AQUARIUM

i went to the aquarium recently
and as i stood there staring at the jellyfish
the eels the sharks all pushing through the water
on the other side of the cinematic glass
i saw a boy
and he stared right back at me

he did not swim
he did not wear any kind of apparatus
to help him breathe he just walked across the floor of this
small segment of the ocean like a polaroid photo where
he ended where the edges were, he moved in blurs
like someone shook the photo too hard
amongst the aquamarine blue depth he just stared back
we did not speak but we heard everything we said to each other
he told me the water was cold, he told me the days were long
he told me that most people didn’t even notice him
they were too consumed by their camera phones
to utilize the reels collecting dust in their photographic memories

as i walked away he walked away too
out of this snapshot of the ocean
and back into the sunlight where my gills disappear
and i am just and only and less than
but the boy in the aquarium and i
we both know better than that

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

HOCHSTETLER

i cut through twelve hundred city blocks
nine thousand stop lights fifteen thousand
stores eighteen hundred coffee shops
busted through fourteen million crowds
seventy-seven planets twenty-three
galaxies i took a bus during rush hour
a cab during prime hours i sat on
a greyhound from saturn to jupiter
i begged for change from a rabid dog
i did three thousand push-ups in
exchange for a bed i stole a kid’s
bicycle i lived on a farm for a month
with an amish couple with a three-
legged cat named hochstetler just to borrow
their carriage to get into town to call a
friend who let me sleep on his futon i read
through twelve phone books looking for your
number i walked across hot coals
in india in exchange for a map i
literally gave a man the shirt off
my back in exchange for the piece
i was missing to build a time machine
to go back to the appropriate year just
to give you this poem that i wrote
for you because one night when you
were drunk you said i’d write a poem
about you and i did so here you go
i hope you like it.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

DENVER POETRY MAP

co flag mountains

My poem Four Beers in at the Irish Rover has been chosen to be featured on the Denver Poetry Map!

In short the Denver Poetry Map assigns poems to the locations in Denver they were written about or at.

Take a second and check out this awesome site and my poem HERE.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER

today was a cold day in denver. a few days ago they predicted we would get a crazy snow storm over the weekend and then nothing happened when they predicted it to. everyone was posting about it on social media posting cutesy memes and basically saying “where was that storm you guys said we were getting?” and then boom. it hit us. i decided to brave it and went up to boulder with a friend which was ill-advised but i was feeling adventurous. sometimes you have to weigh life over caution. anyways it was great. saw some good friends, drank tea and played a lot of cards against humanity. i wonder how erratic these weather patterns are or if they’ve always been like that. i think about the end of the world by way of us destroying the planet. i think about what that would look like. i try to judge the level of chaos that there would be. i imagine giant megastores being robbed of their merchandise, i imagine flaming cars in city streets, i imagine i have watched too much television. then i imagine staying home for the end of the world. the instinct to survive in humans is such a double-edged sword. when we’re stripped naked we protect our hearts with our clenched fists. i heard that would we could possibly make the planet unsustainable in a predictable 30 years. i never checked the accuracy of that because it depressed me that i could see it being true. it depresses me that our police officers make national news for allegations of shooting people. it depresses me that race is an issue in america in 2015. just hear that sentence. race is an issue in america in 2015. someday our children will say one of two things. one, your generation had a lot of race issues. or two, your generation fought against a lot of race issues. we are so saturated with all of this, we don’t have time to think about it. i’m complaining about social media on a blog site. oh man it looks like i am one of those loud hypocrites. i think the snow is getting to my head a bit. i digress. let’s go folks. my burner friends say 2015 could be a year of a lot of action. i think we can prove my burner friends right. because race is still an issue in america. because sex is still an issue in america. because animosity is still alive and we are still separated humans. oh i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to get political. we were supposed to be talking about the weather.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

THE LIGHTBULB IS ALWAYS ON

the vandals came in the darkness and spraypainted colorado white
i wake up and its winter again
colorado is like that
teasing you with summer and then all of a sudden bam its frozen all over
it’s like being inside of a broken freezer
intermittently glitching on and off, but the lightbulb is always on
even when you close the door
but this is how we live our lives here: ready for anything
we wake up each day different creatures, creatures of habit

today i stay in and read fahrenheit 451
tomorrow i burn down the churches that have set love on fire
today i sleep and make dreams unseen
tomorrow i drag those dreams by their dead boots into living reality

we rinse and we repeat
we do what others are afraid to do
we live in a landlocked state
but we send waves to all of the oceans

i bounce back and forth between boulder and denver
between spirituality and humanity
between a mountain town and a mountain city
between the mountains and the city
i sit in the sand dunes amongst the impermanence
i see the ghostly bodies swinging from the clocktower
i bike down the yellowed platte river into the emerald city
i listen to local bands stuck on i70 on my way to d.i.a.
i get ragedrunk on pbr at three kings
i smoke a joint with anarchist jesters outside of mutiny now
not mutiny later mutiny next week not mutiny soon
mutiny now i mourn the death of atomic records
jerry’s records paris on the platte

i watch as the rest of the world discovers the city
i’ve always loved
like the girl i was infatuated with in high school
before she took her glasses off
before she got sexy and cool and well-marketed
but now the tourists come pouring in to new amsterdam

i go grocery shopping at 1 in the morning
in a hoody and gym shorts and flip flops
and i laugh at the man in line
straight out of an eddie bauer catalog
buying a cooler a bag of ice and cold cuts

i drive home from the grocery store at 1 something in the morning
and i see those blue and yellow lights out of the void of the darkness
the snowplows, the great guardian angels of the night who clear the roads
they remind us that even when colorado is shaken up like an etch-a-sketch
they will be there to draw the lines across this red rectangle of ours

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

10TH & OSAGE

the night rolls on
like a silent film

it flickers like old home movies

and i am shadow
void of vocal cords

i am lost in denver
in love with denver
awake in denver
forever in denver

where life is
the slowest american speed
possible

where you be
and people accept that you be
where stages erupt with talent
in the shittiest of dive bars
underwater

just waiting for the wave to crash
this giant frozen wave
this tsunami lost in time

lost in denver
love with denver
awake in denver
forever in denver

in love with the story
that it weaves around me
in love with love
and you
uncatchable jellyfish
away from denver

the north star forever in motion
one thousand lives away

that is you
and i am astronaut
space cadet
chasing infinity by the tail

circles in the sand
lost in denver
where lights reflect on lights
where we cannot see truth
so we make our own
from whiskey and fire
from moonlight and confusion
and death sets in the west
just down the california way
but we lay on the frozen grass
and don’t think about it
we just hold our breath
and count the stars
and lose count
and don’t start over
when we lose count

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “YOU PAINT YOURSELF IN RED AND I PAINT MYSELF IN BLUE”

THE CITY AND THE MOUNTAIN

your love eclipses me like a shadow
like six months of winter
like warm death and whiskey dreams
your snow falls like fragments of white time
like picket signs gathering in peaceful demonstration
the wind is our carrier pigeon
and i do nothing all day long
but write you love letter after love letter
after love letter after love letter
you lift me a mile off the ground
you make my breaths short and intentional
beneath your rocky skyline
beneath your metallic peaks
i am beautiful and inconsequential
your love is forever
and your forever love is the sound of air
against a car window

a winding road / a one way street
a pedicabber / a ponderosa
a deer in headlights / a jaywalker
a flaming crucifix / a lookout mountain
a homeless man / a mountain man
a book on a shelf
and a book in the dust of the dirt
a petroglyph / a river
a bottle of beer smashed on a dirt path
an empty city / an angry sandstorm
an acoustic guitar / an electronic machine
a gypsy / dancing to the future soundtrack
a robot / dancing in the light of lumineers
a light show / an aurora
a sunset / a dubstep drop

smoke
smoke from the city
smoke from the mountain
smoke from the mouths of tiny buddhas
smoke from the mouths of giant fools

you catch me always unprepared
without a sweater without a hand to hold
without a lover to keep me warm
without a care in the world
you catch me you catch me
like a glancing stranger in a lucid dream

i run my calloused guitar fingers
up and down your spine
and you run me back and forth
between your head and your heart
this balancing act
of freedom and love
the city and the mountain

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “I CAN’T AFFORD TO DRIVE TO HANGING LAKE”

IN THE DIM LIGHT OF DENVER I DREAM

in the dim light of denver i dream
waiting for the light rail train to come
to station and i’ll board and i’ll close
my eyes and there before me she will be laying
naked beneath the blankets
speakers blasting from backpacks
bluegrass street kids tucked outside of
shops that have hung their closed signs
electricity hanging in the air like a
pending snowstorm and i am lost
oh so romantically lost and at home
and the old men and the homeless men
play chess and checkers and dice and streetlight
oh such sugary streetlight i kneel beneath thee
and worship my faceless god and she says to me
nothing

because this is a city in the middle of flatlands
a queen in the center of an empty chessboard
you have to hear the wind meander the clocktower
and sneak through the elitch garden ferris wheel
eclectic bars pushing and shoving each other for attention
country music clashing in the streets with hip hop
as great Buddhist mountains sit still in the west
watching like patient parents
waiting for their kids to grow up
they might have to wait a little longer

but there’s pedicabbers and buses and
bridges and oh my – marijuana!
and when the city fills with fog
you never know if it’s the breath of God
or just another saturday night
between a rock and a hard place
between the electronic agenda
and the folksong symphony
i am lost at home
almost
but for now
i dream in the dim light of denver
waiting for the light rail train

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “LONELINESS IN DENVER”

LONELINESS IN DENVER

i don’t know who you are
but i want to kiss you at union station
i want to fall in love with you in denver
i want to see the red lights of the city
reflected in your eyes
i want to discuss philosophy
and whatever you want to discuss
with you over egg cream sodas and pbrs
at leela’s

i want to dance with you
in a back alley of sixteenth street
away from the mild herds of tourism
and the thousand atms
away from the god forsaken walgreen’s
i want to lay with you in skyline park
i want to smoke a joint
down to the roach with you in
the glass elevators of the tabor center
i want to get lost in your words
and lose my wallet somewhere in the city
anywhere in denver
fuck.
if i lose my whole outfit i’ll still
be glad that i met you

i want to complain about
the city construction with you
i want to wait in the drunken
shifting line of the 2 am sixteenth street
taco bell with you
and eat bean burritos
and regret tacos

i want to share a flask with you
on a bus bench with you
with no intention of ever taking
the bus

i want to die in denver with you
i want to anything in denver with you
i want to
anything in anywhere
with you

i want you to stop hiding
behind street signs and in the
back room of city liquor stores
i want to see you

i don’t know what i want
and it’s unfair of me to think
that you would
i don’t even know you yet

shit i’m drunk
shit this poem
union station
you and me
9 am sharp
oh man
let’s make that noon

whatever works for you

yeah
that sounds good

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “CITY OF BONES”

As you guys may have noticed, I’m switching over to weekly postings. As much as I love posting daily, it’d be unfair of me to myself and to you guys to pretend that I can keep up with the pace. Thanks for reading.

Love,
Brice

A BEAR IN TOKYO

a factory in denver. we arrived at the manic disco like roided out bulls entering an interstellar china shop. we meandered through the crowd of fairies and monsters
and pushed as close to the alter as we could. all around us faces were crashing together like bangkok cars. there were snake charmers floating up the walls; paid entertainment for the day glow princesses and the queens and kings of the beat. we found our seat and met rabbit who offered to take us with him on his journey but we told him we weren’t big fans of wonderland and were happy just staying where we were, amongst the digital ocean waves and the illusions of heaven. amongst the dirty vibrations and the organic computers of seratonin we hid our beers in the corner where no one would mess with them and we headed out to the dance floor where we swam the technological wavepool.

i was dressed as jack kerouac as usual and she was dressed as bohemian ingalls wilder. there was a group of hissing girls on the dance floor dressed like tim burton mean girls. they danced like sandworms in their black and white striped slinky dresses. fuck-me pocahantas was at the bar ordering a long island iced tea, she asked her boy galactus if he had eaten and he said no he was stuffed from eating planets all day.

i breathed. just took a minute to breathe. i wasn’t used to this much energy. it was a bit overwhelming, like being at a city zoo in a different galaxy. saturn was out on the dance floor spinning her rings and her boy was watching in awe from the sidelines of the space gym. dj gnome was twisting the color of the room so it sounded less red and more blue. i kept breathing, and looking over i realized that i was the luckiest guy in the room, having the company of bohemian ingalls wilder. i asked her how she was doing and she said “fine” like none of this could break her zen. i was so in love. the idea of someone who could meditate at a circus like this was something to admire and something i wanted in my own life. i myself always fluctuate between dalai lama and mad scientist. between cool hand luke and yosemite sam. in a sense, i’m a basket case, but she seemed to be the apples i was looking for to fill the bushel of my psyche.

the red room was spinning. the day glow princess and her royal party hovered over the room looking down at us like electric greek gods. saturn was still spinning her rings. i was getting tired which means i needed to push myself a lot further down the beer spectrum if i had any chance of surviving the evening. i excused myself from boho ingalls wilder and went to the corner where i chugged down three of my cervezas like it was the end of the world party, and for all i knew it was. i felt like i was on the inside of a television. even the walls with all their wiring and weird technology looked like the clockwork guts of a tv. my stomach felt overloaded as i finished the last beer. it was then miss mayor of fuzzytown found me, wearing her official fuzzy sport coat. “hi” she said. “hi” i said. “touch my arm” she said. “why?” i said. “just trust me.” never being one to distrust i placed my palm flat against her forearm and looked into her cosmic empty eyes. i was not attracted to this woman, but it was clear she was attracted to me. why was i so trusting to do what this stranger asked of me? i guess it’s just this writer’s curse: carpe fabula, seize the story. I could never say no to people. “come sit with me” she said. “okay” of course i said. she took me to the next room, less astrological, but far more menacing than the former. the paintings seemed to be changing, mingling with each other. she sat me down with a jester and a man wearing a burglar’s costume. “there must be some kind of way out of here” i said to them, pointing at the joker then the thief, but they didn’t catch on. these were supposed to be the brilliant minds, the enlightened souls, the kind eyes of modern times but it seemed to no one could muster up a damn conversation. i guess at the end of the day we’re all still millenials. we sat there watching act after act of the circus, miss mayor of fuzzytown just kept staring at me and i myself started to feel a bit odd. i knew i had to escape the clutches of this oversized couch. i saw a man, a normal looking young man staring at one of the paintings on the wall; i knew they wouldn’t be offended if i excused myself to go speak with him, so i did just that. he was the aura of normalcy i had been looking for.

i approached him from the side as he stared at a painting of a cow in space and another one of a bear in tokyo. tonight i related to these characters in these paintings. torn from my normal habitat i found myself thousands of miles away from home. i asked him which one he liked more.
“i can’t decide” he said, staring at me. “i want to buy one.” day glow princess had invited me here tonight, and i knew this was her home that these paintings helped pay for – this amazing factory of nonsense, so i went subtle salesman on this unsuspecting cat. “you should buy one” i said vigorously, as to be heard over the roaring music. “these are great.” “i can’t decide” he said again. “i like the bear better” i said. “i think i do too” i said. “maybe i’ll get both.” these paintings were a couple hundred bucks each. i was intrigued that in this room full of lavish bums there seemed to be a wealthy simpleton. “i want to buy one” he said again. “yeah, you said that” i said. “i want to buy one” he said again. i looked in his eyes and thus began my suspicions that this stranger was in fact a robot: with only so many preprogrammed phrases. “where you from?” i asked him. it was time to uncover the truth of it all. “chicago” he said. a robot factory in chicago, i thought to myself, but i couldn’t let him catch on to my feelings. i thought about bohemian ingalls wilder in the next room, realizing i had abandoned a beautiful red riding hood in a room full of wolves. i looked back over my shoulder. the robot man could see i was lost in something. “i’m sorry” i said “what brings you to denver?” “i like to travel” he said, not blinking his robot eyes. “i think i’ll buy one” he said again. “why denver?” i asked, preparing myself for his rant about how weed is legal here and there’s a cultural revolution afoot and how he just wanted to see it for himself “weed, honestly.” he said. i laughed. “yeah… we do have that here i said “chicago is so stuck up sometimes” he told me. maybe he wasn’t a robot after all. “everyone is moving so fast there and it’s almost as if everyone is in a silent battle with each other. denver is just so chill.”

i couldn’t argue with him. i loved this city. always had. it’s like this secret show for one of your favorite bands. all of the intimacy and joy you want and no one else has to know about it, but don’t tell anyone i told you that about denver. “i’m gonna get both” he said. “i think i’m gonna buy them” he said. “you should!” i said “i can grab mallory to check you out?” “i’m not sure if i’m gonna buy them” he said. “alright” i said. i had tried, but it seemed he wasn’t a human nor a robot. maybe an android. i couldn’t be bothered with his android problems anymore. i went back to bohemian ingalls wilder.

surprise surprise a man in ultraviolet briefs and a hugh hefner red robe had found a seat beside boho ingalls wilder. she had those big scared listening eyes as he explained to her the nature of the universe, how we are all one, how there is but one consciousness and she oh so politely took in the lesson, as if she hadn’t heard it all before. “hi” i said to him, politely, i did leave her alone in the room after all “hey i’m rocket” he said to me. of course he was rocket. “nice to meet you, rocket” i said “how do you know everyone?” “i don’t” he said “i was just over at eskimo bar across the street and heard music so i wandered on over here. the factory, day glow princess’s kingdom, had open admission to their events. anyone willing to pitch the few bucks could get in. it was a bit jarring to see these people at a birthday party, who were unaware it was someone’s birthday. rocket went right back to his pontification to boho. boho gave me the help me look. “wanna go grab another beer?” i asked her. “yes” she said.

we went to the bar this time. through the course of the evening i had killed the six pack i had snuck in. “two pbr’s” i said to the octopus bartender. boho gave me a look as the bartender fetched the beers with her tentacles. “what?” i said. “pbr’s?” she said “you hipster you.” “look” i said. “it’s not that i want to be a hipster. it’s just that i’m not rich enough not to be, if that makes sense.” she said nothing. she was one of those quiet ones where every thing she didn’t say could drive you crazy with curiosity.

“what do you say we sneak out back with these?” i asked her. “sounds good” she said. i threw the bartender the total and the best tip i could manage and boho ingalls wilder and i snuck behind a couple curtains, climbed a very unsafe ladder, and made our way up to the rough. i was feeling fairly romantic, and then i felt the midnight wind outside. i snuck up first, so i called down to boho and asked her if she minded. she didn’t mind. of course not. this girl wasn’t one to say no. the romantic man who lives in my heart was break dancing. we sat on the roof top on some wooden crates and we didn’t say much at all. i’d say we stared up at the stars but in the light pollution of denver there weren’t really too many stars to be seen. we watched the cars drive by below and then i looked over at her.

“i’ve got a question for you,” i said, gathering myself, “is this a date?”
she smiled. “a date?” she said.
“yeah” i said “i always do this to myself. i ask girls to go to things with me and i mean it to be a date but i never tell them it’s a date and i never know”
“you always ask girls on non-date?”
“that’s not what i mean. but is this a date?”
“no” she said “i didn’t think of this as a date.” the romantic man who lives in my heart proceeded to die of a heart attack.
“oh” i said, the saddest living man in denver.
“i’m sorry but my heart belongs to someone else” i wanted to think what she said there was stupid, a cheesy way of saying ‘i’m seeing someone’ but there was a sincerity there i knew not to fuck with. her heart really did belong to someone else. had i been trying to trick her into a date with me? why couldn’t i have just said ‘this is a date.’ that’s all i had to say.
“i appreciate you being honest,” i said.
“i try to be honest” she said, “i don’t like the games, you know?”
“yeah, me neither.” i looked up at the sky. “it’s still nice to get away from it all with you up here.” she smiled at me with that brutal sincerity.
“cheers” she said, gesturing her beer neck towards me.
“cheers” i said.

it was strange to think of the monsters lurking and the peacocks peacocking below us. the bass slipped through the ceiling to the roof but barely. everything in me felt like i should be in the mindset of disappointment, but escaped from the circus below, just sharing the company with such a beautiful person left me with very little to not be grateful for.

we winded our way back down the ladder. she took off, giving me the longest, most fearless hug i’ve ever received and i was left with the leftovers of madness. she had vanished. i made a pillow of my jacket and i fell asleep, wondering if i was entering or leaving a dream.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “ALARM CLOCK”