AND IN THE RED CORNER OF THIS HERE LIFE

boxiat

alright, kid
you got hit pretty damn hard
but this shit don’t stop

this ain’t the
holiday fuckin inn

i need you to
brush that dust off
your shoulders
wipe that blood from
yer cheek
and remind us all
why you’re the champ

it’s not how hard
you can hit
it’s how hard you can
get hit

so pick yer heart up
off the floor
and put that shit
right back into yer chest

there are kids
who would die to be here
sweating under these lights

don’t do it for me
don’t do it for the glory
do it because it’s what you
were born to do

your vocation
is tooth and nail

and yeah
it’s gonna hurt
it’s gonna hurt real bad
yer gonna sting in places
you’d never known
but at the end of the night

you can lay down beside her

and push yer fingers
through her soft hair

and that glimmer in her eyes

yeah that glimmer

it’s the only two stars you’ll want
in your sky

and at the end of the
long long long long day
you can rest
like yer broken ass
has never rested before

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THE GLASS MAN

his skin was made of glass. most stunning of all was his heartbeat in full display systolic diastolic every time blood rushed through his veins. his lungs too, expanding like wings. but so gently did he try to step wherever he went. one thousand onlookers unflinching locking eyes on what they did not know nor understand. when he stepped on the sidewalk the ground clacked like his heel and the concrete were trying to make a fire.

skin is not see through. in each and every person there is an entire intimate ecosystem that is rarely glanced upon. no one knows the churning of your gut. no one sees when you swallow your words and they river down into the pit of your stomach.

of course the man who was made of glass was out in the open. sometimes he would stand at a busy intersection, glass top hat before him, still and steady, just letting the world look on at his public secret. he stared blankly into the sky as children and adults examined him as if he was a museum. as if he was no more than an exhibit tossed out in urbania, here for all to see.

he could not hide, and one day it became too much and he smashed his hand crashing into a brick wall. where once there was delicate glass fingers there was now sharp scattered shards. it’s amazing how quickly fragility can turn to fear.

and the world looked onward still. and the glass man one day decided to never again be shaken up. to not be afraid to show his organs in their fierceness, but to learn to control them. so steady the rhythm of his lungs. he took deep breaths. and his heart for the muscle it was grew larger and larger. all in the eye of the world around him.

when he died, it was an open casket funeral. a still life painting of a life lived thrown out into the open. and as they closed the casket, the glass man became like the rest of us. remembered for those moments where the world was allowed to see right through to the soul of you.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

CAREFUL PATIENT MINDFUL

never have two strangers known each other so well
sitting side by side careful not to cross the crack in the cushions
but every random glance carried the weight of everything
everything there ever was between us and eventually my fingertips
abandoned their post in this armistice to commune with yours
interlaced and quiet they rested like lovers sharing a twin-sized bed
i and you we found ourselves stumbling right back to the page
that we had dogeared the shit out of

this poem is worth its weight in paper
but what comes with it is one thousand ounces of time
dropped from a dropper onto the paths we cross
not always together but never without the other one
and where we’ll end up i do not know but i do know
that these liquid ounces of time will form a mandala
careful patient and mindful that love isn’t this thing
that you take a bite out of and you’ve got it with you always

you’ve gotta keep chewing
through the sweet there is sour and seeds and
moments of pure confusion where you find yourself
in a half empty bed and the wind is too warm
and sleepless and bruised you wander through the halls
you sonder at theĀ dreams you’ve had since you were a child

but if you keep chewing through that
then you’ve got it
you’ve got four lips two each smashed in passion
wandering the edge of another person
delicately traveling through the stories
that never come out in words

in this world you may never be without
there is always fireflies to be caught in jars
but when their bulbs burst like old cameras
when the stars disappear down the broken drain

there in the dark
careful patient and mindful
is love.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

AMERICA

america
you pray like russian
roulette

you kiss like you’re trying
to commandeer ourĀ teeth

you smell like the little samples
0f perfume in skinny magazines

america
you’re pirating porn on the internet
wearing nothing but a stolen pair
of air jordans

america
you’re panting like a dog
do you ever put your tongue
back into your mouth?

america
your gums are bleeding
from brushing your teeth too hard

do you ever do anything
with grace?

it’s always 75 miles per hour
drunk on jack
jacked up on red bull
listening to two metal albums
on your cell phone
while playing candy crush
in seven o clock rush hour traffic
because life is too short
not to do
exactly what is most important to you
in that exact moment

america
you may listen to podcasts
on new age philosophy
be here now
live in the moment
but you always fast-forward
to the good parts

you always cut away the meat
of your steak
and sit back and chew on the fat

america
you’re so good at interrupting
the people you ask
to speak on your show

america
you borrowed from me
whenever i tell you you say you didn’t
but you did
and i want it back

america
you invented advertising
and marketing
and coffee and beer
and whiskey and electricity
and freedom and democracy
well
at least that’s what you tell everyone

america
you pretend to be attention deficit
but the truth is you are consciously choosing
not to listen

plus you can get great turnaround
selling addy to high school kids

america
were you ever great?
will you ever be great?
hyperbole is a french word
but its nine-hundred percent american

i once thought i saw you
through the brush of trees
that line flathead lake
there i know i saw you
this grand estranged deer
wide eyed and still
your black eye gazed back at me
full of one-thousand yard stare
post traumatic stress disorder
you looked at me
like you just discovered
the human concept of time
0r math
or internet-streamed television service

i picked up my AR-15
and i pointed right at you
as you bolted
deep into the thick trees of bigotry

i swear i saw you

the one that got away

a hologram of a dream
of an invention

a colossal invention

there in the hand of every american
there in the heart of those who believe

not a device to help you
a device that is you

america
are you recording this call?

america
why do i have to press one for english?

america
why is my seat so small and inconvenient
in this giant bullet
that flies through the sky?

america
you’re pronouncing
“patronizing” wrong

america
i asked for no special sauce
my daughter is allergic
i can’t believe this
what are you going to do
for me?

america
what are you going to do
for me?

america
why aren’t you the country
we talk so fiercely about you being?
we spent so much time so far
talking so fiercely
about what you could be?

america
tie your shoes

america
get a job

america
love your neighbor

america
i’m not going to pay for your webcam
i don’t care h0w handsome you tell me i
am

america
if you say a word too many times
it starts to sound funny
it starts to stick to the roof of your mouth
like jiffy (c) peanut butter
america

america

america

america
when will the illuminati
reveal themselves?
was 9/11 an inside
job?
when will those walmarts
be turned into internment camps?

america
you manufacture paranoia
shelf after shelf
aisle after aisle
section after section
department after department
store after store after region
after enterprise

america
take my tickets
i brought my swimsuit
i want to ride the preschool to prison
pipeline

plea bargain my politics

mass incarcerate my poems

america
you can’t fall asleep sober
if you even fall asleep at all
you keep counting sheep
like you’re tallying days
on a prison cell

your eyes are automatic doors
that slam shut behind us all

america
your bloodsteam is refugees
you’re just too intoxicated to see it

you’re so busy building walls
you forgot to put in a door

you’re so busy campaigning for president
you’ve got not time for your family

you’re the kind of ugly
that happens over the course of a lifetime

you
america
are a pyramid scheme

you
america
beg for food
while you choke to death
on your thick privilege

you
are the one
who was born so late
to sing the world to sleep

america
you pray like russian roulette
to a god who can’t hear you
over the sound
of your own
gunshots

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THIS HERE IS MINE.

this here is mine.

this space.

this poem.

scrawled line by

shivering line

it belongs to me.

this sandbox

wherein i am god.

i am good.

i am holy.

safe from missile.

safe from drone.

this here is sanctuary.

amnesty.

my space in the attic

of a bigger god’s poem.

come the day

they come and take

my house

my home

my street

my grass

my water

my daughters

the tombstone

on my grave.

the day they come

to take it all

they will not know

but still

still like a frozen heart

this here is mine.
COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016