i sold most of my books, almost sold my guitar
i have cleared the shelves of this apartment
emptied the attic and the stale memories of a different me
i have burnt break-up letters
and let go of friends like a hand off the edge of a bridge
i have kissed goodbye the roads i thought holy
i have watched the sun be swallowed by the mountains
and thought that maybe if i head west i too will be lost
in the gut of the earth, alone with echoes and hollow
i took down the pictures of a younger me
and now i spend my days painting a portrait of an older me
and now i just don’t know what i’m doing
i’m looking at ants through a magnifying glass
and i can’t look away when the heat condenses and they start to set on fire
i put my car up for sale and i sell viles of my blood in the wanted ads
i sleep in a white room with no posters, hopeless and cold
on a perfect bed with one half severely empty and i wonder
in porcelain moments like these
that knock on the door at two in the morning
am i practicing how to die
or trying to give myself another chance to live?



Author: brice maiurro

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

9 thoughts on “HANGOVER”

  1. Good imagery. Our protagonist doesn’t quite follow the usual path downwards as shown by which lines come before which. All well, the writing did some justice. He/She touched on the past memories; the present dignity; the future promises; the personality; the emotionality; the spirituality, as he now looks towards the road to impiety; financial breakdown…
    Don’t quite get why he/she would now be painting a portrait of an older self. Let me guess -a horrible portrait right? Signifying dark hopes for even the future. (I mean, we already know he/she is burning the way forward to a better future.)
    This looks like quite-a-piece!
    Of course, also love the line about ants and magnifying glass, but my vote goes to the line about knocking @2am in the morning.

    Is the protagonist TRYING to live? He may very well find the way of life again. But his actions don’t suggest he is looking for a way to life.
    But, he is doing a good job of preparing for death and deeper darkness.
    Kudos, Brice.

  2. I think “almost” selling one’s guitar (but not quite) is an offering of hope right there at the get-go! You might have meant “vial” for “vile”? not sure. i love these poems and think they deserve a slow careful read. Love that you don’t waste any words. Kudos!

  3. my favorite image is the hand letting go of the edge of a bridge underscoring the deep and irretrievable chasm between the younger self and the older self; the old life and the new.

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