RE: RE:

to V.T.S., who i hope will dance with me a while in this boxing ring

i drive my car
like i’m stuck in traffic
behind an old lady
or maybe a young lady
who’s convinced herself she’s old
i’m antsy
i shake my steering wheel
and don’t get why i have to go
the speed that she’s determined for me

it makes me want to smoke
but i’m not a smoker
not after sex
and not stuck in this traffic either
it takes more
than someone else’s stubbornness
to make me consider breaking habit
that being said
i can’t stop saying cigarette
the word haunts me
i swear
it sneaks its way into my letters
it highlights itself in my vonnegut novels

america is shit
maybe
depends how i’m feeling
on any given day
or how i’m dressed
or what organ of it’s body
i find myself trapped in
vonnegut got the bowels
from what i’ve read
it’s not hard to see
how he could have concluded
that america is in fact
shit

it’s not all true
but
america is shit
it’s a lot of fun to say

america is shit

writers do keep saying it
god damn broken records
sitting at their typewriters
in a beat-up apartment
in new york
smoking a cigarette
but records keep on skipping
until someone
gets up out of their lazy boy
and moves the needle forward

cigarette

whoops there i go again
america is shit
i’m young and angsty
and america is shit

but i’m not america
and i try not to get mad at her
when she goes all manic on me
and keeps saying the same things
over and over

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CIGARETTE”

About these ads

CIGARETTE

you’re home late one night
sitting on the couch
and you’ve had a stressful day
and you don’t have a plan for the evening
but you jump in the car
and you drive down the street
to your local seven eleven
where the nice man
behind the counter asks you
what he can get you
and you say
can i get a pack
of
marlboro
red
one-hundreds
and he reaches for the box
and he sets them on the counter
and maybe he asks to see your i.d.
and you grab a white lighter
and he rings you up
as across the register screen flashes
MARLBORO 5.39
unless of course
you are a camel person
in which case you see
CAMEL 5.39
if you smoke turkish royales
because everyone knows
those are the best
and you sit in your car
and you roll down the window
and you smack that pack
of cigarettes against the dashboard
and you smack and you smack
packing those cigarettes
in ritual
beautiful american ritual
and you undo that gold string
like you are undressing
a beautiful hooker
and you open the lid
and you pull off the front wrapper
and you blow on the nicotine sawdust
and there before you
are twenty
pristine
white cigarettes
and you take one out
and you flip it over
and that’s your lucky cigarette
and you take that lighter
and you use your car key
and you rip off the safety
and you stick the cigarette
into your mouth
and you turn on your car
and you roll down the window
and you take in
the very first puff
of a pack
of twenty cigarettes
as the little bit of wrapper
with nothing in it burns
and there is fire
at your beg and call
at the end of
your cigarette
and you hold the smoke
in your lungs
and you let it out
and a cloud of white
sneaks past your lips
and out the window
into the night
that doesn’t feel so lonely now
and you put the car in reverse
and the window is down still
and the wind blows
and you put the car into drive
and you’re driving back home
and you’re taking another drag
and you let it out
and watch it roll out the window
behind you
out into the world around you
and at the stop light
you don’t look over
but the car beside you
has no choice
but to note
that you are smoking
and you turn your stereo up
just a little
and you feel like a bad ass
and the light turns green
and cigarette-in-mouth
you take off
a little faster
than the cars around you
and you get to your place
before you finish your cigarette
so you sit for a minute
you and the radio
and you watch
as the paper wanes
if there’s words on the side
as the words burn away
you make something disappear
and you feel the buzz
your headache is gone
you are lighter
a little bit dizzy
a little bit high
you care a little less
you eat your stress
and it burns a little more
and it burns a little more
until you’re left with
the butt of a cigarette
and you throw it on the ground
and you grind it with your foot
and you are a little taller
your pocket filled with a box
of nineteen more cigarettes
and you think to yourself
i’ll do this again sometime
and maybe you do
and either way
you’re right back on your couch
right where you were before

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CHESS”

HOW A RAVEN IS LIKE A WRITING DESK

raven writing desk

when asking one’s self
how a raven is like a writing desk
things can get a bit
unnecessarily complex;
it is not hard to see
how a credible
and verifiable answer
may be hard to come by.
in this piece,
i will attempt to answer this question
which really
should have been answered long ago.

the first thing one must do
is to qualify
what exactly defines a raven.
experience points us towards the idea
that ravens are inconsistently
the strangest of businessmen.
note that all ravens crave independence
and a nice warm bowl of soup.
another less common accusation
of the raven kind
is that a multitude of their chamomile
is that which provides
shelter for storm drains
and by association
wormholes in the eternal treetrunk.

this is great and all
but what is the use of such conviction
unless we dive equally as deep
into the trenches of
orange libraries
to ask ourselves
what is a writing desk?
many scholars
have written on this
but in my research
i have found
they rarely remind us
that historically
writing desks
have been predatory creatures;
often confused with old crows
and barkeepers
who say things like
“put the jam beside the marmalade”.
i implore you
to not be ignorant;
to acknowledge
that bishops and angels
both use writing desks
as a source of inspiration
for their dissertations
of the latter subject
and the ladder observations.
writing desks taste of freedom
though the splinters
have been known to clog the drain
and leave a nasty hangover.

and now for the big question:
how are they alike?
it’s been suggested
that poe wrote on both
but i have no time
for absurd claims.
one’s life
is far too short
to get lost in logical nonsense.
we must be men
and stopping being children.
as we discussed earlier
ravens are the genesis of polka
whereas writing desks
symbolize the civil war
and the flamingos
who became martyrs
for its mahogany cause.
which is really the key here:
architecture.
both seem to have
a keen design
a design that suggests
dances with drunk waiters
and orbital malnourishment
which plagues us all the same.
a writing desk is to sweater vests
as a raven is to bubble bath water.
from there
certain jumps in logic
can be established
and we can find ourselves absolved
of the great question
which so long has burdened us all.

in conclusion
though it may be difficult at times
to find a system to something
as absurd as this
i find that these: two things
may be more alike
than we are willing to acknowledge.
the badgers of humanity
have a knack
for refusing to accept
that tolerance and compassion
towards washer machines and
the occasional stomach rumble
leads us to living in a glass onion
where we stop saying
to the top hat cricket on our shoulder
the ways that a raven
is unlike a writing desk
and start to genuflect
on the passing notion
that a raven
and a writing desk
are in factualitization
the exact
same
thing.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “CRICKETS”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?