02.11

0211

(the unexplainable.)

there is that which words cannot hold onto
the spaces between these letters
the black part of your pupils
that feeling of vast emptiness when you stand amongst epic nature
rocks like gods and rivers like veins that run through the earth
the feeling you must get staring at our world from outer space
the static charge when lovers lips meet
that danceable feeling of revelation when you meet a new friend on the off chance that some unexplainable force led you to the same room at the same time
that moments when you look in the mirror and see yourself and think what the hell kind of thing is this that i’m a part of
the way you wish you could see yourself with your eyes closed
Love, but not just Love Love
the Love that exists undeniably between everything capable of Love and the Love that sneaks up on you when you’re feeling underoverwhelmed and overunderwhelmed
watching a bird fly beside you down a highway where you both look like you are standing still but in fact you both are charging recklessly into the dawn at unimaginable speeds
that idea that creeps into your skull that you can’t take credit for but that you don’t quite know how you could have gone on each day being you if this great muse didn’t crack open your skull and let in this homeless insect
thunder
lightning
undocumented phenomenon
ghosts of moments that can’t be captured
the stars you see after closing your eyes tightly then opening them wide and back into reality
the way you can fall in love with an abstract painting
the way you can fall in love with a character in some two dimensional story
or a stranger just by watching them dance
the indescribable
the undeniable, existential, completely existent non-existent smoke clouds rising into the sky and out into neverland floating above us below us within us
most of all, within us
the unexplainable
that which truly is
God

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.12, DAY 12 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

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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

IN CRAZY

in Crazy
you’re bound to forget your hat
but never to fret
these things do happen
and luckily the rain rises upwards
and the alligators in the sewers are friendly
in Crazy

in Crazy
the tin soldiers march up the walls
and just about everyone is happy
unless they don’t want to be
in Crazy

in Crazy
i’ll find myself sitting indian style
in a hotel room above a cowboy saloon
fingerpainting on the typewriter
because tonight is not a night for serious
and tonight is not tonight at all
in Crazy

in Crazy
i’m stumbling over double yoo’s
and i’m penciling in an artist date with myself
my hair grows horizontally
sporadic fritz chicken scratch madness
i haven’t shaven for weeks
in Crazy

in Crazy
the queen rules with an iron fist
while the tin soldiers exercise the golden rule
and a silver-tongued jester
speaks to diamond eyes
in Crazy

in Crazy
the mad mad jester
yes he’s the one who knows the ropes
the mad mad jester
he’ll leave a mint on your pillow for ya
he’ll make sure that you’re fit to stay
in Crazy

in Crazy
they’ll lock you away for any old thing
they’ll throw you in a fluffy room for loving someone
who looks too much like you
they’ll toss you in for speaking the truth
they won’t hesitate to tell you your wrong
preposterous preposterous outrageous unmentionable
you’ll be fed what ails you
in Crazy

in Crazy
the unicyclist is lackadaisical
the motor cars are faster faster faster
and the road looks empty and romantic
but there’s long-snouted authorities
hiding in the ditches
sneaking across behind the tumbleweeds
the road is endless and knows no horizon
but the vultures hover low enough to shadow
in Crazy

in Crazy
the elephants sit on golden thrones
and the monkeys howl at poetic nonsense
the donkeys bray and bray and bray
but everyone has ears like mouths
in Crazy

in Crazy
they’ll put your coffin between your fingers
and you’ll pay the cowboy a pretty penny
to punch your lungs for a few rounds
give it the old college try
then throw what’s left onto the ground
to rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat
in Crazy

in Crazy
the muddy muddy raincoat man
whistles his song of water
and drops the pennies in the puddles
he sits beneath the bridges
the old troll, he barely moves
the automobiles just faster faster faster
and the bridge decays like people’s faces
in Crazy

in Crazy
they put the bags on their heads
they hide their mouths and eyes and ears
but their bodies are flashed across the intelligent art show
the art show that sings you to registers
the heartbeat that slides its fingers into your wallet
the brazen lunch bell, the limited sound of freedom
in Crazy

in Crazy
you’ll love the way you’ll learn to love
you’ll paint a masterpiece in the old folks home
they’ll hang it on the giant fridge
they’ll put it in your
personal manila file with your name on it
you’re bound to forget your hat
in Crazy

in Crazy you’ll live
in Crazy you’ll die
in Crazy
in Crazy
in Crazy

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “1994 SEATTLE LOVE SONG”

THE HOUSE OF GOD

someone’s in the kitchen playing the guitar
lovers in the bedroom reading dead playwrights
someone’s in the shower marinating musicals
someone’s in the basement carving up god’s face
angels in the mirror slipping into dresses
someone’s in the garden impregnating the soil
someone’s in the laundry room painting up a portrait
demons in the cellar pending on funeral flowers
someone’s in the billiards room punching holes in walls
someone’s in the closet interviewing skeletons
someone’s in the fitness room chiseling skin
pergatorians in the elevator shaft making urgent love
someone’s in the dance hall staring into eyes
someone’s in the sitting room spitting stand-up
someone’s in the coat room closing their curtain eyes
someone’s in the skull commanding the hands
this is the house of what is, not what is not
this is the house of god.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “WORD SALAD”

DEATH RATTLE

always the bridesmaid, never the bride
he dresses in your sister’s clothes
and sneaks up behind you
with piano wire
he strangles you
just when things were beginning
to go so well.

lies. lies. lies. lies.

it’s life that’s the killer;
so dramatic, so whiny
callin you at two in the morning
when you gotta work the early shift.
calling lonely and horny
when you gotta work the graveyard shift
and shit, man
you know you gotta call in
because seize the day
carpe diem-
am i right?

but no-
death is the asshole.
the one who punches you
in the kidneys,
makes you piss blood
not true!
not true in the fucking least
life has just perfected
her death costumer.

but life is the day
and death is the night
right?
wrong.
if life is the day
and death is the night
then why do you crave
a little more two a.m.
and a little less
six thirty in the godless
morning?

death is your ally.
your friend
who just wants
to get you drunk.
tell you
to dump that bitch.
she’s just playing games
with your head, man.

life.
shit, man.
life is your friend
sometimes.
death is always waiting
by the phone
for you to call and
hear me, you:

when life stabs you in the back,
when she
sleeps with your best friend
and turns off your alarm
so you’re late for work.

when life cancels your insurance
just before driving your car
into the first brick wall
she finds.

when she strikes you
with sodium penethol,
truth serum,
just before
your lifetime achievement speech
and calls your mom
and tells her you murdered someone
and the cops catch on
and they break into your house
in the middle of the night
and arrest you for the crime
that life committed,

hear me, you, brothers and sisters.

death will be the friend
who takes a taxi
to the penitentiary
to try and bail
your sorry ass out.

life is the terrorist who hijacks the plane.
death is the friend who is waiting
on the other side
with a sign
with your name on it.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “BEAUTIFUL HOUR”

Interesting in submitting to Flashlight City Blues?

I AM AN APARTMENT BUILDING

i am an apartment building
way too new to look so old
the grass in my front yard
grows ancient and unkempt
it is manic vicious refuses to be cut
it climbs my stoop
where angry looking children
play dice games and punch each other
as hard as they can

my front door is red
you can see it from down the street
it sings like it wants something
it is trying to fill the unoccupied spaces
in my body

there are plenty of vacant spaces left within me
squatters decorate the rooms with their presence,
their knick knacks their petty sentimental garbage
and i’ve grown to cherish what they leave inside of me
if only temporarily

in the room of my head
there is a jazz club with a roof garden
the walls are rich thick wood
and the view is spectacular
the whole city is technicolor after a rainstorm from there

the jazz club is always kickin busy on the weekends
women in breathing black dresses sway to the wind blowing through
pulled along by men in nice suits with fancy hats
who know how to swing dance
they all appreciate the bass player
the way he tugs at his strings in the shadows
unseen but resonating in the blood of the party
the music is rarely driven by the words
it is all just tasteful chaos in here
on the best weekends the ghost of charlie parker comes
and plays his saxophone like he died doing that

the weekdays at the jazz club are hungover and dreary
the tables are messy, the help keep their hands full
clearing off the half full half empty wine glasses
they scrub the scuff marks out of the floors
they water the plants and they see the city around me
in the morning, when its ugly birthmarks are exposed
but they all find it beautiful and it is, just the same

in apartment number 303
there is a mad man, a painter, an artist
pacing like he, pacing like he, pacing like he
can’t finish his painting, he’s stuck, he can’t do it
he cringes in the empty corners, he holds his shins
he inspects the flecks of color on his denim jeans
he is neurotic, useless, talking to his easel and he
is lost, distant, unavailable, phone turned off, mailbox full
he has learned the art of not calling back credit card companies
he stares out windows like the world is staring in at him
he looks around paranoid for the telescopes and the spies
that probably aren’t there, but you can’t be too sure
he heard a crackle on the phone line, he keeps his chain lock on
and he has been known to play music to drown out the madness
of his babblings from the twisted ear listening in
he still hasn’t thought about his painting

in apartment 207
there’s a mother and a father with a brand new baby girl
and a jealous little boy who had to realize
there is a small possibility he is not the center of it all
they rock the little girl asleep and the boy goes out to the patio a lot
he watches the woman draining her soaked sheets the floor below
sometimes he’ll catch the rambling painter creating smoke above him
he looks out at the city like it isn’t real
like it’s something he made up to pass the time between now and then

the mother and father put the kids to bed at nine
the boy just lays awake restless in his dark bed
while the father puts a record on, gently places the needle
and him and the mother dance on yesterday’s newspaper
so they don’t spill wine on the rented carpet
they are careful not to wake their children with their need to love

the architect who designed this building must have been on drugs
there are staircases that don’t go anywhere
and there are attics where there should be basements
there are furnace rooms where there should be janitor closets
and there is this constant creaking
like the floors aren’t going to last much longer

in apartment 808
the bass bumps at inappropriate hours of the night
there is a black poet who lives there
who hums om to the radio until the frequencies pour through him
and he releases onto the white page of america
a cataclysmic inspired verse of devastating honesty
a drum beat manufactured from pieces of the artist soul
and held together with the glue of audacity
he carves his letters deep into the paper
in all caps with the taste of jaeger biting the ink

sometimes in the middle of the night
ghosts bang on his door, claw at the wood, moan in anger
but he never answers them, he just puts his headphones on
and sinks into the weight of horn-honking reality

in apartment 102
there is a 17 year old girl who ran away from home and lives alone
her boxes are half-unpacked and the rancid air is half-baked
as absurd as it sounds, she is building a tree in her windowless apartment
she is teaching it how to not need to be watered
but how to drink what is within you
she has a doll that she is teaching how to be a lady with your legs uncrossed
and how to love yourself more than anyone else ever could
because nothing is ever as unpredictable as someone else’s heart
she drew a painting of a window to hang on her wall
to feel like she can see what is outside of her room
there are mirrors all over her apartment, though she never looks in them

this building is not young
it has its history
there are plenty of people
who have been buried
beneath the floorboards
there is not really anything
to get bloodstains out of carpet

the ghosts they meander where and when they want to
they have no conception of daylight moonlight
they are not being afraid of being seen
they have learned that there is a beauty to be invisible
there is a certain power that comes with being dead
they mostly dance with one another
the hard part for them is always letting go
when the music stops, when that great something
evicts them from my apartment building

the wallpaper in the halls is peeling
the tenants take their hands and try to push it back up
but it wants to fall
reveal that beneath repetitive floral patterns
is porous walls that haven’t breathed in centuries

there is a great coat rack in the foyer
that will hold the hats of strange male guests
and the secrets of lonely old-fashioned women
it will hold the hands of crying honesty
and it will put your coat on your shoulders when you’re cold

in apartment 719
there is a couple that only leaves to let out the dog
to fetch the paper that they never read and to
buy the groceries that they’re so sick of buying
and they fight like the room had poisoned them
and they yell like they hoped someone would hear
the floor is broken dishes, the living room
is an out-of-business wedding chapel where they
look through old photographs that are starting
to not look like them anymore

in apartment 117
there is a back door that a tenant leaves unlocked
and on cold city nights, a couple sneaks in
and they lay on the bed that doesn’t have any sheets
and they take each other’s clothes off with their teeth
and they stare at each other naked and the talk to each other naked
and they find that after the roar of the heat of their sex
after they roll around on someone else’s bed
they find that they only want to stare at each other’s eyes
blinking and watching them dilate like ecstatic black holes
they leave scratches on each other’s backs
sometimes they write things in each other’s skin
“i would have kissed you while the twin towers fell”

sometimes they lay on their backs and watch the fan blades turn
in the heat of the summer they let open the back door
and they don’t worry about getting caught
because they haven’t really done anything wrong

the tenants change, the rooms get better then worse
the landlord mostly keeps out of the building
except for an occasional late night call
where he shows up with a flashlight and a wrench
and a midnight hangover to fix the frozen pipes

everyone shares the same washer and dryer there
everyone pays the rent as late as they possibly can
everyone knocks on someone else’s door at some point

i am not a model home
filled with hypnotic real estate agents
thick wallets yapping their mouths up and down
and little pieces of cheese pierced by toothpicks

i am not a suburban ranch style home
with sparkling floors and one family that i hold dearly

one of these nights
one of my tenants will be drunk and reckless
passed out in oblivion on some shitty couch
they will forget they turned the burner on
the hot stove will set fire to the walls
i will burn down and those who occupy me
will flee in quick fast lines
but once they are safe
they will turn and watch me go
taking with them what they can

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO

READ “WAKA”

FEAR

fear is the strings that move the fingers across the typewriter
fear is the blood that pumps the legs through the unemployment line

fear is the crackle behind the mother’s voice in the son’s head
the father’s voice in the daughter’s head
fear is the force that lifts the blouse over the head
the pants down off the ankles
fear is the wind that blows the sheets off of the bed

fear is the truth that pushes the words from the back of the throat to the ears of the anxious
fear is the fire in the pit of the stomach that burns the oils of regret

fear is not the torch that leads through the tunnel
fear is what you are left with when the light goes out
when you walk blindly using the broken glass beneath your uncalloused feet to guide you to uncertain rooms, uncertain bars,
uncertain jobs, wars, trenches
into the uncertain hands of uncertain lovers
where on off day days you get a good glance at something fleeting
but worth the walk

fear is not the snap of a father’s belt

fear is those residual scars you choose to keep
and those you let fade
those battles you fight like a mad man
and those you let go of like lovers
you wanted to hold onto
but sometimes the things we want most
are the things that would kill us

fear is the bones beneath the skin of courage
and fear is what is left in the ground
when we disattach
unafraid
from our bodies

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “LOITERING IN THE PARKING LOT OF AN EVIL BANKING CORPORATION”

THEATER #17

do you know what it’s like to tear tickets at a podium
standing on the same set of legs for twelve hours?

i do.

do you know what it’s like to make enough popcorn
to feed the swarming, blood-thirsty masses
of horny adolescent locust cows
filtering mercilessly into the concession stand?

to burn a perfect batch of kettle corn, terrified
as the sweet smoke rises towards the fire detectors
and you know if it gets to be too much
that the alarms will sound
and the box office will have to refund
every ticket sold that evening
to the growling sheep ready to pounce at guest services?

to sit alone in a giant room filled with candy
disgustingly suicidal at three in the morning
counting pieces of stale sour strips by the pound
when all you want is to go home
and die for a day or two in your warm bed?

to wear a three-piece-suit in a congested concession stand
making popcorn bites and overpriced pizzas
while your sixteen-year-old cohorts jack off behind you?

to hold the door for the smiley motherfuckers coming out
of rancid movie theaters leaving behind used condoms
and the scent of bad chainsaw-slasher-horror-movies
and pubescent screams like sadistic adolescent dry humps
in the back of minivans?

to digest a three-course-meal of super nachos
topped with synthetic guacamole
and diluted jalapenos
and insecure sour cream and cheese
that turns to stone in your lower intestines
that you eat on a ten minute grace period
between cleaning monster theaters
where children find ways of getting sour patch kids
and malted milk balls stuck on the ceiling?

to tell the new hires to go get more ice mix
or to only scrub the yellow squares of the carpet
because they’re the only ones that get dirty
or to tell them to go clean theater seventeen
because haha, there’s only sixteen theaters here?

to escape from the cinematic madness to the back room
where the drink compressors hiss
and the dishwasher gargles
and there’s a starry-eyed girl waiting there
and in the midst of gladiator battles and spaceship races,
there is a moment of nothing

where the universe puts its phones on silent
and you too can kiss like you think you know what love is?

to run the satellite food station on a tuesday night
which means you have plenty of free time
to contemplate why you need a second food staion
open a god-forsaken tuesday night?

to have your boss pull you aside to tell you
that you can’t show up to work drunk anymore
and it’s okay if you’re late
just call.

to lock up the front doors at closing
and then to unlock the arcade games
so you and your stupid coworkers can play pinball
and DDR to your little infantile heart’s content
and little known fact -
the high scores on the arcade games at the movie theater
are held by the employees of said movie theater.

to walk to the last bus in the streetlight twilight
with a black trash bag full of popcorn
that keeps you company on the lurking ride home?

to be a ghost in the projector room
to be God flashing images of everylife and eternal heartbeat
onto the anorexic white screen of pure truth?

to sit in a GMC Jimmy at four in the morning
listening to song ADD with a sweet girl
who happens to be your boss
who you like to make out with -
who cares?!
the movie theater isn’t exactly your five-year-plan?

to go talk to the widowed ticket-taker
who hugs you with her eyes
and tells stories the way stories are meant to be told
between two people
instead of between a gaggle of morons
and a billion dollar budget?

to be stuck in the money room
starving for food and moonlight
but you aren’t leaving
until one hundred dollars finds itself?

to go home smelling like decaying sugar
and italian sodas and superficial butter and sweat
and the dead babies living in the squeaky movie theater seats
and coke and diet coke and icees, yeah, blue raspberry icees
and all-beef hot dogs and so much drama
and it was the worst job ever and it was yes.

just yes.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO

READ “WENDOVER, UTAH”

TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS

i can see them outside of my window
the angry faceless masses in riot
the cracking of windows
the breaking down of the front door
they’ve got their torches
they’ve got their pitchforks
they’re after the something i have
that they know they will never possess

they’re shuffling through my drawers
knocking over my lamp shades
they’re filing sinister through my papers
my computer, my phone, my internet search history
they know where i’ve been
and they’d probably have a pretty good guess
at where i was going
if i was trying to escape

they’re tying me to the chair
they’re cracking my ankles
they’re breaking my neck
they’re poisoning my mind
they’ve got me tied to the chair
and they’re pacing confused
and they’re pacing confused
and it all comes burning down
and their yells fall lower
and their demands become useless
they can’t have it

they will never have it
the smirk on my face
the smile that i’ll wear
under the thickest of torture
under the heaviest of trials
under the darkest of genocide
the cloudiest of fog
i will always be the same
under the worst persecution
i will remain
that locked box within my heart
in the light of any torch
or through the piercing of any pitchfork

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MAMA, I AIN’T SAD (I’M JUST SINGING THE BLUES)”

TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER GOD DAMN POETRY PART ONE

Over the last 6 months, I’ve written roughly four hundred poems, and I feel like I’ve learned something (God, I hope I learned something; otherwise, I really have wasted a lot of time writing poetry.) I’ve seen lots of these tips on writing, and some of them are pure bullshit (i.e. “the timer method” or “write a villanelle today, and a sonnet tomorrow”)

Let me tell you something, and please, if you disagree, let me know. The villanelle is DEAD. The sonnet is DEAD. Do you know who your audience is if you write one of these poems? Someone who is trying to get you to read their villanelle and/ or sonnet and/ or haiku. Haiku is great as catharsis. Don’t get me wrong. Haikus can be lots of fun. But they’re just small words.

No one wants to read your nature poem, unless your nature poem says something that’s not been said about nature. Don’t tell me about how nature’s beauty fades. Robert Frost kind of owns that with “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

I don’t want to hear how the clouds look like pillows in the sky. Or marshmallows. Even cigarette smoke has been said. Tell me the clouds look like albino mustard gas. Weird, huh? At least it’s interesting.

Thou shall not speaketh like this. Poetry has to, has to, has to be honest, so unless you’re Shakespeare who somehow caught a hold of a time machine, do not talk like Shakespeare. Talk like Jake, talk like Lucy. Poetry is not pretty words. Poetry is words that you think need to be said. That’s about as terse as I can get. If no one cares what you have to say, then it’s probably not poetry.

Which brings me to rhyming. Rhyming can be really great. Just know this: your job as a poet is to trick people into reading poetry. This is a general idea of what people think of when they think of poetry:

What sun rises on the east

Tis the eyes of lovers in love

What wretched soul bequeaths the beast

That crushes the soul of fragile little dove

It’s cryptic. It’s cliche. It’s all naturey. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “bequeath” before. It’s overdramatic, and to get back to my main point for now, it rhymes.

If you’re gonna rhyme, you’re taking on a bigger challenge. Plus-sides of rhyming: it can be catchy, it’s is more musical, you can play with putting ideas into the words you rhyme (i.e. mate and hate (contrast or juxtaposition)) What you’re not doing is thinking about who is going to read this. This is why people say poetry is dead. Poetry needs to become a part of its times. We get more real as a society, more honest. That’s all we’ve ever done. We break down barriers, and I think when you write like a 16th century poet you lie to your reader. I admire rhyme. I wrote rhyme a long time, but if you want to be heard, talk (or yell) more like you do, and less like Francis McFancypants, Esq.

You have a rhythm. Everything you say has a rhythm. And believe it or not, it is a challenge to write the way you talk. To find the poetry in the words that press down on that god damn keyboard. Think about the way you type even. You type faster and slower. That’s one of the reasons I’m an advocate for typing poems. It’s rhythmic. It’s like playing the alphabet piano. It helps. You find. Your internal rhythm. Your pace – your flow – the way you truly. Speak.

It’s a bummer coming on here. Though there are some great poets on wordpress, tumblr, facebook, you have to filter through massive hills of shit to find them.

Read modern day poets. Go to a local poetry slam. Even better, don’t find your poetry in poetry; find it in music, on billboards, in other people’s words. I can’t tell you how much poetry I hear people say everyday of my life. My sister the other day said “We are not infants in business suits, though…” in casual conversation, and I knew there was a poem there. That she meant more than just an obscure reference to an episode of Rugrats we watched when were little kids. It was amazing. It made my day.

More than anything – write. Write shitty poetry. Shitty poetry is warm up rounds for the good poems. Trust me. I can see the patterns in my books. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get at what you’re getting at.

Also, before I misguide someone there, think less. If you try to be deep, you are going to sound like you’re trying to be deep. I had this idea I written in my phone “Life is the murderer. Death is just waiting for you on the other side.” I really like that thought, BUT it’s too “profound”. It needed to be humanized, rationalized, and a little bit bastardized. I ended up writing a poem on it, two months later, might I add, where it came out:

life. shit, man. life is your friend sometimes. death
is always waiting by the phone for you to call and
hear me, you. when life stabs you in the back. when
she sleeps with your best friend and turns off your
alarm so you’re late for work. when life cancels your
insurance before driving your car into the first brick
wall she can find. when she strikes you with sodium
penethol (truth serum) just before your lifetime achievement
speech and calls your mom and tells her you murdered someone

and the cops catch on and they break into your house
in the middle of the night and arrest you for the crime
that life committed, hear you, me, brother. death will be
the friend who takes a taxi to the penitentiary to come
and bail your sorry ass out.

Be down to earth. Every poet is trying to become a god, when the whole point of poetry is to utilize it to become a human being. Consider your audience, and I don’t just mean that in a high school English teacher way. I mean that in a “learn to empathize and sympathize and apathize with everyone, so you know how to speak to them” kind of way.

Write everyday. Bring a notebook with you. Send text messages of poem ideas to yourself. Write down advertisements you see. The other day, I was driving to work and on the radio, there came a flash flood warning, at one point the man on the radio said “Do Not Drown.” Whoa. There’s a poem there. Everyone can hear that flash flood warning in their head. They can hear the baseball announcer’s voice; they can hear the preacher at the funeral; they can hear the preacher at the gospel church; they can hear the 1950′s ad for Brillo pads; take advantage of your multiple personality disorder.

I have a lot more to say, but I’m gonna stop, thus marking this part one. Please leave me any questions or comments, and I will include good questions in my next post on the subject. In the mean time, I dare you to write who you are, and how you are. Write the whiskey that’s burning through your liver, and write the spit that’s stuck underneath your tongue.

Love,
Brice

P.S. I think this poem speaks to this subject a bit, too.

VINCENT WOLFRAM’S RESPONSE TO TIPS, PART ONE (PLEASE READ)

READ “TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER GOD DAMN POETRY, PART TWO”