11:30

two birds on top of a burning building
they pay no mind to the fire until they have to
they are red-breasted and consumed
by the mad sweet company of each other
a snapshot from a much longer film
they plant their feet like trees when they touch
because there’s no time to get carried away
and when the time comes
feathers ruffled. dizzy and imbalanced
away from the flames they caused
they fly separate ways
and it was worth it
it was worth it
it was worth it

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

JUST A QUICK BIT ON LOVE

It’s amazing to be alive on a day where love has been allowed to be free. Have you ever been told you’re not allowed to love someone the way you want to? Have you ever been denied that you could actually love someone? The problem with trying to contain love is it can’t be done. The more you push back on love the closer it will embrace you. This is where I find my hope for humanity. Freedom, beauty, truth and love – and the beautiful thing is today’s ruling to make gay marriage legal in all fifty states will make this country more free, more beautiful, more truthful and of course more full of love. I am beyond elated. Let us not put down our hearts just yet. Let us keep fighting for that which is unarguably good. Let us carry a torch that will light all the dark corners of this world and when there are no dark places left, we can rest. Love is painful, love is work and all that pain and work is worth it on days like today. I love you all. Have a free, beautiful, truthful, lovely weekend.

-Brice

SALT

i won’t
tell you not to
cry
but take
your salt water
and make
it an ocean
and chop down the fences
around your
summer home heart
and make a
boat
and sail to me
sail
to wherever if
not me
than sail into the sun
sail into
dreams that you’ve had
or dream
of the dreams you’ve yet to
dream
because there are planets in the vastness
of your rattling rib cage
and there
are planets
in the vastness of each breath
you swallow
and each you return to fill the space
you left behind
and each penny on the ground
is a child
waiting to be born
we think our thoughts and they kind of
swish around like mouthwash
for a minute
there
and
then when we’re done we spit them
out
into the great rusty pipes of the world
and these baby crocodile ideas
get into the
sewers and in
the sewers they grow into great alligator magnum opus
transcontinental hands held high
in celebration
of not being hate
of not being disappointment
of being the dot beneath the question
mark and not the windy road
that leads the way
and we are not toy soldiers
nor masks nor silent
we are amphitheater
we are starlight and music and unintentional
intention
uninvented invention
the dew that drips from our tongue
trapped in teeth
forced to send carrier pigeons
except when we lower the draw bridge
and let in the inevitable sensation
of another
in one moment of pure recklessness
we invite in waves of sensation
our lighthouse beams
guiding them to the shores of the future
which rest in our hungry bellies
where the salty ocean of our tears
always resides

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

INTERNAL CIRCUS

there’s a bunch of caffeined-up kids playing laser tag in my skull
there’s a homeless man who has taken shelter in my cardboard box gut
there’s a flash flood pouring through my river-veins like the end of days
my fingers have been commandeered by pirates
and they sail on through oceans of indecision

there’s a mime on the soap box of my throat
presenting a great silent sermon but the live studio audience
is fast asleep in my liver

there is a bear pacing the den of the balls of my feet
hungry and impatient he wanders back and forth
a mechanic works on my rusty knees while a prospector
digs for gold in the hills of my knuckles
there’s a riot in the rain in the depths of my stomach
unsettled citizens hold signs protesting a broken society
the inconsistent weather has driven them stir crazy
there is an empty crucifix in my shoulders
wondering patiently if anyone will ever climb aboard
there is no room anywhere in this full house
monkeys swing from chandeliers, wild dogs run rampant
people and every manner of beast is born and dies inside of me
and i bury them all in the graveyard of my lungs
there is something in every section of my being
except for my heart, where i have taken the liberty
of clearing out a room, changing the bedsheets
putting a mint on a pillow so when you come to town
you will always have somewhere to stay

there may be a circus of angels and monsters
flying around inside of me, clawing at my rib cage
but in this tiny room of my heart
i will make certain there is always a reservation
for you

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

TYRION LANNISTER

it is a good feeling to be free
to have no load to carry
no cross to carry
to have no day no moment
but the one that we have just arrived in

it is good to be loved by a woman
to know the value of pursuit of her
pursuit of life
pursuit of whatever it is you wish to pursue
it is good i find at the end of the hangover day
to celebrate the mistakes with a toast to the gods

and who are these gods?
these mysterious creatures to whom we attribute this all
this caper this unanswerable riddle
all i know is i wish to be among them

i will drunk drunk drunk
til i can drunk drunk drunk no more
for i am tyrion lanister
and you are beautiful eyes
and an inviting sway
to a dance that i hope will last longer
than this chemical buzz
this i.v. bag of bliss
which i don’t understand
because buried beneath is more bliss

it is a peculiar thing
to drink alone
to wonder where the line is
where you no longer are a sober soul
it is a peculiar life
with clowns and bears on tricycles
with ugly stepsisters
and wicked deeds
but there is hope i find
in the exit wounds we leave in time
that is where i find my hope
which i always search for
nothing is more sacred than my constant search
for hope
and your love
and the way these two things
intertwine
the way they braid together into rope
slipknot tied tight and wrapped around my vulnerable throat
waiting for you
to drop
the floor beneath my feet

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

PHANTOM LIMB

o! does this hamster wheel
ever stop hamster wheeling?
i bite constantly at my endless
nails, i shave my neck
constantly. am i not just meant to be
a werewolf? i howl at the moon enough.
my blood grows red in the dark.

sometimes i feel like i’m just
inbetween poems always all the time
just transitioning from the sunday ringroad
to the sunday jungle room madness
captured in the starry eyes of celestial
children.

which hat will i cover my bald head with
today? will i be the ringmaster? the poet?
the devil? the tower? will i be the cynic?
will i be the beaming light of the world?
will i allow it to die out? what chaos do i drown
my cereal in? which character on the box am i?

o! to be beside you. hand-in-hand
this is my favorite place to visit
where the overcast fades and your hands
cross the borders of my body like refugees
like western expansion like the history of
humanity. this is where i be when i choose
where to be i will be. i speak so new so young
so confused and brilliant in the dark star
of your vast eyes. i cannon through the night
like a human cannonball on fire and lost and in
love with the world that you roll around. i
walk on top and keep balance with the gravity
of what we might be.

o! to be dear with a friend. to be reminded
no one person is your everstar and the sky would
be dark if there was only one light in its hugeness.
when the eloquent get high and allow
themselves the priviledge of confusion
the song they sing is laughter.
this i know i think i know but i don’t really
ever stand still.

i fidget. i lose focus. i just cannot stand
still.

they say i have a.d.d. but really
i think i was just born to always be in motion
my name means never stopping never ending
i’d explain in more detail but i’ve got a train
to catch to see the joshua tree. because
i too am a strange tree in the middle of a desert.
a city on a plane. a mustache grown like wild blue horses
looking to capture the dew of unspoken thoughts.
we think we can catch tomorrow but really we just have
to be patient until it decides to become today.

o! how your love reminded me of the love i have for
everything. a poet in love is a dangerous
thing. we could build a space needle or we could
find ourselves between the devil and the deep
blue sea.

i want to kiss you underwater in seattle in the rain.
i want to kiss you in five points.
i want to kiss you in the wings of the stage.
i want to kiss you on the giant runways of the airport
as planes take off into the unforgiving sky
the indifferent merciless sky that loves as fiercely
as it hates. (for love and hate are the double doorway
that passion walks through, i think so)

o! this year! o! to be in this moment.
where we live so voraciously but
with the major bummer downside of rising rent.
it is not cheap to occupy an idea.
you cannot just leave your coat on the seat.
when approached by a large animal
the only option is to make yourself large as well.

display your multitudes. confess your breath.
chase clouds. punch the alarm clock. kiss the cement.
entertain the clowns with your seriousness.
throw candy into their wide open yawning mouths.
tie red strings around their fingers to remind them
to live. always open your gifts before christmas.
count your chickens before they hatch. learn to understand
that disappointment is just an opportunity to love what didn’t
happen.

o! to love what didn’t happen
to mourn the loss of something so huge
that you cannot wrap your arms around it
you cannot bury it in the ground
this phantom limb will squeeze your heart forever
it will squeeze your heart like a stress ball.
so invite yourself to attend the stress ball.
dance with it. twirl it around. feel it with you.
we were gifted with the strange ability to convince
ourselves that something is true until eventually
we don’t have to fake it anymore.
big fish become fairy tales and fairy tales become
legends and legends become gospel and gospel becomes
truth and then we destroy that.
we are so good at demolition when we are seduced by
the idea of creation.

o! dear sweet life
i am trying so hard to coexist with you
to share my bed with you
you ask me if i sleep well when you stay over
and i lie and i say yes
but the truth is i will adjust
because i need you to be here beside me
i find comfort in discomfort
it’s in the word itself
i work through the prefix of yesterday
in hopes of getting to the core of today
i want into this moment
please let me into this moment
dear god, can i please just be in this moment?

that’s the tricky part, isn’t it?
to be in the moment and not think about being in the moment
i watch movies and i think about the script
while the masses around me are engulfed in the tragedy and the comedy
i wish i could laugh, i wish i could cry
but i just keep analyzing

the unexamined life is not worth living
but the fully examined life is never lived

o! phantom limb
pull me up into the sky
let us be together
in the cradle of infacy
where we know everything
because we know nothing
and nothing about that

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

REUNION

this shouldn’t feel foreign
but it does
fingers against the surface
rhythms that i’ve trumpeted
one million times
but there’s something else

an electricity bouncing back
that i’ve not felt before

i shave my beard

i shave my head

i disrobe my skin
in front of my self
in the mirror

the familiar skeleton
appears before me
top hat before chest
ready to perform

what am i doing?
this white rectangular cell
that my black footprints dance around
why bother?

no matter how loud you yell
the echoes fade out

no matter how quiet you whisper
they’ll never lean in close enough

dance monkey dance

smile for the camera

yes be reckless
love reckless
kiss reckless
punch the piano keys
kick the organ in the kidney
all on camera
it’s all on camera
we’re on camera
we’re always all on camera
each photograph an ash of skin
each thought a spitwad on the blackboard of time
we document our deaths so voraciously

and why do we do this again?

oh yeah
that’s why
because it feels fucking good
because it’s a stethoscope
we can place to our cold chests
to feel our percolating hearts percolating

(i am reminded
of the condensation of my lips
on the petroglyphs
of you skin
fleeting life
meeting
eternal static
i am reminded of you
in the middle of this poem
not about you (til now)
and that’s how it goes sometimes
and the uncalculated calculation
of that squint that you squint at me with
eyes shining like new sunstars
just born into a lightless sky
that i remember is the why
you are why
you are the why when i why)

my back against my front door
i spelunk my own caverns
in search for silence
i still think of you (still now)
but the world isn’t silent tonight
it is hiding in the tall grass
and i can feel it coming
and i am ready for the whatever
and the whatever comes along with it
give me your best fucking shot
i am ready for the whatever
and the whatever sure as fuck
better be ready for me
my arms great blunderbuss guns
the trigger your pre-arthritic fingers
interlocked in mine in waiting
beautiful and ready to click

life you son of a bitch
hit. me. hard.
and i will swing back like
i’m being pushed

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

RECTANGLE STATE

i am enchanted in waiting
i make sandwiches
run rubber erasers across paper
i draw a dot drawing of your face
made up of one million dots
congregating to form my memory of you
as you are gone
lost at a crossroads
i worship your shadow
realizing not even the sun
can capture you

i understand you may never happen
you may get lost in a whirlwind
me lost in another whirlwind
not a single raindrop of intersectionality
but we can hope adjacent whirlwinds
i like your whirlwind adjacent to mine

i send you short love letters
you send me love
my tongue is colloidal silver sure
but my heart is stained blue
and meanwhile yours is an open locket
mine need crowbar mine need leverage
maybe your leverage the best leverage
of your hand on mine on the crowbar

i drive in circles in a rectangle state
i listen to andrea gibsons breaths in my car
i dream of you counting her breaths beside me
driving in circles in a rectangle state
love is sometimes
that’s it sorry
love is sometimes and i am saturday morning
poem leaking faucet
and the faucet keeps leaking
and some nights it keeps me up
with its potential to change
but most nights the fact it is there
is enough to put me to sleep
in your arms
which may or may not be

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

TO THE WOMAN AND/OR GIRL WHO SENT HERSELF FLOWERS

those flowers are not from you. they are from me.
i wanted to send you something to let you know
that you are very very very much loved.
i know sometimes life can feel quite busy
or overwhelming and sometimes unbearable
but through all of this you always remain
in my thoughts, because you deserve to be thought of.
that is the truth. these are not just pretty words
that are a dime a dozen. this is truth. the truth.

i hope you picked out your favorites. yeah i knew you liked
those flowers and it’s not important which flowers you picked out
but the fact that you chose carefully what flowers
you would get yourself allowed me to get you the flowers
that you wanted, because people are not given flowers
often enough. and it has nothing to do with the price.
if you can’t afford flowers, steal your neighbor’s flowers.
i do not encourage theft: steal your neighbor’s flowers.
there are too many flowers living complete boring lives
in suburban wastelands or botanical gardens. there are flowers
in the discount section of the local grocery store.
that is the literal image that corresponds with a craigslist
missed connection ad. buy those flowers.

these flowers are a torch, so pick red and orange and yel-
low ones, because i am passing on to you something that you
should hold dearly as i would hold you dearly if you were not
across highways, oceans or galaxies my sweet alien love. i
want you to know that you are incendiary. when you
ignite the spark in your pulmonary arteries you set
flame to your lungs and the fumes in your lungs climb your
trachea like a smoke stack and you burn like a great ship
on a still ocean as brachiocephalic fireblood rushes to your
untouched arms and that is why i got you these flowers
so neither of us will ever forget the way that you were and are
and always will be.

this is the way that you were and are
and always will be.

take these flowers and find them water.

give them sunlight and sing them stupid songs.

put them in your windowsill and watch them bloom
young light to gamma-ray burst to inevitable dusk
may they be with you through it all.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015