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”

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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”