FIRST IMPRESSIONS

this
is the way that the world
fell to its knees when they came
to take the brains
of the children who punched
through the lampshades

poem
of pills and sugar
wild worldly master of technological
filth unorganized yet so organic
and bitter

is
the ear the slave to the sound?
or is it the other way around?
who pens the monologues that
expand through time and space?

bullshit
i say. what did you get from it all?
did you come out the other side
feeling clean? feeling holy? did i
stamp upon your soul some sacred
orgasm of thought? i cannot say
first impressions are important.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THE DISTANCE

some watch it
walk off into the distance
and each second

the fade removes
the pain you’d feel
for most of us

but some of us
can never forget
what walked away

some of us
bite the same cigarette
for the magic

so quickly
we can pull close to us
that thing

that thing
that we had forgotten why
we let it get away

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

I WILL RELIVE THIS DAY UNTIL I GET IT RIGHT

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
right

pen
sively in
circles i
pace the
room pen
sively in
circles

i walk
across the
bridge
i crossed
to the past
and pull
the weeds
i planted
i once
thought
them flow
ers

i will re
member pink
skin and
soft hands
and barbed
wire words
wrapped in
soft blank
et

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
right

and every
shelf of
my kitch
en is o
verflowing
with knick
knacks that
i have
collected
like tears
made out
of ceramic

and every
shelf of
my book
case is on
fire
and i
am on fire
and always
on fire

i don’t
know how
to stop
a tsunami

i tried
my best
and re
gret not
trying
more
better

i am all
ways on
fire

i am all
doors
locked

i am
seven o
clock
alarm
snooze
seven
snooze
fifteen
snooze
thirty
snooze
late for
life
and all
the people

at the
board
meeting
just stare
and stare
and stare

and i
will re
live this
day until
i get this
right

at night
i plug this
soul into
the wall
out let and
i turn off
i sleep
i sleep
and when
i awake
i am 100%
but so quick
ly i drain
i drain
i drain

same tooth
paste upon
the same
sixty
bristles
the only
thing that
changes is
the black
beneath my
eyes and i
die and i
die

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
right

no cali
fornia
stopping
no rubber
necking
past my
dreams in
patriotic
flames on
the side
of the by
way i run
into the
arms now
of hope
of hope
of hope

i re
start
boot up
i kiss the
ground grate
ful to be
and to be
here and
two thousand
doves escape
my van gogh
soul and fly
out into the
city that
was a town
until it
realized it
was a city
am i a city
that will
be a town
until i
realize it
i must
realize it
this pacing
is not waste
i create
this day
i make my
mark in the
tree
and i must
not waste
this day

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
i

i will re
lieve this

i will re
live this
day un
til

i will
re
live

i will re
live these
days

i will re
live this
this here

this day

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
i get it
i get it

i will re
live this
day until
i get it
right.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

PB&J

in the trenches of the midnight hour
a beast comes rising from the bowels within
the blossoming of hunger’s yearning flower
the haunting knock of this eternal sin

upon bare feet i walk across the tiles
i open up the pantry to unveil
my hand pressed firmly opening the vials
this ship of knife begins its wayward sail

into the nuthouse dives my desperate blade
and pulls the nectar from this opened head
it moves across the sky and down across
this empty canvas, lonely piece of bread

the damaged ruins of fruit is soon to mesh
and in their marriage, i have found sweet death

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

CAMERA OBSCURA

a darkened box, a convex
lens, an aperture.

a projection of image
of external object
onto screen.

a transference
of what once was
into what will be forever.

do you see it?
ten thousand dead eyes
staring out
from some digital plane
to the otherside.

and here we spend our days:

tossed and turned
in immediate reflection
of the moment before
this one.

(a watched pot
never boils)

and a watched clock
never moves.

a ticking time bomb
is a movie device
in which a deadline
is created
to give a growing sense
of anticipation;

we are all ticking time bombs

trying to place the
red wire to the green
no wait – the red.

in hopes
of becoming immortal.

in hopes
of being
remembered.

we step into the box
and we come out
two-dimensional.

we lay flat on our
backs

and we die each time
we close our
books.

she stares through
the ether

into this flesh
machine
i’ve become

some overpriced gear
of the eternal engine.

we pierce through the
snowy screen

to piece together
the pieces
of the life we could be
living.

(he said from a
keyboard (the
pot calling the kettle
black.))

the sun going
into sleep mode.

the sweet grass unavailable
as it goes through
a software update.

we created god
and he has swallowed us
whole.

i will be here.
lost in the belly of the
wail.

you look like
you’re having a great
time.

we’ll have to catch up
when you come back
home.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

DOCTOR’S ORDERS

lay on your bed and listen to girl from the north country
turn up the blinds and off the lights
let evade you the wars outside your windows
neither their spoils nor their losses are yours to be had

let go of your eyes and let levitate the weight of your body
so very human so very connected to the fascism of gravity
forget the tips of your fingers the taste of the roof
of your mouth forget the humming of the air conditioner

there are over seven billion people in the world
take a second to think about that imagine that there
are seven billion people in the town that you live in
the city the providence the whatever now forget that

now divide that seven billion people by seven billion
watch their beautiful faces faded out watch as they
step backwards into the walls from which they came and
realize there is only you and those seven billion faces
are not gone

they are not dead they are not ghosts they are not any
single thing not some figment of your imagination they
just existed outside of you and now they are all within
you they are swollen in the rests in requiem within you

not in some sort of chaotic time square medley but praying
they are meditating they are still like terracotta
soldiers they are not unmoved by the wind no that is
impossible but they are unafraid of it

and forget about them now

plant a seed in the base of your skull. now water it.
now watch it rise from the surface. now watch it bloom.
outward and outward still it is craving just to be
as much as it knows how to be

now pluck each and every petal from the flower
one at a time each petal between the fingers of your mind
now fall deep deep into the earth and fall through
to the sky to the cosmos and learn to writhe gently
learn to swim through cold water and you’re there

ambivalent sweet indestructible river of silent music
of empty sight of the justice of unasked questions
ten million pounds of feathers thrown into surrender
swayed only by the holes in the letters of the words

and if you forget
lay on your bed and listen to girl from the north country
the freewheelin one

doctor’s orders

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

A STRANGE PHENOMENON

it was a strange phenomenon. the way that
your insecurity ate away at your sweater
like moths. each second a little more of
your soft curves revealed beneath the
material war being sieged around your
looming aura. your fingertips lost in
brushstroke against the walls of a dying
dream. you were an entire ecosystem.
creating while you destroyed. earth
rattled around your apple core while
you projected angel dust onto an
unsuspecting audience of time and
space and there you were moving
through the compartmentalized
rooms of my lungs like the smoke of
sage through a haunted house.

blink
and there we were four hands gripping
the reckless drunk wheel of death
and speaking tip of tongue to tip of
tongue. speaking amphetamine binge
of life to sweet holy surrender to
honesty. speaking i.v. drip to punctured
vein. speaking holy new gold moment
to fourteen reincarnations of stars come
to fruition in sparks. flying drawn together
but at the very last moment lost. to a wall.
so blatantly before us the whole time. and
so we learned how to dance in the blind
dark.

and some glowing sun rose over the
graveyard where we buried our tension. i
tossed and turned without a blanket and
underground until this flood of light lifted
my one million bones to the surface where
i found two choices. and i took one maybe
even older than us. maybe even older than
this soil these musical notes that ramble
incessantly now in my head. that is the one
i took.

and you disappeared like a ghost into
a fire and i consumed by another life and the
fire you went to wrap around your life was red
satin and when it was too late i unwrapped
you and you twirled and you twirled and you
were down to bare skin and you twirled and
you twirled and you were down to brittle bone
and you twirled and you twirled and what
i saw before me was nothing but the empty
space that created this strange phenomenon.

so now i set out on a sea of trouble unable to
rationalize this idea of love not believing in
love. of a doctor not believing in medicine. of
a dancer that doesn’t trust the body. a painter
that cannot see the color in the dead canvas.
of a portrait of love stuck in still life. unable
to see itself. or see at all. or see at all. a strange
phenomenon. a blindness from refusing to
ever stare into the sun.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

METAPHOR.

metaphor.

meta,
from greek
defined as being “beyond.”

phor,
also from greek,
meaning “to carry.”

a metaphor
is something carried beyond.

or maybe
something beyond carrying.

for example:

america
is a bullet that never stops
being fired

or

silence
is the noise beneath
the constant sound
of screaming.

metaphor:

to help give life
to something
by comparing it
to something
else.

a name in itself
can be
a metaphor

see:
Emmett Till.

see:
Trayvon Martin.

you see,
history repeats itself
and you could say
that
is a metaphor
except sadly
no
it’s not.

it is literal.

literally
has recently been
reclassified to mean
figuratively
as well as
literally

because

people
have for so long now
been misusing
the world literally.

literally 50 people
die from gun violence
in japan each year.

literally 10,000 people
die from gun violence
in america each year.

this has literally
got to stop.

this is un like
anything else.

there is no
cute comparison.

there is no place
for figurative language
when escaping reality
is the easiest thing to do.

this is a truth
that is beyond question.

this is a fact
that is well documented
in the esophagus
of every endless
news feed.

this is what we
digest.

this is what
we put on our tongues
like daily communion.

this is heavier
than metaphor.

this

is a weight

that is beyond

carrying.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

THOUGHTS THAT RHYME

i still feel crystal oceans turned to currents in your moon
i tried to hold the door for you but let it close too soon
i wonder where you are tonight beneath this open sky
i wonder if we’ll meet again the next time that i die

i wake to find no peace of mind but constant broken churning
lighting fights with gasoline and fleeing while they’re burning
and from a broken mountaintop looking down on what i’ve done
i’ll come to see, but way too late, that i am not the sun

and i am not the one who’s come to mend these broken bones
but i hope these watered words will drop on broken homes
and be a sweet reminder that there’s life inside each cell
and every single drop of rain has part in dousing hell

and hell is something that i’ve seen but just in flickered frames
safely from the audience, i snack on secret shames
i cry, i sing, i laugh along but when the credits roll
i find it’s time to go to sleep and off to sleep i go

and in my dreams i see your face, it’s smiling like the day
and like the dream and like the sky, it’s quickly gone away
i’m left to find my single self left staring at the man
who stares right back and blinks with me and follows hand to hand

and in this mirror where i stare i see my beard grown long
as my skin begins to wrinkle i can feel my heart grow strong
and the soul left stirring in my eyes still has time to boil
i reap the seeds of loneliness and plant them in the soil

and from this empty plot of land will grow my poetry
but so far it’s just branches so we’ll have to wait and see
if i can push up daisies from the lazy underground
and sprout new leaves to catch the breeze and mirror back its sound

we’ll see if this is possible, and what becomes of you
never in my presence, but forever in my view
if nothing else, the breeze is there, i feel it in my leaves
and if you ever stop to feel, i know you’ll feel it too

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

MA JOLIE

so pretty the roads that lead to nowhere
so handsome the dim sky in winter
the grey snow on the sides of highways
the trash and needles in abandoned buildings

so unforgettable are the eyes that poured into yours
some great transference of sad souls before splitting like atoms
so beautiful the squirming amoeba beneath the microscope
beauty in the smoke that rises from the trainwreck

beauty in the heart that cringes up and stops
beauty in buildings collapsing in slow motion
there is beauty inside the reels of fast motion too
when you blink and the hand reaching out is gone

so pretty a dream achieved and the silence thereafter
a standing ovation a wind-down an empty auditorium
a bus packed full of strange people who do not exist
a walk up the stairs to the hanging rope of a table
with only one chair

so beautiful are we the chorus of the slowing dying
so strong the song we sing as we rock our own cradles
as we dress our own wounds as we dance the way
that we are supposed to dance at a funeral

we humanity are supposed to dance at a funeral
we’re supposed to dance on hot coals and cold beds
we are supposed to dance over the ghosts in voicemails
the dark flowers that bloom when we’re never ready

we are never ready to be thrown against so much beauty
we never think that we will be the victims of so much love
we never think that we will be the victims of so much love

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015