LOST AND BEAT AND NOW

we’ve been through a lot of time in the desert
we’ve been through the hollow barrel of a pistol
we’ve been through a seance
a table of writers stirring over dotting a question mark
we’ve been lost amongst ourselves
robbed apartments, gutted houses, fumigated homes
dead lawns, sprayed down by chemical agents of chaos
we were hollow. we were stuffed.
we paraded around in ambulances.

we’ve been through a lot of time barefoot on the living room floor
we’ve been through smoky headlights in new york city
we’ve been bruised, and bloodied up
for spitting on the sidewalk
we’ve been left with pens and notebooks in psych wards
we’ve been pressed for time, energy and money
we’ve found our sunflower and allowed it to wilt

now i’m  not  so certain of what we are
we’re some cosmic whirlpool of our grandfather’s dust
intentionally unintentional violent reactions of peace
we are made with metal bones and eyes like pixels
we are lighting the kerosene rope so the past can’t climb up after us
we are drowning out the television in our dirty bathwater
we are rebuilding our houses with more tolerance between the bricks
we are putting down hardwood floors over our burial plots
we are burning down bridges because we can swim across oceans
we are here to be labeled by you, dear future
we will try to be kind if you promise to do your best to be

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “FEAR”

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MTV

what happened to you?
you used to be the one we could listen to
none of the crap
all of the things that really mattered

when did you trade in your grungy working class shirt
for this slutty dress?

when did you become defiant
to your own name?

are you unaware?
do you not see the direct effect
of your actions?

did you grow up
the younger, new and improved yuppie
do you not remember why
you stuck your flag in the moon
to begin with?

the funny thing is
now you’re just a snowy screen
hypnotic imagery
a magazine
that has been overrun
with too many ads

you are moving each day
further and further away from nirvana

your perception of reality
is enough to drive me insane
when did you replace your own graffiti
with face wash ads

when did you bleach your asshole?

when did you pawn your combat boots
for a slot in times square?

WHEN DID YOU STOP BEING MUSIC TELEVISION?

you are a lie
i can’t pretend anymore
welcome to the real world

i don’t want to date your mom
i don’t want to watch
as you twist the bottle open
for the eyes
on both sides of the glass screen

i don’t want anything to do with you
this is my total request

i’m not pleading for you to come back
you’re far too deeply and darkly addicted to yourself
and you think you look so great in rehab

i’m not pleading for you to come back
i just hate that you decided
to let us all watch you die

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “REST”

MIKE TEEVEE

the weeks are slipping away like high school romance
we’re left with spare change and hangovers
and time and again someone to celebrate the day with
we’re depositing our hearts into swiss bank accounts
when we should be selling them on street carts
we should be listening to one another
but the air is polluted with wifi networks, with
bluetooth signals, with awkward silences,
with televangelistic exorcism

the air is polluted with the sound of all the wrong things
and the coffee shops are full of wolves in hipster’s clothing
the tables are all reserved
and all the empty houses are not for sale
three hundred million bulls in one giant china shop
three hundred million cats in a burlap sack
three hundred million people
trying to pull the actors off the television screen
and put them in their pockets and purses

a nation full of jabbering jaws
a nation full of broken ears

a nation full of kids
who ran away from home

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “THE KIDS’ TABLE”

YOU’RE GONNA REGRET IT

tell the nurse your story, darling
tell her what you’ve seen
we’ve been going through the motions
since the beginning of time

angels wrapped in cellophane
devils wrapped in love
we kiss each other’s wounds
and we suck each other’s blood

let’s try and forget this ever happened
the everything and the aftermath
the crash collision of happiness
against the concrete road to god

it’s suicide bombers playing guitar
on music television to the sound
of aluminum foil in a blender
the sound of absolute fear of losing
the one you love and that glint of hope
left in your blood shot eyes

corpses fall like dominoes
zombies inherit the earth
this is our american horror story
this is AM radio turning itself on
this is the snowy television screen
the blinking of electricity
the sound of the husband next door
beating his wife
the coffins we decorate
the pillows we fluff
and the children we raise
to be just like dear old mom and dad

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “A POEM’S APOLOGY”

A POEM’S APOLOGY

i’m sorry i’m not a cartoon show.
i’m sorry i’m not a greatest hits CD.
i’m sorry i’m not a dubstep remix of the national anthem.
i’m sorry i’m not a virtual striptease.
i’m sorry i’m not a plastic book about vampires.
i’m sorry i’m not a scripted reality TV show.
i’m sorry i’m not a live bluegrass performance.
i’m sorry i’m not a wet t-shirt contest.
i’m sorry i’m not a commercial for tampons.
i’m sorry i’m not a stand-up comedy routine or a dueling
piano bar or a beat boxer or a heartwarming
bible about chicken soup or a legal document or a closing
statement or a viral youtube video or a first-person-shooter
game or a broadway musical or a circus with clowns and
juggling bears and tamed tigers and the mustachioed
ringmaster,

but i am not sorry that i am a poem.
i am not sorry i am a penguin
looking for my true love penguin
to give her
this
one
pebble.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “ON THE FIRES IN COLORADO”

WHITE LINGERIE

They say it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, but he saw her anyways. She tried on her dress for him, and he told her she looked beautiful.
She was nervous. He could tell.
“Hey,” he said to her, lying in bed beside her, “You’re gonna be fine. It’s just a day like any other, and you look gorgeous,”
“It’s just…”
“Haven’t you heard of cold feet?” he placed his hand on the outside of her thigh, his thumb playing with her white garter belt, “You’re gonna be fine,”
“I’m just glad I can be with you tonight. I don’t care about tradition, any of that. This feels right,”
“This feels right?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t be going through all of this if it didn’t…”
The bed squeaked. Its metal frame was painted white and wasn’t the sturdiest of things.
“What happens tomorrow though? Do you and I change?”
“What do you mean?” she said, looking into his eyes, the way she had since the day she met him.
“You shouldn’t lay on your dress. You’re going to get it wrinkled…”
“Do you really care?” she said, standing up.
He sat up on the bed, facing the bathroom, and the empty closet.
“Maybe we should just forget the whole thing. Call it off. You go your way, and I’ll go mine,”
“I can’t believe you’d say that…”
“I’m sorry, I just know tomorrow’s a pretty big day, and if you’re not certain about everything, I…”
She removed her dress, laying it carefully on the cot. He lost his thought, as through her reflection, he saw her, drowning in white lace – a firm bodice fading down into sheer white stockings. She looked like an angel. A virgin.
“I’m certain about this…” she circled around the bed to his side. Her expensive heels brushing against the cheap carpet. She grabbed him by the tie and kissed him the way she always had. Like she knew for certain he was the man she was supposed to marry. The love of her life. He fell back on the bed, her body grazing over his. She ran her hands through his thick hair, but he places his just above her hips, stopping her,
“Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” she said, disenchanted, “Who could it possibly be? You can be so paranoid sometimes…”
A knock came at the door. He buckled his belt and opened it, leaving the chain on. A cold winter draft snuck in as he said,
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, sir. There’s a call for Mrs. Lereaux…”
“Alright, well, thank you, you can send it through to the room’s extension…”
“We tried, sir – it didn’t want to go through. I believe your line may be unplugged,”
From the bathroom, she yelled to the doorway, her voice echoing,
“Who is it?”
“A mister James Thomas…”
“He’s probably just calling about the wedding tomorrow,” she said, “Tell him I’m asleep, and I’ll handle it in the morning,”
“Will do, Mrs. Lereaux. Mr. Lereaux, I apologize for the disturbance,”
“Oh, um…” he laughed under his breath, “That’s fine, thank you for stopping by,”
The door shut and the gentleman left, but the cold draft remained in the room. She was in the bathroom, wiping off her makeup, and he turned on the television.
She came out, a cotton swap still wiping her face,
“Really?” she said, “The night before the wedding and you’re turning on the television?”
He didn’t waste time with justification. He turned the television off and he smirked, because he knew he had her already. He looked straight on at her now plain face, and he said,
“You look gorgeous,”
She blushed.
He took her hand in his holding it up, and he said,
“May I have this dance?”
She nodded, smirking a bit herself, and she said,
“Yes, you may,”
They swayed back and forth, careful of the bags on the floor, cautious of the nightstands.
“I’d like to turn on the television again, but I know you won’t disapprove…”
“Fine…” she said, curiously.
He grabbed the remote off the bed and pressed the power on. He pressed a button or two more, one hand still on her waist and he threw the remote back down on the bed.
“Ooh…” she said, “What’s this?”
“Big Band, swing…” he told her, “They have music channels added to the hotel’s programming, just for moments like this.
“Do you have a lot of moments like this, Mr. Harrison?”
“Never,” he assured her, “And I doubt I’ll ever have a moment like this again.”
“What about tomorrow night?” she said hopefully, tragedy on the tip of her tongue.
“I’m sorry, I can’t…”
“And why’s that?” she said, her face pressed right up to his.
“I’ll be at a wedding…”
“Oh, really?” she played along. She always did.
“Yes, really…”
“And who’s getting married?”
“You are,” he whispered in her ear, “You are.”
She grabbed the remote and turned the volume up as high as it went.
“We might disturb somebody…” he said.
“I sure hope so,” she said, “We’ll never get another chance.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “DEAD POLAR BEAR”

MACHIAVELLI

over the coffee table
conversations burned and passed to the left
great muse of philosophy
we questioned everything
as our minds danced mechanically inside
the music box of the moon

why? asked the subterranean walls
and we spoke back to them – no prejudices
we debated debate
we questioned patriarchy and matriarchy
dadaism and mamaism
we took purple smoke-chains from trains
and followed them off the coasts of america
we perfected our universal accents
trying to avoid drowning in the transatlantic ocean
peace was assumed and love was the ice in our
whiskey

a forum free from the wires of electricity
banter like sawed-off shotguns
questions like symphonies lost in the dark
we sang swan songs around a lazy susan
passionately counted the revolutions of the
ceiling fan

we splashed cartoon colors onto white walls
we sawed the legs off dinner tables
and let the chairs walk around the apartment
and for an evening the turntable was our god
we made sweet communion sitting right beside her
our minds bleeding happily through our eyes
my whiskey ghosts fled from the vicinity
we ate veraciously from
the tree of knowledge
as it rained apples
broken banging on the ceiling-floor

we turned off the television
we turned on our amplified souls
we made armistice with the burning part of the world
all this in the withered hands
that open the doors to perception
we passed through the threshold
leaving our material clothes behind

today i shake the polaroid
and watch reality bloom around the green stem of
our personal perspective on perception
three souls
a holy trinity
existing everywhere
in the midnight hum of a square room

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

Read “NUCLEAR CREATION”