02.08

0208

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(midnight hype with ratatat.)

atrophy, apathy and the letters between lovers
disect your very core to try and find the blind
the walk of shame through the halls of college dorms
the parasail that treads too close to water
let’s unshelter the shelters, let’s unveil the mask of sanity
let the world see our naked scarred unshaven selves
we will sit elevated in a glass box above times square
and frozen in time we will move as fast as traffic
if life is a graph of time versus love versus change
what would happen if you crumpled up the sheet of paper
the equation was written on?

condense your density. make true your individual rhythm.
martyr your dark dark dark dark dark heart
and allow yourself to become as soft as soft symphony
cram your head full of knowledge then let it all go
binge and purge. create then destroy. love then let love.
you have a finite amount of infinite to give the infinite.
your hourglass figure can only be flipped so many times
requiem. become requiem. become undeniable. stand
on the pedestal that you have created
from cracks in the sidewalk you stepped on
when you break your mothers back consider the fact
that maybe you adjusted the lump in her spine
close your history books and listen to the eyes of auschwitz
the scars of pearl harbor, the radiation of hiroshima
take a shot of nagasaki and chase it with karoshi
we’re all melting like the wicked witch of the west
we are all bleeding like the eternal tsunami of the east
our stripy socks shrivel up beneath the house hovering over our heads

we rob peter to pay paul and then we use paul’s money
to take peter’s girl out for a night on the town
but she never calls because she’s in love with paul
and we ignore the fall, the mighty fall of the american empire
and the fire, it burns us all the same, we have only ourselves
and a thousand past lives left to blame, we’re so brash
do not ask what you can do for your country
once we see the fire it burns us all the same, we’re so brash
ash to ash, dust to dust, from first to last lashes
ashes to ashes
we
all
fall
down

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.09, DAY 9 OF THE 28 DAY 02.2013 PROJECT

02.2013 is a twenty-eight day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

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02.06

I’m late again. I know. I’m a terrible person. We’ve had nothing but horrendous computer problems at home so I’m at the library now typing my 02.06 poem…

0206

(kingdom.)

they kept the stones stacked properly
replaced any cracks with newer stronger ones
the moat was only dug deeper
and the ropes of the drawbridge
were always taught
unfrayed and prepared to open their door
to visitors

the prince and his sister, the princess
played together in their room
away from echoing yells down corridors
distorted and unfamiliar to innocent ears

the walls grew taller each day
the halls were repainted
and the flowers well-mended
the windows overlooked the mountains
massive and unflinching
but they crumbled each day
small bits of rock rolling into river

the king dressed regally
his gold polished his robes as neat
as the careful steps he took
through the palace alone
the queen was gorgeous
she grew older as do we all
but she grew better
her dresses flowed beautifully
she carried herself with the stature
of some great bird

and the king and the queen danced
in the ballroom alone
to the sound of the gramaphone
red curtains and waltzes
they danced til they were done

and when they were done
they looked at each other
dead in the eyes
and said i love you
and it was the last time they ever would

the castle was up-kept as well as it could be
no detail went un-missed
no imperfection went uncorrected
but sometimes decay just happens
from the inside out

nothing could save the kingdom
the empire of their love had simply vanished
a silent foreign enemy come in the night
stole the love they harvested like gold straw
the castle was hollow now
and the king and the queen
just the pages of a fairy tale

they closed the book
looked up from the pages
and had to find where they were
without the love
they thought they were promised forever

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.07, DAY 7 OF THE 28 DAY 02.2013 PROJECT

02.2013 is a thirty day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

02.01

02.01 jpeg

(moving day)

I have gutted the inside of my heart
Thrown out the dusty shit memories
And wrapped the fragile ones
In old newspaper
I separated heartache into a trash pile
And a donation pile
And I threw some guilt into the fireplace
To keep the place warm
Since the heat had been turned off

I packed up hope
And when there was room at the top of the box
I tossed in some doubt
To use the box to its full advantage
And I labeled the box
“Brice. Assorted nonsense.”

When we backed the truck in
Unlocked and lifted the door
The first thing we packed
Was my past
We spent a good half hour
Figuring out where to place my conviction
I wrapped the top
Of my glass emotions
With some packing tape
So they wouldn’t spill on my temper
And catch fire

I nearly broke my back
Lifting my self-esteem up the stairs
But a couple friends lended their hands
And of course
I paid them in beer

My awkwardness wasn’t heavy
It was just awkward

My dresser drawers were empty
So we filled them with some loose creativity
I didn’t really have anywhere else to put it

The drive to the new place was quiet
Except for the occasional sound from the back
I was a little worried my soul might have broken
When I heard something scratching
And a loud crash

But we lifted the door to the moving van
And sure enough everything was fine
My ego was a bit bruised
But I don’t know if that even happened
During the move

The new place was smaller
I had to put a good friendship in storage for now
But god
Someday when I’m wealthier
I mean wealthier wealthier
Not you know
Wealthier wealthier
I can’t wait to take it out
Find a place for it
Between my laughter and honest
Maybe hang it above a mantel
Frame it in trust

We emptied the truck
Swept it pretty well
And took it back
And sure enough
Empty clean carpet
Became the callouses of my feet
White white walls
Broke into ribs of my rib cage
Grey dust and brick
Lit up like embers of my heart
Burning off the boxes we used
To move me somewhere else

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.02, DAY 2 OF THE 02.2013 PROJECT

MADNESS IN RESPONSE TO MINGUS

the room looks extra dark tonight
the lights of the lamps all off somewhere else
on, i guess, a kind of mental vacation
man, i could use a mental vacation
it feels like it’s the same damn thing
again and again and again and again
and then i’ll break free from the mad mad madness
and then again! and again! and again!
and i’m rolling myself up in my flea bitten persian rug
and i’m rolling around my walls at home
and i’m high on the ceiling rolling, rolling, rolling
eyes dizzying, eyes jazz, just fuckin busting out of my mind
weird

those weird days
they seem to be multiplying
rising exponentially and having so much fun
running around my skull and eating all the food in my mental pantry
and i’m trying, man, i mean, really, i’m trying to work through
the jazz and the chaos and it probably doesn’t help
that all i crave is the jazz and the chaos and the bouncing soul
of a triumphant bass line that slows down
it slows down. it slows down. and i can catch my breath.
and run a bath and close my eyes and sink into the water
and not think about what monsters are clawing at the other side
of the bathroom door

i can just relax
no errands to be run or calls to be made
no bills to be paid and no problems buzzing at the door
i can just be and find myself proudly naked and proudly alone
i don’t even care for the mirror
i don’t care to form my hair into a graceful shampoo mohawk
i can just sit and sit and sink into the hot running bathwater
and not think about the bills and the problems buzzing
and buzzing and buzzing and buzzing at the door
and the woman gnawing at my missed call list and the high wearing off
as the bathwater becomes luke warm and who am i kidding
i am still in crisis i’m living in crisis
it’s where i’ve made my home and if i’m not aware of the madness
i am searching for it
and i’m always searching for it
because i get just too damn bored
sitting in this room, in this room, my room
it’s not my room, i can’t take claim
it’s not my room
it’s just a place that i try and be
and stare into the light
but the room looks extra dark tonight

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “SEVERAL THOUGHTS ON A FLY IN MY BEDROOM TONIGHT”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

CRICKETS

it looks like it’s just me and the crickets tonight
the crowds poured in like flash floods
they shook, they rampaged, they rumbled the house
they spilt their drinks all over the tables
they danced on the wet tables
they kissed in my closets
they unhinged my doors and they set my clothes on fire
they blew out my speakers with their digital tribal anthems
they cursed the name of daylight
their hands reached out towards the night sky
the room filled with smoke
the intercourse of chattering, the music of heart
they filled the crevices and corners of my life
the kissing gourami wallflower star-crossed lovers
who wake up demons with bad breath and hangovers
they clawed at the walls, they clawed the ceilings
they hung their reservations from the ceiling fan
and watch as it shredded them to dust
like leftover confetti on the mardis gras ground
i slipped into my bed, slipped into my mind
as the world turns turbulent around me
as the clocks lost track of time
and the freezer began to fill with pairs of keys
the morning came like snow on january first
and the floor was littered with bodies in coma
slowly they dwindled, they faded, they disappeared
out into the long line of cars
out into the systematic revolution of deadlines
and bus schedules and inevitable responsibility
now you listen to me and what i have to say
until you too wander off out into delusional reality
and then, as it always end up,
it’s just me and the crickets tonight

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “WINDSTORM (A DREAM)”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING

i am an apartment building
way too new to look so old
the grass in my front yard
grows ancient and unkempt
it is manic vicious refuses to be cut
it climbs my stoop
where angry looking children
play dice games and punch each other
as hard as they can

my front door is red
you can see it from down the street
it sings like it wants something
it is trying to fill the unoccupied spaces
in my body

there are plenty of vacant spaces left within me
squatters decorate the rooms with their presence,
their knick knacks their petty sentimental garbage
and i’ve grown to cherish what they leave inside of me
if only temporarily

in the room of my head
there is a jazz club with a roof garden
the walls are rich thick wood
and the view is spectacular
the whole city is technicolor after a rainstorm from there

the jazz club is always kickin busy on the weekends
women in breathing black dresses sway to the wind blowing through
pulled along by men in nice suits with fancy hats
who know how to swing dance
they all appreciate the bass player
the way he tugs at his strings in the shadows
unseen but resonating in the blood of the party
the music is rarely driven by the words
it is all just tasteful chaos in here
on the best weekends the ghost of charlie parker comes
and plays his saxophone like he died doing that

the weekdays at the jazz club are hungover and dreary
the tables are messy, the help keep their hands full
clearing off the half full half empty wine glasses
they scrub the scuff marks out of the floors
they water the plants and they see the city around me
in the morning, when its ugly birthmarks are exposed
but they all find it beautiful and it is, just the same

in apartment number 303
there is a mad man, a painter, an artist
pacing like he, pacing like he, pacing like he
can’t finish his painting, he’s stuck, he can’t do it
he cringes in the empty corners, he holds his shins
he inspects the flecks of color on his denim jeans
he is neurotic, useless, talking to his easel and he
is lost, distant, unavailable, phone turned off, mailbox full
he has learned the art of not calling back credit card companies
he stares out windows like the world is staring in at him
he looks around paranoid for the telescopes and the spies
that probably aren’t there, but you can’t be too sure
he heard a crackle on the phone line, he keeps his chain lock on
and he has been known to play music to drown out the madness
of his babblings from the twisted ear listening in
he still hasn’t thought about his painting

in apartment 207
there’s a mother and a father with a brand new baby girl
and a jealous little boy who had to realize
there is a small possibility he is not the center of it all
they rock the little girl asleep and the boy goes out to the patio a lot
he watches the woman draining her soaked sheets the floor below
sometimes he’ll catch the rambling painter creating smoke above him
he looks out at the city like it isn’t real
like it’s something he made up to pass the time between now and then

the mother and father put the kids to bed at nine
the boy just lays awake restless in his dark bed
while the father puts a record on, gently places the needle
and him and the mother dance on yesterday’s newspaper
so they don’t spill wine on the rented carpet
they are careful not to wake their children with their need to love

the architect who designed this building must have been on drugs
there are staircases that don’t go anywhere
and there are attics where there should be basements
there are furnace rooms where there should be janitor closets
and there is this constant creaking
like the floors aren’t going to last much longer

in apartment 808
the bass bumps at inappropriate hours of the night
there is a black poet who lives there
who hums om to the radio until the frequencies pour through him
and he releases onto the white page of america
a cataclysmic inspired verse of devastating honesty
a drum beat manufactured from pieces of the artist soul
and held together with the glue of audacity
he carves his letters deep into the paper
in all caps with the taste of jaeger biting the ink

sometimes in the middle of the night
ghosts bang on his door, claw at the wood, moan in anger
but he never answers them, he just puts his headphones on
and sinks into the weight of horn-honking reality

in apartment 102
there is a 17 year old girl who ran away from home and lives alone
her boxes are half-unpacked and the rancid air is half-baked
as absurd as it sounds, she is building a tree in her windowless apartment
she is teaching it how to not need to be watered
but how to drink what is within you
she has a doll that she is teaching how to be a lady with your legs uncrossed
and how to love yourself more than anyone else ever could
because nothing is ever as unpredictable as someone else’s heart
she drew a painting of a window to hang on her wall
to feel like she can see what is outside of her room
there are mirrors all over her apartment, though she never looks in them

this building is not young
it has its history
there are plenty of people
who have been buried
beneath the floorboards
there is not really anything
to get bloodstains out of carpet

the ghosts they meander where and when they want to
they have no conception of daylight moonlight
they are not being afraid of being seen
they have learned that there is a beauty to be invisible
there is a certain power that comes with being dead
they mostly dance with one another
the hard part for them is always letting go
when the music stops, when that great something
evicts them from my apartment building

the wallpaper in the halls is peeling
the tenants take their hands and try to push it back up
but it wants to fall
reveal that beneath repetitive floral patterns
is porous walls that haven’t breathed in centuries

there is a great coat rack in the foyer
that will hold the hats of strange male guests
and the secrets of lonely old-fashioned women
it will hold the hands of crying honesty
and it will put your coat on your shoulders when you’re cold

in apartment 719
there is a couple that only leaves to let out the dog
to fetch the paper that they never read and to
buy the groceries that they’re so sick of buying
and they fight like the room had poisoned them
and they yell like they hoped someone would hear
the floor is broken dishes, the living room
is an out-of-business wedding chapel where they
look through old photographs that are starting
to not look like them anymore

in apartment 117
there is a back door that a tenant leaves unlocked
and on cold city nights, a couple sneaks in
and they lay on the bed that doesn’t have any sheets
and they take each other’s clothes off with their teeth
and they stare at each other naked and the talk to each other naked
and they find that after the roar of the heat of their sex
after they roll around on someone else’s bed
they find that they only want to stare at each other’s eyes
blinking and watching them dilate like ecstatic black holes
they leave scratches on each other’s backs
sometimes they write things in each other’s skin
“i would have kissed you while the twin towers fell”

sometimes they lay on their backs and watch the fan blades turn
in the heat of the summer they let open the back door
and they don’t worry about getting caught
because they haven’t really done anything wrong

the tenants change, the rooms get better then worse
the landlord mostly keeps out of the building
except for an occasional late night call
where he shows up with a flashlight and a wrench
and a midnight hangover to fix the frozen pipes

everyone shares the same washer and dryer there
everyone pays the rent as late as they possibly can
everyone knocks on someone else’s door at some point

i am not a model home
filled with hypnotic real estate agents
thick wallets yapping their mouths up and down
and little pieces of cheese pierced by toothpicks

i am not a suburban ranch style home
with sparkling floors and one family that i hold dearly

one of these nights
one of my tenants will be drunk and reckless
passed out in oblivion on some shitty couch
they will forget they turned the burner on
the hot stove will set fire to the walls
i will burn down and those who occupy me
will flee in quick fast lines
but once they are safe
they will turn and watch me go
taking with them what they can

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO

READ “WAKA”

LOST AND BEAT AND NOW

we’ve been through a lot of time in the desert
we’ve been through the hollow barrel of a pistol
we’ve been through a seance
a table of writers stirring over dotting a question mark
we’ve been lost amongst ourselves
robbed apartments, gutted houses, fumigated homes
dead lawns, sprayed down by chemical agents of chaos
we were hollow. we were stuffed.
we paraded around in ambulances.

we’ve been through a lot of time barefoot on the living room floor
we’ve been through smoky headlights in new york city
we’ve been bruised, and bloodied up
for spitting on the sidewalk
we’ve been left with pens and notebooks in psych wards
we’ve been pressed for time, energy and money
we’ve found our sunflower and allowed it to wilt

now i’m  not  so certain of what we are
we’re some cosmic whirlpool of our grandfather’s dust
intentionally unintentional violent reactions of peace
we are made with metal bones and eyes like pixels
we are lighting the kerosene rope so the past can’t climb up after us
we are drowning out the television in our dirty bathwater
we are rebuilding our houses with more tolerance between the bricks
we are putting down hardwood floors over our burial plots
we are burning down bridges because we can swim across oceans
we are here to be labeled by you, dear future
we will try to be kind if you promise to do your best to be

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “FEAR”

AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT

picture this:
in the center of it all is a big red house
in front of the house a man holds his wife
they smile
the woman is pregnant and happy
she looks very coy
he looks very proud to hold her
they look fairly well off
somewhere off in the background
there is a spotted dog running around
searching for something
there is a white fence around the house
the sky is blue, of course
really blue
there’s some horses
very handsome horses
the grass is green and flourishing
off in the distance are hills
great hills
they go on forever
there’s desert dust at their feet
there’s a red convertible in the driveway
there’s a beat up old truck on the road
there’s something in the window
a glimmer of a light
maybe a christmas tree
maybe something secret
the clouds in the sky were made by god
a very specific god
who shines down upon this family
a very specific type of sunshine
there’s a chimney on the roof
with smoke rising up out of it
it’s all just as you’d imagine

you can see the brushstrokes
and the dust its collected
over the years

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “WOKE UP IN SAN FRANCISCO”

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”

CLEVER SALT SHAKERS

that poem’s gone
it was
good intentions

tonight
sitting in a
basement with tickering
lovebirds
it’s starting
to feel
like home
again

there’s a
paranoid hum
this
air conditioner
breeze about
but
that’s
probably just the
apparition of my
something

it’s starting
to feel
like home
in the
apartment
again

for a while there
the walls were
shifting
like
the inside
of a rubik’s
cube

my books
were going
missing
the sun
was a lamp
that could be
clicked on at
midnight

everyone, everywhere
ever
all at once
felt like
strangers
to me
but the adderall’s
dissolving
down
the
drain
and my eyes
and his eyes and her eyes are
smiling

i must have been
punch drunk on rust
and lust
for a month
but that

was two months
ago

a month long hangover
can be
a god damn rattlesnake
a
punch to the
throat

i’m barefoot at night with my
barefeet on the dizzy table

i want to paint a painting of this
painting on the wall

what i really wanna do is
kiss humor
in the back seat of a
cramped
compact
car

i can’t get over April
she’s this
lost month lump
in my throat
bermuda triangulation
i’m so lost at sea
let May crash on me like a
mack truck

i’m wearing my favorite jeans
hearing “Imagine” for the first time
skinny-dipping at
Sea World
i’m
dissolving
down
the
drain
like the Adderall

it’s starting to
feel like
home
in the
apartment
again
all the
junk the
laptops and
books and
bowls and
bags and
deceptively empty
Mountain Dews and junk
seems to be in
it’s place
again

there’s the air again

that computer
breath

(i don’t know where this is going)

but blindfolded
people are
often pushed
to
surprise parties.

the world isn’t
round

it falls off
at the
horizon of
neighbor’s fences
where we become
afraid
to talk to
the mutants in the mirror

it’s
starting
to feel
like home
in the
apartment
again

the whole place
swings
like a basonet

this thing’s gonna
end
like a crescendo

this apartment’s home and you all
are little kitschy items, snow-
globes and candy
tins, handsome whiskey
bottles and
clever salt shakers
sitting
on my
kitchen
shelf.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “EFFIGY”