SATURN’S RETURN

they say that saturn completes an orbit every twenty seven years.
for twenty seven years it travels its usual course only to find by the time
it reaches the end of its journey that it is in the same place it began.

funny, isn’t it? we work so hard to disillusion ourselves that the things
we struggle with are not part of who we are. we stack layer after layer
of armor on frail bodies and we tell ourselves we’re protected when
the truth is we are really now just unable to move.

this is me shedding off each and every layer that i ever put on.

layer #1:
i’m the new kid in my fifth grade class and all the girls have a crush
on me. i can barely break through my shy to raise my hand let alone
acknowledge the notes slid beneath palms and the smiles across
flat wooden desks. here i am now twenty seven and single. some days
i see myself as a singular experimental vessel thrown into this sociological
experiment called humanity in the twenty first century. other days i vomit
letters just to remind myself that i can still do anything with this giant
pile of unstamped love letters i’ve acccumulated in the pit of my stomach.

layer #2:
i begin middle school and i draw on the white board a graph demonstrating
the decline of grades over time. running parallel is a second line showing
the correlation between grades and the ego i built as a young kid around
them. halfway through this graph the lack of focus kicks in and i’m thinking
about the career test i took that told me i’m a good fit for retail management.

layer #3:
i push through high school and i find myself attending metro state seeking
a degree in depression and appropriate places to take a nap. each day i wake
up, brush my teeth, get ready, take the car to the light rail, take the light rail
to school just to push myself further from the door of my missed class. music
is there for me, but after enough time it’s less like a blanket and more like
a burlap sack wherein i beat myself with sticks for the person i was the day
before and the day before that.

layer #4:
i’m writing eight hundred poems a day about nothing and i’m calling out of
my job that i hate. i’m smoking weed but less in a cool this helps me to relax
kind of way and more in a wow it’s really easy to refuse any accountability for
my own life kind of way. i blink and i’m sitting in my boss’ office and he’s
asking me if i even care about my job.

it’s in this moment that i realize it’s not that i failed.

it’s in this moment that i realize that i just have never attempted not to.

the next day i plant a seed. i water that seed and provide sunshine and
nutrients. i sit patiently and sober with myself and wait until through the
ground grows a tree. i cut down the tree and i build myself a home. i fill
that home with freedom and beauty, and with truth and love. i open the
windows and i let the light in. the light is bright at first. it burns my eyes
and i find myself dropping salty tears warping the wood below my feet.
i leave the door open. i let in the ghosts of my past and they help me to
arrange the furniture of my existence. i paint the walls in the shades of
my emotions. i give the extra paint to my neighbor. i create a neighborhood.
i create a community. i realize that i am not alone and that i’ve never
been alone. my house is warm from the warmth of the people that fill it. slowly
i strip every layer that i ever put on until i stand naked at the center of my
everything. and there in that moment i wait for applause but there is no
applause to be had. the ghosts all have disappeared. my friends and family all
trudged through the rain to their own houses. i find myself alone again but
i am not afraid. it’s so quiet that i hear my heart beat for the first time in
my life. i can feel each persistent push of chaos through my veins delivering
meaning to my lungs, my mind, the tips of my fingers.

i walk out into the cold rain. it stings but each droplet is like an old friend
tapping me on the shoulder. i turn around to them and there behind me is
every moment of pain that preceded a shining moment of ecstasy. i find
myself in observatory park and there in the center of all the trees is an
observatory. i enter in and it feels like a church. i peer through the telescope
and after searching the sky for twenty seven years i see it there before me. saturn.
returned from its dance across the cosmos. saturn speaks to me. she tells me
all the things i’m not. she asks me what i want to be and i say to her that i
don’t want to be anything. but there are so many things that are already alive
inside of me. so many love letters i’ve yet to write. she kisses me with her
light.

i have so many love letters left to write, but this one is to myself.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

ARE YOU REALLY SO UNHAPPY?

are you really so unhappy? when
you roll down your car window
and stick your head out there
are the thoughts of how terrible
it is to be alive? how terrible it
is to taste the wind against your
old tongue? is that where you
sleep? or is it in the gutter of
your anxieties crawling beside
you like an old dog? are you
really so absorbed in the grand
old shit show on the tele-
vision set that you have not
a single extra minute to just
realize how strange it is to
have ten fingers? to have ten
thoughts minimum (at least!)
on any given day? to be able to
sing a song any song any damn
song not good nor bad but
just whatever bird jumps
into the golden cage of your
rusty lungs? do you not see?
do you not see how many
times you’ve cried? both
ends of that salt water ocean
sealed with the bright glaze
of a sun that cares enough
to choose this planet to
glaze for. are you really so
unhappy? are you really
so captured in this jail
cell that you forget to water
the plants on your barred
window seal? and what of
the big apartment cell blocks
forming the paper calendar
hanging behind you? the one
million candles on birth
day cakes blown from
your windstorm lungs
and out flew the ancient
gods out into the ether
out to make plans to
fill you with love or
maybe to break your
heart? and break your
heart and break your
heart and recover you
will my friend. you will
recover. you will reach
into your back pocket
and therein will be a
photograph and a one
dollar bill. now

are you really so unhappy?

you gotta hear me on this
one. there’s a whole
bunch of love out there
waiting patiently to
destroy you. and here
on the inside there is
only you

painfully safe from the
blowing wind.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

UNFORTUNATELY HONEST

drunk on caffeine i escaped out into the night
hands in pockets i began to walk through the forest
of my fingers into the clearing of my palm
where i looked up at the great ether of my own
two eyes above me
and therein i saw something calling back
the shadow of my own giant looming over me
but the anxiety still called so i kept pushing it out
through my feet
and i moved through the blood in my arms
down its red path
until i came to the great stonehenge
of my dismantled rib cage
white stones torn asunder i sat beneath
the tree of my gut
and there i climbed in and waited
until the poet left the home in my heart
through a little red door
completely naked and covered in paint
he danced like it was someone’s birthday
and me in peacoat and dress slacks
and pinned in with belt and exhausted
i jumped down from the tree
and with my great long scarf
wrapped around my hands into fists
i swung the fabric over his neck
and there in the moonlight
that poured in through the hole in my throat
i strangled the poet lifeless
and i was so sure what it was that would happen
i was sure i would ring out some great eulogy
from the lips of the dying poet of me
and i was sure they would cast into the dome sky
of my internal organs and radiate from my bigger body
like caffeine
but the poet said nothing
nothing was said but it wasn’t quite silence
and then it was over

i didn’t bury the poet that was me
nor did i say grace for the fallen stars
that he cast from his dry heave mouth
dim shining with the looming reminder
of the guilt
the same guilt he carried with him
and now i
but now wordless
just kept walking off the caffeine drunk
but the headaches are so bad
and when you can’t sleep all you can do
is walk and walk and walk and walk
and hope that somewhere out there
is the magical monster you’re after
that after all is just you hiding in a peacoat
and dress slacks
or in some poem that you wrote
when you remembered that’s something you do

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

MILLENNIAL BLOGS A LONG WINDED AND UNFOCUSED RANT

First of all, there’s no such thing as a millennial. It’s something your mother made up to scare you. Sure there’s positive and negative attributes pushed on millennials but the bottom line is those negative attributes end up creating dissonance between different generations. I have made a point in my life to not identify generation y as generation y or the same for baby boomers. They are just persons. Peoples. Individuals. Folks. It is insane, especially in a time in history that feels as if it is moving so fast, to think that you can put people in a box. To think that any one quality exists among a group of people is ludicrous, not to mention, in my humble opinion, a huge factor as to the disconnect that exists in our society.
I think that the world is so big that the only way we think we can manage it is to label it. Maybe labels are useful societal tools, but I think it’s much more likely that these labels we fling out are lazy ways to categorize varying opinions on groups of people who in fact are barely even groups of people. They are just humans huddling around the fire for warmth.
And good for them. Common interest is the breeding ground of society, but remember this: everyone loves food. I think it’s impossible that anything has brought humanity together more than food. Maybe sex, though that’s debatable too. My point is that we can build up common interest as reason for separation from other people, but at the end of the day we’re just slowly surrounding ourselves with people who are more and more like us. No wonder we are such a polarized world. I think the big thing is to break through perceptions, find the people you’re afraid of, and talk to them. I’m not saying to find the evil dictator and ask him out for a drink, but I kind of am.
I witnessed a conversation at work today between two people with very different political affiliations and it was one of the most respectful things I have ever seen. This is what the world asks of us. To not think we are right, and to remember that the person who believes something so different from you has needs that are not being met too. So say something. Get outside your comfort zone. Make sure we keep talking to each other. And I mean talking. Wars are made from people who are too afraid to talk to each other. End rant.