A SELF-ANALYSIS

some days i leave my arms at home
to give other people the chance to show me
how to conduct a symphony

i am an owl in many ways
but most of all the way i like to be alone
at night
staring out my window
sitting on my tree branch
waiting for the field mice to come to me

when i look at the hairs on my legs
i see a thousand tiny trees and i think about
the day each seed was planted
i think about the way i am so very large
because i am one billion things so small

i have a hard time with spiders
because i don’t want to kill them and
i know that i am ultimately unimportant to them
but i feel them crawling up my leg in bed
and when i look they’re never there
but my vulnerability is sometimes counter-intuitive
to my survival instinct
there is a certain amount of acceptance of death
that comes along with trust

i refill ice trays in the freezer like a madman
like some great fleshy robot filled
with a singular algorithm to make sure there is never
one moment where this house will be without ice
i don’t drink enough water

in the middle of the twilight i talk to ghosts
they carry all these stories about regret and war
and i’m just trying to sing myself
to sleep with songs of faith and renewal
but they clean their guns on the edge of my bed
and sometimes i like to swim
on top of their uneasy oceans

i papercut my finger
on my contract to myself sometimes
and when the blood begins to run
i put it beneath the cold water faucet
and watch as it pours down the drain
and sometimes the water rises
and the sink fills up and the bathroom floods
until i’m underwater in my apartment
scuttling along like a crab
on the warped wood floor
but i do not drown i sleep best in rip tide
i dance in disaster

sometimes i fall asleep to radio static
there is a room so quiet you can hear your blood
in your veins and the silence will drive you mad they say
i talk so loud about how good i am at silence
how american it is to always know what to say and
that’s the thing i think i’m an auditory citizen of the world
until it gets quiet and i can hear the national anthem reminder
that i don’t know how to sight read a page of rest symbols

i dance like i am protesting dancing
like if i flail my arms enough they’ll call it satire

when i dance with women i follow their hips
and pretend i am so keen to the difference between
control and influence
maybe i should take a class or two

sometimes i get stuck in the middle of a poem
and i don’t know how to end it
sometimes i’ll get real cute
and just throw out a one-liner like something
oscar wilde would say at a cocktail party
but sometimes i’ll just take a minute to be in it
i’ll walk around the poem like an empty apartment
opening the closets looking for clues about
the person who lived here before
and sometimes i’ll find that there’s nothing but
wire hangers in the closet
or sometimes i’ll run out screaming
chased by skeletons

not tonight.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015

Author: brice maiurro

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

6 thoughts on “A SELF-ANALYSIS”

  1. I like how your poems sometimes remind me of myself (the owl, the spiders) and sometimes (most of the time) explore thoughts and perspective and flow of consciousness that I could never dream and images I can visualize of experiences I would never know.

      1. I get a bit obsessed with owl watching. I had a family in my backyard the last three years and there is one around my new place that I see from time to time. I’ll post a pic on my blog. And the whole not killing spiders then not sleeping because you feel them crawling on your legs. Maybe everyone does that. I try to release them “back into the wild” but sometimes if I see a few I wonder how many I’m missing.
        And I love your line about dancing in disaster. Reminds me of a post I have about dancing through a storm.

  2. H0ot! ❤

    This nestled in the pit of my stomach and made itself a home. Woah, it's really great.

    You have a wonderful way of transcending imagery. It's surreal and magical and mundane all at once. There is such a raw subtlety to what you string together.

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