02.24

0224

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(poem for a dying mall. (southwest plaza))

everything i’ve ever known
says i should dismiss you
as a silly capitalistic hub
but i can’t do that
i have known you for far too long
when i was a kid
we would visit you

there’s a strange fondness i feel
for the days i would spend hours suffering
beneath the toxic bright lights of the limited too
while my mom and sister shuffled endlessly
through the mass-produced neon clothes

there’s a strange fondness i feel
for pacing around the mall
with my pink-haired freshman girlfriend
hand-in-hand
eating a cherry-dipped dairy queen cone
and watching the kiosk employee
flying his plastic helicopter
by remote control
in the atrium of the mall

there’s a certain fondness i feel
about sneaking into spencer’s gift with friends
and pretending we weren’t just going
to laugh at the sex toys

you are not that impressive
and you never have been
but i have heard the muzak dying
i have watched
as stores with pulses
became white walls
you cannot lie to me
i can hear the heartbeat behind the plaster

i cannot watch anymore
as economic cancer eats away at your insides
commercial ebola mashes your insides
into one million parasitic cellphone case stores

your gold chandeliers have fallen
my sweet, sweet grandmother of a mall
we used to visit more often
but now we’ve just thrown you into a nursing home
and watched you suffer from a ghost town complex

there’s a strange fondness i feel
for the foreign workers at the sunglass stands
their cheeseball slicked back hair
and their desperation to sell you
overpriced sunglasses
you infected them with that desperation

it is never easy
to watch the past
slowly implode on itself

there’s a strange fondness i feel
to know that my father
a shoe salesman
paced daily so many times
by my mom’s work
before he had the courage
to ask her on a date
within you

the love that made me
the love that raised me
was born inside of you

some things don’t go slowly
and sentiment is a strange bird
that lands on whatever perch it cares to

you’re dying before my eyes
and i’m learning now
that you cannot mourn
what you’ve yet to lose

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.25, 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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02.02

02.02 jpeg

(nightmare.)

and on the second day he rested

went in for a nap and found himself slipping like alice
and when he landed on the other side
he landed on the sideways concrete of san francisco
chinatown at night
outside of a chinese theater
he was drunk dizzy disoriented
lost in hills and chinese lamps
drunk couples kissing down back alleyways
over his shoulder he heard the voice of his father
standing up and dusting himself off
he turned around and sure enough it was him
white smile his father hugged him
and he asked him what he was doing here
but it was a dream and he couldn’t remember
and they walked down the sidewalk together
and they laughed at san francisco together
a girl on her cell phone yelling
“i’m just too LA for this place”
and he turned to his father and said
“what a bitch…”
and her friends came out of nowhere
and they asked him what he meant
and because it was a dream
he tried and tried to defend himself
against the twentysomething feminist women
who outside of dreams he loved so dearly
but they wouldn’t hear him
they just wouldn’t hear what he had to say at all
and the tension was so damn high
and their faces so damn hurt and angry
and eventually they just went off their separate ways

the women still mad at him, his father quiet
and then his father was gone
faded out of the dream like god had plucked him right out

it was night
harsh night now
he was alone in this foreign city within a foreign city
no idea where he was
no money for a cab
nowhere to go if he could get one

and he stumbled to a friend’s door
somehow
by some miracle
in the drunk dizziness of this dream
and he knew his breath tasted of dirt
and his clothes were stale from the day
but the friend she opened the door
and she let him in
and she made him a cup of tea
and he sat quiet in her sideways san francisco apartment
beside her san francisco fireplace
and he drank the tea
and she brought out a man
and he knew right away he wasn’t a good one
he had a shit eating grin
that seemed to say he was footing the bill
for a broke twentysomething girl in san francisco
and this man
his handshake was as flacid as his congeniality

the apartment was dim
nothing to look at
no stories in photo frames
no messy proof the place was lived in
the place was a nightmare

and it only sunk deeper
a flickering rampaging light grew outside
and the lost boy in san francisco
found himself looking out the window
at a creative bonfire
a giant burning sign on the grass below
“YOU CAN’T JUST THROW AROUND “BITCH””
and in this nightmare
this inescapable nightmare
this misunderstanding
this dark dream that felt too real to be shrugged
he found himself on the wrong side of history
his father gone, lost in the bay
his momentary lapse in judgement
making him a sacrifice to the movement of times

there were coolers behind the flaming sign
twentysomethings gathered and drank pretentious beers
talked about progression with honesty
speaking frankly, bonded in their hatred of him
but he was barefoot on the cold concrete patio
behind the metal bars fifty feet off the ground
and he knew in the next room
his female friend, a sister really
had been dragged off by the man with the shit grin smile
door closed, she probably just laid there

he ran out the door
found his way back to the chinese theater
and he banged on the door
it was a saturday night
and people were coming and going in mass
but he couldn’t get in
he knew they were all in there
his friends, his family, his father
he knew that the protesters would find him
with their picket signs and their need to cure misogyny
and he was afraid of it

he was still barefoot
his father never showed up
he didn’t think he’d ever find him
the city hated him for what he wasn’t
he couldn’t go where he wanted to
his sister of a friend
was locked up in the arms
of a poor excuse of a man
he was stuck in limbo
he was stuck in limbo
i don’t know if any of this is coming through
i don’t know if you can hear me from the other side
but it was a nightmare
there was just nothing to grab onto

and when he woke up
he was sweating
sleeping in a room with no windows
at his parents house
his duffle bag splayed open on the floor
his life in boxes all around him
he sat up and breathed the air conditioned air

just nothing.
thank god.

he went downstairs
waking up from that dark coma
and his sister, his actual sister
offered him a cup of tea
and she asked him
“how was your nap?”
and he said to her,
“i had a nightmare.
i didn’t think i could have nightmares anymore
but i did
and it was terrible.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.03, DAY 3 OF THE 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

EARTHBENDING

some people’s hearts
are 1300 pounds of rage

some people’s minds
are antique arcade machines

some people’s guts
are ocean oil spills

and some people’s bodies
are imploding giant casinos

we are not small accidents
we are massive heart attacks
to happiness
and we
are nuclear radiation

we must speak loudly
we must love even louder
we must be unafraid
to shake the ground
to leave cracks in mountains
that will remain safe passage
for every holy virus
we awaken
to walk through
forever

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “ON THE HUNT FOR THE HEART THAT BEATS LIKE MINE”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

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”

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”