last time we spoke i was a boy

but since then my stretch armstrong strong arms have stretched out
like power lines across the backbone of the u.s. and i grasp at portland oregon
with the carpal tunnel deftness of my left hand and the arthritis of my right
reaching to portland maine and i hold this country. less infant and more hostage.

i hold this country ransom for the insurmountable sum of its debts.
my eyes two slot-machine sevens eternally waiting for the third wheel to roll.
they stare into the mouth of the american beast and count the cavities.

my head is some sort of exquisite corpse.
the top half bald as buddhist monks. clean shaven and empty as a drum.
ready to resonate the rumbling sound of war and dissipate it back down
to a stagnant state of stasis.
the bottom half hairy. american and bearded blossoming brown weeds
onto the clean canvas of priviledge. a baby face buried in premature senility.

the bags beneath my eyes bring in the groceries.
they hold the bottle for a friend. they hold their hair back while they vomit.
the bags beneath my eyes carry the weight of so many worlds
like marbles in a sack. a monstrous collection of collectibles.
figurines dustless and pristine poised for shelving but never to be played with.
it’s easy to take pride in the things you allegedly can do i suppose.

my legs curl up like the wicked witch of the east.
in this house of a body fallen on top of me. stripey songs entangled.

my heart is an f5 tornado tearing through a drive-in theater (of course, in denver)
showing some grindhouse double feature romantic comedy hardcore porno
shitshow melodrama documentary on wild cats and the birds of paradise.
my heart is the f5 tornado. the cinematic feature for the evening is my manifesto.
if there’s snacks then i’m thinking red vines and sour patch kids.

the hairs on my arms and my chest and my shoulders are trees
cascading across the rises and the falls of the illustrious whiteboy mountains.
poisoned by beetle rot. the decay breeds new trees to decay breeds new trees.
i am reborn more times than a confused christian sex addict.
i die way too many fucking times. i feel it each time.

my gut is some shy girl who gets drunk at a party and takes her glasses off
and wakes up popular. she wakes up with a quarterback boyfriend.
she sleeps again. she wakes up pregnant. she wakes up married.
she wakes up barefoot. she passes out on the kitchen floor. she wakes up 40.
she wakes up divorced. my gut is pulled into expectation but on her 50th
birthday she goes to some cool country like bali on a spiritual journey
and discovers that she was born to be some kind of kaballah goddess
that drinks kava and dreamdances across the daoist sands of time.
still barefoot. my gut.

my knees are sore. my neck. is sore. my ankles are sore. my eyes are heavy.
life is hell on the hips. on the waist. on each and every stone of the backbone
but rebuild like giant blocks of jenga the tower that holds your soul.
it’ll fall. rebuild it.

from a distance i seem to be a great highrise apartment complex.
stacked with carnegie steel and beautiful revamped otis elevators that ascend
to the rooftop garden. great spotbeams burst out hot heat into the black
void of almost being thirty but what the hell is thirty i’m going to live to be
seven thousand anyways. what the hell is thirty. what the hell are we
but stacks of the stories that we press onto paper and bind and tie up
and stack high and mighty and from a distance we blur our vision and
pretend to be a great highrise apartment complex.

last time we spoke i was a boy

now i wake up each day and spend my days looking into the mirror of strangers
trying to get a glimpse at the what that i am that moment and how it fits into this
giant twenty-seven pound fuckfish that i go around trying to convince everyone that i am.


Author: brice maiurro

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


  1. Was this a birthday manifesto? You know 27 is a dangerous year – remember Jimmy, Janis . . .
    But your words had me flowing on a sea of magnificent imagery until – what the hell is a “fuckfish?” 🙂

    1. I usually write these on my birthday yeah but the gears were turning so I had to let it out. As far as fuckfish I was thinking about “big fish” stories where we exaggerate the truth. I wanted it to be somewhat self-depricating to this way that I make myself bigger than I actually am. Thus fuckfish. 😉

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