o! does this hamster wheel
ever stop hamster wheeling?
i bite constantly at my endless
nails, i shave my neck
constantly. am i not just meant to be
a werewolf? i howl at the moon enough.
my blood grows red in the dark.

sometimes i feel like i’m just
inbetween poems always all the time
just transitioning from the sunday ringroad
to the sunday jungle room madness
captured in the starry eyes of celestial

which hat will i cover my bald head with
today? will i be the ringmaster? the poet?
the devil? the tower? will i be the cynic?
will i be the beaming light of the world?
will i allow it to die out? what chaos do i drown
my cereal in? which character on the box am i?

o! to be beside you. hand-in-hand
this is my favorite place to visit
where the overcast fades and your hands
cross the borders of my body like refugees
like western expansion like the history of
humanity. this is where i be when i choose
where to be i will be. i speak so new so young
so confused and brilliant in the dark star
of your vast eyes. i cannon through the night
like a human cannonball on fire and lost and in
love with the world that you roll around. i
walk on top and keep balance with the gravity
of what we might be.

o! to be dear with a friend. to be reminded
no one person is your everstar and the sky would
be dark if there was only one light in its hugeness.
when the eloquent get high and allow
themselves the priviledge of confusion
the song they sing is laughter.
this i know i think i know but i don’t really
ever stand still.

i fidget. i lose focus. i just cannot stand

they say i have a.d.d. but really
i think i was just born to always be in motion
my name means never stopping never ending
i’d explain in more detail but i’ve got a train
to catch to see the joshua tree. because
i too am a strange tree in the middle of a desert.
a city on a plane. a mustache grown like wild blue horses
looking to capture the dew of unspoken thoughts.
we think we can catch tomorrow but really we just have
to be patient until it decides to become today.

o! how your love reminded me of the love i have for
everything. a poet in love is a dangerous
thing. we could build a space needle or we could
find ourselves between the devil and the deep
blue sea.

i want to kiss you underwater in seattle in the rain.
i want to kiss you in five points.
i want to kiss you in the wings of the stage.
i want to kiss you on the giant runways of the airport
as planes take off into the unforgiving sky
the indifferent merciless sky that loves as fiercely
as it hates. (for love and hate are the double doorway
that passion walks through, i think so)

o! this year! o! to be in this moment.
where we live so voraciously but
with the major bummer downside of rising rent.
it is not cheap to occupy an idea.
you cannot just leave your coat on the seat.
when approached by a large animal
the only option is to make yourself large as well.

display your multitudes. confess your breath.
chase clouds. punch the alarm clock. kiss the cement.
entertain the clowns with your seriousness.
throw candy into their wide open yawning mouths.
tie red strings around their fingers to remind them
to live. always open your gifts before christmas.
count your chickens before they hatch. learn to understand
that disappointment is just an opportunity to love what didn’t

o! to love what didn’t happen
to mourn the loss of something so huge
that you cannot wrap your arms around it
you cannot bury it in the ground
this phantom limb will squeeze your heart forever
it will squeeze your heart like a stress ball.
so invite yourself to attend the stress ball.
dance with it. twirl it around. feel it with you.
we were gifted with the strange ability to convince
ourselves that something is true until eventually
we don’t have to fake it anymore.
big fish become fairy tales and fairy tales become
legends and legends become gospel and gospel becomes
truth and then we destroy that.
we are so good at demolition when we are seduced by
the idea of creation.

o! dear sweet life
i am trying so hard to coexist with you
to share my bed with you
you ask me if i sleep well when you stay over
and i lie and i say yes
but the truth is i will adjust
because i need you to be here beside me
i find comfort in discomfort
it’s in the word itself
i work through the prefix of yesterday
in hopes of getting to the core of today
i want into this moment
please let me into this moment
dear god, can i please just be in this moment?

that’s the tricky part, isn’t it?
to be in the moment and not think about being in the moment
i watch movies and i think about the script
while the masses around me are engulfed in the tragedy and the comedy
i wish i could laugh, i wish i could cry
but i just keep analyzing

the unexamined life is not worth living
but the fully examined life is never lived

o! phantom limb
pull me up into the sky
let us be together
in the cradle of infacy
where we know everything
because we know nothing
and nothing about that


Author: brice maiurro

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

4 thoughts on “PHANTOM LIMB”

  1. I don’t usually read long poems, but you kept me going. And that was good because you didn’t reveal what this was poem was really about until near the end. I liked that surprise and the wisdom so gracefully, audaciously, vividly presented.

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