ENNUI

ennui

i didn’t sleep last night so of course i’m suffering from some god damn ennui. i didn’t know i was suffering from ennui until i stumbled across the word in a haruki murakami book and i had to google and i said oh yeah ennui, that’s me. good old ennui. stuck in the stale air of this room burning the same old incense along with this putrid midnight oil. listening to the same old jazz playlist that reminds me of max in australia and kathryn and logan in the bedrooms next store. i’m such an ungrateful bastard tonight. i’ve got food in the fridge and i’ve got music and yeah i’m professionally single but that’s not what’s bothering me but maybe it’s what’s bothering me. where ya at now, bukowski? with your it’s okay to be lonelies and your stare at the flower staring back at you. all i’ve got is the incense and the jazz and the cheap merlot and the ennui. the blues. whoever invented the ennui didn’t know about the blues and whoever invented the blues didn’t know the ennui. they kept to france and america, respectively.

i didn’t sleep last night. i just plugged away all day and i drove my drive and i read my lines and i stopped at the gas station for orange juice on the way home i think just to do something. just to escape my routine. maybe i should commit a crime. rob a bank in a nixon mask. run through the neighorhood in a monster mask. start a revolution in a guy fawkes mask. i need a mask. i need a sip of this cheap wine hold on.

i need to get rid of this god damn ennui. go to sleep they say. tomorrow’s a new day they say. yeah yeah. you’re not pacing around the room with this ennui riding your back. this incredible demon that spins the hour hands around your internal clocks. it laughs and laughs and chet baker you make no sense right now. how dare you interrupt my ennui with your singing and your playing and your romantic notions. you don’t get my ennui. but i know what a bastard you are behind that angelic costume you’re sporting. you’re not fooling me ya bastard with your trumpet solos. you’re probably chilling with bird right now you bastard. you’re probably knocking boots with marilyn or cleopatra or maybe you’re just sleeping. maybe you’re the one who stole my sleep. chet baker this one goes out to you. this is my sappy little ditty for you. filled to the brim with ennui and carlo rossi wine. ya bastard. you heartless cruel man. i just want to sleep i refuse i refuse. this damn ennui it’s killing me. it’s eating me from the inside out. this ebola. this demon spinning the clocks. this bull in my china shop. this ennui. what a dumb word. ennui. i don’t think it’s a word any more. it sounds fake to me. it sounds phony.

where’s my wanderlust. where the hell did i put my keys and where the hell did i put my wanderlust? did i leave it at the bar with my credit card and my dignity? did i waste a saturday night. oh good lord forgive me for wasting a saturday night. i’m just lying here in bed with my cheap ass wine and my girl ennui. my girl saturday. my neverending restless song. i’m gonna leave you fine folks to it now.

i’m still here. don’t get me wrong. but goodbye. i’m fine really. good bye.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “DIGITALLY MASTERED PHOTOGRAPHS”

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EMERSON BRIDGE

there’s a tree outside my window blowing in the wind and today it’s hard for me to not see it as a blessing
that amongst the concrete the astroturf the drywall the linoleum there is still a hint of life
leaves blowing in the wind meandering around complex apartment complexes and fences where no fences once were
across the forty mile per hour street is a motionless park a boddhisattva named for some white dude
but it was a boddhisattva long before that and it will remain one when the vines cave in the sign – the flag
driving down the highway yesterday in my four chairs on wheels we went under a bridge in denver named emerson
and there was not a tree a bush a river a flower to be found nearby but the road did lead to a whole foods for what that is worth
somewhere in the ground is emerson as trees are chopped down to form the pages of his books and the purists fight against ebooks
and things are getting a bit confusing as teddy roosevelt barricaded the national parks with a shotgun in his hand
and i guess there’s a balance to everything i think as i type this poem on my wooden desk next to my wooden guitar
and my wooden furniture and we are nature too but we yell at wild animals for sneaking into our homes as the bark at us
for doing the same like the souls of native americans as we drive around colorado with bumper stickers that say “native” on them
and we were driving past emerson bridge down i-25 to 6th avenue and 6th avenue to i-70 through city traffic and then
we dove into the mountains because we were all starting to get cabin fever from sitting in the house all day and we needed
to get out so at six p.m. i ran around the house and i said to kathryn hey do you want to go for a drive into the mountains
and i said to logan hey do you want to go for a drive into the mountains and they said yes yes yes can we please
and we hopped in the car with our hiking boots on and a big jug of water and we listened to john denver and bobby dylan
as we moved along the mountain road beside the river like a crying child walking with their grandparents and we moved
at sixty-five miles per hour deeper into the rocky mountains and we rolled the windows down until we had to admit that
we were getting too cold and our ears were popping from the altitude so we rolled the windows back up and we turned on the air conditioning
the man-made wind and we listened to the beatles sing ob-la-di life goes on and we listened to the beatles sing there are places
i remember all my life though some have changed and i couldn’t stop thinking about emerson bridge as logan sniffled from his allergies
and kathryn had her feet out the window and people tried to cut me off like they were in a rush to get out of the mountains and i
just didn’t understand how you could be in a rush to get out of the mountains and i thought once again about emerson bridge and
about john muir getting mad when they built a chapel in yosemite because why would you need to put a church inside of a church
and we listened to the beatles singing about the fool on the hill watching the sun go down and we heard bobby dylan reminding us
that the answer is blowing in the wind and reminding us that we are his friend and i thought once again about emerson bridge as
we went through the eisenhower tunnel and we tried to hold our breath but we couldn’t but we tried we tried to defy our nature
but breathlessly we were reminded that you cannot defy your nature because your nature will win and weeds are always growing
always tearing the foundations of buildings to the ground as they build more buildings on top of the weeds and we live in the
most beautiful of hypocrisies we all live beneath emerson bridge and when we arrived in breckenridge we stepped out of the car
and we felt twenty pounds lighter and logan said yeah the air is lighter up here and i didn’t want to argue with him but that
wasn’t quite all of it for me it was more than that i had chipped off the concrete parts of my soul and walking around breckenridge
we didn’t run into the forest we went and found an ice cream shop and i had a scoop of ice cream in a cone and it was perfect
and the cabin fever was an hour and a half away and then we went back down back home and the beatles sang we are on our way home
and let it be and we crossed beneath emerson bridge and i didn’t even notice that we had crossed and the beatles sang let it be so i let it be.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “MOUSEKETEER”

GALACTIC BISCOTTI

"The Exploding Head of Don Quichotte" by Salvador Dali

“The Exploding Head of Don Quichotte” by Salvador Dali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i am sleepless and doped up on cough syrup and listening to boards of canada
i am still flip flopping between being a cowboy and a buddhist monk
but really i am flip flopping between being alive and being dead
between being a nice outstanding young man who is a good samaritan
a real back breaker, a real gem to society and then i’m being
a ghost haunting this town home, pacing through the halls flicking the lights on and off
working on my lurking skills because my lurking skills need work
writing poems about writing poems about writing poems
and sending them to christopher nolan and letting him know it will be the biggest thing
since inception

i dream within this dream within this dream
i moved around a lot as a kid and part of me thinks
that i really never stopped moving
but really and i mean really really
is it possible to stand still?

we are agents of chaos
we are geriatric children

i dream within this dream within this dream
and i pay mind to the beautiful eyes and i stop to unwind beside them
and i tell them i love them that i want them or need them and sometimes
they nod their heads and agree with me and sometimes the joy fades from their pupils
and i move on

i do not stay where i am not welcomed
i do not stay where love is finite
because my love is infinite like a giant bottle of shaken up soda
exploding across the cosmos

my love is john muir beneath a redwood tree
my love is going back in time to sylvia plath
to try and talk her down while she is preheating the oven

i dream within this dream within this dream
and i use to be afraid but i am afraid no more
fear is stupid
anger is stupid
and stupidity is just the way you feel
when nobody told you
what you now know
now that somebody took the time to tell you

i dream within this dream within this dream
and i live for this day and the one before it
and the one after it as i sit around with these
out-of-order days at the apogee space cafe together
drinking cosmic lattes and interstellar macchiatos
as we share a galactic biscotti

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “COUGH SYRUP HAIKU #3″

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”

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

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