MAJOR TOM TO GROUND CONTROL

hey guys,
i just wanted to take a second to say
that i haven’t been posting online for
a few months, really.
i was spending all my free time on the computer
and it was eating away at me
but
i think i’m back.
i know from time to time
i get on here
i post a new piece
and then i disappear again.
i’m gonna try to not do that again.
i get a lot out of posting.
i can’t promise it’ll be poetry.
i can’t promise it will be good
but i will do the best i can
to keep it coming.
whatever it is.
it could be anything really
a commentary on post-capitalism
and the cyclical nature of society.
it might be a just-waxed red hot rod.
it might be a video of me performing
beethoven’s fifth symphony
impromptu on an out-of-tune harmonica
while under the influence
of twelve and a half pounds
of pure mexican black tar heroine.
i guess mostly
i’m just saying sorry for the poor communication
but i’m back.
in some weird way where i’m still afraid to commit
but i’ve found that running away from the blog
isn’t gonna fix the problems i had with it
so i’m ready for battle
got my warpaint on
and a whiskey bottle full
of adrenaline and testosterone
so bring it on, bitches.
bare knuckles
like always
love,
brice.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “WATERING THE WALLFLOWER”

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WATERING THE WALLFLOWER

is it a crime to be a wallflower? am i not allowed to sit and listen to the wallpaper listening to me? must my name be known? other people isn’t always the answer to a bad case of lonely. i can breathe with my mouth shut. my ears open like a great gramophone to the everything we are. we are we are. great big clouds melting and billowing and motioning omniscently across the sky. try and grab us and we disappear. i do not need my name 13 stories high over a grand old theater because every time i look up at the stars, i see my name in lights. i sway like a pendulum on a great grandfather clock. i sway like a dvd menu loop. like the electronic waves in a cheesy youtube meditation video. let me be. i let you be. do not grab me by the neck and throw me into the mosh pit. do not push me. i push myself. i pull myself. i water my kneecaps, i turn my palms up to the sun and wait patiently. an ancient dying man sitting at a closed down bus stop. desert dust and broken bottles of old granddad. let me be. please just let me be.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “A POEM BY HAN SHAN”

DINOSAURS

you know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? what happens when you rip a picture in half? is each half worth 500 words or do they each become worth a thousand? does it lose all value? a picture may be worth a thousand words but there is an aboriginal belief that a picture takes away a piece of your soul, so is a piece of your soul worth a thousand words? they say the soul is twenty one grams because when the average person dies they find that the body weighs that much less. so assuming that each gram constitute a piece of your soul, that means your soul is worth twenty one thousand words. the average novel is about sixty some odd thousand words. so if you get three people together, you have a novel. sounds about right. because when two people talk to each other, you have a conflict, but when three people talk, you’ve got something bigger to consider. that’s three short stories clashing together. that’s sixty-three thousand words. that’s sixty three pictures. when you times that by two billion, you get the world, and what you end up with is a big big big big mess, but certain souls weigh more than twenty-one grams. i believe that. some people feed their souls. as hemingway said, some people burn the fat off their souls. but they might replace that with muscle. there’s not much here. if anything i’m saying i want my soul to be a heavy one. i want my footprints to be deep. i want to scratch my name into the styrofoam to-go box and proclaim BRICE. B. R. I. C. E. Until time washes that away and all that is left is a fossil of my footprints in the earth, and they will blame it on the dinosaurs.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “ESCAPE FROM THE FILM NOIR CITY”

02.28

0228

“farewell, my black balloon.” -the kills

(end of the line.)

it was midnight in this revolution of my heart. i fell asleep on the bus ride home and woke up at nine mile station, middle of nowhere, and realized that this nap that sucked me into angelic dreams and dreary lucid mental orgasm was nothing more than a sad escape from reality. i pulled down the blinds over my eyes, turned out the lights in my brain, i threw all the clutter from off the floors and tucked it under the bed of my heart and i just sat for hours and hours listening to “let it be” on repeat staring at the white white white white ceiling of my skull.

let it be. let it be. let it be. it all did amount to nothing. a few dozen scraps of poems on the floor with dust and neglected bills, empty bottles of pills, half empty bottles of booze. i couldn’t even commit to alcoholism.

it was cold. i was at a bus stop. my phone was dead. the twenty-four hour grocery store was closed, and the snow was pouring down like i was stuck in a dry erase board and this magic eraser was quickly deleting my stick figure limbs. the bus driver was gone. careless to the fact that i was faced with stalemate at parker and peoria.

but really i was at the crossroads of adulthood and childhood. where the crayon coloring on the walls scrolled along like stock market tickers. where bouncy balls were filled with the hot air of politicians. where the seesaw wobbled up and down like somewhat productive half-baked socially progressive arguments about race, gender, sexuality, all leading to the inevitable conclusion that we needed to learn how to look at each other as individuals.

but what from there? practice what you preach, but what if you’re an atheist? how do you learn to dance like yourself when you’ve been inflicted with the awkward steps of society? how do you fly a plane when the gravity of the responsibility of love keeps you grounded?

we are expecting bad weather nationwide. internationwide. universally. exponentially. galaxically. i have got to stop making up words. i have got to stop drunk texting my invisible friends in the middle of the night.

i’m buried in snow.

it’s metaphorical snow. did i establish that? i’m sorry. am i breaking the fourth wall? am i breaking the fifth wall if i say i know you get sad sometimes? am i throwing a rock through your precious painted christmastime window? i’m sorry if i ruined the little mermaid for you by analyzing my insane quandry that the disneyverse is just the bible with more colors. is that true? i sound like a crazy person. you sound like a crazy person. we sound like a crazy person.

when i need something to grasp onto i hold your hand. in my head. i take us to the movies and i stare stare stare at the screen. i’ve become tainted by the fact i’m a writer. all i can do is tear apart the character motives and the necessity of certain dialogues. i have been invited into someone’s dream and all i can do is mock their wallpaper and tell them the proper way to entertain their guests. i am the king of cocktail parties

that nobody would want to go to.

but right now, i am bundled at a bus stop. in bum fuck egypt. in the middle of the night. in colorado. on this third rock from the sun. our sun. our holy holy sun that just belongs to me, not you. and it’s taken this. it’s taken all this to remind me

that all i have to do

is point to the sky

choose a star

and walk towards it

until i find myself beneath it

then take the next elevator into space

where hopefully my love is waiting for me

and if she’s not

i’ll deal

because sometimes the best life is lived alone, but only if alone means to you that you never find someone to get stuck on a ferris wheel with and kiss until your mouths are sore. down below your friends are waiting for you.

entrapment is the shiny love that takes you away from all your other loves.

be careful.

carry pepper spray and a strong argument.

box without gloves and ride life bareback.

always have at least two quarters in that tiny little pocket in your jeans.

tattoo your name on your palm, and wear it like an indian headdress.

tread softly and carry a big heart.

happy february,

(brice.)

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

02.2013 is a twenty-eight day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

A LOVE SONG FOR ELIZABETH BENDS

A shot from the mini-bar costs roughly $7.
Tonight I have spent over $140 on the mini-bar.
I feel like I’m inside of a washing machine. Everything’s oozy and spinning so god damn much.
I’ve been leaving messages on Tanya’s phone.
Beep.
Hi Tanya. It’s Mark. Um. Call me.
Beep.
Hey. It’s… well, it’s me. Call me when you get this. It’s been probably three weeks since we’ve talked.
Beep.
Hi, if this isn’t Tanya, would you please give me a call back? The voice message thing doesn’t say whose phone it is. This is Mark. Mark Swift.       Also, I’m sorry. I realize it’s 2:33 in the morning.
If you are satisfied with your message press one.
Does it cost money to make phone calls using a hotel phone? Can they track your calls?
I’m watching Late Night with Eric Creed, and the musical guest is some Irish band I’ve never heard of. Some band called “The Last Calls”.
Right now, Eric is interviewing this girl, Elizabeth Bends. I shouldn’t say some girl, this girl is gorgeous. Elizabeth Bends. She is flirting with the entire room, and she’s not even breaking a sweat. Her skin looks like it’s never seen sunlight or a bruise or a scar. She’s wearing this soft looking dress with her toned legs sneaking out underneath. She crosses her leg away from the camera. If you think that’s an accident, you are bat shit crazy.
I am standing less than six inches away from the television. The static is jumping to the little hairs on my forehead. I don’t feel that drunk. I’m close, really close to Elizabeth Bends.
“I understand you have a film coming out this weekend?” says Eric, dumbly.
“Yes, it’s called Scandals and the People Who Pay for Them. I believe we have a clip.”
They say something, and cut to the trailer. I fall back on the bed and count the tiles on the ceiling. It’s a nice hotel. The mini-bar, I mean, it is stocked. I’m alone in the hotel room. There are 25 tiles going one way on the ceiling, 26 going the other way. They each look about a foot long.
Beep.
Tanya? Is this Tanya? Call me, okay? I’m in room 917.”
I can’t believe someone put those tiles in one at a time. There are 14 floors in this hotel, probably 30 rooms on each floor. That’s, I don’t fucking know, a shit-ton of tiles to install.
I wonder if one person put each and every single tile in, or if there was a team. I wonder if Elizabeth Bends works hard. Do you think her parents instilled good work ethic and good moral values into her? My stomach hurts. I unzip my pants, and I start to think about Elizabeth Bends naked. I’m touching myself, but I’m not hard.
Do you think she cares if a guy is bald? She’s got to be loaded. I wonder if she thinks about money when she dates a guy. I wonder if she gets nervous on dates.
Elizabeth Bends is whispering naughty things in my ear. I sit up, my chin pressed against my chest. My stomach feels like it’s on fire, like it’s filled with rubbing alcohol. Elizabeth is no longer on. That band, The Last Calls, is playing. They sound more Irish than I even expected them to.
“Thank you for calling 719-555-3221, please leave a message after the beep.”
Beep.
“Hey, Elizabeth. Shit. Hey, Tanya, or whoever. I don’t know if this is Tanya. Just calling again. I mean, it’s 2:40 something but I haven’t talked to you since I left. How are you? I’m doing fine. Denver’s treating me well enough. What are you up to? I’m just about to do some painting and…” I blink, and the room resumes its soap spin cycle.
I’m having a conversation with myself.
I’m having a conversation with a telephone number.
Beep.
“Hi, Elizabeth?” Aw, fuck it. “Yeah, hi. Elizabeth Bends, it’s me, Mark. I just wanted to say you did great tonight. You looked gorgeous. Give me a call back when you get a chance, sweetheart. I’m in room 917. I’ve got a queen-sized bed here, and I wish you were in it with me. I hope your movie does well. It looks wonderful. I can’t wait until your home, and I’m home and we can just lie together and discuss your long days on set, and I can tell you how beautiful you look without makeup on. How beautiful you look when I wake up beside you. I can’t wait to kiss your neck and tell you about my newest painting. I miss hearing your voice. I miss talking to you. Telling you how I’d love to paint you, but you’re never here. I feel like it’s been years since our wedding. I talk to your mom, now and again. She’s lovely. I know when you’re older you’ll be like a great painting, just like her. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss you. It’s hard being in hotel rooms in weird cities and only seeing you through the television screen. It’s hard looking at empty pads of paper in hotel rooms and realizing those are there for lonely people like me. Like a coloring book for kids on a long car ride.”
If you’re satisfied with your message, press one.
To listen to your message, press two.
To erase and re-record, press three.
To continue with your message, press four.
I don’t press anything. I just stare at the hotel phone for a second.      There’s a button for room service. There’s a button for the front desk.    There’s a button for the restaurant.
Are you still there?
The phone knows I’m drunk, I think. It’s checking in on me. If I press five, I wonder if it will bring me a glass of water.
I press four.
“Elizabeth, I want you to know that there’s a lot of guys out there. I know how Hollywood is for a young, beautiful starlet like you, but they don’t love you like I do. They don’t know how I would kill for you. They don’t see the twinkle in your eye that I do. They don’t hear your beautiful voice or the effortless way you speak. They just see a nice pair of legs. A good screw. I want you to know that what we have is all that is keeping me living right now.”
I breathe into the phone. My lips pressed against the mouth piece, I can feel the condensation of my breath on it. The phone smells like a Long Island Iced Tea.
I press 3. I erase my message and I re-record.
“Hi Tanya,” I say, and that’s about it. I’m looking at my reflection in the window. I’m looking out at the city. I’m counting the buildings in the Denver skyline.
One, two, three. I literally say one, two, three into the phone. I am so embarrassed.
“Sorry, Elizabeth. I’m not going to lie. I’m drunk.”
I set the phone down on the table, next to the note pad. I pick up the hotel pen and I write on the note pad “I am in love with Elizabeth Bends,” I set the pad down on the desk and I retire to the corner of the hotel room, a dark corner near the front door, but it’s uncomfortable. I move into the closet, I scoot the ironing board to the side, so I can sit cross-legged on the ground. I start to cry. No tears come out, which makes me feel even more pathetic. I just sob, like I’m forcing it, but I can’t stop. I look up and the ceiling light hits my eyes, and I’m squeezing them shut. Trying to kill this headache before it can start.
I grab my suit-jacket off the hanger and I hold it like it is Elizabeth Bends. I try to remember what Tanya looks like naked, but I can’t. I just met Elizabeth tonight on the television screen, and I can picture her naked more clearly. I close my eyes and there she is, straddling me, biting her lip. In my college dorm. Maybe, on our honeymoon.
My stomach starts doing back-flips and I run into the bathroom. I puke right before I get to the toilet. There, splotched all over the nice tile floor.   Imagine what your vomit would look like if there was nothing in your system but booze. That’s what my vomit looks like. I close my eyes and its Tanya straddling me. I can still smell the vomit, and it’s no longer me Tanya is straddling. It’s some guy. Some stranger with a better body than me.
I look out in the hotel bedroom, and my easel is set up and there’s a canvas on it, but there’s nothing on it. The television is something about some product for making life easier.
I can hear the telephone in the background. The dial tone, like the sound of robots dying.
Beep.
Are you there, God? It’s me, Mark. Was it written in my life story that I would deplete my 401k one expensive hotel room at a time? Was it written that I would be here, marinating in my own body fluids, pondering my marriage to the girl on the television? That I would confess my love to Elizabeth Bends on a hotel room note pad? That I would hit the mini-bar before I even touched my paint brush? I’ve been dragging that same easel into hotel rooms for two weeks now. It’s like my cross. My burden to bare. It’s like an ugly child from a one night stand that I have to drag around with me.
Beep.
God, why is it that if I make money selling paintings, if my art makes it into fine museums that I’m a success, but if it doesn’t, I’m just some child doing finger paintings, avoiding reality? If I kill myself, will I get to talk to you in person? Or do I have to call you on some God-awful payphone from the bowels of hell?
Beep.
Tanya, where are you tonight?
Beep.
I’m here in the bathroom of a nice hotel, debating whether I want to order room service: a snack off the late night menu. I can’t even find the menu, let alone read it.
This washing machine is tossing me hard now. I’m on the floor now, cursing it for the rug burns.
Beep.
There are 25 tiles going one way on the ceiling. There are 26 going the other way. There is a man in a warm bed with his wife tonight who runs all 14 floors of this hotel; all 30 rooms on each and every floor. His wife wakes him up every morning so he can do this. There are companies that run half the hotel rooms in this city. One person runs that company.
There is a company responsible for every light I see in the Denver skyline. Someone made the machine that made those bottles of shots I took tonight. Someone invented the wheel so there’s a legitimate reason why Tanya chose not to be here tonight. Some guy invented the telephone so I could leave messages to fictional characters. Someone looked at Elizabeth Bends and said the world will love you. Let’s put you on a piece of art that is in constant motion called a television. Let’s enlarge your face on screens.
Beep.
God, it’s me. Do you even get to rest on Sundays? Do you ever find yourself lonely, drunk and sick on bathroom floors? Do you think it’s funny that I have no hair left on the top of my head? God, I’m drunk. Do you ever take a drink from the mini-bar? If your blood is wine and your flesh is bread, how can you tell me you aren’t self-absorbed? Maybe we really are made in your image.
I crawl to the living room, my knees bleeding with carpet burn, and I bite down on the telephone cord. I need something to chew on, so I don’t swallow my tongue. This is me clicking the trigger on the phone to make a new call.
The tiles are laughing at me. I can’t prove it, but if I could reach the note pad I would leave a note to hungover-tomorrow-morning me telling him the ceiling tiles aren’t your friend.
Beep.
“Tanya, Elizabeth meant nothing to me. Please take me back. Please. Call me. I know I’m an asshole, but I’m an asshole who loves you. I would do anything for you.”
I erase and re-record. Beep.
“I would do anything for us.”
I press four. Beep.
“I just want you to be happy.”
I press four. Beep.
“I just want us both to be happy. I need to know that still exists.”
I press four. Beep.
“Hi Tanya. It’s Mark. Listen, I loved you, but I think if I keep holding onto what we have left, I will go crazy. I’m sorry.”
If you are satisfied with your message, press one.
Are you still there?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SHOCK TOP”

MISSION STREET BLUES

there’s a swarm of bees meandering the streets of san francisco. there’s women in homicidal heels and men in nothing too special. everyone’s got their hoods up and their eyes high and it’s making me sad that no one seems to have the time to look around. this city is on fire, desperate for attention. it’s beautiful. these buildings have scars all over them and they’re the good kind of scars, but everyone is just pushing the stroller. everyone is just carrying the bag. everyone looks too damn preoccupied with the inside of their heads to realize that there is a living thing surrounding them. clockwork. there’s hipster girls and gay boys in pairs. there’s peacoats and taxis and bars filled to the brim with chewing faces, beautiful asian women, beards and yeah, a few too many pairs of judgmental eyes. lights everywhere.

and i miss denver. this city makes denver look like a bad comedian but god, i miss denver. i miss my friends. i miss my family. i miss denver’s crooked smile and her warm heart and the barcade and sixteen street and the mountains.

i’ve got the golden gate bridge and the bay and the city and the hills and the smell of sea salt in the air and all i want is to lay down in my mediocre bed with denver. i want to sit in my basement apartment and talk until three in the morning with my friends and i want to listen to the beatles on my record player.

“i bet it’s snowing in denver,” says francis, facetiously and i say,
“i hope so. i love the snow. i love my city that doesn’t have a barney’s and doesn’t have an apple store the size of steve job’s ego and i love that we were almost the ones who travelled to the end of the world, but stopped because we remembered that sometimes being land-locked just means you’ve got four walls around you. sometimes living in a square state means you know your boundaries. you know when to call it a night and just lay down in front of a fire with the door cracked open.

don’t get me wrong, francis, you’re great. really, you are. you’re by far the curviest girl i’ve ever met. you’ve got a way better personality than los angeles and you have beautiful buildings flowing through your veins. and yeah, you’re really god damn progressive. you’ve got your shit together. but you’re the dream, and i want the reality. i want to settle down. you’re kind of an indie marilyn and i’m looking for a jackie-o. that’s all.

NEWBORN

I locked the doors. Padlocked chained bolted shut the god damn doors and the outside world – cracked wide open a window and I threw out every letter, every picture, every moment of anything that ever meant anything to anyone. Indiscriminate. I took a hammer to the clocks. I threw my watch into the fire. I stomped on a fucking egg timer to make sure there was absolutely nothing left to make that tick tick noise. I shoved open my desk drawer and cut straight down my cheek with a razor blade. I felt nothing at all. I littered the floor with random papers, bank statements, grown-up homework like I was decorating a psych ward. I flipped the couches on their asses, I punched my fist through the television set. I unplugged the fridge and let the useless food begin to rot. I ran all the sinks at once. The gaudy shithole apartment sounded like Niagara Falls. The pipes moaned from pressure and bursted. The ceiling soaked like blood on bed sheets. There I was between fire and water. Between everything and nothing, leaning like the Tin Man back and forth. I felt nothing and it felt so god damn fucking beautiful. I put my rosary down the garbage disposal and hummed along to the sound of God dying. I broke my glasses in my hand like random twigs. I stepped on them like fire ants. I took my mother’s urn off the mantel and shoved it on the ground. I spit on the ashes. I turned on all four burners of the stove. I ripped my brown one-eyed, on-it’s-last-leg smiley-ass teddy bear into bits and sprinkled it on the hot coils. My eyes watered something other than tears as smoke clouded my blurred vision. I’d never seen more clearly. Broken dishes like bad memories and I smashed drinking glasses like I was allergic to thirst. I tore the carpet up and found that buried underneath was a whole lot of nothing. In a matter of what may have once been an hour, I turned a home at war into a mausoleum of peace. I put a record on. It skipped, I watched it mutilate itself. I felt nothing. Not a single drop of loneliness, confusion, anger, turmoil, fear, pain, hate, joy, love or indigestion. The record just kept skipping. I felt nothing and I hardly felt that. And then you walked out of the bedroom, wearing only my business blue banker shirt, you’re legs stemming out underneath like sex, and I fell to my knees on the torn-up carpet and I cried like a newborn fucking baby.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “WINTERSONG”

SPAM MAIL

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this amidst deepest woe and a puddle of tears. Recently Mr. F.J. Collins of Wiltshire, England has passed away. As a life-long companion, and personal accountant, of Mr. Collins, I know it was his dying wish to have his large fund of money dispersed to a stand-out person such as yourself. Mr. Collins’ bank account funds, surmounting to over 200000000000 pounds, will be transferred to you, as stated explicitly in his will, pending your return e-mail. To accept, please send a return e-mail with your legal name, social security number, bank account number, job history, a picture of you, your first born child and your darkest secrets.

Thank you,

Sincerely,
Connie Bristow, Esq.
Accountant and Very Trustworthy Person

THE GRAFFITI ARTIST

He told me he was addicted to pain killers for over three years. He said it had been several months since he had taken any but he was still getting high off of the residual effects of the drugs in his system. He looked me in the eyes like he was afraid that he would feel everything again all at once. He said for years he wore too small of shoes. He said he would need major surgery to repair the overlapping and cracked bones of his feet. Said that without pain killers he would be in a wheelchair for several months teaching himself how to walk again. He said when he slept with all the girls that he did, he couldn’t feel a thing; said because of this he could go for hours. He told me about how all of the girls hated that. He told me they rarely got a satisfying response from his numb body. He was a high school student. Had been kicked of several schools for fighting. He talked to everyone in the same voice, in the same tone, about the same things, and he would talk as long as someone was listening. He told me he did graffiti. He taught me how to create a tag, and for the only night I ever spent talking to him, I watched him, without a hint of emotion, tell me everything; I felt, in a way, that I understood him better than myself.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “AND I START TO WONDER IF MY NICE LITTLE PILLS IN THE RED DESIGNER CONTAINER ARE STARTING TO CUT OFF MY ABILITY TO RAMBLE”