VINCENT

i dug a tunnel to chinatown trying to escape the happiness that i had built for myself
cracked seven mirrors erased hours upon hours of footage of me taking acting lessons trying to figure out how to best play myself
if anyone tells you they always know who they are, they are lying
some days we wake up on the floor and it takes all the sunlight in us just to get back into bed
blankets build like cocoons but we don’t always come out with wings
nature can be a bitch
life can be unexciting
black without white is meaningless
sometimes war are fought in hopes of peace
somedays we are all all are mistakes

maybe the love poem is that i’m trying so desperately not to write a love poem about you
but you’re there, sifting through the stitches that tie my heart to my arms
and my arms hang tree to tree in the pending summer just hoping to be a hammock for you to rest your restless love in

cancel my subscriptions
burn my bills
take every word i’ve ever written chop it up and tally the words i’ve used the most
see the patterns in the madness the song that unfolds when you just close your eyes
cannibalize myself
my obsession with destruction is each time i rebuild
i dream of being an astronaut, a teacher, a homeless prophet
but i remember that all i want to be is the person i was before
just better

i ran from it all
i ran from family
i ran from love
from earnest truth
from boredom
god damn did i run so hard from boredom
but that shit is everywhere
and if you can hear the music that plays
when the record ends
when the needle just slides along the edge unwilling to give up
if you can hear the music there
you got it all

and i’ve got it all
each star in my sky assigned a name
frida and jean-michel and andy

i call that one vincent
he’s my favorite

and when my clouds roll in
vincent is still there
him and they still patrol the ethers
watching the stupid mistakes i make
less like a biopic
and more like trashy reality television

they still look up at us
always on fire they are
always on fire
always in love
always ready to swim through
the same black sky
never to find
anything but everything and nothing
and everything and nothing and nothing
and nothing and nothing and wow wow wow
am i the love i see in you and everyone

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

IF YOU WILL

keep clear the glass of the human lungs
let your arms take on the war crashing within
kiss life like you lost sight of the weight of words
when you dance dance chest to chest drum to drum

make music where there is silence
and where there is silence still let there be silence
an empty throat is not something to fear
set compass to that waning moon which cannot be reached
the one that sings to you before you go to sleep

put out fires with gasoline
drown in dust bowl in confusion
in the reality of these null wooden walls
that hide the electric forest outside

do these things with all the horses in your soul
throw your golden beta fish into the tank of it all

if you will just do these things

if you will
then i will
too

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

NOTHING IS RANDOM THERE IS MEANING IN THE CHAOS

ancient chinese gold wall drip past passionate flame thrower dance
we run trenchant through the puddles of the world we drained
crash symphonic into post-arthritic buildings chanting death destruction
capital oceans vast and uncharted wrap around your wide hips like destiny
and here we are laying on the beach drunken stupor past half vodka midnight
you sweet cherished moment gone but parading around me like looping vhs
like a bad trip like mountains crumbling at the feet of a tomorrow that promises
not to be anything like the day before for better or worse

i promise you this
what fills up the holes in the bottom of my pockets
and this fastly depleting heart

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

BALLOON ANIMALS

i’ll drown in 1080 pixels
cell phones that can’t stop staring at their
people
shopping carts overflowing with
insecurity
billboards for billboards
nuclear family explosions
profitable hospitals
therapy pills
jesus christ america’s sweetheart
well-documented ego
robots on welfare

your blind parents telling you
not to stare into the sun

lab mice college diplomas
prettier with makeup on
work to pay for the car to get
to work to pay for the food
you eat to work to make money
to hopefully retire

balloon animals
i can make a mule or a pachyderm
do you want it in red or in blue
showed up late to the party
and everyone was already belligerent
everyone was already belligerent
the koolaid was all but drank
the door was left wide open
you’ll let the draft in
what were ya born in a barn

charity starts at home
i have two kids
what do you mean we’re gonna have
to go two days without television

i’m sorry
but you’re gonna be deeply in debt
also you have cancer

also a word from our sponsors
the grass is always greener
the channels keep on changing
i can’t focus for the life of me
i’ve had chronic indigestion
since the reagan administration
since more ovaltine please
built ford tough
doing the most good
877 cash now
now
run

run
like your life
depends on it

live your life
in a way
that the heavens won’t know
which camp to place you in

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

PRAGMATIC SELLOUT VS. ENTERTAINING MONSTER

pragmatic sellout vs. entertaining monster

hopeless romantic vs. the kid who had no friends

jealous lover vs. pillow talk

trust fund baby vs. the other woman

born again christian vs. humanitarian murderer

diet coke with bigotry vs. pepsi zero accountability

drunken prophet vs. tells it like it is

cries on command vs. guns for arms

negging frat boy vs. two faced sorority queen

free candy for all vs. real pain for my sham friends

lofty artist vs. gold digger

american hero vs. anti-american

happy ending massage vs. happy marriage

fifty hour work week vs. food stamps

free education vs. free nelson mandela

waterboarding vs. homeland security

war vs. money

homeless vets vs. hummer two

electric cars vs. dying planet

save time vs. save money

kill king kong vs. save fay wray

live long and prosper vs. live fast and die young

television vs. internet

internet vs. virtual reality

virtual reality vs. reality

man vs. god

god vs. the devil

the devil vs. himself

the devil vs. himself

the devil vs. himself

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

HAIKUS IN LEELA’S CAFE

men lock eyes
across an empty chess board
full of promise

his hand almost
touches her leg beneath the table
his hand almost

swept in digital
eyes glazed with screen glare
cold french fries

center stage
botox lips filled with final exam
computer battery burns

blonde on blonde
cooperative hands on paper
creates something what though

big giant table
tiny woman sits choir class posture
only seen through reflection

two tables tucked in
mini diner inside of diner
heated debate on the platform
of bicycle tires

men at bars
like pigs in cages
suckle on the beer teat of denver

secretly beside me
behind a brick barrier
someone solves cancer and/or heartbreak

black leather chairs
flag pinned down in VIP section
laughter laughter laughter

newly rolled in
approach the bench
talk to leela
what’s yer poison
mother
fucker

dishes clang
from swinging metal doors
bruce banner slips through the cracks

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016