SHADES OF UGLY

here we are dear stranger
amongst the twilight
amongst the fetal gestation
we process the world
through rose-tinted glasses
we canvas our hearts
through manic soap opera words

here we are dear stranger
lost in the thick pudding of life
twisting addiction into commentary
hard love into performance poetry
this is the nature of the beast

and this big great beast
swallows us whole
minnows swimming through
peristalsis candid moment
honesty in the ice cubes
in the whiskey amen

amen amen amen
hallelujah your body
hallelujah your anthem
i swim through seas of predisposition
trying to get to the cause of caustic

pencil me in for an appointment
burn down bridges of negativity
i want to love so badly
that i am willing
to sacrifice sanity

and what is sanity
what is this casino air we breathe in
while we dwindle our wallets down the throat
of a beast with a bottomless pit

i am lost in chemical
found in sobriety
i channel the broken television
and sing songs of protest
against commerciality
against consumerality
against systems which disallow
the beautiful unheard to sing

sing, beautiful unheard
i am overspoken for
so white so male so american
i set my coat in puddles in hopes you can cross the road safely
as i lose myself into my ancestry of whiskey
as i bang the monday night doldrums
as i die alone in hopes that someone
lives a beautiful life together
with the rest of the beautiful world

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

WEATHER REPORT

some days we are snowstorms
freezing moments in place
turning our chronicles into icicles
we put our problems on ice
and we hibernate

that’s been me
cryogenically frozen for a lifetime
i’ve airstreamed through the spring of summer
and i’ve fallen into the bitter of winter
i’ve rinsed and repeated
i have mastered my radar by making it predictable
and all i’ve been left with
is the air pollution stuck in my skull

and then you came into my life like a flash flood

an adiabatic anomaly
you anticycloned my anvil cloud
until it came crashing down like acid rain
putting atmospheric pressure onto my hydrological heart

here i am now, lost in your iridescent fog
macrobursts and bomb cyclones
outflows of aurora borealis
you threw my soul into saint elmo’s fire
and cradled it like a cumulonimbus cloud

you have saturated me in your summer showers
spun me up in your solar energy
you have steamfogged my windows
and engulfed me in your ultra violet radiation

your love
is a veering wind
and i am a weather balloon
ballooning through your weather

wind chill is not a factor
when you factor in the insolation of your indian summer
warm advection travels my veins
radiating into sea level pressure
i will sleep safely among your red highs and your blue lows

i was scattered across the snowy screen
opening umbrellas inside my house
when you reminded me the power of my popcorn convection

when it rains now i step outside
the permafrost gone impermanent
i am here to report
a forecast of four thousand meteors
raining down like amazing grace
from the pendant echo of my throat
to the morning glory heart
of your orographic geography

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

BREAKFAST IN BED WITH BEN FOLDS

i woke up this morning to a stranger at my bedroom doorway
it was Ben Folds, charming as i imagined him
he carried a tray of eggs and sausage and packages
and coffee and orange juice
he set it beside me on the bed and he said to me,
“the more you know you know don’t know shit,”
and i said “that’s not how you greet someone in the morning,”
and he said “why you gotta act like you know when you don’t know?”
and i said “you’re right, ben folds. thanks for bringing me breakfast,”
and he said “you’re welcome, brice,”
and then he picked up my guitar in the corner and began playing Jesusland
and i fell back asleep out of this dream of a morning where the music
coming from my portable cellular phone’s speaker is a conversation
that i can have whenever and wherever i need
and it’s not all bad and the morning is my second favorite
after the late night that can hurt so beautifully
but they need each other and this morning i needed breakfast in bed
with Ben Folds, thank you Ben Folds, thanks for the conversation
and for the orange juice, you’re a good guy i think, Ben Folds, i think so

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

ORANGE

our conversations lately feel like a living room without lamps
like we fell asleep with the oven on and the house burnt down
it is close to impossible to not get lost when traveling to your house
and i know it is the same for you

i am sorry that i gave my shoulder demon a soapbox to stand on
i apologize that the angel on yours seems to be in a coma
never mistake passive aggression for aggressive passion
i speak these words through my baby teeth
i wash my mouth out with soap in the mornings

i am sorry again but i don’t believe in boxing gloves
if you’re gonna hit me i want it bareknuckled
i want it in person and i want it right away
don’t bruise me with oranges

we are a contained nuclear explosion
we are like an apocalypse in a snowglobe
no one would doubt Christmas is your favorite holiday
and mine is Halloween
i guess that’s why our orange words fall on white cold shoulders

i miss your vintage love
and your chicken noodle soup kitchen
but the string between our soup cans is broken
we gotta talk

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

GUEST SERVICES

I approached the woman popping her gum and placed the plastic bag on the counter between us. She stared blankly at me.
“Can I help you?” she asked me.
“Yes, hi. I’d like to return this please.”
“What is ‘this’, sir?” she said.
“It’s my heart.”
There was silence, distant registers clicking and beeping in the background.
“You would like to return your heart, sir?”
“Yes, that’s correct,”
“Is something wrong with it?”
I laughed, and then I laughed some more.
“Oh yes,” I said, “There certainly is. The damn thing is too fragile. Every bad day, every tremor from a shaky friendship cracks the thing right open. I feel like it’s once a week that I’m trying to super glue the damn thing back together. It’s too sensitive. Too effective, I guess. I hate the thing,”
She popped her gum.
“Would you like to exchange it for a different heart?”
“No, I really don’t think so,”
“We have a large variety of hearts, sir. I don’t mean to impose but maybe you’d be happier with a different model,”
“Look. I appreciate your concern, but I’m sick of the thing. It gets me into too much trouble. I’ve got an extremely effective mind and that has been leading me well so far, so I really don’t think I need a heart at all,”
“Well, sir. Do you have your receipt?”
“My receipt?”
“Yes, sir. Your receipt. All returns require a receipt and must be within 90 days of purchase,”
“Well, I’ve had this heart all my life, and I definitely don’t have a receipt,”
“No receipt, no return, sir. I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do for you, but have a nice day,”
“Please. Just take my heart. I don’t trust myself with it,”
“Sir, I’d recommend maybe you try a pawn shop,”
“A pawn shop? A pawn shop? You’ve got to be kidding me. You think I would just send this heart off to a pawn shop? To be thrown on a shelf to collect dust. To be placed in a glass case next to a Nintendo 64 or an alcoholic’s kidney? They won’t give me shit for it either! I guarantee you they won’t give me a third of it’s value,”
“But sir, you said yourself, it’s too fragile,”
“It’s not too fragile! That’s not what I meant. It’s a good heart. I can’t have someone walking around with this heart in their chest not knowing its value. Some idiot kid who is gonna just play wall ball with it. Some sadistic collector who is just gonna put it on display. This heart is a return, not a pawn,”
“I can’t help you, sir,”
“Hey, do me a favor…” I looked down at the woman’s name tag, “Rhonda. Rhonda, do me a favor. Take this heart home. Give it to someone who deserves it,”
“Sir,”
“No, Rhonda! Don’t you ‘sir’ me! I need this heart gone. It’s toxic. I can’t get anything done with the damn thing. I need you to take it,”
“Sir!” she said, her nostrils flaring, her eyes on fire now “You can’t return your god damn heart! It’s not a fucking toaster! It is YOUR heart. It is not MY heart. It is not anyone’s heart but your own. Who the hell do you think you are, anyways? Demanding something because you’ve given up. Because you have not a single clue what you actually have there. You are slapping life in its fucking face, SIR. This is not how things work. You are stuck with that heart. It is part of you. So you better stop trying to pretend it’s something to sell, something to abandon. It is a gift, and not everyone is so lucky to have such a gorgeous heart. I swear, the entitlement you feel to not feel. It blows my fucking mind. You know what? Lock it up. Go purchase a safe and throw it in there for a week. Tell me how that works out for you. Have a conversation about your heartless life with a friend. Grab a couple drinks. See how that goes. See how terrible your life will become when you are just going through the motions but never experiencing anything. Give me your eyes while you’re at it! Return your fucking throat to me. I’ll give you in-store credit on that one! You cannot just give up like this. You are so ungrateful for the thing that makes you so much what you are. And beyond all of this, you don’t even have a god damn receipt! Get out!”
I said nothing. I wondered what I’d be feeling if my heart wasn’t packed up in front of me. I just stared at Rhonda, a deer in retail headlights.
“Get out of my store!” she yelled again.
I began to walk away, heart in hand.

On the drive home, I buckled my heart up in the passenger’s seat. I drove 10 miles below the speed limit the whole way home. When I got home, I opened the door to my chest and I placed my heart inside. I put on my favorite record and I lied down on my bed, smoking a cigarette. My poor lungs taking the beating like body guards for my heart. I felt the blood pumping through my veins. I fell asleep and I dreamed of all my past lovers and waking up recharged I started my life up again.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

TOMORROWLAND

i was crippled by what i saw around me
a world that i so badly wanted to call foreign
but i knew in truth it was i that was foreign
i looked at my hands like they were someone else’s
as i trudged on through the immaculate city
lights all around me
i felt as though something was looking down on me
i felt the strangest of sunbeams
and the giant camera of god
zoomed down onto my separate story
i was living in the garden of the future
time moved forward i was engulfed in dream
i’d seen it before when i’d closed my eyes
the realization that you are in a singular moment
and everywhere at the same time
there was a swarm of birds living in my stomach
i was living in the garden of the future
my heart beats distant and echoed
my eyes like gamma rays
i spun out of control
it was everything they said it would be
it was what i’d imagined
vast and quiet
a single frequency of white noise
volcanoes in the distance like stone lions
at a doorway

i woke up in a dream of the future
and as i looked around at the dunes of my fears
as i wandered in singularity through the forest of my hope
i realized this was no garden of the future
this was the shadow of the past behind me
and in that moment i mourned the death of the moment
in that moment i mourned the death of me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

TALKING TO GOD OVER SHITTY COFFEE AT DENNY’S

like two in the morning or something
i couldn’t sleep so i called up God
and was all like “hey God, do you want
to meet up for some coffee?” and God
of course obliged me like always so we’re
sitting around Denny’s drinking shitty coffee
talking when i ask God “is destiny a thing?”
and God says “yes,” and i say “that’s kind of
a bummer,” and God says “well, i don’t think
that doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of the
decisions you make,” and i say “i guess,” and
then there’s an awkward pause, the waitress
comes by refills our coffees and we sip in
silence and then i say “alright, God,
what number am i thinking of?” God says 3.
it was 3. What am I thinking now? God says
i’m thinking about destiny and i was like
well yeah okay that might not have been the
best approach and then i took the salt shaker
unscrewed the lid and poured the entire thing
of salt into my cup of coffee. God says
“why did you do that?” and i say “you seem
surprised. i thought you knew that i was going
to do that? wasn’t it part of my destiny?”
and God was like “no! that just came out of
nowhere,” and seemed perplexed. i think God
would have turned to God for answers in that
moment if that made any sense. and then i held
God’s hand and i said look. i know what they say.
man plans and God laughs and that’s beautiful
but sometimes we just take the car off cruise
control and we start driving off the road in the middle of nebraska
and we’re pushing through the corn fields
and doing donuts and blasting dizzy gillespie
and it makes no damn sense and no one could have
seen it coming, not even you, i’m sorry, but that’s
why i put the salt in the coffee because some things
weren’t written. some things happen that weren’t meant
to happen and those things were meant to happen but
not in the sense that everyone saw it coming because
sometimes no one sees it coming. even you, God. sometimes
it’s brutal and vicious hard work or a spark to the heart
and it’s raw and honest and it’s tangental and that tangent
shoots off into space like a monkey in an astronaut suit
and it forms a new monkey planet with a new monkey God
who too will have a moment of awe when realizing that your
children are not you. they break the rules in the name of
something. love or change or dizzy gillespie but yes. it’s
a thing that happens and it’ll catch us all off guard and
then the waitress stole the cash in the register, took off
her apron and busted out the door into the cold night.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

I’M TRYING, RINGO

i am the fiercest mother fucker this side of the mississippi
i smash glass bottles and bust through saloon doors
looking for the day willing to stare me in my damn eyes
i crucify the pacemakers
the hearts that don’t beat on their own and just follow
the instruction manual and stay on their side
of the double yellow lines

i crash through glass ceilings
i burn down churches and pray they rebuild god in their place
i pray they see me coming
i am down on bended knee asking for a light that blinds the ignorant
great radioactive waves that cast shadows on dry counties
and flood their history with second chances and first blood
the first blood red sunset harvest moon manifesto
i wrote this! bloody pen in hand i carved my soul into my bones
i created this small moment of fire
this unquenched desire to burn the binding of bad history books
and rename the sky as nameless

i shamelessly drive one hundred thousand miles per hour into your sun room
i push through time like a fist through the virgin threshold of life
i become a little each time i’m reborn dust to ash to fire to flame
and no two days should ever be the same
let’s go motherfuckers! there is a war for peace in my veins
there is no need for constant change
but on a planet where the air is thinning
we must shout louder than the towers that flowered:
they were born in buds blossomed and died
leaving us this shaken up airhorn inside

let us pray

i will strike down upon thee with great vengeance!
and furious anger!
those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers!
and you will know my name is the lord
when I lay my vengeance upon thee!

some days are stars bursting like skulls shot at bullets
some days are just herding the sheep in for the brainstorm

and i’m trying, ringo
i’m trying real hard to be the shepherd

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

DENVER POETRY MAP

co flag mountains

My poem Four Beers in at the Irish Rover has been chosen to be featured on the Denver Poetry Map!

In short the Denver Poetry Map assigns poems to the locations in Denver they were written about or at.

Take a second and check out this awesome site and my poem HERE.

TO THE WOMAN AND/OR GIRL WHO SENT HERSELF FLOWERS

those flowers are not from you. they are from me.
i wanted to send you something to let you know
that you are very very very much loved.
i know sometimes life can feel quite busy
or overwhelming and sometimes unbearable
but through all of this you always remain
in my thoughts, because you deserve to be thought of.
that is the truth. these are not just pretty words
that are a dime a dozen. this is truth. the truth.

i hope you picked out your favorites. yeah i knew you liked
those flowers and it’s not important which flowers you picked out
but the fact that you chose carefully what flowers
you would get yourself allowed me to get you the flowers
that you wanted, because people are not given flowers
often enough. and it has nothing to do with the price.
if you can’t afford flowers, steal your neighbor’s flowers.
i do not encourage theft: steal your neighbor’s flowers.
there are too many flowers living complete boring lives
in suburban wastelands or botanical gardens. there are flowers
in the discount section of the local grocery store.
that is the literal image that corresponds with a craigslist
missed connection ad. buy those flowers.

these flowers are a torch, so pick red and orange and yel-
low ones, because i am passing on to you something that you
should hold dearly as i would hold you dearly if you were not
across highways, oceans or galaxies my sweet alien love. i
want you to know that you are incendiary. when you
ignite the spark in your pulmonary arteries you set
flame to your lungs and the fumes in your lungs climb your
trachea like a smoke stack and you burn like a great ship
on a still ocean as brachiocephalic fireblood rushes to your
untouched arms and that is why i got you these flowers
so neither of us will ever forget the way that you were and are
and always will be.

this is the way that you were and are
and always will be.

take these flowers and find them water.

give them sunlight and sing them stupid songs.

put them in your windowsill and watch them bloom
young light to gamma-ray burst to inevitable dusk
may they be with you through it all.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015