just thought i’d shoot from the hip today. last night, i drank some wine with some of my best friends, logan and emma. it was wonderful. we talked. just sat here in this basement apartment and exchanged stories and laughed and were as honest as people should always be.

this is what it’s all about, folks. i know there’s a big battle going on out there for the american throne, but while people are out there trying to choose coke or pepsi, trying to sway the wind in the direction they prefer, i think we’re missing out on something important. sometimes i think we get so hooked on foreign policy, we forget the most miniscule of domestic policy. how to talk to one another. i’m not the first one to say it, and i won’t be the last.

the elections always make me see this great polarization between people. all of a sudden we seem to be in a civil war with democrats versus republicans. the system isn’t perfect. if you can’t acknowledge that, then you’ve got some thinking to do, but what i know of this world is we are all radical agents of change. we were given the ability to think things into existence.

what i’m trying to get at is we should stop putting up signs about diversity, and start talking to people who are different than us, and we are all different. we are all some version of weird and some version of interesting. we are all a hodgepodge of stories waiting to be heard. all we can do is share experience to learn to love better.

treat people behind counters like human beings. call the people you love who are far away. call the ones who are close. meet your neighbors. respect everyone. i heard a poem once at the mercury cafe, here in denver, where the poet said “why is honoring your children not a commandment?” there is a lot of truth in that.

i’ve been having a rough time, lately. the writing hasn’t been coming as strongly. i’ve felt a very heavy boulder on my shoulders and i’ve tried so many things to cure what ails me. in the end, i know i need the people around me. buildings without people are just archaeology. a testament to what once happened there. it’s not a stage until the lights come up and someone says something to someone. kerouac says “because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. climb that goddamn mountain.” but i think it’s clear that mountain isn’t just hiking mount everest. it’s not going on a road trip to the end of the world. these things are important, but each time you talk to someone you’ve never talked to before, heart-to-heart, you are climbing that goddamn mountain.

i know this has all been said, but i don’t think you can hear it too much. this isn’t my normal type of post, but i never want to lie to my audience. i want to have heart-to-hearts with my readers, because i know no one cares how intelligent i can make myself seem. no one cares what the most interesting mask i can put on is. the trick is to rip the mask off. to rip off the cover of the book and start reading.

thanks for reading,

Author: brice maiurro

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

28 thoughts on “AND NOW WE PRAY”

  1. This is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. You are right about the need to talk to people–especially those who are much different than ourselves. We risk becoming myopic and intellectually/emotionally trapped when we only talk to those (or read those) whose thoughts mirror our own. I heard a report on NPR this morning about the decline of print newspapers, and someone brought up the fact that reading news online usually takes away that experience of finding things you wouldn’t have searched for online. Thanks for your post–I really enjoyed it.

    1. NPR is fantastic. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. In a world where there’s things like Pandora, where you choose the music you listen to, and so many ways to just be exposed to what we want to, maybe we are limiting our opportunities to expose ourselves to something we’re not comfortable with. I think we all need to be a little braver.

  2. I think the perception of diversity in our society is so obscure now, that it is to the point where diversity means the exact opposite, equality. We were all made different, and this should be embraced not ridiculed at the face of “equal rights”.

    I rejoice in rough times because this is when we find our strengths. We always come out better on the other side when we are able to embrace such an idea. “For when I am weak, I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10.

    Great post, enjoyed it!

    1. I think there’s always this weird struggle between holding on to your culture and embracing other cultures, but that clash I think is what makes America such an amazing country.We will always be a melting pot, and I hope we only become more accepting of one another.

  3. How true your words ring! I watch day in and day out the bickering, sniping, and spats between political sides, not only from politicians, but between friends and family, during this presidential campaign and it fills me with sadness for our humanity. We think we have come so far when, in reality, it’s just another form of racism. It’s just another battle of diversity. What happened if we all started working towards a solution instead of blaming each other for the problem? I bet the world might change!

    Imagine that….

    1. Well said, Kat. It’s a big battle. My roommate and I were saying how refreshing it would be to see even four or five people fighting for the Presidency. There are ideas out there that are not being heard because of the duopoly of the democrat/ republican system. Maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit.

  4. Excellent points, but I do not remember an election when so many people were determined to take over the lives of strangers and to impose their judgments upon their very personal decisions. Likewise, I do not remember a time so dominated by personal selfishness, arrogance, and greed. The election will not end these things.

    1. Selfishness, arrogance and greed will always be human struggles. Burroughs talks about how desire for power is maybe the greatest threat to our happiness. I think all we can do is work on these things in ourselves and try to set the best example we can. This election won’t solve anything, and I hope we see that as an opportunity to figure out the long battle we’re fighting to try fix this country.

  5. Love Heart to heart – and you are correct – every day living presents mountains to climb of kindness, consideration, patience. I read poetry and told stories at the Mercury Cafe years ago. Keep on keeping on – the writing floodgates will open soon.

  6. Love your post. It’s beautiful and honest. And so true. It’s people that count and we can reach out to others no matter who is in control of the government. Plus I love your point that we’re all different – some version of weird and some version of interesting. I love that.

  7. Rah rah – a big cheer for this blog post! People make the world go round. Sometimes I’m lonely travelling (hence a 2 week hiatus from my blog, no one likes a moaner) and sometimes I’m surrounded with amazing people like today, in Santa Cruz, in Bolivia! And who are these people? Gorgeous random travellers from NZ, Australia and Holland, all sharing, laughing, making up nicknames and catchphrases for each other. On the other hand, there’s nothing better than your best friends and it’s been 9 months since I saw mine. But they’re coming out to see me for a 3 week holiday! Drinking wine and chilling with people who know you inside out – I’ve been missing that. Go Bruce! PS Love the Halloween outfit. Another PS, I think you’re writing is great so don’t worry! Just keep writing.

      1. Well, save up, book a flight and throw yourself into it. AND go to Cusco, my new favourite city in South America. Stay at Kokopelli. Also, if you haven’t met any cool people in your hostel dorm, go up to random people in cafes and bars and make friends. Be unafraid! Easier said than done but you get into the swing of it soon enough. If you’d like concrete tips on round the world tickets and what they entail, where to go in South America, Australia, Europe or Thailand then let me know. Start planning!

      2. My friend is off to South America soon, so I’d especially love any tips to forward to him. I’ll have to tell him Cusco is a must.

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