BUKOWSKI AGAIN

oh holy poetic father
your long skinny soul
scrawled across the backs
of thousands of naked spines
and how each drop
of battery acid
dripped from the dots
in the eyes
and the holy crosses
across the t’s
that hung suspended in time
to reach out like
hands with holes
just to barfight my liver
just to curbstomp my stomach
into submission
has helped me sift through
the madness for the word, the
line, the way

but here we are
at the end of the way
and the bottle wasn’t bottomless
i’ve seen the bottle
dropped off the building
and smashing against reality
a fist of misogyny
an inability to step away
from the drunken typewriter
to never grow
(as did the flowers you loathed)

there are two many great poets
who pot shot the page nightly
but never stepped out
of the square ring
to see the round earth desperate
for a pair of rugged hands
to build the cities they dreamed up

in their dreams unrealized
unrealized dreams are the worst nightmares
and bu kowski
sweet devil bukowski
you are the worst nightmare

the victim flower that cursed the fiery sun
for trying to keep him alive

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

SHOESTRINGS

we were two sets of shoestrings tied tightly to the line
interwoven entangled by our umbilical cords
we reached our arms out like limbs and dug deep into the roots of one another
and now as the swaying steadies we find ourselves still
hung up above rooftops and the sounds of distant urban traffic

we expected the spark
what we weren’t ready for was the fire
the blaze of flames across our spinal columns
and now we fall like dominoes
my single finger the instigator of the assembly line rumble
the clacking of stone minds and granite hearts
and here we are

i walk home from school and carry my own books
reviewing the lessons of the day, replay classroom movies in my head
untuck the middle school love notes from my pocket
and correct the scribbled lines of lust in the margins
for grammar and punctuality

the timing’s all wrong

it’s like a silent rom com in reverse

i pull down my pants and then hand you a flower

i do have something to say

despite the ten thousand pounds of rubble that my tongue laid out before us
buried beneath is an entire civilization of love that i’ve been slowly rebuilding
dirty hand by dirty hand i present each slab of lumber side by side
to create a foundation worthy of the love that i don’t yet know i deserve

and the house isn’t finished, there’s no running water
and i made the mistake of building it in a neighborhood where kids
throws shoes tied tight together up over the powerline
but before the mad inevitable hurricane comes barging in like a battery ram
breaking down the door i’ve assemble to separate the outside world
from the inside of our hearts clacking like wooden chimes in the wind
my hope is these floors i put down can serve as a proper dance floor
for two sets of shoestrings tied tightly to the line
an ode to the miles they walked to get to this one strange awkward moment

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THIS CAGE WILL STILL RATTLE

and when it’s all said and done
when this awesome wave crashes down on me
and drowns out the lights that shine from my skull on fire
when this drum has settled and earth turns backwards
this cage will still rattle

neither time nor death can end this bloodflow
this antithesis of defeat, this continual sense that nothing
and i do mean no thing can disarm the nuclear war
that resides deep in the caverns of my chest
and it is the anthem that rings ear to ear in the lost highway
of the unrequited love that i have for absolutely everything

i am the eye of this storm and through my touchless silence
i will bring hell and highwater to every day that dare confront me
to every moment unblissful and expanding in competition
this starburst of peace is what’s got me burning so quickly to war

and maybe you will be there for me to stand beside
or maybe this is just an echo shot out in the everything
that maybe we can capture maybe but either way it’s here

and i hope you see this cage that contains this holy monster
come desperate days or brilliant revolutions of lightning
this cage will still rattle

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

REQUIEM FOR A BRUISED EGO

for a minute there
it sounded like you thought you did it

that you opened your mouth to speak
and out flew some grand butterfly

for the world to grasp onto and worship
as it fluttered through the poetry of their existence

but when you opened you mouth
what came out was two elements of oxygen

to each singular element of carbon
and a promise to do the best you can to not fuck up

because that’s it, poet, isn’t it?
to try like all hell to not fuck up

not to be a savior but more not to be the bomb
the one that comes bursting into the corridor of the building

exploding in great gaseous fire as you see the eyes
of ten thousand scared patrons fleeing from your monster movie

screams captured in the dissonant frozen frame of memory
if you draw your box too small, it’s easy to be on the wrong side of history

or the debate – or relevancy – or to channel some dead asshole
who talked a whole hell of a lot about buddhism and alcohol and misogyny

your idols should have killed you when they had the chance
now you’re stuck in a web of netflix and your front door is locked from the outside

you default. back to chinese takeout. back to endless newsfeed.
back to the giant post-modern commercialist womb of nonexistence

what they don’t tell you is the insane amount of energy that it takes
to be a good person. to burn the fire you could have saved for warmth.

there is no field day ribbon.
if you’re doing it right, there’s barely a thank you.

but it’s a whole hell of a lot easier to sleep at night.
and it’s near impossible to dream if you don’t close your eyes.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016