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”

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”

WOKE UP IN SAN FRANCISCO

woke up in san francisco
woke up in someone else’s skin
in someone else’s bed
in the driver’s seat of someone else’s car

woke up skinnier and emptier
in a good way
woke up ready to be filled
by the thicker air
and the resonance of wind chimes

woke up saturated in happy
woke up dizzy-eyed
and sore headed
woke up wanted to dream in the daylight

woke up wandering aimlessly
through a life i couldn’t afford
woke up in luke warm water
in someone else’s bathtub

woke up with a briefcase
filled with hotel soaps
and shampoos and lotions
stolen white towels
covered with the resin
of the disoriented people
who came before me

woke up in a high rise apartment
with wooden floors
and the 75 mph highway wind
out the window
like a portrait of a world waiting
or a pending suicide

woke up in an elevator
hung over
at the feet of shiny shoes
and muffled voices
the dinging of numbers
the echoes of morning lovers
down the hallway

woke up in san francisco
but i’m still dreaming of denver

woke up in san francisco
without a hangover
or a missed phone call
without a drop of seratonin
out of place

woke up in san francisco
only to fall asleep
in the arms of a woman
who doesn’t know me
who could never commit to me
well
who i could never commit to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MIKE TEEVEE”

SUBTERRANEA

for two years now i’ve been underground
residing in these mute walls
with the spiders and the earwigs
there’s no sun in here
only artificial light filters into this
artificial underground apartment
where i count the ceiling tiles over and over
at the end of the work day
that descent down the narrow stairs
is passage through a threshold
here in subterranea
the winters are a little colder
the summers are hotter
the furnace never shuts the hell up
always hissing and moaning
the air stale
underneath the furnace’s song
i can hear harsh footsteps above my head
in the middle of the night
the sound of earthworms crawling through the walls
it’s a well-furnished casket is what it is
it’s like living inside of my head
and somedays
stuck in subterranea
i just sit in the claustrophobic bathroom naked
and let the shower water run down
and the steam occupy the apartment
(when you’re trapped underground
this is sanctuary)

and the dishwasher runs
and the fan dances
and the tv talks to me
and he says to me
“none of us are alive in here”
and he says to me
“someone commits suicide once a minute”
the tv is no company at all
he is just the glare on the wall
in subterranea

somedays
subterranea can be a muse
occasionally the walls are warm
and subterranea opens its doors to my friends
and within subterranea we laugh and we share
but it’s just putting on a show
painting petrified wood walls
a skeleton putting on a wedding dress
as soon as they go
she’s naked to me again
the psychotic state of subterranea
it feeds my dark side
(but when you’ve been in pitch black so long
you’d give anything to be blinded in the sun)
subterranea is an ugly girl with a big heart
stubborn
a different animal

here in subterranea it’s always the witching hour
the fridge hums dumbly
my bed is cold
the poster faces i hang on the wall have shifty eyes
it’s only a matter of time before the pipes break
in rebellion and the whole thing is flooded
it’s only a matter of time before the nuclear family
reality upstairs falls through the ceiling-floor and
crushes me
these walls are getting smaller
i reside in a closed casket funeral
amongst the bugs and sad furniture
where playing old records only makes it lonelier
and god, do i love it here
it’s a dark abstract painting of peace
my own personal bermuda triangle
i’ll continue to hang my hat on its melting walls
because someday i’ll have to say goodbye
and someone somewhere i’ll never meet
will be the next lover-victim of
subterranea

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “TWILIGHT IN THE WORLD OF BALLOONS”