ARAPAHOE COUNTY, COLORADO

you’re off in japan
with the giant cartoons and constant workflow
lost in the hustle and bustle of lines and railways
clinking bells and chaos noise symphonic

you’re off in san francisco
in a slanted city dizzy from the bicycles
burning through the silly traffic
stuck beside the bay
in a tower in chinatown where you drink
mai tais and study the gentrification of
dust below

you’re off in south south america
dancing on the edge of cape horn
hand in hand with a lover
your mind partially above frozen water
but so much more of your epileptic majesty
buried beneath
your hands reach for the south pole
as mine just reach out for you

you are lost amongst the redwoods
mourning the coming death of your loved one
you sit naked beside giants and you paint
with your fingers on the canvas in your lap
the trees don’t end until they get to heaven
you share the trees with heaven

you, stranger, are stuck in the madness of bangkok
the banging of pots and pans
guns, girls and ganja
massive heart attack motorcycle smog lady boy
mad mad madness
in transit from the sanity in your head
homeless and happy and we were so close to something

you are off in the void
the space between nothing and everything
the space between death and faith
fistful of pills
skull cracked against the bathroom tile
your book is still in the back of my car
we never finished our poem

you are out in the ether of the cosmos
you are dancing on trains with strange strangers
and cursing the dice that don’t roll sevens
it’s half past nine and you’re half past eleven
it’s pointless to try to write you

you are off somewhere strange
but you are still adamantly here in my heart
in my chest
in arapahoe county, colorado

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “DRIVING DOWN ORCHARD ROAD”

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02.22

0222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(where am i?)

i woke up
and out my window
were the dusty chinese lamps of chinatown
mount fuji
off in the distance
covered with the snows of kilimanjaro
cold and ancient
i found myself in a foreign land
where the night cafes were open until dawn
the city glowing in the rain

the dusty roads leading to neon casinos
and water clear enough to see to the bottom
there was an identity to this place
though i didn’t know what it was
maybe a western mindset of eastern philosophy
there was something about the way
the snow covered the ground
like the weather wast trying to tell us
we can start over if we want to
or we could just throw all the cats in a bag
and shake it up

i began to feel sea sick
it was as if the palm trees in the distance\
were swaying with me
to the acoustic ringing of polynesian ukulele
and the old, old buildings crumbled
like pixels of my sanity

when in rome, they say,
do as the romans do

so i went down
to fisherman’s wharf
and i rented myself a fixie
and i rode it through the winding streets
the narrow dark back alleyways
over the grassy knolls
and down martin luther king blvd.
and when i felt burnt out
i retired in the night to a pizza parlor
this city really does never sleep
it’s so big
and there’s just months of sunlights
and months of night

to think slaves made these pyramids
it was so damn cold
and i was stuck in bermuda shorts
lost in the cocaine triangle of denver

i could barely see across this wide wide river
full of caymans and pirahnas, the fish and flauna
and memories of you
you
lost on some distant star of a planet

i wish you were here
we could go see the savage matadors
murdering the innocent bulls

i wish you were here
i guess technically you are

it seems everyone speaks their own language here
the oceans are so blue
the grass is so green
the continents all fit together so nicely
like those hotel rooms
with nothing between each other
but locked doors

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.22, THE NEXT ENTRY IN THE 02.2013 PROJECT

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

02.02

02.02 jpeg

(nightmare.)

and on the second day he rested

went in for a nap and found himself slipping like alice
and when he landed on the other side
he landed on the sideways concrete of san francisco
chinatown at night
outside of a chinese theater
he was drunk dizzy disoriented
lost in hills and chinese lamps
drunk couples kissing down back alleyways
over his shoulder he heard the voice of his father
standing up and dusting himself off
he turned around and sure enough it was him
white smile his father hugged him
and he asked him what he was doing here
but it was a dream and he couldn’t remember
and they walked down the sidewalk together
and they laughed at san francisco together
a girl on her cell phone yelling
“i’m just too LA for this place”
and he turned to his father and said
“what a bitch…”
and her friends came out of nowhere
and they asked him what he meant
and because it was a dream
he tried and tried to defend himself
against the twentysomething feminist women
who outside of dreams he loved so dearly
but they wouldn’t hear him
they just wouldn’t hear what he had to say at all
and the tension was so damn high
and their faces so damn hurt and angry
and eventually they just went off their separate ways

the women still mad at him, his father quiet
and then his father was gone
faded out of the dream like god had plucked him right out

it was night
harsh night now
he was alone in this foreign city within a foreign city
no idea where he was
no money for a cab
nowhere to go if he could get one

and he stumbled to a friend’s door
somehow
by some miracle
in the drunk dizziness of this dream
and he knew his breath tasted of dirt
and his clothes were stale from the day
but the friend she opened the door
and she let him in
and she made him a cup of tea
and he sat quiet in her sideways san francisco apartment
beside her san francisco fireplace
and he drank the tea
and she brought out a man
and he knew right away he wasn’t a good one
he had a shit eating grin
that seemed to say he was footing the bill
for a broke twentysomething girl in san francisco
and this man
his handshake was as flacid as his congeniality

the apartment was dim
nothing to look at
no stories in photo frames
no messy proof the place was lived in
the place was a nightmare

and it only sunk deeper
a flickering rampaging light grew outside
and the lost boy in san francisco
found himself looking out the window
at a creative bonfire
a giant burning sign on the grass below
“YOU CAN’T JUST THROW AROUND “BITCH””
and in this nightmare
this inescapable nightmare
this misunderstanding
this dark dream that felt too real to be shrugged
he found himself on the wrong side of history
his father gone, lost in the bay
his momentary lapse in judgement
making him a sacrifice to the movement of times

there were coolers behind the flaming sign
twentysomethings gathered and drank pretentious beers
talked about progression with honesty
speaking frankly, bonded in their hatred of him
but he was barefoot on the cold concrete patio
behind the metal bars fifty feet off the ground
and he knew in the next room
his female friend, a sister really
had been dragged off by the man with the shit grin smile
door closed, she probably just laid there

he ran out the door
found his way back to the chinese theater
and he banged on the door
it was a saturday night
and people were coming and going in mass
but he couldn’t get in
he knew they were all in there
his friends, his family, his father
he knew that the protesters would find him
with their picket signs and their need to cure misogyny
and he was afraid of it

he was still barefoot
his father never showed up
he didn’t think he’d ever find him
the city hated him for what he wasn’t
he couldn’t go where he wanted to
his sister of a friend
was locked up in the arms
of a poor excuse of a man
he was stuck in limbo
he was stuck in limbo
i don’t know if any of this is coming through
i don’t know if you can hear me from the other side
but it was a nightmare
there was just nothing to grab onto

and when he woke up
he was sweating
sleeping in a room with no windows
at his parents house
his duffle bag splayed open on the floor
his life in boxes all around him
he sat up and breathed the air conditioned air

just nothing.
thank god.

he went downstairs
waking up from that dark coma
and his sister, his actual sister
offered him a cup of tea
and she asked him
“how was your nap?”
and he said to her,
“i had a nightmare.
i didn’t think i could have nightmares anymore
but i did
and it was terrible.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.03, DAY 3 OF THE 02.2013 PROJECT

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

FEATURED POET: FROM BURNING, BURNING, BURNING

San Francisco

San Francisco penetrates me.

We make love under City Lights,

Hubs of progress,

Neon Brothels.

We fuck openly in Castro’s side alleys,

Commercialised piers,

China Town.

We are the children of modern Babylon.

Barefoot whores,

Kerouac junkies,

Cutthroat Queers.

Pilgrims to a Golden Gate

Screaming

Amen!

We scale its womanly curves

Sheathed in a kimono fog.

America’s Geisha.

The City holds me within art deco palms

And fucks me.

I shudder ferociously and scream

‘California.’

San Francisco howls.

Read more HERE.

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE TO, AMERICA?

i tried calling
you didn’t pick up

where have you gone to, America?
i can’t find you under my bed or in my closet with the other monsters
you seem to be everywhere all at once like you’re imitating God, but maybe you’re just photocopying yourself until the ink turns to white like your flag on the moon
where have you gone to America?
when I go down on you, you never return the favor

where have you gone to, America?
your model homes are empty
your desks in your schools are empty
your teachers are just praying for tenure
where have you gone to, America?
are you in Central Park with those cast to the corners?
are you in Brooklyn with the rappers who reside in check out counter headphones?

the Dodgers are in Los Angeles now
the Lakers are in Los Angeles now
how come she always gets whatever she wants?
where have you gone to, America?
your youngest daughter still needs you

where have you gone to, America?
your unwrapped gifts are stacking up under the Xmas tree
your churches have walls to expand for the holiday rush

where have you gone to, America?
you left the groceries out on the table
you left your poor friends out on your San Francisco doorstep
you left your children at school with a gun
and you want to blame the trigger for the finger that pulled it

you want the television to babysit us
while you go out drinking with strange men

i tried leaving you this message, America
but your mailbox was full

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ANDROID”

CALIFORNIA, STOP SWALLOWING MY FRIENDS

you’re a monster! a monster, i tell you!
you lure them in with your nihilistic theme parks
and your caustic beaches
the promise of Hollywood and the west of the American
west
in the night, your ocean reaches its bony hands under the covers
and digging its polluted claws in, it drags them anxiously
through the fires of Utah and the flowerless graveyards of Las Vegas
i watch all this sleepless from the fragile glass window of my Colorado home
in the swaying arms of my humble mother
rocking me to sleep in a Rocky Mountain high
but how my friends tried to grasp on to those mountains as you grasp them in tantrums

you need so much god damn attention

the blonde-haired blue-eyed boys and the sexual shape of video cameras
this one goes out to the friends i’ve lost
desperate and scared amongst the grey smog and the pedophile buildings

i can hear you laughing at all of this, California
stop swallowing my friends, California
your jewel heart fell into the Pacific Ocean
and my friends are lost, manic and drugged in your vicious riptides
you digest them in your swollen valleys
they waste away, going nowhere in rush hour traffic
listening to catchy horror music on the radio

oh, the California radio! it tastes of silicone
it burns like vodka tonics and the Beverly Hills Hotel
they are all just prisoners there; of their own device
into your guts they go; an assembly line of starry-eyed followers
into the factory; to be printed like Marilyn, to be loved like Jackie,
to be shot like Kennedy
i can’t stop them
they are scared and horny and thinking with their adolescence
they are less reckless, and more self-mutilating

California, i can see the scars underneath your breasts
i can taste the cheap boxed wine on your breath
your eyes are busy telephone wires for crow’s feet to rest on
you’re so skinny
i can see right through you
i don’t care
just please
California, stop swallowing my friends

“Denver is lonesome for her heroes,”
and you are just hungry for your villains

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ANXIETY AT THE HOUSE CAFE”

RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD MOMENT

i was sitting here la dee da at the computer listening to wonderful music discovering sensible rhythms when i stumbled onto a kerouac poem. now me and kerouac aren’t too familiar with one another. i’ve heard a few of his ramblings, i’ve read some of on the road and i generally know the spirit of the guy, but sitting here i stumbled onto “october in the railroad earth”, which i clicked on the stereo and i was in love. this man made my rambles look terse straight to the point, dishonest even. i clicked it on and he started talking about san francisco, a recent lover of mine, and i could have misinterpreted but i think he predicted in the piece that rich men would come and take over the city, which they did. don’t get me wrong, there’s still something about san francisco, i learned that during my time out there, but kerouac was on the ball. steven allen behind him kicking those white keys just as hard as the black ones, all live, all real, all viral and not sterile and megalithic and true. jazz. duh, it was jazz. i was enamoured and it went on and on and on and i followed along with the text and then the text came to an end. but it went on and on and on and i was still in love with jack kerouac and i understood a little better what ginsberg said when he said he fell in love with jack kerouac. everything was making sense. the walls were falling down and just when i thought i was on the trip back from hearing and discovering every great poet there was that there’s ever been here came jack like a good, solid nineteen fifties jazz bar punch in the face to wake me up. cold whiskey thrown at me. punch drunk and rawly starstruck it kept going and then it ended. and then a commercial for mcdonalds holiday smoothies came on the speakers and ruined a perfectly good moment.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “VENTI SKINNY VANILLA NO FOAM LATTE”

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.

WOKE UP IN SAN FRANCISCO

woke up in san francisco
woke up in someone else’s skin
in someone else’s bed
in the driver’s seat of someone else’s car

woke up skinnier and emptier
in a good way
woke up ready to be filled
by the thicker air
and the resonance of wind chimes

woke up saturated in happy
woke up dizzy-eyed
and sore headed
woke up wanted to dream in the daylight

woke up wandering aimlessly
through a life i couldn’t afford
woke up in luke warm water
in someone else’s bathtub

woke up with a briefcase
filled with hotel soaps
and shampoos and lotions
stolen white towels
covered with the resin
of the disoriented people
who came before me

woke up in a high rise apartment
with wooden floors
and the 75 mph highway wind
out the window
like a portrait of a world waiting
or a pending suicide

woke up in an elevator
hung over
at the feet of shiny shoes
and muffled voices
the dinging of numbers
the echoes of morning lovers
down the hallway

woke up in san francisco
but i’m still dreaming of denver

woke up in san francisco
without a hangover
or a missed phone call
without a drop of seratonin
out of place

woke up in san francisco
only to fall asleep
in the arms of a woman
who doesn’t know me
who could never commit to me
well
who i could never commit to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MIKE TEEVEE”