ARAPAHOE COUNTY, COLORADO

you’re off in japan
with the giant cartoons and constant workflow
lost in the hustle and bustle of lines and railways
clinking bells and chaos noise symphonic

you’re off in san francisco
in a slanted city dizzy from the bicycles
burning through the silly traffic
stuck beside the bay
in a tower in chinatown where you drink
mai tais and study the gentrification of
dust below

you’re off in south south america
dancing on the edge of cape horn
hand in hand with a lover
your mind partially above frozen water
but so much more of your epileptic majesty
buried beneath
your hands reach for the south pole
as mine just reach out for you

you are lost amongst the redwoods
mourning the coming death of your loved one
you sit naked beside giants and you paint
with your fingers on the canvas in your lap
the trees don’t end until they get to heaven
you share the trees with heaven

you, stranger, are stuck in the madness of bangkok
the banging of pots and pans
guns, girls and ganja
massive heart attack motorcycle smog lady boy
mad mad madness
in transit from the sanity in your head
homeless and happy and we were so close to something

you are off in the void
the space between nothing and everything
the space between death and faith
fistful of pills
skull cracked against the bathroom tile
your book is still in the back of my car
we never finished our poem

you are out in the ether of the cosmos
you are dancing on trains with strange strangers
and cursing the dice that don’t roll sevens
it’s half past nine and you’re half past eleven
it’s pointless to try to write you

you are off somewhere strange
but you are still adamantly here in my heart
in my chest
in arapahoe county, colorado

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “DRIVING DOWN ORCHARD ROAD”

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BLOOD ON THE AMERICAN HIGHWAY

there is blood on the american highway
red paint splattered on white median lines beneath a blue sky
we run from coast to coast
we take off in the night, trunk left open, and we fly through the eye of the needle
into the rocky mountains in search of the final sun
that sun which burns brightly dying for california
we kiss the hills along the way
we salute the cold night concrete with lit cigarettes left to ash
we don’t know where we go
we just do as the green signs tell us to

the lostest of the lost pioneers
disoriented we are disoriented we follow the smoke signals
we drive right through the indian ghost the song of the past
we just blast the radio as if we could fill the sky with sound
great american rock sound
blaring guitars, raging drums, and the bass that moves
like a convertible through the wind
the sound through your head

this is our american song
rewritten and rewritten again
we search for freedom in its bars
independence in four four time
this is our american song
waking up in motel sixes with no cigarettes
and the t.v. is on for noise
and the sex through the wall
and the jingling of slot machines down the hall
and the hum of the ice machine
check out time is eleven o clock

we wrote our song into our constitution
first we decided we would be free
then we decided we needed guns
and we threw a couple to alabama
and we threw a few more to texas
and we boarded up the borders that we broke down

there are lights in fields in plains of kansas
to light the gymnasium swaying to high school dance
we move our hips like pioneers
we throw our hands up in the air
and when the music dies down
we drive to the tops of hills that look down on the nothing
and we kiss like we have to

then we’re off again
down the bloody american highway
through cities and deserts and fields and mountains
and more cities and we’re going where no one else has gone
at least that’s what we tell ourselves

we throw on our kerouac hats
and put an eighth of ginsberg in our glove compartment
we load up our hemingways into the trunk
and we drive
we drive into the most unnatural horizon
we move down the bloody american highway
tank on e, stuck with the am radio through the worst parts of utah
we move at so many miles per hour
of course
there is blood on the american highway

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “BEN”

“CALIFORNIA, STOP SWALLOWING MY FRIENDS” REBLOGGED ON MIKKIANTONIO

A Few Things:

First of all, MIKKIANTONIO reblogged one of my favorite poems I’ve written, “California, Stop Swallowing My Friends.” Check it out HERE.

Second, Flashlight City Blues is now taking poetry submissions. Find more info HERE.

If neither of these things interest you, look at a picture of my cat Gus HERE.

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”

MISSION STREET BLUES

there’s a swarm of bees meandering the streets of san francisco. there’s women in homicidal heels and men in nothing too special. everyone’s got their hoods up and their eyes high and it’s making me sad that no one seems to have the time to look around. this city is on fire, desperate for attention. it’s beautiful. these buildings have scars all over them and they’re the good kind of scars, but everyone is just pushing the stroller. everyone is just carrying the bag. everyone looks too damn preoccupied with the inside of their heads to realize that there is a living thing surrounding them. clockwork. there’s hipster girls and gay boys in pairs. there’s peacoats and taxis and bars filled to the brim with chewing faces, beautiful asian women, beards and yeah, a few too many pairs of judgmental eyes. lights everywhere.

and i miss denver. this city makes denver look like a bad comedian but god, i miss denver. i miss my friends. i miss my family. i miss denver’s crooked smile and her warm heart and the barcade and sixteen street and the mountains.

i’ve got the golden gate bridge and the bay and the city and the hills and the smell of sea salt in the air and all i want is to lay down in my mediocre bed with denver. i want to sit in my basement apartment and talk until three in the morning with my friends and i want to listen to the beatles on my record player.

“i bet it’s snowing in denver,” says francis, facetiously and i say,
“i hope so. i love the snow. i love my city that doesn’t have a barney’s and doesn’t have an apple store the size of steve job’s ego and i love that we were almost the ones who travelled to the end of the world, but stopped because we remembered that sometimes being land-locked just means you’ve got four walls around you. sometimes living in a square state means you know your boundaries. you know when to call it a night and just lay down in front of a fire with the door cracked open.

don’t get me wrong, francis, you’re great. really, you are. you’re by far the curviest girl i’ve ever met. you’ve got a way better personality than los angeles and you have beautiful buildings flowing through your veins. and yeah, you’re really god damn progressive. you’ve got your shit together. but you’re the dream, and i want the reality. i want to settle down. you’re kind of an indie marilyn and i’m looking for a jackie-o. that’s all.

WOKE UP IN SAN FRANCISCO

woke up in san francisco
woke up in someone else’s skin
in someone else’s bed
in the driver’s seat of someone else’s car

woke up skinnier and emptier
in a good way
woke up ready to be filled
by the thicker air
and the resonance of wind chimes

woke up saturated in happy
woke up dizzy-eyed
and sore headed
woke up wanted to dream in the daylight

woke up wandering aimlessly
through a life i couldn’t afford
woke up in luke warm water
in someone else’s bathtub

woke up with a briefcase
filled with hotel soaps
and shampoos and lotions
stolen white towels
covered with the resin
of the disoriented people
who came before me

woke up in a high rise apartment
with wooden floors
and the 75 mph highway wind
out the window
like a portrait of a world waiting
or a pending suicide

woke up in an elevator
hung over
at the feet of shiny shoes
and muffled voices
the dinging of numbers
the echoes of morning lovers
down the hallway

woke up in san francisco
but i’m still dreaming of denver

woke up in san francisco
without a hangover
or a missed phone call
without a drop of seratonin
out of place

woke up in san francisco
only to fall asleep
in the arms of a woman
who doesn’t know me
who could never commit to me
well
who i could never commit to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MIKE TEEVEE”

“MICKEY MOUSE FOR PRESIDENT” FEATURED ON 4 WRITERS AND READERS BLOG

OR READ THE POEM HERE

REDHEAD (TO DENVER)

my dear
you
are between a rock and a hard place
your face does not illuminate the same as the others
your lights are few and speckled
but i’ve always loved freckles
you are a grid system at first glance
i know they tell you real women have curves
but real women know better than that
sometimes you are cold and the conversation runs dry
but it’s not easy being as high as you are all the time
i love you
i never want to leave you
and i know you don’t believe me
but you are the nerdy, artsy girl
who turns out to be an angel in disguise
your heart is too full
you take in the battered, the bruised, the hungry the used and they try to tell you your heart is a cash register
but i have heard your heart ticking at the cabaret tower
sixteenth street the prettiest string to play on your cello soul
i am in love with you
you smell like the west
you are the little sister anxiously awaiting her groom
california, california, california
they all leave you for california
but you and i both know they’ll be back
california is a pathological liar
her lie detector tests look like her richter scales
it is you i love
when i am within you i hear your quiet insecure voice
you’ve been torn up, torn down
and the mountains will always put a blanket on your cold bare shoulders
your children
they play along the light rail tracks
they run off to school at d.u. at m.s.c.d. at b.f.e.
but at the end of the night, they’ll always come back
i am a part of you, beautiful
let the jesters run off to hollywood
we will show our unpainted faces to the world together
“next stop, 10th and osage” you whisper
“convention center”
“pepsi center elitch gardens”
let them think you’re vain
i know why you stop where you do
i know in december you get lonesome for your heroes
you refrigerate poetry in your cold air
the mercury cafe measuring your temperature
big blue bear
your awkward oversized blatant invitation
2 am your resignation
some cities neep to sleep
new york never dreams
my love, don’t cry
the tears will freeze in your eyes
you are the red winter rose that grows slowly
you are an indie movie theater
you are a redhead
you are my lover
my midnight streetlight as i caress up and down you elevators
you are leela’s coffee
and the tarantula billiards
you are not wells fargo
they may tattoo you
but you are swing dancing at dazzle and above poetry cafes
you are 18th and market 21st and wynkoop union station tattered cover cheeseman park wash park everywhere inside of yourself
you are two-fisted mario’s blasting shit metal into your bitter chilly hair
you are the girl in a hoody and a skirt
hot dog stands that new york rejected and chicago was too tired for
you are the moodiest girl i know
you get a little too drunk on coors light
and you let far too many stoners crash on your city park couch
your heating bill is way too high
and you are never the same person twice
but i like crazy girls
the mad ones
and i know you will get the everything you desire
just keep being a mile above the rest
freckleface
a beautiful underdog who dances best drunk

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “BOSTON LOGAN”