02.22

0222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(where am i?)

i woke up
and out my window
were the dusty chinese lamps of chinatown
mount fuji
off in the distance
covered with the snows of kilimanjaro
cold and ancient
i found myself in a foreign land
where the night cafes were open until dawn
the city glowing in the rain

the dusty roads leading to neon casinos
and water clear enough to see to the bottom
there was an identity to this place
though i didn’t know what it was
maybe a western mindset of eastern philosophy
there was something about the way
the snow covered the ground
like the weather wast trying to tell us
we can start over if we want to
or we could just throw all the cats in a bag
and shake it up

i began to feel sea sick
it was as if the palm trees in the distance\
were swaying with me
to the acoustic ringing of polynesian ukulele
and the old, old buildings crumbled
like pixels of my sanity

when in rome, they say,
do as the romans do

so i went down
to fisherman’s wharf
and i rented myself a fixie
and i rode it through the winding streets
the narrow dark back alleyways
over the grassy knolls
and down martin luther king blvd.
and when i felt burnt out
i retired in the night to a pizza parlor
this city really does never sleep
it’s so big
and there’s just months of sunlights
and months of night

to think slaves made these pyramids
it was so damn cold
and i was stuck in bermuda shorts
lost in the cocaine triangle of denver

i could barely see across this wide wide river
full of caymans and pirahnas, the fish and flauna
and memories of you
you
lost on some distant star of a planet

i wish you were here
we could go see the savage matadors
murdering the innocent bulls

i wish you were here
i guess technically you are

it seems everyone speaks their own language here
the oceans are so blue
the grass is so green
the continents all fit together so nicely
like those hotel rooms
with nothing between each other
but locked doors

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.22, THE NEXT ENTRY IN THE 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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FEATURED POET: FROM BURNING, BURNING, BURNING

San Francisco

San Francisco penetrates me.

We make love under City Lights,

Hubs of progress,

Neon Brothels.

We fuck openly in Castro’s side alleys,

Commercialised piers,

China Town.

We are the children of modern Babylon.

Barefoot whores,

Kerouac junkies,

Cutthroat Queers.

Pilgrims to a Golden Gate

Screaming

Amen!

We scale its womanly curves

Sheathed in a kimono fog.

America’s Geisha.

The City holds me within art deco palms

And fucks me.

I shudder ferociously and scream

‘California.’

San Francisco howls.

Read more HERE.

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”

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”