LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER

today was a cold day in denver. a few days ago they predicted we would get a crazy snow storm over the weekend and then nothing happened when they predicted it to. everyone was posting about it on social media posting cutesy memes and basically saying “where was that storm you guys said we were getting?” and then boom. it hit us. i decided to brave it and went up to boulder with a friend which was ill-advised but i was feeling adventurous. sometimes you have to weigh life over caution. anyways it was great. saw some good friends, drank tea and played a lot of cards against humanity. i wonder how erratic these weather patterns are or if they’ve always been like that. i think about the end of the world by way of us destroying the planet. i think about what that would look like. i try to judge the level of chaos that there would be. i imagine giant megastores being robbed of their merchandise, i imagine flaming cars in city streets, i imagine i have watched too much television. then i imagine staying home for the end of the world. the instinct to survive in humans is such a double-edged sword. when we’re stripped naked we protect our hearts with our clenched fists. i heard that would we could possibly make the planet unsustainable in a predictable 30 years. i never checked the accuracy of that because it depressed me that i could see it being true. it depresses me that our police officers make national news for allegations of shooting people. it depresses me that race is an issue in america in 2015. just hear that sentence. race is an issue in america in 2015. someday our children will say one of two things. one, your generation had a lot of race issues. or two, your generation fought against a lot of race issues. we are so saturated with all of this, we don’t have time to think about it. i’m complaining about social media on a blog site. oh man it looks like i am one of those loud hypocrites. i think the snow is getting to my head a bit. i digress. let’s go folks. my burner friends say 2015 could be a year of a lot of action. i think we can prove my burner friends right. because race is still an issue in america. because sex is still an issue in america. because animosity is still alive and we are still separated humans. oh i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to get political. we were supposed to be talking about the weather.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

MORNING

morning
you sonofabitch
you’ve ran off with my pants
the white light of snow
through the window
claws at my eyes
as i awake
to realize
i do not have my car

oh God
morning
the children through the wall
their screams of joy
like nails scratching at
my styrofoam skull
each hurricane tumble
a year off my life

i do not have my car
and my blood is made of whiskey
today is a beautiful fucking unicorn
that i don’t want to chase
but god dammit my bag
is in my car
and there’s two hour parking
where i parked
and this poem will probably be
the minute too late
as i arrive to blaring tow truck
eating my four-wheeled livelihood
like a black hole, a dark star
and this asteroid floats through space
pulled by all the gravities of the universe
hungover as shit
and not gonna lie
smiling

smiling at the demon i was
and the wretched angel i awoke as
this morning

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

SEND ME A POSTCARD

all my life i’ve leaned on my words and my heart like brick and mortar
so when that wall caved in
i found myself without a roof above my head
my rough hands may look like fists but in truth
they are just assuming the fetal position
i don’t know who i am when my home feels unfamiliar
we talk but it’s like a foreign film with the subtitles turned off

i don’t know who you are anymore
and that’s probably my fault
but there’s no reason to look at me like i’ve left
when my back is breaking trying to hold this roof up
and so is yours and i know that my knees are bending
and you are holding on to the heavy end
but we’ve gotta let go and let this crash down around us
maybe we’ll find that the open night sky provides the space we need
fresh air to breathe to provide relief
from the carbon monoxide around us
you pulled the batteries out of the detector
but i sat there and watched you do it

sometimes being in the moment
means playing cleanup for our past selves
and i think to myself
who was i then and how could i let it come to this
but then i wonder if my past self
was just overwhelmed with my past self
maybe i should live in the moment
and bring my walls in close for a while
but those tiny homes have terrible acoustics
and there’s never enough rooms in them
like a heart with just one chamber
and my heart has one thousand chambers
and there’s no ‘no’ on my vacancy sign
and i’ll leave the light on for ya
but i can’t promise you i’ll always be home
because i can’t provide bed and breakfast
when i’m sleeping on the floor starving to death
i’ve got places to meet and people to be
i’ve got a fatal case of wanderlust
and i know you want to join me on this flight
but it’s one way and red eye and i’ve read your ticket
you’re going somewhere else and you’re gonna love it there

sometimes the anchors that have kept us steady during heavy storms
become the ball and chain that keep us from the cosmos
have a safe flight. i love you more than anything. send me a postcard.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

WEST

Photo by Nathan Cowlishaw

Photo by Nathan Cowlishaw

ten thousand years ago
the world was taken up into a dust storm
a giant funnel grabbing everything
and spitting it out all across the earth
that dust storm died in the western united states

the edge of humanity
it took us moving that far west
to take a minute to stop moving
expansion is a two headed dog
one head foaming out the mouth insatiable
craving bone craving blood craving more
the other with closed eyes dreaming dog day dreams
we walked this whole world over
to end up in a desert

the wind dry and honest
the sky as blue as the potential of rivers
vast canyons like empty graves
scattered skulls dust of bones
trains on unending pathways through mountains
and valleys and hundreds of miles of death
a tree in the middle of nowhere
buzzards picking apart skulls
this is the end of the line
the last page of a long and confusing story
este es mi casa
this is my home

the rebels who rebelled against everything
the tongues that never found their taste
the swelling ground the shaking core the sun
the sun unabashedly breaking through clouds
the giant microscope in the sky
watching down over these red fire ants
these farmer’s tan arms these dust bowl workers
these women on porches holding in their arms the future
the mother of invention is necessity
and we are living in drought
we are drinking the water of life
while we die of thirst
this is the beautiful west
the largest ghost town i’ve ever seen
where the spirits never leave
because there’s nowhere else
for them to go

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

Nathan Cowlishaw, one of my favorite photographers who provided the photo for and inspired this piece, currently has a kickstarter going to raise money for a trip across the Mexican border and to continue to document this beautiful country. To pledge support or learn more, click here. To follow Nathan on Instagram, click here.

MONKEY SUIT

i’m sick and tired of wearing this monkey suit
of being in the middle of a beautiful dream
and having to apologize to my fellow actors
that i have to go now i’ve got somewhere else to be
i’m sick of being half-hearted in two different places
i want to smash each half together
and wage thunderstorms with the hazardous clack
i want to stock the armory of my heart
i want to sleep in the arms of strangers
i want to swing into the chaotic arms of america
into the world reaching away from gravity
i want to live unhinged and twist predisposition
drown destiny in a bath of hydrofluoric acid
i want to cast flaming thoughts in the caverns
of the collective consciousness
make a solid bid at eternity
while living in the current unmerciful moment
i want to scream in an empty auditorium
(i mean
that just kind of sounds fun at the moment)

it’s time
the time is now
my time is now
the wheel is in motion
a witch drew me the chariot
there is something in my bones unbroken in
that will paralyze me if i don’t break it in
so i have decided that i am going to break it in
i am
so fucking sick
and tired
of this monkey suit

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN AT A GAS STATION

it’s pitch black out
you can barely see her in the dim haze
of the lights from the convenience store windows
and the overhead lights above her as she pumps her gas
one hand in her black peacoat the other grasping the handle of
the gas pump. she stares blankly at the screen calculating her total
number of gallons of gasoline and her total cost. her eyes do not flinch.
she just stares completely blankly ahead of her. no one else is there. it is just her.
even the clerk inside is in the back, maybe closing a drawer or watching the news.
but it is night and it is just her and the nothingness of three in the hollow morning
her vacant eyes stare onward and she cannot look away from this something
this unavoidable something that comes creeping in on us all
when the night turns worldless and empty
when the stars hide and you are left
to face the silence and yourself
alone in this giant world where
the lights beam down just
on you and there is
just you.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

scapegoat, by sarah jane penney

Aaron the great discovered a way to punch out evil.
the unwanted ills of israel were cast out, placed on a goat
who was exiled & presumably died in the wilderness.
but i think that the goat lived a long and happy scape goat life,
unaware that he was fostering the sins of a nation. goats are hardy creatures
and it was hardly a death sentence to be cast out in the wild
so the sins of the nation probably lived a fulfilling life
under the hot blue sky of zion
and the scapegoat might
have even met a nice other scapegoat
and they may have had
scapekids
and all these sins just kept on going until someone was like
oh shit
awesome
wild goats
and they were captured for the nation!
everything fell to hell again
that just happens sometimes

SHANTIES AND MANSIONS

my tragedy
is so much worse
than your tragedy.

you think you’ve
got it bad?

you think you know
hardship?

well my ship
knows hard ship.

you’ve not survived
these storms i’ve weathered.

you have not seen
wreckage through the tide.

i have walked
through fire
and come out

the other side.

your grass
is so green.

you are blind
to the things
i have seen.

when i cry
i cry songs
you’ve never sang.

i die each day
in a brand new way.

so who are you
to complain?

who are you
to tell me
about pain?

(there was a silence
before the mirror replied:

i am a prophet
from the future
or maybe the past
come to remind you
that nothing can last

fires burn down
shanties and mansions
one and the same
but compassion is our common ancestor
and name)

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

donate blood

i can’t help but wonder about my ex-girlfriends sometimes
i wonder how big their wings have gotten or how small their horns
i wonder what existential epiphanies i didn’t get to experience
and i wonder what coals i didn’t have to cross for them

i run into past loves occasionally
it’s always interesting
that unspoken conversation you have
your bodies never forget each other
your eyes never stop staring at each other
but neither of you are the same person

they say we regenerate every cell in our bodies
over the course of seven years
what does that leave us to be?
what words would we say over coffee
flipping through pictures of strangers in phones
reminiscing about the things we once hated about each other
that are gone now

if you’ve ever watched a balloon float off into the sky
and followed it until you couldn’t see it anymore
imagining it hovering into orbit
past satellites and unidentified flying objects
you know how it feels to truly let go
to realize you are just an old radio song
to realize that mountains were once oceans
but first that bitter sting

like a needle piercing skin

never forget
donate blood

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

nonbreathing

kids
it’s a social jungle out there
and you’re gonna realize that
just about everyone has an opinion about
how you are supposed to live your life
it is a trillion dollar industry making clever suggestions
of what you should throw into the void

what will you throw into the void?
a beautiful house? a committed husband?
a church on fire? a pet goldfish? a novel?
(haha) a white picket fence? a god complex?
a poem?

there have gotta be so many poems
just floating around in the void

but kids
point is
you can play the game
make every correct step
and all the right connections
you can say all the right things
and follow the blueprint to the tee
but you are chasing insatiability
you can chase insatiability
but you’ll never stop
my suggestion
in laymen’s terms
is don’t give a fuck

clarification necessary on that one
don’t give a fuck
um
just decide what you want to do
and go
give it everything
run into this house on fire
and grab whatever is most valuable to you
and if you’re gonna be selfish
trust me, the world is gonna find a way
to let you know
nice people sleep better
i’d bet my life on it

and somedays will be lost to nothing
but not really
there’s a reason composers mark rests
we breathe in and out
but i don’t understand why there’s no name
for the pause inbetween the two

nonbreathing
yeah let’s call it nonbreathing

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015