LIQUIDATION

“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
-Santosh Kalwar

i set the fire and i climb down the fire escape
the metal frame rattles as i descend away from my own madness
i cannot tell you how long coming it has been
i jump onto dumpster lids and climb back up onto random rooftops
i stare at the dirty city beneath me
drunk fucks pissing down back alleys howling at the absent moon
clothes strung out on frayed lines
dry but covered in the smoky claws of the sewers
i don’t know how i ended up in this city
i’ve never been here before but the grit is so damn appealing
it’s unwarranted and i’ve been taking action warranted so long that
i am starting to see why some people sleep in gutters
squat in broken bomb shelters and kiss death in the secondhand sheets
i get it i get it i get it’s appealing really it is
you can be a stray dog you can be at the whim of the tobacco wind
throw your watch in the gutter and drive off in some stranger’s sportscar
drive off i’m always talking about driving in my poems
it’s my american song i guess my blues my rock and roll my black metal
my flag hanging out the window as i speed into the blissful absence
to go so fast to miss so much to be so cocooned in adrenaline
as you fall to the floor your eyes roll back to make love to your third eye
you arms go numb your legs go numb and you melt
persistent time gone impersistent
television static floating out of the bluetube and into the ether around you
your shoulder bones writhing your idea of you gone as you watch a breath
the breath the only breath the last breath take you hostage and bam
your gone and then it’s symphonic it’s dylan-gone-electric matador red
blood stampede heart chasing heart chasing heart tom and jerry
and whiskey love nightmares and orange vast sky drowning it’s
crayons on walls of skeleton skulls and chinese lamps floating up
into the mouth of a giant whale swallowed swallowing space ships and
to walk around in the ocular cavity of god to taste her stale morning breath
to hide in the walls for a thousand years and come out a bearded fool
and to see that it’s all gone disappeared like looters came in the night
for an unexpected liquidation sale and stole the very foundation you ran away from
what you got now, old man? where is your dream? where is your nightmare?
when you awaken to find that it’s over and an old drunk bastard says “it’s too late,
and there’s nothing worse than too late,” but we had a good run didn’t we? you
hear someone whisper but you’re just talking to yourself again because who the
fuck else is around?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

I DON’T REMEMBER WRITING THIS

i hit the bottle and punched the forest
and then bam it came pouring out
like niagara fucking falls
verse after verse of subjective majesty
it came pouring out
tears to my ears
it just ran rampant across the page
like a street dog through suburbia
and i loved it
a snowstorm in a warm winter
a drastic makeover to my soul
i call her elvira
you can call her whatever you want
it’s just a god damn soul
the point is
pouring out
like niagara falls
crazy kerouacian
bordeline ginsbergian
not to compare
just the same amount of i don’t care
it came pouring out
smoke and whiskey
lies new religion
like pure ecstasy
like something to stick on your tongue and treasure
and will it happen again?
when the yellow morning finds me
will i be radiant red
or blue blue blue
in the face face face?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

40 THIEVES

up to my neck in shark infested waters
lost wandering under street lamps
bare feet on jagged rocks
hands out parallel like i’m ready to be crucified
winds shake me like a powerful sermon
and i’m lost in the gospel of the madness

the kind of blurry vision that glasses can’t fix
the blood runs through the bandaids
i’m trying to balance on the sharp edge of a clock hand
everywhere i drive it seems to be midnight
and the street signs are missing and the shops are all sleeping
i’m running on empty i can hear my car dry heave up the gravel

the red light of the cameras are all lit
i’m sitting at a stop light lost in time but someone is watching
i am all skeleton and wooden windchime
i am the ghost hands on the player piano
broken. stuck on the same three notes
and just as i go to jerk the wheel i hear it all around me

the conversations
the ones that we shuffle through the white noise to get to
i watch as my stupid humanity echoes into your mouth
and it’s okay. really i promise it’s all okay.

this world is built on love and dream and netflix
so i promise you this – it is all okay
and thank you for that
seriously. thank you for that

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

threehundredmillionmilesperhour

and i jump into the car and i start driving
and i’m driving onehundred-onefifty-twohundredthousand
miles per hour through the swerving mountain roads of my skull
the river bends beside me the sun beats down on me like it ever
had a chance of stopping me but i will not stop my foot stuck
down on the accelerator i push through endless tunnels and turns
upside down and rightside up again i move through time like a bullet
freed from the chamber i move through time like an escaped prisoner
for i know not where i’m going but the thrill of the speed hits my gut
like a pot shot and i keep going and i think about the past rolling
down green hills of my childhood and kissing girls behind garages
i think about the giant hersheys kiss i buried in the playground lot
and i wonder what ever became of it if a giant chocolate tree ever
grew from the ashes and i think about being lost and how happy that was
not knowing where i was going in the halls of my high school and
the trees blur around me on the road i think about how beautifully blurry
i must be to them and the trees they keep coming they tally like marks
on prison walls of my past mistakes as i dive through water and come up
the other side threehundredmillionmilesperhour and i shoot into the stratosphere
and look down at the vastness of the grand canyon i look down at the
sheer length of the great wall of china and sometimes i think maybe i
am the great wall of china protecting my dynasty of scattered pages and
i look in my rearview mirror and i watch my face writhe into the faces of
everyone i’ve ever met and i watch as my skin goes dry and wrinkles form like
mountains at the sides of my eyes and this is what happens when you go this fast
and i swerve to miss the memories of my half-hearted friends crossing the road
and i barely miss them and it’s still ups and downs always these ups and downs
and sometimes i’m climbing for miles and sometimes they are one after another
as the lights blur around me like warp speed and all i hear is the voice of
my mother warning me to be careful and i hear my own voice like a howl at the
moon and i adderall amphetamine jukebox chaos roar at death who chases me
in a black ferrari but i am too fast for him and he is distracted by his own
arrogance as i am by mine and i look in my rearview mirror again and i see
that i myself have become death black cloak and dark star face and i
see an approaching crossroads and i see the shadow of something standing there
and i yell for it to move but it doesn’t move and i’m drawing closer so i slam
on my brakes as the screams i’ve held so tight for one thousand years escape
from my rubber tires and out into the echos of the mountains around me and the
shadow draws closer and my car comes to a stop and my adrenaline becomes benzadrine
as my eyes focus to see you, beautiful tall-hearted woman, standing before me
holding a sign that says slow down and we stay here still for quite a while before
you come up to my driver’s side door and i see your eyes for the first time
simultaneously still and still moving at threehundredmillionmilesperhour into my
frantic heart and you say scoot over i’ll drive for a bit and we travel down a
scenic road into the fiery leaves of aspen of your love where we go slow enough
that i can see as the fiery leaves bloom and as they fall to the ground letting
the wind catch their fall so when they hit the dead ground it’s not so bad.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

ORANGE

our conversations lately feel like a living room without lamps
like we fell asleep with the oven on and the house burnt down
it is close to impossible to not get lost when traveling to your house
and i know it is the same for you

i am sorry that i gave my shoulder demon a soapbox to stand on
i apologize that the angel on yours seems to be in a coma
never mistake passive aggression for aggressive passion
i speak these words through my baby teeth
i wash my mouth out with soap in the mornings

i am sorry again but i don’t believe in boxing gloves
if you’re gonna hit me i want it bareknuckled
i want it in person and i want it right away
don’t bruise me with oranges

we are a contained nuclear explosion
we are like an apocalypse in a snowglobe
no one would doubt Christmas is your favorite holiday
and mine is Halloween
i guess that’s why our orange words fall on white cold shoulders

i miss your vintage love
and your chicken noodle soup kitchen
but the string between our soup cans is broken
we gotta talk

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

REUNION

this shouldn’t feel foreign
but it does
fingers against the surface
rhythms that i’ve trumpeted
one million times
but there’s something else

an electricity bouncing back
that i’ve not felt before

i shave my beard

i shave my head

i disrobe my skin
in front of my self
in the mirror

the familiar skeleton
appears before me
top hat before chest
ready to perform

what am i doing?
this white rectangular cell
that my black footprints dance around
why bother?

no matter how loud you yell
the echoes fade out

no matter how quiet you whisper
they’ll never lean in close enough

dance monkey dance

smile for the camera

yes be reckless
love reckless
kiss reckless
punch the piano keys
kick the organ in the kidney
all on camera
it’s all on camera
we’re on camera
we’re always all on camera
each photograph an ash of skin
each thought a spitwad on the blackboard of time
we document our deaths so voraciously

and why do we do this again?

oh yeah
that’s why
because it feels fucking good
because it’s a stethoscope
we can place to our cold chests
to feel our percolating hearts percolating

(i am reminded
of the condensation of my lips
on the petroglyphs
of you skin
fleeting life
meeting
eternal static
i am reminded of you
in the middle of this poem
not about you (til now)
and that’s how it goes sometimes
and the uncalculated calculation
of that squint that you squint at me with
eyes shining like new sunstars
just born into a lightless sky
that i remember is the why
you are why
you are the why when i why)

my back against my front door
i spelunk my own caverns
in search for silence
i still think of you (still now)
but the world isn’t silent tonight
it is hiding in the tall grass
and i can feel it coming
and i am ready for the whatever
and the whatever comes along with it
give me your best fucking shot
i am ready for the whatever
and the whatever sure as fuck
better be ready for me
my arms great blunderbuss guns
the trigger your pre-arthritic fingers
interlocked in mine in waiting
beautiful and ready to click

life you son of a bitch
hit. me. hard.
and i will swing back like
i’m being pushed

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.

SKELETON QUESTIONS

if my skin vanished like a styrofoam plate on a hot burner
if my muscles began to wriggle down my body like slugs escaping
if my veins and arteries and capillaries
all wound up like a tape measure into my heart
and then i loaded my heart into a potato gun
and shot it straight up into space

if i plucked out both of my eyes with my fingers
unscrewed the top of my mason jar head removed my brain
and donated it in the name of scientific progress
if i tore off my tendons and ligaments
filled my lungs with hydrogen tied them tight with a string at one end
and let them float off into space like two really creepy balloons
if i made my intestines into a giant rubber band ball
and kicked it into the atlantic ocean at night
if i threw my liver my spleen my kidneys my stomach
my bladder my diaphragm my apendix my pancreas
into a shopping cart and pushed it over a cliff

if i stood before you some strangely joyous skeleton
would you still love me?
where does the soul reside?
where is the heart, the actual heart, the
heart of the heart?
where does the soul reside?
i will remove the phalanges
the metacarpals the carpals that type this poem
i will rip out the pharynx the larynx that sings to you
to try and find where the song comes from
where is the heart of the heart?

what is the ghost hand that squeezes the heart like a stress ball?

what generator generates the static electricity of a kiss?

these questions aren’t easy
these are questions for skeletons
and i am warm and typing and breathing
and beating and thinking and blinking and blinking
and i am no skeleton today
but maybe i should be practicing
going to skeleton classes trying to figure out
how to be a skeleton
how love is eternal when on a long enough timeline
most of us are already dead
most of us are skeletons
unprepared to answer these skeleton questions of love and loss.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

COLOR TEST

displays impatience and
agitation.

feels that life has far more
to offer
and that there are still
important things
to be achieved-
that life must be
experienced
to the fullest.

as a result,
he pursues his objectives
with a fierce intensity
and will not let go of things.

becomes deeply involved
and runs the risk of being unable
to view things
with sufficient objectivity
or
calmly enough; is therefore
in danger
of becoming agitated
and of exhausting his
nervous energy.

cannot leave things alone
and feels he can only
be at peace
when he has finally
reached his goal.

impatient involvement.

over-imaginative
and given to fantasy
and day-dreaming.

longs for interesting
and exciting things to happen
and wants to be admired
for his charm.

the fear
that he may
be prevented from achieving
the things he wants
leads him into
a restless search
for satisfaction
in the pursuit
of illusory
or meaningless activities.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

PLAYER PIANO

i have swallowed every instrument there is.

the beating drums the wailing saxophone the
screeching violins the heavy bass the cello the oboe the sitar
the bells the woodwinds the brass the entire gospel choir
all sucked into my lungs and now i cannot hide their noise

their sounds within me needs to be heard
and tonight the world is deaf ears
a silent film without the cue cards
without the charming player piano
just the sound of clicking reels and nobody
no one hears the hurricane of sound in my lungs
no one could be bothered

sometimes people don’t laugh, she says,
and i hear that, i hear that more than most things
lately i just don’t know where my head’s been
sometimes people don’t laugh
and i remember sometimes people don’t cry at funerals
sometimes people spend 100 years on this planet
and accomplish close to nothing
but they make for okay fertilizer, someone said

i am in a very small way a refuge
forced to leave my homeland in fear of paralysis
home is where the heart is but where is the heart?
blindfolded spun around with a dart in my hand i pull back
and i hit it dead on
right on the target

i sure as fuck hope so

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015