He told me he was addicted to pain killers for over three years. He said it had been several months since he had taken any but he was still getting high off of the residual effects of the drugs in his system. He looked me in the eyes like he was afraid that he would feel everything again all at once. He said for years he wore too small of shoes. He said he would need major surgery to repair the overlapping and cracked bones of his feet. Said that without pain killers he would be in a wheelchair for several months teaching himself how to walk again. He said when he slept with all the girls that he did, he couldn’t feel a thing; said because of this he could go for hours. He told me about how all of the girls hated that. He told me they rarely got a satisfying response from his numb body. He was a high school student. Had been kicked of several schools for fighting. He talked to everyone in the same voice, in the same tone, about the same things, and he would talk as long as someone was listening. He told me he did graffiti. He taught me how to create a tag, and for the only night I ever spent talking to him, I watched him, without a hint of emotion, tell me everything; I felt, in a way, that I understood him better than myself.




Author: brice maiurro

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

15 thoughts on “THE GRAFFITI ARTIST”

  1. Craig Kielburger (Free the Children) used to talk about how his Mom would always stop and talk to people on the streets of Toronto – and introduce the street folks to her son. That way, Craig would know these people were real people too – and had lives and stories to tell. Thank-you for recognizing this new artist and making him feel human for a while.

  2. Hello, I’m KB from The Mirror Obscura you started following today. I thought I would come by and see who you were in a sense and also to say thank you I hope you enjoy your stay. I haven’t had the time to go over a great deal of your work, though I can see the Bukowski genes. So far this piece is the one I liked most. You really let the language work for you through the character and it had a great ending. I’m very much into going out with a good last line or thought-sort of like the stand up who saves that one good joke he’s been sitting on all evening and wham brings down the house. Well I will make it a point to follow you as well. and congratulations on habving your first book coming out-beware of the bane of early returns. KB

    1. “beware of the bane of early returns.”

      Now, that’s advice. I’m glad to have you, KB. Thanks for stopping by. Love Bukowski, of course. I’m glad you liked Graffiti Artist; I still haven’t decided how I feel about that piece. Look forward to getting to know you better. Sincerely, Brice

      1. Brice, You should work the piece. Hone the language, get rid of words and even some facts and ideas that don’t get you artisticly to that final thought. I guess you could say work the poem so that it justifies the closinng thought. Only deal with information that tells the reader who hew is and what he thinks, everything else is superfluous. KB

  3. Non chalance and detachment are confusing if you can’t make out whether it’s you or the other. Self discovery is all about exploring others……search,probe.

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