RE: RE:

to V.T.S., who i hope will dance with me a while in this boxing ring

i drive my car
like i’m stuck in traffic
behind an old lady
or maybe a young lady
who’s convinced herself she’s old
i’m antsy
i shake my steering wheel
and don’t get why i have to go
the speed that she’s determined for me

it makes me want to smoke
but i’m not a smoker
not after sex
and not stuck in this traffic either
it takes more
than someone else’s stubbornness
to make me consider breaking habit
that being said
i can’t stop saying cigarette
the word haunts me
i swear
it sneaks its way into my letters
it highlights itself in my vonnegut novels

america is shit
maybe
depends how i’m feeling
on any given day
or how i’m dressed
or what organ of it’s body
i find myself trapped in
vonnegut got the bowels
from what i’ve read
it’s not hard to see
how he could have concluded
that america is in fact
shit

it’s not all true
but
america is shit
it’s a lot of fun to say

america is shit

writers do keep saying it
god damn broken records
sitting at their typewriters
in a beat-up apartment
in new york
smoking a cigarette
but records keep on skipping
until someone
gets up out of their lazy boy
and moves the needle forward

cigarette

whoops there i go again
america is shit
i’m young and angsty
and america is shit

but i’m not america
and i try not to get mad at her
when she goes all manic on me
and keeps saying the same things
over and over

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CIGARETTE”

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”

WENDOVER, UTAH

i was behind the wheel of a car
in the warm fall of utah
and the hood was down
and the wind was blowing through my hair
and all around me were these great wind turbines
like monsters in the middle of nothing
and the radio was the perfect volume
and on the side of the road
was a sinister looking cop
in red aviator sunglasses
and as soon as i passed by
he flipped on his lights, his siren
but then he just drove right on by me
the highway was endless
the constant birds on the telephone wires
turned their heads as i drove by
and i just keep going
it didn’t stop
i knew that this road never ended
there was no great city that it lead to
there was no lover on the far end waiting for me
this was the everything i had
and i could grab it in my fist
but some of the petals slipped by
and they just became fragments of me
lost and lost and lost and lost

i closed my eyes
and fell asleep on a hotel bed in wendover
i turned the television on
and the room sounded quieter
the sheets were stale
and i’m pretty sure it was just me,
the hotel manager and a few scattered souls
floating around the casinos

there was a mark in the road where the state line was
and when i passed it the next morning
i don’t know that i felt anything

i don’t know what i’m getting at
and to be completely honest
this is just flotsam and jetsam
of the american highway
and i’m tired and i’m bored
there’s no land left to discover
and there’s empty houses
that no one can afford

i’m sorry
i keep trying to describe this
the problem is there’s nothing to describe
but i’m smiling

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “DEAREST HIPSTERS”

ON THE FIRES IN COLORADO

*wrote this one a while ago, but took it down to try to submit it a couple places. No such luck, so I thought I’d post it again:

when the western horizon you’ve relied upon is engulfed in flames
when the tv screen screams and the telephone blares and you have
to leave home, have to say goodbye to the place you call home
when you have to run from your memories into clinical stations
into big giant rooms with terrible beds and the floors are flooding
with mothers and fathers and children engulfed in tears drowning out
the western light of chaos out of the western wind, the mountains on fire
when God is a child with a matchbook and somehow God is a fire truck too
when hopelessness spreads like wildfires spreading like the house you used your
soft hands to build and your hard heart to make a home to live and love within
when the grey ghosts like titans tear at your rib cage; your ceiling beams
when there is a genocide on your happiness being composed by an insane conductor
when the evergreens are nevermore and in your rearview mirror is everything
you could carry and in your rearview mirror is smoke and ash and years gone away
when the radio is calm voices that shriek through your sweating forehead and
how are they so calm? why are they so calm? in their cool newsrooms as the reports
pour in like fires like endless fires amongst mountains older than any of us and it
follows you everywhere like a murderer chasing your family down interstate twenty-five and
when you seek refuge in denver, in the hearts and homes of anyone who’ll have you
and you just want to turn off the television and turn off the lights and turn off the sky
when your tears are not enough, when they fight the fires but the fires fight back
when you don’t know what tomorrow looks like and when yesterday is just a dying
phoenix flying falling on its final pair of wings when ashes to ashes and dust to dust
when the road is home but the road is not your home, when you learn to carry your
home inside of yourself and when home is your child’s hand in the palm of your hand
there is struggle and there is a day you have to go back to the debris and the rust and death
and shovel through to see what the world looks like if you were not a part of it but
when you are forced to do all this, i admire your courage and anyone caught in the cross-
fires knows that this too will pass and until it does i wish you serenity and love and don’t let
the fires that burn endlessly swallow the stories i have heard in your throat and see in your
red eyes.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

 

READ “MARCH 12TH”

RANT POETRY CONTEST!

SEVIER COUNTY

i followed endless yellow lines endlessly
through a ghost’s shadow in utah and
there were no crickets and there was no god
pushing endlessly through the endless stomach of
the pupil of eternity; i was alone the way you think of
a lighthouse as being alone
and in the onyx smoke of sevier county the headlights
of my vehicle only reminded me that this place
this gun buried in a bible
was never to be found
i was a bullet in a dusty barrel
and the moon was swallowed by the sky
one hundred some odd miles
no services
the analog clock on my dashboard
was irrelevant numbers
and the oldies radio station was the muffled voices
of dead people
drowsy drivers cause crashes
warned that sign that grew out of the earth
and my eyes acknowledged
two voids staring hollow into the void staring back
i was draining like a dirty bathtub
and from the desert night road to ghost rocks
a pair of headlights blinked at me from the margins of existence
i won’t stop i said out loud to my self
and in my rear-view mirror i saw those phantom eyes
fade into non-existence
in dark roads and dark rooms alike they will always haunt me
blinking forever, lost in never.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ROGAINE”