with the recession
we had to sell the summer home
now i can’t decide
whether to vacation
in the caymans or
the keys

i’m far too stressed
i couldn’t get
overnight shipping on my
organic sleep mask
so i’ve been fairly cranky
as of late

evelyn says johnny is
a wreck because he didn’t make
the fencing team and
next time i’m out with her
if she orders
one more half dry
half wet martini
i swear to jesus
i am going to hit her
in the head
with my non-stick
frying pan
that i got
at sur la table
last week.
(damn thing
wasn’t even on

the compute broke
so i had to do all my
online shopping
on my ipad
while this foreign man
from dell
spent several hours
trying to fix my
computer before finally
accusing me of
spilling raspberry mojito
on the hard drive.
the nerve.

i turned on the
television today.
apparently something’s
going on in
aurora, colorado;
apparently something’s
going on in
the middle east.

i had to turn
the damn thing off.

i just sat there
in silence
waiting for my nails
to dry.



Author: brice maiurro

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

30 thoughts on “WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN”

      1. I find it petty and racist that this was originally named “WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS”. That being said, it is much more a class and/or perception issue. Guess poor people (myself included) have been petty in complaining about finding jobs, putting food on the table, and trying to get an education. Yep, Real Petty yeah and I am white too.

      2. Whoa. Wait a minute. There is nothing petty about talking about finding jobs, putting food on the table and trying to get an education. Those are real issues. There’s a reason I renamed the poem from white people problems. This isn’t even about class. This is about ignorance. I apologize if I offended you with the original title, but it took me until posting it to realize that it was an insensitive title. Sometimes the transition between a notebook and a blog can be what it takes to realize that. I am not attacking you at all, and think the last thing I’d ever want to do is assign stereotypes.

  1. It’s sad that Americans have been divided up into arbitrary financial classes and one set against the other. It wasn’t the way it used to be but perhaps it was inevitable. It is better to stress the dignity and value of the individual then establish a group though some arbitrary category and punch them all as devils. That said, I know people exactly like the poem. We never tire of complaining.

    1. I know exactly what you’re getting at. I think my hope would be that this poem serve as a light-hearted mirror, not to paint anyone as the Devil, but to just help someone to question their perception of things, though now you got me questioning this one.

  2. Great poem. I read it to my husband and he loved it. Obviously not just a white people problem with the huge gap between rich and poor in the world. Appeals to my own rather cynical viewpoint…

    1. Thank you. Yeah. I agree. I actually changed the name for that reason. As catchy as the title was, I felt like this was a better option. I’m grateful to hear my poems are being shared out loud! Thank you so much!

  3. It’s a great, satirical critique of a poem, that nods to Gill Scott-Heron’s ‘Whitey’s On The Moon’. So the original title is perfect, because it locates the poem in that lineage, and in doing so locates the racialisation of class as an ongoing phenomenon, rather than something that belongs in the past.

  4. The current title, “WORLDโ€™S SMALLEST VIOLIN”, is perfect. Loved the poem and the way you were able to illustrate your opinion without teetering off into a rage. The title helps with the message, but, again, without beating the reader over the head with the disgust.


  5. Up until the part about drying nails, I thought this could’ve been written by a modern-day Patrick Bateman. Then again, maybe he does paint his nails. After all, he was probably a closet homosexual who did a lot of cocaine. Y’know, that whole Harvard thing…

  6. Beautiful summary of the ignorance and arrogance of the elite…something we’ve seen too much of as of late.

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