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

READ “MOUSEKETEER”

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK KEROUAC

jack k

jk

A year ago today, I was driving through the Colorado Rocky Mountains and I wrote this poem:

MARCH 12TH

and here i am
burning fossil fuels in the pitch black
something
carving through the rockies
meandering down I70 like a punch-
drunk fool.

tonight, my love!
i kiss you
goodbye.
your trees are green
with envy
but i
have got to
confirm

that there is a world
past your western
slope.

i am slipping
through the cracks
in a black soul.

and this black soul of mine
seems
nervous;
a puppy, with its
tail between its
legs.

breckenridge burns to the ground
in my rear-view.
and my rear-view mirror
frames flashlight city
chasing after me
but this storm
can’t be caught.

this vehicle
is in motion.

i want my eyes to be
panoramic.
i want my limbs to
stretch history.
i need to know what my feet
feel like
in utah.
i have to breathe in the grand canyon’s
sighs
and the artificial air of vegas
casinos.

i am not retracing anyone’s footsteps.

and i am
not
tracing my
shape
into someone else’s
shadow.

i am disappearing.

i want to know
how it feels
to be in a ghost town.
i want to know how it feels
to be
a ghost town.

(may america lend me the disorient-
ation of not having the mountains to show me
which way west is.)

i need to talk to strangers
uncomfortably
and wake up
hungover
in the afterbirth of the womb
of the west.

i am not trying to erase
christianity.
i am trying to
talk to god
first-hand.

i want to see god’s face
without
any makeup on.

i want to hear that
voice:
mountain whistles
slot machine jingles
tumbleweed scratches
bob dylan’s harmonica

i know god exists.
i just want to meet him in
unexpected
places.

please…
sweetheart
try to understand.
i will
boomerang back to you-
don’t take it personally that
i shoot through your veins at
eightyfivemilesperhour
it’s not in your nature to be so
low.
and tonight!
in the darkest of dark

we can be whatever we want to be.

i’m letting my gut
blindfold my mind
throw ‘em in the trunk
and drive
us all
into
oblivion.

the road there is lit
solely by mountain stars
close enough to grab
between the boulders
and the neon stripper signs
i am sway-
ing like a crane game.

on the road
i am finally home

on the road
i am charming
and good company

on the road
i am as confused and conflicted and beautiful as
america

it’s march 12th
(happy birthday, jack kerouac)

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “HAIKU #2″

MARCH 12TH

and here i am
burning fossil fuels in the pitch black
something
carving through the rockies
meandering down I70 like a punch-
drunk fool.

tonight, my love!
i kiss you
goodbye.
your trees are green
with envy
but i
have got to
confirm

that there is a world
past your western
slope.

i am slipping
through the cracks
in a black soul.

and this black soul of mine
seems
nervous;
a puppy, with its
tail between its
legs.

breckenridge burns to the ground
in my rear-view.
and my rear-view mirror
frames flashlight city
chasing after me
but this storm
can’t be caught.

this vehicle
is in motion.

i want my eyes to be
panoramic.
i want my limbs to
stretch history.
i need to know what my feet
feel like
in utah.
i have to breathe in the grand canyon’s
sighs
and the artificial air of vegas
casinos.

i am not retracing anyone’s footsteps.

and i am
not
tracing my
shape
into someone else’s
shadow.

i am disappearing.

i want to know
how it feels
to be in a ghost town.
i want to know how it feels
to be
a ghost town.

(may america lend me the disorient-
ation of not having the mountains to show me
which way west is.)

i need to talk to strangers
uncomfortably
and wake up
hungover
in the afterbirth of the womb
of the west.

i am not trying to erase
christianity.
i am trying to
talk to god
first-hand.

i want to see god’s face
without
any makeup on.

i want to hear that
voice:
mountain whistles
slot machine jingles
tumbleweed scratches
bob dylan’s harmonica

i know god exists.
i just want to meet him in
unexpected
places.

please…
sweetheart
try to understand.
i will
boomerang back to you-
don’t take it personally that
i shoot through your veins at
eightyfivemilesperhour
it’s not in your nature to be so
low.
and tonight!
in the darkest of dark

we can be whatever we want to be.

i’m letting my gut
blindfold my mind
throw ‘em in the trunk
and drive
us all
into
oblivion.

the road there is lit
solely by mountain stars
close enough to grab
between the boulders
and the neon stripper signs
i am sway-
ing like a crane game.

on the road
i am finally home

on the road
i am charming
and good company

on the road
i am as confused and conflicted and beautiful as
america

it’s march 12th
(happy birthday, jack kerouac)

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SOAP OPERA OF VAMPIRES”

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