DRIVING DOWN ORCHARD ROAD

beneath the wooden hands of angels
through the rusty Colorado dirt
alongside the cold wind
that feels like warm hands

orchard road, you hold my soul
you speak so softly, luminary
your dead tree breath of pine and winter
white lines float across your sky

i fall deep into your ancient threshold
your winding veins of endless trail
bristle and color and water and fire

my heart does not beat within you
the old do not die within you
love is a stone wall within you
the strongest autumn falls within you

orchard road, you hold my soul
you hold my soul, and i hold yours

you just close my eyelids
and sing lullabies that wash away
the hurt that hides inside my bone
and the pain i’ve inflicted on the world

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

 

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02.11

0211

(the unexplainable.)

there is that which words cannot hold onto
the spaces between these letters
the black part of your pupils
that feeling of vast emptiness when you stand amongst epic nature
rocks like gods and rivers like veins that run through the earth
the feeling you must get staring at our world from outer space
the static charge when lovers lips meet
that danceable feeling of revelation when you meet a new friend on the off chance that some unexplainable force led you to the same room at the same time
that moments when you look in the mirror and see yourself and think what the hell kind of thing is this that i’m a part of
the way you wish you could see yourself with your eyes closed
Love, but not just Love Love
the Love that exists undeniably between everything capable of Love and the Love that sneaks up on you when you’re feeling underoverwhelmed and overunderwhelmed
watching a bird fly beside you down a highway where you both look like you are standing still but in fact you both are charging recklessly into the dawn at unimaginable speeds
that idea that creeps into your skull that you can’t take credit for but that you don’t quite know how you could have gone on each day being you if this great muse didn’t crack open your skull and let in this homeless insect
thunder
lightning
undocumented phenomenon
ghosts of moments that can’t be captured
the stars you see after closing your eyes tightly then opening them wide and back into reality
the way you can fall in love with an abstract painting
the way you can fall in love with a character in some two dimensional story
or a stranger just by watching them dance
the indescribable
the undeniable, existential, completely existent non-existent smoke clouds rising into the sky and out into neverland floating above us below us within us
most of all, within us
the unexplainable
that which truly is
God

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.12, DAY 12 OF 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

BEN

we were gathered around
the four of us
in standard party circle
beers in hand
when he interjected

“the hardest thing
i’ve ever had to do
is to deliver a flag
to my friends’ parents.
i had to stand there
saluting
straight faced
while i waited for them
to finish balling hysterically
when just days earlier
my friend had said to me
if i die
i want you to deliver
the flag to my parents.”

it came out of nowhere.
nothing prompted him
telling us this.
there was no rhyme
or reason
to it being entered into
the conversation
but i’m glad it was.

amongst the alcohol
and stupid balloons
the chit-chattering
and the laughter
all that laughter
we needed a moment
of truth.
a moment
of raw
visceral
unapologetic
humanity.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “IN CRAZY”

CHECK OUT MY UPCOMING PROJECT “02.2013”

THE HOUSE OF GOD

someone’s in the kitchen playing the guitar
lovers in the bedroom reading dead playwrights
someone’s in the shower marinating musicals
someone’s in the basement carving up god’s face
angels in the mirror slipping into dresses
someone’s in the garden impregnating the soil
someone’s in the laundry room painting up a portrait
demons in the cellar pending on funeral flowers
someone’s in the billiards room punching holes in walls
someone’s in the closet interviewing skeletons
someone’s in the fitness room chiseling skin
pergatorians in the elevator shaft making urgent love
someone’s in the dance hall staring into eyes
someone’s in the sitting room spitting stand-up
someone’s in the coat room closing their curtain eyes
someone’s in the skull commanding the hands
this is the house of what is, not what is not
this is the house of god.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “WORD SALAD”

BEAUTIFUL HOUR

sometimes it’s just too much to ever handle
there’s too many woman with eyes like intelligent design
there’s a sun that has burned for all of us
and will always continue to burn for all of us
and when we don’t have that, we have the moon
we have the moon and the stars and the black silk sky
and the oceans that reflect the light so we’re captured
we’re captured between the two and we don’t have a choice
but to see ourselves as one common entity
we are all, all of us, every single one of us
part of the same vehicle of life, don’t flatter yourself
you are not something special
you are amongst a billion special things
we need to seek this out in one another, in everyone
we need to remember the way
that we help to push the grass out of the ground
we must remember the way that a heart can succumb
to a bass line, i’m not even joking
your heart can literally adjust to the music it hears
and it definitely can adjust to those around you
so i beg of you to answer, why can’t our eyes see
why can’t we appreciate the million instruments
that surround us, and the glorious grandiose
extraterrestial superhuman cataclysmic kaleidoscopic
kandinskily colorful grandiloquent magnum opus of existence?

you don’t know
none of us know
we make up questions
and we find answers
but we can feel each other’s presence
we know when someone is looking at us
we can feel love
never forget that one
we can feel love
sometimes it’s easy to get separated from that
but it’s there
i assure you
right now
i have enough for all of you
and i’m trying to pass it on
i can’t hold onto it
i’ll explode
we’d all explode
be unafraid to love those around you
be unafraid of what is different
because the things that are the same
are boring, they’re boring
and you don’t want to go to the same grocery store
at the same time
to see the same boring faces
and buy the same foods
and check out with the same cashier
every day of your short short short short short life
life is not very long
bad days drag out tugging at our legs
to appreciate the good ones

open your mind
open your eyes
open your arms
open your rib cage
and let that god damn drum beat
let it beat
let it beat like it has never beat before
bleed on the canvas of life
do not be afraid
of being too happy
there is no such thing
there are no limits
that’s the god damn point
you will not put a period on the end of a sentence
you are a conjunction
you are the connective tissue of everything
we need you
i need you
even if i don’t know it
reassess the hatred in your life
what aren’t you doing?
what should you be doing?
who should you be calling?
what do you have to say to who?
i guarantee you
i fucking guarantee you they will be glad to hear it
even if it’s bad news
and there is bad news
just open
regret there not being more hours in the day
and that is all
i want you to imagine yourself smiling
and now i want you to smile
can you do that for me?

can you do that for me?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “BUKOWSKI #2″

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

MY GREEN FAIRY

the absinthe drinker. viktor oliva.

the absinthe drinker. viktor oliva.

some days
i just
fall
down
the stairs
and i
just
keep fall
ing through
smoke
and mirrors
i travel through
this
funhouse
and past
the golden gates
to the other side

of reality
where she waits
for me
my green fairy

she dance for me
my green fairy
crazy ballet of fire
on her glass stage of desire
she dance for me

her wings in proud display
naked and raw and hard on the throat
she walks across
the good and the evil
of my spectral shoulders
and this she says to me:

“calm your head
your days will collide
if you do not.

close your eyes

feel me running up and down
your spine
this waltz
in waltz three quarter time

taste my heat upon your lips
feel me burning on your breath
sugar cubes and billowed smoke
white lighters and youthful death

open your heart
let me in
the ceremony
is about to begin.”

and i listen to her
my green fairy
my blue delusion
my red midnight
my black confusion

she dance for me
in sacred gardens of the mind
waltzing in three quarter time
she moves the moon along the sky
visions of toxic absinthe why
channels of unrequited love
dirty water, holy dove
she dance for me
she lie with me
and every night
she die for me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “EARTHBENDING”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

EDWARD HOPPER*

*formatted, using the notes of American artist Edward Hopper and his wife Jo

Night
+ brilliant interior of
cheap restaurant.

Bright items:

cherry wood counter
+ tops of surrounding
stools; light on metal tanks
at rear right;

brilliant streak
of jade green tiles
3/4 across canvas-
at base of glass
window
curving around the
corner.

Light walls,

dull
yellow
ocre
door
into kitchen right.

Very good looking
blond boy
in white (coat, cap)
inside counter.

Girl in red blouse,

brown hair

eating sandwich.

Man night hawk
(beak)
in dark suit,
steel grey hat,
black band,
blue shirt (clean)
holding cigarette.

Other figure
dark
sinister
back-
at left.

Light side walk
outside
pale greenish.

Darkish red brick
house opposite.

Sign across
top of restaurant,
dark-
Phillies 5c cigar.

Picture of cigar.

Outside of shop dark,
green.

Note:
bit of bright
ceiling
inside shop

against dark of
outside street

-at edge
of stretch
of top
of window.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

LINK TO EDWARD HOPPER’S “NIGHTHAWKS”

READ “WHERE HAVE YOU GONE TO, AMERICA?”

CALIFORNIA, STOP SWALLOWING MY FRIENDS

you’re a monster! a monster, i tell you!
you lure them in with your nihilistic theme parks
and your caustic beaches
the promise of Hollywood and the west of the American
west
in the night, your ocean reaches its bony hands under the covers
and digging its polluted claws in, it drags them anxiously
through the fires of Utah and the flowerless graveyards of Las Vegas
i watch all this sleepless from the fragile glass window of my Colorado home
in the swaying arms of my humble mother
rocking me to sleep in a Rocky Mountain high
but how my friends tried to grasp on to those mountains as you grasp them in tantrums

you need so much god damn attention

the blonde-haired blue-eyed boys and the sexual shape of video cameras
this one goes out to the friends i’ve lost
desperate and scared amongst the grey smog and the pedophile buildings

i can hear you laughing at all of this, California
stop swallowing my friends, California
your jewel heart fell into the Pacific Ocean
and my friends are lost, manic and drugged in your vicious riptides
you digest them in your swollen valleys
they waste away, going nowhere in rush hour traffic
listening to catchy horror music on the radio

oh, the California radio! it tastes of silicone
it burns like vodka tonics and the Beverly Hills Hotel
they are all just prisoners there; of their own device
into your guts they go; an assembly line of starry-eyed followers
into the factory; to be printed like Marilyn, to be loved like Jackie,
to be shot like Kennedy
i can’t stop them
they are scared and horny and thinking with their adolescence
they are less reckless, and more self-mutilating

California, i can see the scars underneath your breasts
i can taste the cheap boxed wine on your breath
your eyes are busy telephone wires for crow’s feet to rest on
you’re so skinny
i can see right through you
i don’t care
just please
California, stop swallowing my friends

“Denver is lonesome for her heroes,”
and you are just hungry for your villains

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ANXIETY AT THE HOUSE CAFE”

A GIRL NAMED AMERICA

we adopted this girl
from an orphanage in the middle of nowhere
and we named her america
and we made her america
and we made her pretty
we put her hair in curlers
and we dyed it blonde
we put her in a pink dress
and red rouge

we taught her how to walk in heels
and how to smile with vaseline on her teeth
we made her eyes blue
and we threw her out on stage

and she was our little princess
with her sparkling tiara
queen of this old beauty pageant
she juggled and she sang
and she twirled her baton
like the american flag

we taught her how to barely eat anything
we showed her how to fold her napkin
and to excuse herself from the table
we taught her to cross her legs like a lady
we never stopped teaching her how to win

and on the world stage, she smiled
and she danced and she sang and she smiled
and when she spoke, she spoke of charity
and freedom and she opened her arms
for the world to hug her

then she got older
and the world is cruel
and everyone got sick of her
saying the same scripted things
again and again
and she grew desperate for attention
she got naked on the silver screen
burnt herself into an edie sedgewick coma
made a million off her tragedy

she danced for dollars
thrown by old, rich, white, american men
she still smiled like marilyn
but she was dying where everyone could watch
she talked about the past like a drug she loved
she shot quick fixes into her fragile arms

meanwhile
her lovely bones turned to dust
her structure began to break
her knees cracked
and her backbone crumbled
while we yelled at her
to get out on stage
and dance like she used to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING”

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”