and the cowboy always draws his pistol but the buddhist monk just walks through the walls of the saloon
and the buddhist monk tells the cowboy to relax try meditating and the cowboy says meditation is just an excuse to be lazy
and the cowboy swigs jack from the bottle and the monk sips tea from a cup
and the monk says inner peace and the cowboy says western expansion
and the cowboy says i’ve got a lady back home do you got a lady back home and the monk says that’s the only kind of love i’ve never known
and the monk sets his house on fire and the cowboy builds a shed
and the cowboy sings old diddies about america by the campfire while the monk hums to the sound of everywhere
the cowboy eats pork and beans, the monk eats nothing at all
and at high noon it’s midnight
and the cowboy spits his tobacco and the monk focuses on the truth
and sometimes they talk about their dreams and realize they both have brown eyes
but sometimes i just wish they would shut the hell up



Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.


  1. Wow, what a great poem! I find I have a number of different characters battling it out a lot of the time. One is a nerdy bespectacled academic in geeky green knitwear, arguing for the rationality of things; another is a flamenco dancing cantaora, stamping out a staccato response that shatters all the careful logic of the first; yet another is an androgynous whirling dervish, possibly moonlighting as a Samurai, who blows away all the argument and emotion and dances soundlessly to the music of the Essence…They don’t make very good bedfellows. Sometimes I wonder if they could merge and be done with it.

  2. Sometimes I feel like there’s a hundred people clamoring to get their stories written in my head. Like they make me pick up the pen- or the laptop- and make my fingers tap at the keys. Sometimes I just write ‘GET OUT OF MY HEAD’ a hundred times on paper, but others I listen to them. I guess that’s just how it works. That said, if I had a choice between being a cowboy or a budhist monk, I’d probably choose neither. I guess that’s also just how it works.

    I like this poem a lot. It’s a style I’m picking up from you that I can appreciate and enjoy for itself with no further questions asked. It doesn’t need any questions, it doesn’t really beg any either. It stands alone and says ‘Read me’. And then it adds: ‘Or don’t.’
    But it doesn’t mean it, really.


    1. I have a book coming out in few weeks. This poem is first, and I pretty much end with a poem that talks about what you said there.

  3. If I were to write a poem based on the people battling it out in my noggin, I would probably be committed! Oh, wait..that’s the voices! Anyway, I have the classic devil and angel battling wits. I don’t know how I manage it, but somewhere in the middle always wins. My “devil” is my balls to the wall, don’t tell me what to do, I will get what I want, sorta bitch, that’s always dressed extremely provocatively in skimpy black numbers and six inch heels. (The kinda stuff I’ve never worn!) “Angel” me, on the other hand, sits back on her chubby feather riddled ass (never adorned feathers either) and spits logic back at my inner devil and gives me mental bitch slaps when I let something slip! Some how, some way, my fluffy, feathered voice of reason usually wins, mostly because I think I’m too afraid of letting the lil devil come out to play completely.

      1. I spit a perfectly good mouthful of a well deserved lime-a-rita, because I thought that your comment said your “poem was making everyone asses”..instead of “assess”! Don’t know why I thought that was particularly funny, but apparently I need to keep drinking!

    1. Absolutely! Physical copies will be available to order and working on ebook version as well, but the ebook might be a bit longer.

      1. I will be selling them online. They’ll be printed end of August and hopefully available beginning of October.

    1. First of all, thank you! Second of all, thank you for telling me! People reblog my stuff sometimes and don’t let me know! It’s frustrating…

  4. This poem sums up my mental space for the past few weeks! I’m going to print it out and post it by my desk to help me put the two warring sides in perspective when they’re driving me out of my head.

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