THE WALL AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE

there is a wall at the universe
where shit heads graffiti their names on the side
street kids hide little bags of drugs behind the bricks
and you and i just sat there
our backs pressed against it

“what’s beyond that wall?”
you asked me
and i told you
“that’s the whole thing.
it’s the wall at the end of the universe.
there is nothing beyond it.”

“nothing is something.”
you said.
i wanted to kiss you.
you were wearing that lipgloss
that tasted like cherries
or strawberries
or some delicious fruit
and when my lips are done
sliding off the synthetic taste
all i’m left with is you.

you and me.
sitting against the wall
at the end of the universe.
the one that doctor gonzo
drove his great shark over.
the one that syd barrett
crashed into
like the comedown
from the astral plane.
this is where we are.

“have you ever wanted
to look over the wall?”
you asked.
“hell no,” i said.
“that’s just

that’s just too much for me.”
“how can you not want to look?”
“to be honest,”
i said,
“i’m slightly disinterested.”

“i’m going to look.”
you said,
and i thought that too
was an honorable choice
so i lifted you up onto my shoulders
and you looked out
into the great beyond
where i imagine
there are no red planets
or white giants
or starbucks across the street from
starbucks
and i asked you what you could see
and you said

“i don’t know how to describe it.”
and i said
“well try…”
and you said
“i can’t even really see anything
i just feel
deep inside of me
this haunting faith
that there is something beyond
this wall.”

“who made this wall?”
i asked
and you said
you didn’t know
and you came back down
from off my shoulders
and you looked into my eyes
and you said
“huh…”
and i said
“what…”
and you said
“nothing.”

there was a pause.
the crickets held their bows
and waited for our cue
to continue.

“i’m gonna throw a brick
over the wall!”
i said.
and you said
“you are such a guy.”
and i said

“i have to know.
i have to know if i can
break down the walls of perception.
what if someone
just put this wall up
to make themselves feel better?
maybe they were afraid of
infinity?”

“afraid of infinity?
do you know how you sound?”

“i’m serious!”
i said.
“why else do we build walls?
because we’re afraid of
not understanding
what is on the other side.”

“or we’re trying to keep
something
out.”
you said.
applying more lip gloss.
“or
maybe,”
you said,
“they were a romantic…”

“what is more romantic
than the idea
that everything continues
forever,”

“i’ll tell you what,”
you said,
“the idea
that you and i
on some cold colorado night
could pack a picnic
and go sit
at the wall at the end of the universe
and accept that we did it.
that together, we made it.
we all want to be pioneers.
we all want to feel that what we found
is the ultimate.
we are nationalistic
to the nation of ourselves
and our loved ones.
that is why we are here.
that is why you and i ended up here
at the wall at the end of the world
so we could pretend our love
is romeo and juliet
that our love
is the love story that they will tell
to our children
and our children’s children.
that our love
is the ultimate.
that is why we build walls.
windows and doors and walls
these are things we’ve created
because it is part
of our idea of home.”

“i don’t need walls
to feel like i’m home with
you.” i said.
and your eyes glimmered
and i saw in them
what i think you must have seen
when you looked over
the wall
at the end
of the universe.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “WHITE SMOKE”

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02.27

0227

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(don’t panic.)

dear tim,
the memories will run out.
but what happens
when the memories
run out
is you

traveling into
the great unknown

keep your typewriter
safe inside your chest
keep your pen in hand
grasp it tightly
and send us back
a message in a bottle
from the other
side.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

THIS POEM IS IN RESPONSE TO “PANIC” BY TIM BECKER, FROM HIS RECENTLY RELEASED BOOK, SORROW BIRDS. READ HIS POEM HERE.

READ 02.28, THE FINAL 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

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

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

02.12

0212

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(head. heart. gut.)
head.
heart.
gut.

i believe
with all of my heart
with every ounce of logic
and with that rawest of instinct
that this is all we are made of.

the heart beats
and blood rushes to the head
and the gut twists
the gut writhes inside of us all
and they are all bickering
loudly and honestly
and with no sense of reservation
trying to decide
what to do
and who we are
and where
we are going.

head.
heart.
gut.
this holiest trinity
that resides within us all.
let us pray.

let us pray first of all
that we acknowledge our hearts
that though they do not have a mouth
nor a check-in box on a voting ballot
that they do in fact have something to say
the heart will endlessly be compared to a drum
i will never stop comparing the heart to a drum
because deep
deep in the dark forest of night
at the core of our jungle is the purest of black
but there resides the drum
the drum that beats and fire rises around it
and the people gather within us
to form great circles around the heart
and we honor that which allows us to love
and forgive ourselves
that it also has allowed all of us to hate
but the drum beats either way
systolic elation
diastolic revelation
the cause
and the effect
the river
and its ripple
the vibration
and its echo
and it shakes water from deep lakes within us
and they rise to our eyes when called upon
when we cannot hold in
that which makes us human
and when our heart declares war
it is our head that begins to prepare

our head
a great philosopher
pacing around our skull
unrolling maps
and sticking thumbtacks
in foreign lands
crashing meticulously knights
into fragile queens
and claiming checkmate
when it has seen ahead
of the face across the table
it is the head that allows us to keep the heart
the eyes that move along the words
that turns madness into reality
that turns reality into the past

and some things
do not belong to emotion
some things
do not belong to logic or reason
some things are written
by an invisible hand
that moves us through harsh winter
into uncertainty
the gut
raw as raw
the gut that does not tell you what to do
it does
the hand that removes itself from the hot fire
the moment when nothing can explain why
that it is this
that you have to do

and the head and the gut they bicker
and they always bicker
and get into loud shouting matches
over anything and everything
as the heart tells them both to calm down
as if the heart doesn’t have its fair share
of shouting matches
with them both
but they have to do this

head.
heart.
gut.

thought.
love.
instinct.

three sailors
lost in our sea
in a boat barely big enough
for them all.

to think.
to love.
to act.

what else is there to do?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.2013, 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

02.11

0211

(the unexplainable.)

there is that which words cannot hold onto
the spaces between these letters
the black part of your pupils
that feeling of vast emptiness when you stand amongst epic nature
rocks like gods and rivers like veins that run through the earth
the feeling you must get staring at our world from outer space
the static charge when lovers lips meet
that danceable feeling of revelation when you meet a new friend on the off chance that some unexplainable force led you to the same room at the same time
that moments when you look in the mirror and see yourself and think what the hell kind of thing is this that i’m a part of
the way you wish you could see yourself with your eyes closed
Love, but not just Love Love
the Love that exists undeniably between everything capable of Love and the Love that sneaks up on you when you’re feeling underoverwhelmed and overunderwhelmed
watching a bird fly beside you down a highway where you both look like you are standing still but in fact you both are charging recklessly into the dawn at unimaginable speeds
that idea that creeps into your skull that you can’t take credit for but that you don’t quite know how you could have gone on each day being you if this great muse didn’t crack open your skull and let in this homeless insect
thunder
lightning
undocumented phenomenon
ghosts of moments that can’t be captured
the stars you see after closing your eyes tightly then opening them wide and back into reality
the way you can fall in love with an abstract painting
the way you can fall in love with a character in some two dimensional story
or a stranger just by watching them dance
the indescribable
the undeniable, existential, completely existent non-existent smoke clouds rising into the sky and out into neverland floating above us below us within us
most of all, within us
the unexplainable
that which truly is
God

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.12, DAY 12 OF 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

02.08

0208

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(midnight hype with ratatat.)

atrophy, apathy and the letters between lovers
disect your very core to try and find the blind
the walk of shame through the halls of college dorms
the parasail that treads too close to water
let’s unshelter the shelters, let’s unveil the mask of sanity
let the world see our naked scarred unshaven selves
we will sit elevated in a glass box above times square
and frozen in time we will move as fast as traffic
if life is a graph of time versus love versus change
what would happen if you crumpled up the sheet of paper
the equation was written on?

condense your density. make true your individual rhythm.
martyr your dark dark dark dark dark heart
and allow yourself to become as soft as soft symphony
cram your head full of knowledge then let it all go
binge and purge. create then destroy. love then let love.
you have a finite amount of infinite to give the infinite.
your hourglass figure can only be flipped so many times
requiem. become requiem. become undeniable. stand
on the pedestal that you have created
from cracks in the sidewalk you stepped on
when you break your mothers back consider the fact
that maybe you adjusted the lump in her spine
close your history books and listen to the eyes of auschwitz
the scars of pearl harbor, the radiation of hiroshima
take a shot of nagasaki and chase it with karoshi
we’re all melting like the wicked witch of the west
we are all bleeding like the eternal tsunami of the east
our stripy socks shrivel up beneath the house hovering over our heads

we rob peter to pay paul and then we use paul’s money
to take peter’s girl out for a night on the town
but she never calls because she’s in love with paul
and we ignore the fall, the mighty fall of the american empire
and the fire, it burns us all the same, we have only ourselves
and a thousand past lives left to blame, we’re so brash
do not ask what you can do for your country
once we see the fire it burns us all the same, we’re so brash
ash to ash, dust to dust, from first to last lashes
ashes to ashes
we
all
fall
down

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.09, DAY 9 OF THE 28 DAY 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

02.07

“Don’t you just love it?” she said. “Every day you stand on top of a mountain, make a three-hundred-sixty degree sweep, checking to see if there’s any fires. And that’s it. You’re done for the day. The rest of the time you can read, write, whatever you want. At night scruffy bears hang around your cabin. That’s the life! Compare with that, studying literature in college is like chomping down on the bitter end of a cucumber.”

“OK,” I said, “but someday you’ll have to come down off the mountain.””

-Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

0207

(the mountain.)

and the wind picked me up
wrapped me in its rope
and tied me mad to the front of a ship
the water billowed below me
as i set sail alone
off to an island
where no man had ever been before

and there on the island
was a mountain
and on the mountain
a cabin where i could be
alone
solitary
no stranger
familiar or otherwise
knocking at the door
no brick of reality
crashing through the window

do you know how brash
a fireplace crackles
when you built it yourself
and there is no sound of traffic
to spoil it?
when there is only the sound of stars
a sound like

that.

to breathe air
untainted by the mouths of others
to make a bed
from the flotsam and jetsam
inside of your head
to walk around inside your own skull
hang your own artwork
unbalanced upon your medulla oblongota
to lean a chair upon the door
of the cerebrum
so no one can get in

to padlock and chain
the cerebellum

to make time like soup
throwing in what you will
two parts nonsense
to twelve parts inspiration
three tablespoons of nap
bring to a boil
let cool
and enjoy
serves one

to love the person
who knows you best
to mark the walls with crayons
the color of your insecurities
the shade of your denials
to explore the entire fucking spectrum
of your color wheel

and to sleep
when you are ready to sleep
to wake up
to the visceral, visceral
raw dog honest momentarily existent
then gone but always visceral
alarm clock in your stomach

and one day
there will be a knock at your cabin door
the sun will seem artificial
and you will not recognize the voice
of another
as something outside of yourself
but they will come
the authorities of reminder
the karma police
if you do not return their calls
they will mail you letters
and if you burn their letters
they will send a warrant for your arrest

you will be reinstated
brought back to the intercourse
of other people
whether it be with joy
or kicking and screaming
you do not own this planet
you should be so lucky to think
that you alone
deserve your life
there are lonely househusbands
an audience of towns
maybe the ear
receptive to the voice of the world
waiting for you

the waves crashed different
when the island learned
it was a peninsula
but fire came along
and the people formed circles
they danced
they hit their drums with love
they hit their drums with love
and the beat alters hearts
and you threw into the fire
your cabin
on top of a mountain
on an island
far from home
and watched as the smoke rised
into the cosmos
to form purple nebulas
and ancient songs
that filter down
to typewriters
and deep
deep deep down
into the soil
beneath the mountain

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.08, THE EIGHTH ENTRY IN MY 28 DAY PROJECT, 02.2013

02.2013 is a twenty-eight day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

02.05 (LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET FROM A YOUNG POET)

02.05

 

 

(letters to a young poet from a young poet.)

i’ve heard too many times
“i am not very good at poetry,”
that is like saying
“i am not good at breathing,”
you’re going to do this
whether you want to or not
so you might as well
make your breaths deep
take in the fragrance in the air
along with the carbon monoxide
write your poetry
like a carpenter would make
his own crucifix

if you are uninspired
and you are a poet
it is time
to start sneaking into movie theaters
time to drive your car home in reverse
spend a day trapped inside your home
dressed like emily dickinson
stalking a housefly
attempt to roll uphill

your blood is eighty-five percent water
come to a rolling boil
you were not made to be luke warm
if you are body temperature
you are denying yourself
the chance to be something other than a body

you will write shitty poems
you will have shitty relationships
and shitty jobs with shitty bosses
and sometimes the most precious of poems
gets damaged in a move

you are not a poet
until you type your soul on a screen
and forget to save
but when that computer crashes
you will learn
that some things cannot be taken away from you

there are plenty of people out there
who won’t want to hear your poetry
but you do not speak for them
we all speak to the ears that want to hear
there is a method to the madness
of bees and their flowers

you do not have to share your poems
but document your heart beats
and your heart murmurs alike

sometimes a bad poem
is the prosthetic legs
of a good poem

as far as love
you have to love
loneliness is a bitch
big, big bitch
the fat kid in class
who steals your lunch
because he can’t get full on his
but you have to love
throw yourself into uncomfortable

pad your bed with broken dreams
make strangers less strange
and embrace their stories as your own
because time turns us into alphabet soup
and no one can claim the letters as theirs for long
your mouth carries the fiber of the universe
your dreams form our reality
speak now
or forever hold your peace

write everyday
write with borrowed pens on napkins at diners
and write with scratches on the backs of lovers
tiger stripe God’s car
throw eggs at his driveway
ding dong ditch his front door
leave a flaming bag of dog shit for him to put out
God knows only how to smile
at the precocious little monster you’re being
someday you’ll just be glad you made some memories

a poet is one hell of a hard thing to be
there is no health care, no 401k
no big benefits package
you don’t get sick time
but you will make money off of it
you’ll just be dead by then

the wealth of a poet is measured
in the lint in your pocket
and the gems you’ve placed
in the pocket of the hearts
of those around you

a friend once said to me
the worst thing someone can be to you
is bad poetry
and i believe that to be true
i cannot unhear what i have heard
and you cannot say
what you decided to let be unsaid

take a second
close your eyes
and take in a deep breath
now
before you start turning blue
let it out

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.06, DAY 6 OF THE 28 DAY 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

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″