LOST AND BEAT AND NOW

we’ve been through a lot of time in the desert
we’ve been through the hollow barrel of a pistol
we’ve been through a seance
a table of writers stirring over dotting a question mark
we’ve been lost amongst ourselves
robbed apartments, gutted houses, fumigated homes
dead lawns, sprayed down by chemical agents of chaos
we were hollow. we were stuffed.
we paraded around in ambulances.

we’ve been through a lot of time barefoot on the living room floor
we’ve been through smoky headlights in new york city
we’ve been bruised, and bloodied up
for spitting on the sidewalk
we’ve been left with pens and notebooks in psych wards
we’ve been pressed for time, energy and money
we’ve found our sunflower and allowed it to wilt

now i’m  not  so certain of what we are
we’re some cosmic whirlpool of our grandfather’s dust
intentionally unintentional violent reactions of peace
we are made with metal bones and eyes like pixels
we are lighting the kerosene rope so the past can’t climb up after us
we are drowning out the television in our dirty bathwater
we are rebuilding our houses with more tolerance between the bricks
we are putting down hardwood floors over our burial plots
we are burning down bridges because we can swim across oceans
we are here to be labeled by you, dear future
we will try to be kind if you promise to do your best to be

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “FEAR”

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NEW YORK, I WANT YOU SO BADLY

new york, i want you so badly
i’ve never wanted anyone this bad
you’re dancing around in my dreams at night
you’re running your ghost hands up and down my spine
when i close my eyes i see you
i taste the smoke of brooklyn on my tongue
your legs hanging out of your t-shirt
as we lay on your bed in my mind
you traipse about the high rise apartment
like a cat that stalks the room
you’re everything i’ve ever wanted
your words are all surreal
mostly because i can’t believe you said them
when we made love
it would be as raw as lenny bruce
we would burn like buildings
it would taste like late night coffee and cigarettes
we’d sing like it was raining
and we were drunk and high
on life and laughing on park benches
and loving each other
and we dance on the rooftops
above us the stars in the ceiling
below us the stars in the floor
i would have you right then and there
hundreds of feet above the concrete
god, i have to have you
i have to run your hair through my fingers
i have to grow old as you grow older
i have to die in the arms of the city that was meant to have me
i have to die with you

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SEVIER COUNTY”

(PAUSE)

two buildings
side by side
the world’s largest pause symbol
in september of two thousand one
america froze midstep
in coffee shops people were forced to take a minute
to look into the eyes of friendly strangers
the nation took a mental day
muted the tv

and watched the sound of chaos colliding with structure
we remembered
this land is our land
this land is your land
but the world’s largest pause symbol
made us take a second to realize
we do not own the skies

i wonder what the last thing the twin said to her brother was before she watched him burn to the ground zero

frozen in time
new york city
rippling to the pacific coast highway
the gulf of mexico
through radio, through television
through fragile phone calls
our two american arms
reaching up towards god
shattered like a piggy bank
the world’s largest pause symbol
like a drop of blood reminding us
we are human
we are all united most of all
that in a blink of an eye
we can disappear
we all are walking around on a powder keg
smoking cigarettes
bombs    strapped to our hearts

i wish the duality of this tragedy
would wash away the space between us all
i wish that people would notice
two divided buildings, together they fall
ashes to ashes, dust to dust
left wing, right wing
one plane crashing into three dimensions

“my head is on fire
my knees feel weak
i am dizzy, disoriented
butterflies running around in my stomach
my very foundation is shaking
won’t someone break my fall?”

this has been a test of your emergency broadcast system
we now return you to your regularly scheduled program

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SELF-MUTILATION”

REVIEW OF TIM BECKER’S “NEW YORK CITY BONES”

“I’ve been with you since the collapse
When the earthquake shook up the dust
and we were intimate
Since the sirens went off
and your alarm clock scattered
Your eyes were shades of gray
behind a morning cup of coffee
The blades of grass were shaking off the dew
and gasping for breath
I’ve been with you since we fell apart
and melted in a flash flood
While our bodies caved in
In colors and shades
As you stumble out of bed
and I mumble weary nonsense
Somhow I just know we’ll be okay
But now I’m lying here in the
cold sweat of a nightmare
And you’re gone”

I met Tim Becker when I worked with him at a certain popular coffee company, and I knew as soon as I met him, we were going to be more than coworkers. I could tell right away that Tim was smart, and as cliche as it may sound. the fact that he was a twenty-three year old who walks with a cane told me he was someone with stories; someone who lived his life.
At the end of one of our shifts, as Tim closed up the doors, he asked me if I would like to stay a bit and smoke some clove cigars with him outside of the store. I obliged and Tim and I spent a good hour or two shooting the shit, our favorite subjects being The Beatles and Radiohead. I had given up on ever being a Radiohead fan, so Tim dragged me to his car where he put in one of their CD’s. I’ll never forget seeing that stack of Radiohead CD’s Tim had in his car. This guy digested music the way I digested music; ferociously, trying to get to know the artist. Tim wasn’t the type to listen to a song by a band, let alone an album, he would patiently absorb every lick of music that artist ever wrote. I’ve been blessed in our friendship being the same way.
Tim is quiet passion. A rare combination. I can’t keep my damn mouth shut for the life of me. I remember working with Tim at that coffee company that shall not be named; I was playing the part of an angst-driven twenty year old rambling in his ear “Tim, I love her so much but all we do is fight and her dad hates me, but maybe I’m giving up on a good thing etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” and after probably an excessive fifteen minute rant, Tim stopped what he was doing looked me dead in the eye and said “Brice, sometimes the things we want the most, are the things that would kill us,”
I was over her. He had successfully said exactly what I needed to hear in so few words because Tim is one of those people who listens, who thinks and who says all that needs to be said, never overcomplicating things.
Why do I tell you this? Because Tim’s poetry is the same way. Anyone who is even the smallest follower of my blog knows that I… tend to ramble. Don’t get me wrong. I love to ramble, but there’s something to be said about saying only what needs to be said. Saying things as succinctly as possible. Tim does just that, and powerfully. I think about one of my favorite poems from his book; a poem called “Thirty Cops.” Tim explains how one night he found a group of thirty cops standing around a dying deer, contemplating what to do. He ends the poem, “and thirty cops just earned an hour’s pay.” Beautiful – and if your thinking “thirty cops? really?” yes really, because Tim’s writing is as honest as it is intimate.
Something I may have failed to mention that has been a key factor in a great friendship with Tim is Tim’s sense of humor. It comes from that same quiet place as his passion, but damn if it doesn’t bite you in the ass. It’s sharp, it’s caustic, and you don’t know you’re a victim of a joke by Tim Becker until it’s long over. Ladies and gentleman, as Exhibit B, I present to you Tim’s poem from his book, New York City Bones, aptly titled “Poetry.”

“The wall to my left is white
I’m sitting on a chair made of wood
The room is normal temperature
The ceiling has a grainy texture
The carpet doesn’t look like the ceiling
There’s a photo of my wife on the desk
She is smiling
There’s a painting of a flower
The painting is square
The flower is red
I’m wearing a hat on my head
I’m holding a pen in my hand
And I’m writing this poem
People like descriptive poetry
This is a descriptive poem
Publish this shit”

Ha ha ha. Tim is published under the same company I will soon be published under, Flashlight City Press. His book, New York City Bones, is doing extremely well and is something I think everyone should read.

Especially the hipsters, because they’re gonna want to be there to say “I’ve been following him since New York City Bones,” or perhaps whine that “His first book was way better.”

Copies of Tim’s book can be purchased through this link: http://flashlightcitypress.myshopify.com/