LAUGHTER AT A FUNERAL

there is this old man, right. and his wife passes away and he can’t get over the grief of her
death so takes her cremated ashes and puts them inside of a mason jar and he takes that
thing with him everywhere he goes, except the fact that he never really goes much of
anywhere. he just sits around the house with the mason jar beside him on the couch
and he watches repeat episodes of the price is right and let’s make a deal and wheel
of fortune and just game shows all day long and his eyes twinkle at the success of the
people on the television screen and he turns to his wife’s ashes and he says “oh my lord, helen – did you see that? that man just won 50,000 big ones.” and helen, of course, says
nothing, because she is just a mason jar but not the way our old man sees it. he sees this as his only opportunity to hold onto the love of his life. the best way he can keep her alive without actually keeping her alive and god damnit, there’s not always something out there that you have to go seek out and find. yes, it’s important to meet people and see new places and gain new experiences but every single minute of this life is a new experience and sometimes you just find one you like, and sometimes that one that you like is the one where you and your loved one sit on the couch and watch game shows together. and after 50 years of that, that is the only life you need. that simplistic idea of home and safety, those paintings on the wall collecting dust and that water stain on the ceiling that’s been there forever are what you’ve made and that person you are with is the one that you give to. that’s fine. be like the old man. build a boat from scratch and then sail it until it gives out. no one ever talks about laughter at a funeral but it does exist. it should exist. this is all just a glimpse at what could happen and it passes so fucking fast so you have to take a minute to look around and see where you’re at and when you are and maybe who you are if you can swing the time but it moves fast and it’s all about saying goodbye to things and sometimes doing what you can so that you don’t have to say goodbye.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “OXYGEN LIMITLESS”

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OXYGEN LIMITLESS

and today is the first day I ever walked out the door
not for bread, not for eggs but for the hot hot mess of humanity on the other side
I walk slowly down the sidewalk but really I’m ramming my tongue down her throat
and then a careful glance where your black holes stare straight on into her black holes
and amongst each other’s galaxies you feel meaningful
you are the most significant speck of dust on the dashboard
and rumor has it your hands your arms can reach anywhere in the world but all I do is ask her if she wants to go lay down in her bed
and she says yes yes of course hallelujah and
amen
and I put my outstretched arm around as the other one goes to the store to get some breads, get some eggs and I breathe as if air was free and oxygen limitless

READ “AN OLD WOMAN OF ARLES”

AN OLD WOMAN OF ARLES

'An Old Woman of Arles' by Vincent Van Gogh. 1888.

‘An Old Woman of Arles’ by Vincent Van Gogh. 1888.

though once
her hair was wild
it is now tamed
seeking refuge from
a long life
in the sanctuary
of a black bandana

her eyes sunken in
like great ships
set ablaze
in the starry night
beneath her eyebrows
like clouds
that dissipate
slowly through time

her wrinkles have
formed like drylands
under the salt water crusades
of lovers above her
long gone
onward to other women
other lives
and down the stairs
six feet beneath the
ground

there is no symmetry
left to her face
there is no falsity
of balance
of give and take
of war and peace
just the residue
of what lost
and what was won

she stares
at the artist
like she is staring
at god
like she stares out
into the great void
that hovers over her
small bed
the great void
that comes whistling
out of her teapot
the great void
that consumes
not only the old woman
but the artist as well
but youth

he does not know
that when he stares out
at the old woman of arles
that he stares into
himself
but god
does he know
how to paint
a self-portrait.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “LIGHTBULB”

LIGHTBULB

“Hell is not punishment. It’s training.”
-Shunryu Suzuki

throw me into the frozen ocean
toss me into the lion’s den
give me 1000 shocking needles
piercing through my shallow skin
for through this i will remain

waterboard me for hours on end
as i swim through oceans of freedom
give me small doses of death
crush me beneath the foot of the elephant

paint me in acid
douse me in flame
love me with heartbreak
please me with pain

i am motionless
i am a snowflake
falling in denver
i am the silence
between the notes
and you cannot kill
those who refuse to die

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “RANSOM NOTE”

RANSOM NOTE

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

WE HAVE WHAT IT IS YOU MOST VALUE.
AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE IT BACK TO YOU EASY.
WE WANT YOUR EVERYTHING:

YOUR BED AND BREAKFAST
YOUR WIFE AND KIDS
YOUR TELEVISION
YOUR RADIO
YOUR DRIVEWAY AND YOUR CAR
YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH HISTORY
YOUR BLACK BOX OF SECRETS
YOUR IMAGINARY PHOBIAS
YOUR VERY REAL PHOBIAS

WE ALSO REQUEST THAT YOU DELIVER
40 HOURS A WEEK OF YOUR LIFE
FOR 50 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE
IN SMALL BILLS
IN A METAL SUITCASE
TO THE INTERSECTION OF REALITY RD.
AND DREAM DRIVE
BY 0900 HOURS
ON YOUR SON’S
GRADUATION DAY.

WE WILL NOT COMPLY
WITH COUNTER OFFERS.
IF YOU WANT MORE
WE WILL BE TAKING MORE.
THIS IS NOT A GAME.
THIS IS THE GAME.
THIS IS NOT YOU VERSUS US.
THIS IS NOT A WAR.
THIS IS A MASSACRE
AND WE HOLD ALL THE GUNS
AND YOU HOLD WHAT FITS BETWEEN
YOUR PRAYING HANDS.

THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.
YOU MUST DO AS WE SAY
OR THINGS ARE NOT
GOING TO BE PRETTY FOR YOU.
WE KNOW HOW TO STARVE YOU.
WE KNOW HOW TO CUT OF YOUR
ELECTRICITY: BOTH INTERNAL
AND EXTERNAL.
WE KNOW HOW TO SEDUCE YOU
AND THEN NOT GIVE YOU
WHAT WE PROMISED.
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.

WE HOPE THAT WE HAVE BEEN CLEAR.

IF WE HAVE LEFT YOU WITH ANY CONFUSION
DO NOT WORRY.
WE WILL BE RAMMING THIS DOWN YOUR THROAT
THROUGH CEREAL BOX PROPAGANDA
AND SCHIZOPHRENIC POSTCARDS
FLASHING SCREENS OF LIGHT
AND JUMBOTRONS OF ANAPHYLACTIC APOCOLYPSE
UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH.

UNLESS YOU CHOOSE
TO MEET OUR DEMANDS.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO
YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE
AND ACTION.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS.

SINCERELY,

- – - – - – - – - – - – - -
COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “HAND TAKES WHEEL”

HAND TAKES WHEEL

it’s the return of the millenial landmineheaded boy poet
the child prodigy who can’t see the whiteboard from the back of the classroom
the rampaging aging bamboo tree that is thankful for the water it is given
and that is about all that it needs
quill and ink and scroll
hand takes the wheel and the rubber hits the asphalt
as the glove hits the face and the knuckles hit the teeth
and they’re off
pulling into the lead the inevitable truth of the brushstroke

he used the same damn toothbrush for so long until he got lucky
and he could afford a new one and he didn’t throw away the old one
he used it as a hodgepodge ghetto ass painting instrument
to flick the colors on the canvas with a lack of control
that ensured that he could never ever ever feel comfortable
taking credit for what he had done

any pieces of gold that got mixed in with the offbrand cereal vomit
was just luck
but he doesn’t believe in luck
and things are getting really confusing
but one thing is for certain
the little wooden horses are circling the little wooden track
and place your bets now, bukowski
because this dented up rocket ship is trying to fly
antigravity words pushing through blackholes
and coming out floating amongst the cosmos of the twittersphere

(a flower grows
in post-apocalyptic america
and it wants you to know
yes
undoubtedly
singing to a flower
will always help it
to grow)

and the weatherman says
flash flooding expected in the west
today
wear a coat
and
do not drown

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “NAGASAKI BABY”

NAGASAKI BABY

you look into the camera
like a deer in headlights
your eyes shine bright and lucid
your skin looks as soft as lonely madness
your breasts come together
like strangers making a drug deal
in central park

like this reminder that if you had nothing
you would still have this body
these fiery cheeks
this smile like old film actresses

but behind that glimmer in your eyes
behind your shark white smile
there is something dead
the aftermath
the radiation
from some nuclear explosion
and i don’t know what it was
but i know it is there

and all the guys lining up down the block
think they’re the Hiroshima boy
to your Nagasaki baby

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “MAJOR TOM TO GROUND CONTROL”

CLOPENING

Me Bathtub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

there is no sun and there is no moon
just the light of a thousand stars condensed
into one giant phallic beam
that illuminates the grassless carpet
and the songless day
and the songless night
and the wake up get dressed head out the door
and the get home take your hat off masturbate
and go to bed

rinse and repeat
in the situation that you find
in the situation that you find
that you are trapped on a feedback loop
(feedback loop)
and you cannot exit the zenless circle
squeaky hamster wheel
in the situation that you find
water cooler conversation
sit and please remain seated
and face the faceless electric void
the empty fanatical empire of garbage
and type
at a minimum speed
and type
at a minimum speed
(feedback loop)
of sixty words per minute

and wait
just you wait
for that coming morning
when you open one eye
afraid to hear an alarm screaming in your ear
but it’s not there
it’s just you and bed and sun and life
and day off and breakfast in the aFternoon
and conversation over steam in the late late evenings
that turn into mornings
boiling with smiling regret
boiling with smiling regret
and a sweet little mason jar
waiting for you on your doorstep
filled with sweet, sexy freedom
yep

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “POEM FOR A LOVER IN MY FUTURE”