ANXIETY AT THE HOUSE CAFE

a band of gypsies
comes bursting through the door
like a cold front

as kitchy objects
towering sky high move
whenever i avert my eyes

the coffee is
cheap
and the conversation is
even cheaper
the devil is nowhere to be found
and it worries me

pots bang in the kitchen
voices ring down hallways
there is a nervous honesty to this place
there is a vicious peacefulness
in a dozen whispers floating between
the flowers of mouths
and the honeycombs of ears

my heart is beating like a paint shaker
this place, it rubs my shoulders
and whispers sweet nothings in my ear
it said exactly what i told it to say
but still
my heart is beating like a paint shaker
i am full of concrete and cold medicine
anxiety like a cold ocean
i daydream about
running out the door
to the refuge
of anywhere
but here

i need to be here
i need to be here

i am in this corner then
that corner
like i’m in a boxing match
with my fears
manifesting themselves as
two fists:
innocence and
tranquility

my heart is beating like a paint shaker
my head was twitch and rattle

i knew lots of ways to die
but this was the one
i feared the most

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “RECKLESS”

About these ads

DEAREST HIPSTERS

please quit remarking on the irony that christmas, a religious holiday dedicated to the birth of a man who was adamantly against materialism, has ironically become a celebration of commercialism

and for those of you hipsters who have fallen deeper into the trap, please stop noting that the acknowledgement of this is so outdated, been there done that

dearest hipsters
please acknowledge that the plaid shirts you wear, form-fitting, neatly pressed with a bow tie are essentially the afterbirth of grunge, the lumberjackian persona has been done

dearest hipsters
please note that tagging yourself at city o city on instagram with a clever sepia picture at 11:30 on a friday night does not only provide a sufficient mating call to potential lovers but also provides a verifiable location for you should your enemy hipsters decide to crash your party for that backhanded comment you made about the shins’ second album

dearest hipsters
what the hell do you do?
drink coffee
ironically
smoke american spirits
ironically
talk about the bands you used to like
before they became too hip
while in your heart of hearts
you still hold a vinyl copy of i’m wide awake, it’s morning

dearest hipsters
let’s not dance to joy division
let’s not trek to the hipster meccas
of san fransisco
portlandia
let’s not drink our own boredom
out of a coffee cup that says
“this is a coffee cup” on the side

dearest hipsters
your book cases are full
and the spines of the books are pristinely
not bent

dearest hipsters
invite your gay friends to your party
as long as they are your cool gay friends

dearest hipsters
occupy starbucks
occupy whole foods
occupy illegal pete’s
occupy the spaces that are easiest to occupy
and already filled

continue to ignore the rapist plains of kansas
continue to ignore the shotgun shells of texas

continue to ignore that one place outside of america
that you forgot existed
until you wanted a statue of the buddha
to set on your turntable beside the underwood typewriter

continue to ignore the misogynistic kitchens of montana
continue to ignore the homophobic roar of laramie, wyoming

continue to ignore that one place outside of america
that you forgot existed
until you decided you and your friends
needed to know how it feels
to trip balls in bangladesh

dearest hipsters
thank god you’ve come along
to show us how identities based on pop culture
are the enemy of progression
that the goal is to express your individuality
with a slightly worn pair of oliver peoples from buffalo exchange
and a shirt from urban outfitters
that you spent thirty dollars on
to proclaim loudly
that you like the cheap beer

i see you at leela’s
dancing up to the counter
to order a PBR
and the hummus platter
but i can see you now
in your apartment of expensive recycled furniture
at two in the morning
eating two mcdoubles
and drinking a stella artois

dearest hipsters
before there were hippies there were hipsters
there was the beat generation
and sadly there were bongo drums involved
but there were ideas involved as well
and though i must acknowledge
that we do have a tendency
out of necessity
to rehash the same ideas again and again
like we just keep sleeping with culture again
in hopes that this one isn’t a miscarriage
i just ask
that maybe you take a second to identify
that you don’t have to got to sputnik
you don’t have to go to denver cruisers
on your fixie
with your handlebar mustache
and you don’t have to take the opportunity
to do what you truly want to do
and use it
to do what everyone else is doing

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “THE ABORTIONIST”

GENESIS

in the morning
the water disappears down the drain
the bathroom floor is always wet
the mirror never lets go of all of its fog
there is nothing outside the window
the kamikaze grass beneath the rotating blades

in the morning
the news report is muffled and uninteresting
the television screen is blurry
there’s never enough time for a cup of coffee
there’s never a good place to put my keys
the apartment is stale and the lights are synthetic

in the morning
the car is never warm enough
the radio is always commercials, never the song
the stop lights are always red
the cops are always bored in their long-snouted cars
the roads are always a collection of potholes
the mirrors always need adjusting

in the morning
the gate never opens when i enter the code
the totalitarian parking lot is always full
there’s always someone double-parked
the headache is always hollow like acid in an empty stomach
the people walking in with me never want to talk
the security guards at the door are never friendly

in the morning
the world is always new
genesis
it needs some conditioning
it’s learning how to become better than it was born

in the morning
it is literally impossible
to know which side of the bed
is the right side to wake up on
and by the time you wake up
it’s too late to decide

this is why
we have the afternoon
and the evening
and the late evening
and night
and the night
and the late night
and the later night
and the refusal of dawn coming
to correct this all
and if we fail
there is always the new morning
ugly as hell
and ready to be loved

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS”

VENTI SKINNY VANILLA NO FOAM LATTE

i know what it’s like to be so lonely that anyone will do
i know what it’s like to chase after a dream that was never going to become reality
i know what it’s like to find yourself lost in your own house in a room full of the people you know the best
i know what it’s like to lay awake in bed all night because the adderall stops you from sleeping but it’s that important that you learn to focus
i know what it’s like to accomplish everyone of your new year’s resolutions and still feel like it wasn’t enough
i know what it’s like to be stared at like a monster or the most charming person in the world
i know what grass tastes like and i know what the bottom of a whiskey bottle tastes like too
i know what apple cider vinegar tastes like and i’ll tell you this; it’s way worse than any whiskey
i know what it’s like to be under the bright lights of an operating table
i know what it’s like to stand beside a woman i love(d) on the stage of a church as her parents stare at me with hateful eyes
i know what it’s like to dig holes for eight hours for free
i know what it’s like to be 350 feet off the ground
and i know what it’s like to like six feet underground
i know what it’s like to not answer the phone for bill collectors
and i know what it’s like to wait by the phone to find out if someone is still alive
i know what it’s like to not have a car, to take the bus in the heart of denver’s winter
and i know what it’s like to have nothing to complain about when i look over and see a woman with two strollers and a bag full of food stamp groceries doing the same thing
i know what it’s like to learn you’re on the wrong side of history
and i know what it’s like to be waken up by sprinklers on a strangers lawn
i know that none of this is worth not knowing

if i’ve learned anything from this
it’s that the things that have taught me the most about myself
are never the motivational speakers on the grand stand
they are never the power point presentations on happiness
or the venn diagrams on good versus evil
the things that have taught me the most
are the burns on my tongue from drinking coffee too fast
and the moments that tasted bitter going down my throat
shitty coffee from waffle house at who cares o clock
served by some waitress who’s hard to look at
and doesn’t give a shit about me
never a venti skinny vanilla no foam latte
handed to me by some trust fund brat in a green apron

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “HANGOVER”

THE KIDS’ TABLE

at the grown ups’ table
the adults compare incomes through
cleverly disguised
vacation stories

at the grown ups’ table
they lace the expensive wine with traces
of spanish inquisition

at the grown ups’ table
everyone is wearing
fresh-pressed suits and pretty dresses above
the table but underneath
the table they sharpen their
knives with the steely edges of their
manicured claws

at the grown ups’ table
everyone makes a specific point
to compliment someone’s meat loaf
casserole, to play
advocate to someone’s ambrosia salad
while carefully ignoring someone’s
homemade raspberry vinaigrette
dressing

at the grown ups’ table
someone isn’t mentioning to someone else
that there is a tiny dated speck of political agenda
stuck between someone’s
grinded white teeth

at the grown ups’ table
there is assigned seating and you will be
tested on your acquired knowledge of
chilled salad fork,
soup spoon,
and when you toast
how appropriately you bang
your obnoxious knife against your
crystal wine glass (ideal for
riesling, just a sin to use for
cabernet sauvignon)

at the grown ups’ table
someone is offering to take your plate for you
so they can plot your social murder in the trenches
of the granite countertops of their
catalog kitchen

at the grown ups’ table
dessert means coffee and coffee means
conversation and conversation
means mental minesweeper; psychological warfare
over a lovely blitz torte served on the
second finest china in
this
american
household

meanwhile
at the kids’ table
everyone is playing with each other’s food
squished together at the colorful plastic table
and laughing at each other’s
jokes

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “LOVE AND ITS FAMOUS IMITATIONS”

COMING SOON

FEATURING THE POEMS “HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE” , “WHEN I WAS MAYBE TWELVE YEARS OLD” , “TO VEGETARIANS” , “SUBTERRANEA” , and “THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE OF VARINIA RODRIGUEZ”.

AVAILABLE THIS SEPTEMBER THROUGH FLASHLIGHT CITY PRESS.

Interesting in reviewing? Please email me at bricemaiurro@gmail

COMING SOON

Flashlight City Press

REVIEW OF TIM BECKER’S “NEW YORK CITY BONES”

“I’ve been with you since the collapse
When the earthquake shook up the dust
and we were intimate
Since the sirens went off
and your alarm clock scattered
Your eyes were shades of gray
behind a morning cup of coffee
The blades of grass were shaking off the dew
and gasping for breath
I’ve been with you since we fell apart
and melted in a flash flood
While our bodies caved in
In colors and shades
As you stumble out of bed
and I mumble weary nonsense
Somhow I just know we’ll be okay
But now I’m lying here in the
cold sweat of a nightmare
And you’re gone”

I met Tim Becker when I worked with him at a certain popular coffee company, and I knew as soon as I met him, we were going to be more than coworkers. I could tell right away that Tim was smart, and as cliche as it may sound. the fact that he was a twenty-three year old who walks with a cane told me he was someone with stories; someone who lived his life.
At the end of one of our shifts, as Tim closed up the doors, he asked me if I would like to stay a bit and smoke some clove cigars with him outside of the store. I obliged and Tim and I spent a good hour or two shooting the shit, our favorite subjects being The Beatles and Radiohead. I had given up on ever being a Radiohead fan, so Tim dragged me to his car where he put in one of their CD’s. I’ll never forget seeing that stack of Radiohead CD’s Tim had in his car. This guy digested music the way I digested music; ferociously, trying to get to know the artist. Tim wasn’t the type to listen to a song by a band, let alone an album, he would patiently absorb every lick of music that artist ever wrote. I’ve been blessed in our friendship being the same way.
Tim is quiet passion. A rare combination. I can’t keep my damn mouth shut for the life of me. I remember working with Tim at that coffee company that shall not be named; I was playing the part of an angst-driven twenty year old rambling in his ear “Tim, I love her so much but all we do is fight and her dad hates me, but maybe I’m giving up on a good thing etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” and after probably an excessive fifteen minute rant, Tim stopped what he was doing looked me dead in the eye and said “Brice, sometimes the things we want the most, are the things that would kill us,”
I was over her. He had successfully said exactly what I needed to hear in so few words because Tim is one of those people who listens, who thinks and who says all that needs to be said, never overcomplicating things.
Why do I tell you this? Because Tim’s poetry is the same way. Anyone who is even the smallest follower of my blog knows that I… tend to ramble. Don’t get me wrong. I love to ramble, but there’s something to be said about saying only what needs to be said. Saying things as succinctly as possible. Tim does just that, and powerfully. I think about one of my favorite poems from his book; a poem called “Thirty Cops.” Tim explains how one night he found a group of thirty cops standing around a dying deer, contemplating what to do. He ends the poem, “and thirty cops just earned an hour’s pay.” Beautiful – and if your thinking “thirty cops? really?” yes really, because Tim’s writing is as honest as it is intimate.
Something I may have failed to mention that has been a key factor in a great friendship with Tim is Tim’s sense of humor. It comes from that same quiet place as his passion, but damn if it doesn’t bite you in the ass. It’s sharp, it’s caustic, and you don’t know you’re a victim of a joke by Tim Becker until it’s long over. Ladies and gentleman, as Exhibit B, I present to you Tim’s poem from his book, New York City Bones, aptly titled “Poetry.”

“The wall to my left is white
I’m sitting on a chair made of wood
The room is normal temperature
The ceiling has a grainy texture
The carpet doesn’t look like the ceiling
There’s a photo of my wife on the desk
She is smiling
There’s a painting of a flower
The painting is square
The flower is red
I’m wearing a hat on my head
I’m holding a pen in my hand
And I’m writing this poem
People like descriptive poetry
This is a descriptive poem
Publish this shit”

Ha ha ha. Tim is published under the same company I will soon be published under, Flashlight City Press. His book, New York City Bones, is doing extremely well and is something I think everyone should read.

Especially the hipsters, because they’re gonna want to be there to say “I’ve been following him since New York City Bones,” or perhaps whine that “His first book was way better.”

Copies of Tim’s book can be purchased through this link: http://flashlightcitypress.myshopify.com/