I CAN’T AFFORD TO DRIVE TO HANGING LAKE

i’m in la la land
with the angels fresh off the greyhound
and the devils that grew from the dirt
with the monkeys swinging from the chandeliers
and the alcoholic typewriter
the ghost in the machine
the ravers in the skeleton ballroom of my skull

i can’t afford to write this poem

i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
let’s face it, i can’t afford to pay attention
i can’t afford to drive to work
i can’t afford to go to the coffee shop
and buy a cup of coffee to help me write my way out

i can’t afford to watch the television
i can’t afford to miss you as much as i do
i can’t afford to dream
and i’m far too tired to sleep

at hanging lake there’s a vertical road
that waits patiently for me
and i will ascend it like mercury in a thermostat
and when i get to the top
i will see the waterfall at the top
(naked and waiting
texting me at one in the morning
asking me to come on over)

and i want to go really i do it would mean a lot
but i can’t afford to drive to hanging lake
and hanging lake ain’t coming to me any time soon

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “KALMIA”

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KALMIA

we stood inside the abandoned house
taking in the wreckage
like pages torn from a bible
carpet pulled up
thick dust on top of empty shelves
sunlight catching broken glass windows
like a mother grabbing her wandering child’s hand
you said it was so loud in there
the stories that scream in silence
the stairs that creak
and the lives that were lived and lost

and you knew to stop there
some message in a bottle
washed up on the shore
at 3015 kalmia street
and you spotted the glint of it
as we drove past
on this bleak and beautiful day

i wanted to sleep there
to stay in that house for the night
and wake up tomorrow morning
and help it regain its legacy
put a chest paddle paintbrush to its walls
and shock it back into consciousness

i don’t know what i’m trying to say
except that there was something in you
that knew that there was something
to see in this abandoned house
that flashed in front of us
at forty some miles per hour

i’ve been taught to look at the mountains
the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings
but you reminded me how god hides
in the places you’d least expect to see her

image

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “PUNCHDRUNK THE ANTHEM”

PUNCHDRUNK THE ANTHEM

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
we become afraid of our own shadows as they sweep over us
like a smallpox blanket but we will not go blindly

we will hang streamers from the rafters in the high school gymnasium of hell

we will paint with our fingers on the skin of our lovers

we will hold their hand as we descend the stairs into our parent’s basement
and this great depression which might be more of a grand canyon

we are armed with our teeth our bones and the best playlist ever made
the will to not will to the powerful powers that be
we know that the past has an ace up his dirty fucking sleeve
so we challenge him to a game of chinese checkers
and the wind blows into the gluten free donut shops
like a zen song like a child who has never seen a television set

men with legs like bicycles
women with wings like gods
the cash register building like the mountains of nepal
sinking slowly into the tarpits of new amsterdam

we were born a cactus patch but whereas you might assume
we would try to splay our arms outward
praying to every single cellular god there is
the truth is we just really want someone to embrace us
and sing us the song of freedom
the one that i heard as a child

rage
rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because it’s a shitty hotel you’ll find yourself in
with dollar store wallpaper and see through toilet paper
with neighbors that scrape at the walls and haunted bedsheets
but the view ain’t too bad if you know what you’re looking at
and they got netflix there, so there is that

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
def
y rul
es
dive into the 3 foot section of the pool of the eyes of the person
sitting right fucking next you to on the bus because you ain’t got no car
you don’t need no car but you do need to take a vacation
and unwind you overwound wind-up bird and you need someone to love
i believe this i believe before anyotherthing i believe
and have a chocolate bar too ya know
because life is short and shit

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
because the movies are scary and the movies are depressing indie flicks
but you just might learn a god damn thing or two about yourself
as you stay up all night dancing around your scattered papers
arm in arm with insomnia and mary jane and insomnia and mary jane

because love can coexist with freedom you just have to put in
a great deal of effort if you want to learn to juggle fire
in a suit soaked in kerosene

rage smiling and punchdrunk into the black night of the soul
and make your room your empire of confusion and madness
because empires are made to fall and new ones will rise
and those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and then those empires will fall and new ones will rise
and i’m gonna watch it from the rooftops sipping sizzurp with ginsberg
and the ghost of christmas present
and the roof will cave in i’m sure
and i will fall like alice through the miles and miles of bullshit
and when i land it will be at the bottom of a well
in the black night of the soul
and i will rage
smiling
and punch
drunk
into
the
black night
of the soul.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WE CAN EAT YOU NOW”

BATHROOM STALL AT THE KING SOOPERS ON MONACO AND LEETSDALE

on one wall of the bathroom stall
at monaco and leetsdale
someone took the time
to carve an upside down crucifix into the wall
beneath which they carved
“FUCK GOD. GOD IS EVIL.”

to which another stranger retorted
“IF GOD IS EVIL
THEN THE ONLY TRUTH
IS DEATH”

someone in agreeance
circled the world “DEATH”
and added “EXACTLY!”

another someone put
“THESE PEOPLE NEED GOD IN THEIR LIVES”

and one person
holiest of them all
wrote
“I’M JUST HERE 2 POOP”

Hallelujah. Amen.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WALLFLOWER AT THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE”

WALLFLOWER AT THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE

i sit with my back against the wall
with the boy with head gear braces
and the girl doodling in her notebook

there’s a band up on stage performing
there’s a table nearby with streamers
sometimes i smile when people come by
to refill their neverending punch cup
sometimes i can’t manage the conversation

sometimes i’m watching you out on the dance floor
dancing and smiling and dancing and smiling
the auditorium lights seem to follow you

it eats at me
that i should be smiling with you
that i should be dancing with you
but somebody has got to flower this damn wall

but then it hits me like a fist hitting a locker

for the first time in my life i realize
i’m not supposed to be out on the dance floor
i’m supposed to be up on the stage
giving them something worth dancing for
and showing you why
you should be dancing
with me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “HOT MUSTARD”

IN REALITY

to a friend

look
i’m a single white dude
living in the middle of america
and sometimes i get overwhelmed

i think you have a pretty
valid reason to get overwhelmed
i mean
you work forty hours a week
at a job
that some weeks eats at people
like a disease
and you still manage to
take care of
your two little girls
(who seem to be everything
to you)
and i think that alone
is pretty fucking amazing

if that wasn’t enough
you are out there seeking love
trying to put the spotlight
on a beating heart
during the shit show
that is dating in your
twenties
(probably dating at all)
and you say you don’t even know
how to love someone
but from everything i’ve ever seen
that seems to be all
that you ever do

life throws a lot
at all of us
and it does it
in a way that is anything
but just
but there is a certain
fairness in the fact that
it doesn’t discriminate
it just comes in
out of nowhere
like a tornado
and picks up your nice cottage home
along with any other riff raff
it gets too close to
and throws it down the
street

what i really want to tell you is
when you said that you
feel like a crazy person
who can’t even manage their life
that couldn’t be further from
the truth

in reality
you are an amazing person
who somehow
finds a way to manage
her crazy life
every damn day

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “THE GREAT WAVE OF KANAGAWA”

THE GREAT WAVE OF KANAGAWA

there is sunlight dancing in dust
on the other side of my bed where you could be
where we could be
and be and just truly be
fingers like eyes surveying the horizon
warmth radiating like the birth of a new sun
betweenus no thing and everythingever
we could yin and yang and rock and roll
until we both push out every single stressful breath
left within our sore souls and our clumsy bodies
left to rest beside you resting beside me
(resting beside you resting beside me)
this we could have this we are we are we have always
been and always will be the truth of love
and the desperate desire of skin
to touch the skin of your skin
the cracked paint of your weathered home
legs twisting around mine like unstoppable vines
like restless music through the wall
but you are not through the wall you are
mount fuji (sacred) and i am the great wave of kanagawa
crashing upon you
in this painting somewhere
on the other side of the world
tucked away
behind bulletproof glass

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WAITING ROOM”

DONNIE DARKO

this is a photo of a window. it is intentional bleak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the past and the future
come crashing into my room
like a jet engine
like my name is
donnie darko
like the world can’t just
sit still for a second
like the world is
a 7 year old boy
who just ate a box of
trix cereal and
a bunch of cocaine
and i hear the monsters
through the paper wall
at 9:52 in the
grey morning
i hear the monster mother
yelling at her monster children
to get into their monster minivan
or they’re going to be late
for the day
that none of them look forward to
and if she ever sees me
she will smile
and all of a sudden
she will be as serene as monk
and the children will be silent
but that doesn’t solve my headache
and the truth that makes it swell
so i tinker at the
technological typewriter
and i calculate my odds
of finding a sincere real romantic
and human connection
on a planet
that can’t even wait in line
without tugging ferociously
on the sun’s pant leg
asking
are we there yet
are we there yet
are we there yet
and the sun imagines backhanding
the earth and how gratifying
that would be
but the sun knows that is wrong
and the planetary police
can’t arrest you
for what you stop yourself from doing
and looks like here we go
i should make myself some eggs and toast
i should open the blinds
and let that sun shine down on me
like an interrogation lamp
like an officer’s flashlight
as he asks me have you had anything to drink
and i say to him
i wish

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “AMERICAN CHAOS”

AMERICAN CHAOS

Artwork by Patrick Beery

Artwork by Patrick Beery

one million murderers crash on the eastern shore of an occupied nation
never forget that handshakes were originally a way of indicating that you were unarmed
i guess that makes our ancestors liars and now we have come so far guns blazing swat teams swatting
riots in the streets of little old ferguson missouri
a black boy is dead and a white man of authority shot him down
we’ve heard this story before
will emmett till ever get some rest?
but we’re far too saturated with top ten
tips for improving your garden and top twenty
celebrities making human mistakes to stop and listen to the six gun
shots to listen to the hum be
neath the radio broadcasts
our heads filled with wifi and blue
tooth and wars on the other side of the world we are too damn frozen
to see that we live in the freezer of a cold war
heads on ice american dreams getting frost bite and still
the television plays on and the men in nice suits sitting behind desks
can talk the talk but without legs they may find it difficult to walk the walk but
still our love is buy one get one free our souls are being sold with free
shipping on the raging amazon and to protect and serve
they were meant to protect and serve but somedays it seems
all they do is threaten and order
and cheerios and campbells soup
skittles and arizona iced tea
hamburgers and hot dogs
right and wrong and right and wrong
and the kangaroos in the courtroom
and the elephants overcrowding the room and
right and wrong and black and
white and 2000 television channels as the news
papers burn on the streets as the true grit
journalists squat on craigslist row
and gonzo is just another muppet
and death before dishonor and
ladies first except
when they have
something to say
and the civil war is a cigarette
that never stopped burning and the two
towers never stopped burning and we’re all
afraid of the flames and the flames
spread like wildfire across
the spine of the rocky
mountains as smoke
billows below in denver
and marriage is being
confused with love
and love is being
confused with happiness
and we are locked up
in this fancy restaurant
with an overdraft fee
and we’re cleaning
someone else’s
dirty dishes
to try and pay
the tab
cleaning dirty
dishes to
try and
pay the tab
we’re cleaning
dirty dishes
just to
try and
pay the
tab

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR POETRY BRO”

ARTWORK PROVIDED BY PATRICK BEERY. FOLLOW HIM ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE.