The Beginning is Assuredly the End

i crack the spines of the books i read
page by page i bend back the paper
wrap it back around the book
like a snake eating its own tail
and chapter by chapter
it disappears

and the days of my life
they feel so very similar
to the flapping pages of a novel
very textual and dense
and then washed away
in a small silent wave

but nearing the end of it all
you come to find that the pages
which once seemed to ember
and disappear into the ether
never did

they are in fact still with you

and upon realizing the last period
of the last sentence
of the last chapter
of the last book you’ve read
closing in on itself

what you come to find is that book
is there in your hand
exactly the same as it’s always been
each page in the exact same order
like well-trained soldiers

but the spine is cracked
the covers worn in
white cracks and a slight curve
the book tries to open but doesn’t

and i find my spine is cracked too
and though i am the same
i am slightly more worn
and those words that i ate one at a time
stick to the sides of my stomach

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

MICROPHONE WIRE

for James Baldwin

there is this microphone wire
and we do not know clearly
where it started
but we’ve been
chasing after it now
for so long
static pace after static pace
fingers dry as the sun
cracked and worn thin
the microphone wire
traveling through our grip
as we heave and hoe
in pursuit
of something

this microphone wire
they say
leads to something
to a great microphone
for this audience
that just sits
but does not move
that observes
but does not help
remains
like a terracotta army
that’s never fought in this war

and still we step on
tangle after tangle
some days
tripped up
wrapped in our own heads
in dreams deferred
our finger tips
so close to the electricity
we are mostly water
all of us

still we step
wire in hand
and they say it’s there
that someday we will arrive
and standing at the podium
we will sing a song together
that booms through
the ugly halls of time
and shines bright gold paint
in the cracks
the paint below remains
the pain in our feet
our hands as dry
as a raisin in the sun
and maybe we’ll realize
that you do not need an amplifier
and you do not need a microphone
in a room
that is intimate enough
for everyone to hear

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

Woman, Blue Hair

there’s a woman with blue hair sleeping in my closet
her clothes are on the floor the walls the ceiling
she plays me Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga
and we sit in silence having conversations
her hair tied tight twisted she paints herself
and she lights a candle in the nucleus of my apartment
she speaks Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga
and patiently she teaches me languages i’ve never dug from the cold ground

i asked her to come to Denver
and she arrived on my doorstep

she tells me that she’s staying here as long as she likes
she doesn’t apologize and she doesn’t need to

she makes me question god
and helps me find it in the thick rings of my tree

she sings like warcry and nirvana

and the mirrors are part of the conversation
the open books scattered like dead birds on the floor
the chair, the bookshelves

in this tiny room of an apartment there is a tangible physical representation in each minute detail of the war that wages in the confines of my mind and she enters in it unafraid and curious and lovely and lighting a candle in the nucleus of it all speaking Cohen and Gaga and sweet songs as i wake up into a new life with her unafraid as all hell

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

A SOLID DOSE OF EUPHORIA

ants are crawling
in militant rows right across the range
of my two arms

fingers morphing intertwining
like crazy bamboo

a sharp stab of light

and in the thick mud
of this weekdream haze
no one says hello or goodbye

the robots
have made us into robots
you are what you eat

you are what you eat
you sing what pains you
while you’re dreaming still you breathe

and dynamite
giant sticks of self-lighting dynamite line the halls
the interior of my skull

the wallpaper
tacky and outdated

the chinese lamps
swinging like chemicals

the american dream
boxed up and sent down the nile

and you, dear lover
where the hell are you
i was promised
i was promised so many times
over and over
a white boy’s dream

the ants dig in
and burrow deep into my dusty liver
make home in my kidneys

fire ants
red helmets and eyes
government operative spies come to sink in
and make chaos
where once a sweet bassinet rocked

the wallpaper
tacky and outdated

the television
paused on the image of a scared mob

the television
paused for four years
on loud static

play
the television
muted on a talk show
one million tiny bulbs
commercial enlightenment

the television knows a lot of things i do not
the television jammed on the nightly news
on the news and entertainment
on the news and entertainment

every now and then
the class at large raises their hands collectively
and decides what reality we’re going to try out for a while
what mold of human gelatin we will adhere to

black or red
spin wheel spin

i’ve lost one hundred pounds in the last five days

i’ve read nine hundred books in my dreams

i’ve lost a sense of self and truth and reality

this ambient dream
this color wheel
these vivid 3d images
sincere sounding conversations
the realistic smells
even the size of the map itself
a person could really get lost in this
this ambient dream

haha
hahaha
i guess you’d have to have been there

when the wall fell down
when the chains went up
a swift change of guard
in the middle of the graveyard shift
if you blinked you might have missed it

at least love
dripping sweet puppy love
two humans eternally speaking in code
until the code breaks down
and the reality grows unfamiliar

the television
playing the same movie on repeat all day
i catch segments here and there

the television
learning how to browse the internet

the television
broadcasting ten million game shows all at once

the internet
this land is your land
this land is my land

the size of my apartment shifts from time to time
600 square feet/500 square feet/50 square feet

and then 4000 square feet and i’m jumping on
the trampoline in my backyard with my two daughters
and my labradoodle Andy and a heavy dose of antipsychotics

while you’re dreaming still you breathe

there it is
a solid does of euphoria
i am plucking berries off the nihilism tree

and the berries are sweet and delicious

and in the thick black blood of heartache a ship saves you from drowning

and there it is
the sunlight peering through the blinds
catching a human unknowingly in a state of nirvana
the realization that nirvana is all around us
that it belongs to no one person
and that it belongs to every one person
in congruence

in Congruence, there is a tree at the center of town
and the people go and visit it and leave blank canvasses at its stem
and the tree, in the night, in the rain, paints these portraits
these brilliant portraits that capture the day better than any asshole poet
they stamp time and experience
they bottle memory

in regards to bottled memory,
and the power of remaining through time
stonehenge is the closest thing to god
and also just a bunch of random rocks

i see it when i sleep
a collection of stars rotating around the earth

while you’re dreaming still you breathe

and i smile down on you this day
and next day and each day and through
the years of darkness we will stop and say
we loved through this all
and we survived to this moment like stonehenge
the closest thing to god

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

LOVE POEM FOR A WEDDING

and how the lights will turn around on you
and in shining procession do they fall
in the spring the blooming eyes of custom
winter raises spirits until its call

crystal glasses clinking almost shatter.
they do. she says it so you hear her words
ringing to the back. a car parked at her
request outside. cans hang down to the curb.

liquor pours forever or so it seems.
the night proceeds and proceeds into haze
and sweet surrender and unspoken dreams
so goes the night. so goes the coming days.

watch the sincere glimmer through all your rites
and keep another on those shining lights

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016