I DON’T KNOW

be the savior of my religion
be the hand beneath my pillow
be the paperweight on my papers in the wind
be the kiss that beats my alarm clock

i’ll be the dust on your stage
i’ll be the canary to your coal mine
i’ll be the detour to your house
i’ll be the fire to your attic

we’ll be until we can’t
we’ll move like wind ahead of hurricanes
we’ll dance like we’re drunk
in my parent’s basement

then you’ll be the ghost under my stairs
then you’ll be beneath my flowers and my letters
then you’ll be the flowers that rise to your grave
then you’ll be cumulonimbic swan songs

then i’ll be with you amongst the madness
then i’ll be swimming beside you like two halves
of a pair of scissors piercing through paper chaos
then i’ll remember the way we felt

i’ll remember the way we felt

then i don’t know
i don’t know
i don’t know
i don’t know

we’ll make it up as we go along.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “THE WALL AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE”

02.26

0226

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(when you said you liked the beatles.)

when you said you liked the beatles
the oxygenless night exploded into day
the grey clouds were wiped from the sky
like billows of white from a chalkboard
your eyes lit up like a thousand suns
into the reflection of my radioactive moonlight
and we eclipsed into the caverns of love

when you said you liked the beatles
i could feel my heart growing like bamboo
on steroids into the hollows of my arms
and overwhelmed my body began to sing
a duet with you laced with great hope
a great hope in the divine and that the heavens
weren’t just those blue squigglies above
the red house and the brown dog in a child’s drawing
on a fridge

when you said you liked the beatles
i became filled with a rage of joy
something i didn’t think possible
i found myself dancing through lines
at the d.m.v. and driving one hundred mph
into the mountains to go find the heart
that i now knew was still beating

when you said you liked the beatles
fantastic wings sprouted from your back
and i began to paint an electric portrait of you
psychedelic and visceral and honest to the aura
you possess inside your home of a house

when you said you liked the beatles
i fell in love with you
as we danced to something
pouring out of the loudspeakers
in the streets of denver
like crystalline drops of water
that have resonated eternally
through the last fifty years
and will continue to resonate
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves and
everyone loves the beatles
the beatles are everyone’s band
but when you said you loved the beatles
i remembered there are such things
in this world that exist that we all feel
that will never be captured
that do not drown in the sands of an hourglass
but form great glasshouses
immune to any stones you could throw

they just remain
in the minds
and the hearts
and the guts
of the mass populace
of incredible lovely people
forever ever into the cosmos
and where the walls of time
fold in onto themselves
like the crescendo
in the middle of
a day in the life

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.27, 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

02.21

0221

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(the etiquette of anger.)

you move like tarantulas across the ocean floor
you take love from my veins and i beg you to take more
you twist and you shout
you twist and you shout

you’re a catalyst for nighttime and a beast in the sack
you’re raging in my covers and your covered in smack
you’re dying for the grit of the gravel
we’re all dying for the grit of the gravel here

come inside my house with me
come inside my house with me

you’re turning my stomach like battery acid
i’m leaning on your fencepost til it falls to the ground

you leave me sore on the everywhere
you kiss the wound with salt on the rim
you go through men like a chain smoker
you exit the building like you committed a murder
but when you enter
you come crawling across the floor of my bedroom
forever the etiquette of anger
forever the etiquette of anger

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

02.10

0210

(brilliant revelation, you bloody moron…)

i could really use a shoulder to rest my head upon for this long drive home
through the american night and into that most certain day that comes rising up over the mountains like a herd of buffalo

i could most certainly use a drink
and a Love to share it with at some foreign train station bar where the wood floors rattle when our train leaves station without us

i could really go for a glass of cold whiskey
bourbon like marmalade with frosty sweat on the glass and two ice cubes floating around in it like two Lovers freezing in the ocean

i could take a nap and just find myself sleeping for days
wake up with a long long beard but not before dreaming of cities built from the sky down and a woman with eyes like blurry carnival lights

yeah

a woman with a voice like old raspy jazz songs and hands that rock your hands to sleep
a woman who dance with you alone in kitchens in the middle of the timeless night to the sound of your shaking breaths
a woman who smiles like the sun rises from within her
a woman who will wake you up from a deep sleep when you work early the next morning because she wants to make love
she is dying, rampaging heart beat within her ancient rib cage to love you and to have you love her back

yeah
forget the whiskey
i could really use a woman like that

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.11, DAY 11 OF 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

02.2013

02.2013

Good Morning.

I wanted to take a minute to let you all know about a project I am going to be starting up on Februrary 1st. It’s called “02.2013″ and the concept is fairly simple: I am going to chronicle my experiences daily through the month of February here on the blog.

Other than that, I don’t know what will come of it. I’d say the biggest difference between this project and my normal entries is there should be a more cohesive element to the 28 poems I intend to write.

I hope you all will check in daily with me, and join me through this journey. Should be a lot of fun.

Love,
Brice

1994 SEATTLE LOVE SONG

seattle

minor chords amongst the dust
i’m the only one who comes to your show
the ground is littered
with empty bottles of cough syrup
i stand among the wreckage
and i watch you destroy yourself
i can’t look away
from the mirror you hold to me

i can’t escape the morphine sea storm in your eyes
envy’s eyes are as green as yours
envy’s eyes are as green as yours
you’ve got me wrapped up in your small pox blanket

you’re a newspaper fire burning in a rusty trash can
a shopping cart in hashbury at night
you’re not as glorious as i’ve made you out to be

i’m a gas fire and you’re the water
i’m a gas fire and you’re the water

i’ll burn like big giant factories
i will give you a sunset
the color of chemicals

minor chords amongst the dust

you left your phone in the car
along with our 1994 seattle love song
our song of retribution in a wasteland
we are just getting lost in different drugs

what happens when glass slippers slide
on black ice

we are the sound
of an i.v.
drip

i swear you smell
like kurt cobain

you taste like
sonic youth

someone popped
every single one
of the balloons
at our birthday party

someone left the car on in the garage

envy’s eyes are as green as yours
i can’t escape your morphine sea storm

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “TOO FAR DEEP”

CAPTURE

capture me in your film reel
put me back inside your toxic head
give me the angst i crave
give me the perfume of wastelands
give me the perfume of wastelands

it’s insensitive of you not to call
i swear to god i’m hanging over the edge
of this building and i’m gonna jump
i swear to god i’m gonna jump
without your visceral voice
i will hit the concrete headfirst

i’m not trying to be the bull in your china shop
i’m not looking for romantic disney love song
give me your health insurance
and all the disease that comes along with it

let’s pursue the american nightmare
let’s try to put the past behind us
let’s bury our children in the yard together
trauma bond with me for life
won’t you trauma bond with me for life?

i know there’s not a lot of hope here
i know there’s some spaces inbetween
they don’t fill in
they’ll never fill in
but let’s continue through shitstorms
umbrellas open now
umbrellas open now

we are children who played with lead paint toys
we are the island of misfits
let’s just close our eyes and hum the garbage disposal
let’s let go of that shiny diamond ring of hope

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “FAST LANE”

FLASHLIGHT CITY BLUES: FAVORITE POSTS OF 2012

Rant Unicycle

#1: TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER GOD DAMN POETRY PART 1: I’m not a big fan of how to guides, especially how to guides on writing, but I really enjoyed writing this. I decided to shoot from the hip. Say what I truly feel. Focus less on the structure of poetry and more on the what keeps me going.

#2: THE OBNOXIOUS SOUND OF MUSIC UPSTAIRS: Most of my pieces I write and five minutes later, I post them to my blog. The fact that this is something I wrote a couple years ago and still held up on my blog made me extremely happy. I don’t write short stories or prose very often, but I was happy to find myself writing this piece, that not only helped me rationalize alot of things from my past, but also better understand love.

#3: MTV: When I sat down to write this, I thought it was gonna be shit. I thought it was gonna be pure angst and cheesy and trying too hard to be trendy, but in the end, I don’t feel that it’s any of those things. I didn’t realize until the comments started coming in that this piece wasn’t just about MTV. It was about the things we lose along the way, sometimes include our whole selves.

#4: AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT: A personal favorite. My trip to California really inspired this one in me. I wanted to speak of this iconic idea of America that we’ve created in our memories and our history, and maybe point us to the fact that it’s time to redefine what it means to be an American.

#5: I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING: One of those ones where you know the title, and the rest just kind of comes from there. I feel like this piece really helped me to rationalize a lot of aspects of who I am in so many ways. My roommate and I talk about how I don’t really edit, but what I seem to do is rewrite the same poems in different ways until I get what I’m after. This one seems to be a later, but I don’t think necessarily better version of SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE THERE’S A COWBOY ARGUING WITH A BUDDHIST MONK.

 

More than anything, what I’d like to say is thank you. Thank you to anyone and everyone who stops by and reads my blog. Poetry is not something that is easily made a career. No one gets into poetry for the money. What I’m in it from is to share something I felt with the growing circle of people around me. I want to inspire people to be better. I want to challenge people to rethink who they are. I want to make a personal connection with someone on the other side of the world as me, and I have been lucky enough to get to connect to so many fantastic people, all with incredible stories and nothing but kindness to give back to me. You’re not a poet until someone reads your poem. I believe that too. Often times, I’ll read poems to my family and friends, and whenever I hit that publish button on wordpress, the same rush of satisfaction and honesty hits me.

Let’s make 2013 the best year there ever was. The world didn’t end, so we still have a responsibility to make our resolutions as courageous as we can, and our words equally as brave.

Love, Brice

p.s. let me know what your favorite pieces were. :)

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”