A GIRL NAMED AMERICA

we adopted this girl
from an orphanage in the middle of nowhere
and we named her america
and we made her america
and we made her pretty
we put her hair in curlers
and we dyed it blonde
we put her in a pink dress
and red rouge

we taught her how to walk in heels
and how to smile with vaseline on her teeth
we made her eyes blue
and we threw her out on stage

and she was our little princess
with her sparkling tiara
queen of this old beauty pageant
she juggled and she sang
and she twirled her baton
like the american flag

we taught her how to barely eat anything
we showed her how to fold her napkin
and to excuse herself from the table
we taught her to cross her legs like a lady
we never stopped teaching her how to win

and on the world stage, she smiled
and she danced and she sang and she smiled
and when she spoke, she spoke of charity
and freedom and she opened her arms
for the world to hug her

then she got older
and the world is cruel
and everyone got sick of her
saying the same scripted things
again and again
and she grew desperate for attention
she got naked on the silver screen
burnt herself into an edie sedgewick coma
made a million off her tragedy

she danced for dollars
thrown by old, rich, white, american men
she still smiled like marilyn
but she was dying where everyone could watch
she talked about the past like a drug she loved
she shot quick fixes into her fragile arms

meanwhile
her lovely bones turned to dust
her structure began to break
her knees cracked
and her backbone crumbled
while we yelled at her
to get out on stage
and dance like she used to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING”

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“HEROIN CHIC” REBLOGGED ON NATALIE ELIZABETH BEECH BLOG

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

MTV

what happened to you?
you used to be the one we could listen to
none of the crap
all of the things that really mattered

when did you trade in your grungy working class shirt
for this slutty dress?

when did you become defiant
to your own name?

are you unaware?
do you not see the direct effect
of your actions?

did you grow up
the younger, new and improved yuppie
do you not remember why
you stuck your flag in the moon
to begin with?

the funny thing is
now you’re just a snowy screen
hypnotic imagery
a magazine
that has been overrun
with too many ads

you are moving each day
further and further away from nirvana

your perception of reality
is enough to drive me insane
when did you replace your own graffiti
with face wash ads

when did you bleach your asshole?

when did you pawn your combat boots
for a slot in times square?

WHEN DID YOU STOP BEING MUSIC TELEVISION?

you are a lie
i can’t pretend anymore
welcome to the real world

i don’t want to date your mom
i don’t want to watch
as you twist the bottle open
for the eyes
on both sides of the glass screen

i don’t want anything to do with you
this is my total request

i’m not pleading for you to come back
you’re far too deeply and darkly addicted to yourself
and you think you look so great in rehab

i’m not pleading for you to come back
i just hate that you decided
to let us all watch you die

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “REST”

MICKEY MOUSE FOR PRESIDENT!

mickey goofy 2012!
minnie will make a great first lady
let america’s sweethearts into america’s suite
mickey promises candy to everyone
goofy’s stance on foreign policy is hug it out

roger rabbit for the democratic nomination
plenty of jessica rabbit scandal to push his platform
he will draw a better world into existence

when foghorn leghorn is speaker of the house
and betty boop is secretary of state
it’s hard to call the senate to order

paint the white house technicolor
these caricatured characters are running the show

hulk hogan for minnesota
who else can lay down jesse the body?

hulk for california
because who else can beat the terminator?

C3PO for foreign affairs
diplomatic, fair and he is fluent
in over six million form of communication

obi wan kenobi for new york
because he is our only hope

pikachu for florida
to deal with with the lightning issue

uncle sam has been impeached
for relations with a fox-y lady

ziggy stardust for wisconsin
because why not?

james bond for secretary of defense
other countries will be shaken, not stirred

paul bunyan for texas
because everything’s bigger in texas

kermit the frog will not be running
his marxist views are not reciprocated
plus puppet always do better on the media side
talking heads with hands up their asses

ronald mcdonald and the burger kind
will continue to run the food and drug administration

hannah montana for montana
elvis for vegas
sarah palin for alaska

american jesus for treasurer
because we really need god on our side

when you go to vote
remember
a vote for the count is a vote that counts

these caricatured characters
with shiny white teeth
and fresh pressed suits
dancing to “the entertainer”
in top hats, with canes
in the wings of the stage
the truth is being tied up
with wonder woman’s lasso
and they just keep dancing
to “the entertainer”
because who doesn’t love
the entertainer?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “BULLSHITTERS”

BULLSHITTERS

there are these mannequins among us
constantly filming their biopics in their weasly heads
they talk like channel surfing
they make babies like they’re told
they point finger guns at the coppers
as they go to the astroturf universities for criminal justice
i wish they’d swallow their tongues
how the resolution of the digestive process thereafter would gracefully mimic their former speech patterns
cookie cutter rock stars
they used sugar instead of cocaine
apple juice instead of whiskey
they mock the labels of movements
that never wanted to be labeled
in expensive t-shirts
in canvas bags that will always remain unpainted
as profound as a coffee table
but nowhere near as conversational
they speak into microphones wired to headphones on their ears
on the importance of recycling
they steal, they plunder, they take what isn’t theirs
they leave their cerebral play-doh out
until it dries up and isn’t fun to play with anymore
weekend poets
“i can’t protest tonight, i’m getting my hair done”
cowards in lion’s costumes
princesses in burlap bags
whores in onesies
i lament the death of their individuality
not even
their very being
suffocating in an air-tight room of wandering
they dance like dead people
they make love like divorcees fuck
they sing other people’s songs
and forget the words
they follow cars
they spray-paint golden people the same shade of bullshit that they are
and print off equality flags
their rear-view and front-view and side-view windows
are covered with bumper stickers

they kiss with their lips
their hearts in a coma
they sing with their throats
as sirens shipwreck inside of them
tame tigers
ugly beauty contests
elitist religions
the open-door policies of bomb shelters
come-as-you-are black tie events
there are these manicans among us
with black market jackets filled with
imitation heartbreak watches
they give absurdity a bad name
as they watch other people play the victim
on high definition television screens
in their cars
as they drive through nature green and life-like
to bullshit towns
that they overpopulate
with overboiled ideas
and al dente emotions
holding hands
listening to the radio’s bleeding ears
as bullshitters
translate truth into
electric folk songs.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “THE GRAFFITI ARTIST”

THINK OUTSIDE OF THE HEART-SHAPED BOX

Last week, Lana Del Rey covered the song “Heart-Shaped Box” originally by Nirvana, spurring an interesting response by Courtney Love over Twitter.  Courtney Love composed a now infamous Tweet about how the song is about her vagina:

PHOTO COURTESY OF AUSTIN KLEON

Hey. Wait. I’ve got a new complaint:

What I’d like to say is Huffington Post got it right when they called Courtney Love “outspoken.” I don’t care if you talk about your vagina online. That doesn’t bother me in the least. What bothers me is how Courtney Love managed to demean this song for me and possibly plenty of people around me. I am a big Nirvana fan. I place Nevermind on the list of my favorite albums, up there with The Beatles’ White Album and Hail to the Thief by Radiohead.

“Heart-Shaped Box,” off of In Utero is not about your vagina, Courtney Love.

Who am I to say this? Courtney Love was married to Kurt Cobain, for crying out loud. She would know if the song was about her lady business.

Let’s go back: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. “Oh, that song is about LSD,” said every moron ever. These songs are not about drugs, they are not about Courtney Love’s vagina. Sure, Heart-Shaped Box has a very sexual connotation. Sure, Courtney Love might have written some of the lyrics. What I don’t appreciate is limiting the ideas of what a song is.

Heart-Shaped Box, to me, is about the claustrophobia of love. It’s about the addiction of being lost in someone. Once again, this quickly leads to a sexual connotation, but there’s an intention to that too. I think Courtney Love would acknowledge this as well, but God, is she so desperate for press that she makes these outlandish statements?

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, to me, is about childhood innocence. It’s about vibrant life, it’s about imagination, and yes, John Lennon being the cryptic genius he was, I guarantee it’s no accident that the name also spells out LSD.

Note that I put “to me”, because this is all subjective. The fight I’m trying to fight is people who limit their perspective on what music is about, or limit what anything is about to something as simple as “Courtney Love’s vagina,” or “drugs.” This idea strikes me hard as a writer, specifically as a poet, because when I write, and when most of the people around me make art of any kind, it’s never as shallow as writing about one controversial topic. They have something to say. That’s why it angers me when a complex and timeless song like Heart-Shaped Box gets put inside of another box, gets limited. I just want to challenge people here to not let that song become a one-note song. Don’t let it become an allusion to that one time Courtney Love opened her mouth on Twitter. The same way I challenge you not to define yourself as a hippie, or a hipster, or a rockabilly performance artist, or a mom, or a senator. These things are important to who you are, and may help you find yourself, but you cannot be describe in 140 characters or less, and neither can Heart-Shaped Box.

More on Courtney Love’s vagina:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-lana-del-rey-heart-shaped-box_n_1723074.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

http://www.nme.com/news/courtney-love/65224

http://whfs.radio.com/2012/07/31/courtney-love-wants-lana-del-rey-to-think-about-her-vagina/

http://nounmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/stop-everything-things-are-happening-on-the-internet/