02.26

0226

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(when you said you liked the beatles.)

when you said you liked the beatles
the oxygenless night exploded into day
the grey clouds were wiped from the sky
like billows of white from a chalkboard
your eyes lit up like a thousand suns
into the reflection of my radioactive moonlight
and we eclipsed into the caverns of love

when you said you liked the beatles
i could feel my heart growing like bamboo
on steroids into the hollows of my arms
and overwhelmed my body began to sing
a duet with you laced with great hope
a great hope in the divine and that the heavens
weren’t just those blue squigglies above
the red house and the brown dog in a child’s drawing
on a fridge

when you said you liked the beatles
i became filled with a rage of joy
something i didn’t think possible
i found myself dancing through lines
at the d.m.v. and driving one hundred mph
into the mountains to go find the heart
that i now knew was still beating

when you said you liked the beatles
fantastic wings sprouted from your back
and i began to paint an electric portrait of you
psychedelic and visceral and honest to the aura
you possess inside your home of a house

when you said you liked the beatles
i fell in love with you
as we danced to something
pouring out of the loudspeakers
in the streets of denver
like crystalline drops of water
that have resonated eternally
through the last fifty years
and will continue to resonate
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves and
everyone loves the beatles
the beatles are everyone’s band
but when you said you loved the beatles
i remembered there are such things
in this world that exist that we all feel
that will never be captured
that do not drown in the sands of an hourglass
but form great glasshouses
immune to any stones you could throw

they just remain
in the minds
and the hearts
and the guts
of the mass populace
of incredible lovely people
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves
like the crescendo
in the middle of
a day in the life

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.27, 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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02.01

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 honesty
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

BEN

we were gathered around
the four of us
in standard party circle
beers in hand
when he interjected

“the hardest thing
i’ve ever had to do
is to deliver a flag
to my friends’ parents.
i had to stand there
saluting
straight faced
while i waited for them
to finish balling hysterically
when just days earlier
my friend had said to me
if i die
i want you to deliver
the flag to my parents.”

it came out of nowhere.
nothing prompted him
telling us this.
there was no rhyme
or reason
to it being entered into
the conversation
but i’m glad it was.

amongst the alcohol
and stupid balloons
the chit-chattering
and the laughter
all that laughter
we needed a moment
of truth.
a moment
of raw
visceral
unapologetic
humanity.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “IN CRAZY”

CHECK OUT MY UPCOMING PROJECT “02.2013”

DEATH RATTLE

always the bridesmaid, never the bride
he dresses in your sister’s clothes
and sneaks up behind you
with piano wire
he strangles you
just when things were beginning
to go so well.

lies. lies. lies. lies.

it’s life that’s the killer;
so dramatic, so whiny
callin you at two in the morning
when you gotta work the early shift.
calling lonely and horny
when you gotta work the graveyard shift
and shit, man
you know you gotta call in
because seize the day
carpe diem-
am i right?

but no-
death is the asshole.
the one who punches you
in the kidneys,
makes you piss blood
not true!
not true in the fucking least
life has just perfected
her death costumer.

but life is the day
and death is the night
right?
wrong.
if life is the day
and death is the night
then why do you crave
a little more two a.m.
and a little less
six thirty in the godless
morning?

death is your ally.
your friend
who just wants
to get you drunk.
tell you
to dump that bitch.
she’s just playing games
with your head, man.

life.
shit, man.
life is your friend
sometimes.
death is always waiting
by the phone
for you to call and
hear me, you:

when life stabs you in the back,
when she
sleeps with your best friend
and turns off your alarm
so you’re late for work.

when life cancels your insurance
just before driving your car
into the first brick wall
she finds.

when she strikes you
with sodium penethol,
truth serum,
just before
your lifetime achievement speech
and calls your mom
and tells her you murdered someone
and the cops catch on
and they break into your house
in the middle of the night
and arrest you for the crime
that life committed,

hear me, you, brothers and sisters.

death will be the friend
who takes a taxi
to the penitentiary
to try and bail
your sorry ass out.

life is the terrorist who hijacks the plane.
death is the friend who is waiting
on the other side
with a sign
with your name on it.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “BEAUTIFUL HOUR”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

A TOAST

lift up your spirits!
to this cataclysmic evening!
this parade!
of howling wolves! and monkeys!
to the altered perspectives!
of angels!
and their subjective
paradise!

let our warped worlds come together!
like pangea in reverse!

let all religions reside within us all!
and all around us!

this is my wish for you.
and all of you.

let us toast!
to the fact our irises
are all different colors!
and our pupils are
all
the
same!

let’s get lost!
in the rambunctious sound
of
actual
reality!

and remind our souls
that love
is not just romance:
it is
every breath
the flowers give us
and each one
we return to them!

parks
that are dead
in winter
and alive
with lush green grass
and wide-
eyed people
in summers!

let’s toast!

to the smell of rain!
to the taste of laughter!
forever! tonight!
and ever after!

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SHOCK TOP”

SHOCK TOP

drunk with the roommate
i am capping my tip to a wonderful
inebriation of an evening
boneyards of beer bottles
we are drowning
in beerspit and the
percussive
reactionary ripples of
thick blood
and heavy hands

we fight in slow motion

we renew our vows of friendship
underneath the two a.m. lights of
the microwave and we click
together glass as we clash into
an actual fucking
friendship.

a friendship that sails
on clouds
of memories and loyalty
as we fight
consciousness
for the majority of our lives
but especially
tonight.

underneath the green glow
of David Fincher’s
Fight Club
we are men and
we are sealed by the blood that
we draw from
each other’s mouths
through friendly fists and
this
this is brotherhood
between the aftermath of
strangers
as we tip the glass bottoms of
our beers
to our father
the ceiling fan
in the
hot
fucking
summer.

we celebrate each other
and the words that form
safe voyage as we pass through
the marina gauntlet
of brotherly love into treacherous waters
where we battle the krakens of
whatever;

drink.

drain to the chains of
synched-up heartbeats
like
honest drum circles.

drink to high times
and higher
blood alcohol content.

drink to sobering up
to find
that we
drank not
to find
our fraternity but
to celebrate the fraternity
we continue to have when
the well dries up
and the rent check is barely
paid but still
we find money
in the cracks of the couches
to drink
and to clack bottles together
to brothers
born in different states.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “EDWARD HOPPER”

CALIFORNIA, STOP SWALLOWING MY FRIENDS

you’re a monster! a monster, i tell you!
you lure them in with your nihilistic theme parks
and your caustic beaches
the promise of Hollywood and the west of the American
west
in the night, your ocean reaches its bony hands under the covers
and digging its polluted claws in, it drags them anxiously
through the fires of Utah and the flowerless graveyards of Las Vegas
i watch all this sleepless from the fragile glass window of my Colorado home
in the swaying arms of my humble mother
rocking me to sleep in a Rocky Mountain high
but how my friends tried to grasp on to those mountains as you grasp them in tantrums

you need so much god damn attention

the blonde-haired blue-eyed boys and the sexual shape of video cameras
this one goes out to the friends i’ve lost
desperate and scared amongst the grey smog and the pedophile buildings

i can hear you laughing at all of this, California
stop swallowing my friends, California
your jewel heart fell into the Pacific Ocean
and my friends are lost, manic and drugged in your vicious riptides
you digest them in your swollen valleys
they waste away, going nowhere in rush hour traffic
listening to catchy horror music on the radio

oh, the California radio! it tastes of silicone
it burns like vodka tonics and the Beverly Hills Hotel
they are all just prisoners there; of their own device
into your guts they go; an assembly line of starry-eyed followers
into the factory; to be printed like Marilyn, to be loved like Jackie,
to be shot like Kennedy
i can’t stop them
they are scared and horny and thinking with their adolescence
they are less reckless, and more self-mutilating

California, i can see the scars underneath your breasts
i can taste the cheap boxed wine on your breath
your eyes are busy telephone wires for crow’s feet to rest on
you’re so skinny
i can see right through you
i don’t care
just please
California, stop swallowing my friends

“Denver is lonesome for her heroes,”
and you are just hungry for your villains

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ANXIETY AT THE HOUSE CAFE”

RECKLESS

and as soon as his mother
walked up the stairs
and out of the apartment
he went to the bathroom
grabbed a can of hairspray
he went to the coffee table
grabbed a lighter
and he pointed the hairspray
directly at the lit flame
inches away from the ceiling

i asked him
“logan
what are you doing?”
he pressed the button down
and nothing happened

defeated
he said,
“i just wanted to do something reckless
once in my life,”
and that was the end of that.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “A GIRL NAMED AMERICA”

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”

HANGOVER

i sold most of my books, almost sold my guitar
i have cleared the shelves of this apartment
emptied the attic and the stale memories of a different me
i have burnt break-up letters
and let go of friends like a hand off the edge of a bridge
i have kissed goodbye the roads i thought holy
i have watched the sun be swallowed by the mountains
and thought that maybe if i head west i too will be lost
in the gut of the earth, alone with echoes and hollow
i took down the pictures of a younger me
and now i spend my days painting a portrait of an older me
and now i just don’t know what i’m doing
i’m looking at ants through a magnifying glass
and i can’t look away when the heat condenses and they start to set on fire
i put my car up for sale and i sell viles of my blood in the wanted ads
i sleep in a white room with no posters, hopeless and cold
on a perfect bed with one half severely empty and i wonder
in porcelain moments like these
that knock on the door at two in the morning
am i practicing how to die
or trying to give myself another chance to live?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “WHY I WRITE POETRY”