what music is about, or limit what anything is about to something as simple as “Courtney Love’s vagina,” or “drugs.” This idea strikes me hard as a writer, specifically as a poet, because when I write, and when most of the people around me make art of any kind, it’s never as shallow as writing about one controversial topic. They have something to say. That’s why it angers me when a complex and timeless song like Heart-Shaped Box gets put inside of another box, gets limited. I just want to challenge people here to not let that song become a one-note song. Don’t let it become an allusion to that one time Courtney Love opened her mouth on Twitter. The same way I challenge you not to define yourself as a hippie, or a hipster, or a rockabilly performance artist, or a mom, or a senator. These things are important to who you are, and may help you find yourself, but you cannot be describe in 140 characters or less, and neither can Heart-Shaped Box.

More on Courtney Love’s vagina:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-lana-del-rey-heart-shaped-box_n_1723074.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

http://www.nme.com/news/courtney-love/65224

http://whfs.radio.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-wants-lana-del-rey-to-think-about-her-vagina/

http://nounmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/stop-everything-things-are-happening-on-the-internet/

REVIEW OF TIM BECKER’S “NEW YORK CITY BONES”

“I’ve been with you since the collapse
When the earthquake shook up the dust
and we were intimate
Since the sirens went off
and your alarm clock scattered
Your eyes were shades of gray
behind a morning cup of coffee
The blades of grass were shaking off the dew
and gasping for breath
I’ve been with you since we fell apart
and melted in a flash flood
While our bodies caved in
In colors and shades
As you stumble out of bed
and I mumble weary nonsense
Somhow I just know we’ll be okay
But now I’m lying here in the
cold sweat of a nightmare
And you’re gone”

I met Tim Becker when I worked with him at a certain popular coffee company, and I knew as soon as I met him, we were going to be more than coworkers. I could tell right away that Tim was smart, and as cliche as it may sound. the fact that he was a twenty-three year old who walks with a cane told me he was someone with stories; someone who lived his life.
At the end of one of our shifts, as Tim closed up the doors, he asked me if I would like to stay a bit and smoke some clove cigars with him outside of the store. I obliged and Tim and I spent a good hour or two shooting the shit, our favorite subjects being The Beatles and Radiohead. I had given up on ever being a Radiohead fan, so Tim dragged me to his car where he put in one of their CD’s. I’ll never forget seeing that stack of Radiohead CD’s Tim had in his car. This guy digested music the way I digested music; ferociously, trying to get to know the artist. Tim wasn’t the type to listen to a song by a band, let alone an album, he would patiently absorb every lick of music that artist ever wrote. I’ve been blessed in our friendship being the same way.
Tim is quiet passion. A rare combination. I can’t keep my damn mouth shut for the life of me. I remember working with Tim at that coffee company that shall not be named; I was playing the part of an angst-driven twenty year old rambling in his ear “Tim, I love her so much but all we do is fight and her dad hates me, but maybe I’m giving up on a good thing etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” and after probably an excessive fifteen minute rant, Tim stopped what he was doing looked me dead in the eye and said “Brice, sometimes the things we want the most, are the things that would kill us,”
I was over her. He had successfully said exactly what I needed to hear in so few words because Tim is one of those people who listens, who thinks and who says all that needs to be said, never overcomplicating things.
Why do I tell you this? Because Tim’s poetry is the same way. Anyone who is even the smallest follower of my blog knows that I… tend to ramble. Don’t get me wrong. I love to ramble, but there’s something to be said about saying only what needs to be said. Saying things as succinctly as possible. Tim does just that, and powerfully. I think about one of my favorite poems from his book; a poem called “Thirty Cops.” Tim explains how one night he found a group of thirty cops standing around a dying deer, contemplating what to do. He ends the poem, “and thirty cops just earned an hour’s pay.” Beautiful – and if your thinking “thirty cops? really?” yes really, because Tim’s writing is as honest as it is intimate.
Something I may have failed to mention that has been a key factor in a great friendship with Tim is Tim’s sense of humor. It comes from that same quiet place as his passion, but damn if it doesn’t bite you in the ass. It’s sharp, it’s caustic, and you don’t know you’re a victim of a joke by Tim Becker until it’s long over. Ladies and gentleman, as Exhibit B, I present to you Tim’s poem from his book, New York City Bones, aptly titled “Poetry.”

“The wall to my left is white
I’m sitting on a chair made of wood
The room is normal temperature
The ceiling has a grainy texture
The carpet doesn’t look like the ceiling
There’s a photo of my wife on the desk
She is smiling
There’s a painting of a flower
The painting is square
The flower is red
I’m wearing a hat on my head
I’m holding a pen in my hand
And I’m writing this poem
People like descriptive poetry
This is a descriptive poem
Publish this shit”

Ha ha ha. Tim is published under the same company I will soon be published under, Flashlight City Press. His book, New York City Bones, is doing extremely well and is something I think everyone should read.

Especially the hipsters, because they’re gonna want to be there to say “I’ve been following him since New York City Bones,” or perhaps whine that “His first book was way better.”

Copies of Tim’s book can be purchased through this link:¬†http://flashlightcitypress.myshopify.com/