AQUARIUM

i went to the aquarium recently
and as i stood there staring at the jellyfish
the eels the sharks all pushing through the water
on the other side of the cinematic glass
i saw a boy
and he stared right back at me

he did not swim
he did not wear any kind of apparatus
to help him breathe he just walked across the floor of this
small segment of the ocean like a polaroid photo where
he ended where the edges were, he moved in blurs
like someone shook the photo too hard
amongst the aquamarine blue depth he just stared back
we did not speak but we heard everything we said to each other
he told me the water was cold, he told me the days were long
he told me that most people didn’t even notice him
they were too consumed by their camera phones
to utilize the reels collecting dust in their photographic memories

as i walked away he walked away too
out of this snapshot of the ocean
and back into the sunlight where my gills disappear
and i am just and only and less than
but the boy in the aquarium and i
we both know better than that

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

I’M TRYING, RINGO

i am the fiercest mother fucker this side of the mississippi
i smash glass bottles and bust through saloon doors
looking for the day willing to stare me in my damn eyes
i crucify the pacemakers
the hearts that don’t beat on their own and just follow
the instruction manual and stay on their side
of the double yellow lines

i crash through glass ceilings
i burn down churches and pray they rebuild god in their place
i pray they see me coming
i am down on bended knee asking for a light that blinds the ignorant
great radioactive waves that cast shadows on dry counties
and flood their history with second chances and first blood
the first blood red sunset harvest moon manifesto
i wrote this! bloody pen in hand i carved my soul into my bones
i created this small moment of fire
this unquenched desire to burn the binding of bad history books
and rename the sky as nameless

i shamelessly drive one hundred thousand miles per hour into your sun room
i push through time like a fist through the virgin threshold of life
i become a little each time i’m reborn dust to ash to fire to flame
and no two days should ever be the same
let’s go motherfuckers! there is a war for peace in my veins
there is no need for constant change
but on a planet where the air is thinning
we must shout louder than the towers that flowered:
they were born in buds blossomed and died
leaving us this shaken up airhorn inside

let us pray

i will strike down upon thee with great vengeance!
and furious anger!
those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers!
and you will know my name is the lord
when I lay my vengeance upon thee!

some days are stars bursting like skulls shot at bullets
some days are just herding the sheep in for the brainstorm

and i’m trying, ringo
i’m trying real hard to be the shepherd

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

DENVER POETRY MAP

co flag mountains

My poem Four Beers in at the Irish Rover has been chosen to be featured on the Denver Poetry Map!

In short the Denver Poetry Map assigns poems to the locations in Denver they were written about or at.

Take a second and check out this awesome site and my poem HERE.

HEARTBREAKER

and then i woke up
from what was a shitty sleep to begin with
to the sound of scratching at the door
the jiggling of a door handle
that i heard from my window

was it a burglar?
was it a bounty hunter with a gun
come to take my life in exchange for his reward?
was it a bear? come in search for scraps of food?
was it death himself reaping at my doorway
with sickle and skeletal finger taps?
an ex-lover gone mad?

i jump up and turn on my light
to see what is happening down below
my heart racing
and as i peer my hazy eyes down

i don’t see anything

just the stale night of a stale porch
stale fence stale bush stale car parked in the
stale driveway

i resign to my sleepless bed
and begin to count dust particles
like a patient of dementia
recounting lost memories

isn’t that just what it is sometimes?
we just so desperately want something to happen
anything to happen
for better or worse
and when nothing does
well it’s enough to break your heart

BRICE MAIURRO 2015

STAR STORE

the bell rings as i walk into the star store. i look around at the walls and
the posters of stars, labeled Sneden’s Star, Bessel’s Star, Cor Caroli,
Plaskett’s star, Teegarden’s Star and so on. at the far back of the room
is a man in black thick-rimmed glasses watching cat videos on the
internet. he 
doesn’t smile as the cats push glasses off the table, or slip
on wooden 
floors or fall off furniture chasing after a red laser pointer.
“can i help 
you?” he says staring me up and down. “yes, hi, i was
interested in 
purchasing a star,” i say. he says to me “i’m very sorry but
we are completely sold out of stars.” i take a second to digest this. “ok,”
i say. well. do you know when you will be getting more stars in?” “no,” he
says to me “you don’t understand. there are no more stars left to buy.”
he itches his nose and presses play again on his cat videos. “but how is
that even possible?” i ask him. “the universe is infinite, isn’t it?” he pauses
the cat video again. “yes.” he says. “yes it is, but all the stars have been
bought.” “but there’s an infinite number of stars too i’d wager,” i say. “you
would think so,” he says, “but humans are greedy as fuck, and all the stars
have been bought. there’s no more,” all the stars have been purchased.
i try to fathom how that’s possible. “yeah, i’m sorry. today’s our last day of
business. we’ll be closing our doors at 6 p.m. sharp.” “well, what’s going to
be here in place of the star store?” i ask. “a cell phone case store,” he says
to me. “is there anything else i can help you with?” he says to me. “what
else could you possibly help me with?” i ask him. “i was just being polite,”
he says. i exit the star store and immediately walk home, pack up my bags
and move to Hong Kong, the city in the world with the most light pollution.
i like that i can’t see the stars that i will never have a chance to own here.
one day i realize i am 7,909 miles away from cleveland, ohio now and i
decide to open up a star store selling stars. after paying my first month’s
rent and purchasing a few posters of stars for the walls i decide to buy
myself a star as a reward for my hard work. i name the star Greg. on
slow days i sit at my desk and watch cat videos, except i don’t wear
black thim-rimmed glasses, and i smile while i watch the cats.

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

BISHOP’S CASTLE

bishop's castle

in the wet mountains of southern colorado
in the san isabel national forest
a man named Jim Bishop
decided he wanted to build a castle

at the age of fifteen
Jim Bishop payed $450
for a two and a half acre
parcel of land
he earned the money
by mowing lawns,
being a paperboy
and working with his father
on the family business
of iron

jim dropped out of school
after a teacher yelled at him
“you’ll never amount to anything,
Jim Bishop!”
but Jim Bishop didn’t hear that at all

Jim Bishop began building a cottage at 25
and since rocks were free and in abundance
he decided to build a stone cottage
people around him would say to him
“wow, Jim, are you building a castle?”
and he heard it too much for the answer to remain no

over many summers
stone by stone
Jim Bishop turned his endless insatiability
into in a castle in the mountains
towers 160 feet high
it still stands to this day

everyone tried to stop Jim Bishop
his teacher, society
even the government tried to halt him

that to me is the american dream
not letting anyone or anything get in your way
including america

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

Jim Bishop is currently in a very hard battle against cancer. To donate to help him and his loved ones through this, please visit this site.

DOING THE DISHES

on a sunday afternoon
white light peaks into the window
as i scrub cheese off of a plate
peanut butter out of a bowl
rinse tea from a coffee cup
when the water gets backed up
i run the garbage disposal
and watch as it all fades away
into whatever is on the other side
the kitchen is dim and quiet
my feet bare and sticky on the floor
i am at peace
and then bam
a flash overcomes me
and my third eye opens
suns and moons spiraling within it
i see the everything
and the everything sees me
my arms become giant wings
my heart grows into a great garden of trees
my feet lift from the sticky ground
my eyes roll back and my pruned finger tips
touch the clouds touch the ribcage of god
i am one with the nothing
and the nothing is one with me
my bloods rages with true compassion
my breaths grow deep
i breathe in the green grass of Kyoto
i breathe out the smokestacks of America
i am a great beacon of all that ever was
and all that ever will be
and then i realize we are out of dishwasher detergent
and i should run by the store to get some

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015