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

ONE FOR THE ADDERALL KID

and let the record state he did not die. he did not go into decline or disappear through the wall like some resolved apparition. he bursted forth out his door and set the fucking world on fire. he churned his anxious day and night to compose twelve-hundred part symphonies of tracks on tracks on tracks trashing the fascist masses and the last alamo of the mind. the eternal sunshine melting like butter. the bread sliced thin and spread across the table to his twelve amigos – fuck disciples. he was not above. he was not holier than thou. he just had a mighty fine rage living in the cavity of chest that needed release and so – he released. a ten tentacle kraken ached into existence and grabbed at the bottom of the burning buildings. the city folks stopped to pull out their cameras and snap memories of the day that he took this mass-produced consumeristic ideology of what is and replaced it with this crazy fucking socialist idea of what could be. of a society built not like industry. not like a model t but built like the human heart. only taking to gain the strength to give even harder. give even harder. this one is for the adderall kid. too punch drunk of daft punk to keep the fire in his hell-bent chest. he burned, and he burns, and he will burn. for three thousand eternities and for nothing more – than the rest that comes – at the end of life – well spent exhausting one’s self – on the cause of setting the ugly parts of this watery world – on fire.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

WHEN YOU PLAY THE VIOLIN SO HARD THE STRING BREAKS

when you
play the violin
so hard
the string
breaks

when
you beat
the horse
nearly
to death

just screaming
go faster go faster
now

i need you
to stop
but it doesn’t

when you wake
up
buried
beneath a pyramid of
your own heartbreak

you start
to realize that
not everything
is as black
and white
as films
(once were)

you’re gonna break
the strings

you’re gonna be
out

in nowhere
in requiem

and realize that
you
should be locked down
in eulogy

you should be
you should be

let this world
tell you more about what
you are

let this world
continue to chisel off
your personality

til you’re sculpted
perfect beautiful
adonis angel silhouette
of great america
of pride of esteem
of wine aged to the day
of parade
of vast portrait
hanging
delicately above
the fire

when you
play the violin
so hard
the string
breaks

you are left with
three strings
a patient audience
and a lethal dose
of reality

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

PAPER THIN

and we sat down
hand-in-hand
grasped around the charcoal pencil
and we drew out a future

a three-bedroom house
with wood floors
and shutters
dog runs by
yada yada yada

the black soot bled
across the page
and i said look how real

you said real
what is real
what is outside of this
house that we drew
what is the world
and i said
i don’t know

i know less than you ever will
i know the sound between sounds
and i know that hunger that never fades
the one that wakes you up
eyes all neon aquarium
clown fish swims by
and you fall back into your beautiful
innocent slumber

and so we did

and the house we built
i hung on a wall in the attic
but it was just paper thin
and you were just paper thin

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THEODORE ROOSEVELT ROWING FURIOUSLY ACROSS LONG ISLAND SOUND

my rhythm is theodore roosevelt rowing furiously across long island sound-
back and forth and back and forth in endless need to push back and forth
and to open the floodgates of america, the world once more and let in
the endless bloodstream of the human spirit, that which does not stop
all coffeeblood and widepupiled i rush out into the world and with such fervor
do i rampantly push through the hole that fills the life-long sentence of
“i’m   sorry   but    that   simply   is   not   going   to   be   a   possibility,”
but i slip through the hole in the o and i loop my western lasso from one t
to the other tee and i build a fortress and i barricade the spaces from any
slinking zombie thought that moans that there is not hope alive in the sentiment
of doubt; that there is some construction of a power too powerful to be fought.

do not forget. sometimes the man at the top of the mountain has been at the
top of the mountain too long – and he has forgotten what it means to climb.
what it means to step after step against gravity against will against time itself.
and i do encourage you to look around at the view as you climb as you step further
and farther away from the city of your reality, now a distant cloud, a pencil drawing.

climb and climb and row and row. theodore roosevelt. push westward even moreso.
and at the top of the mountain lasso the stars and walk cautiously across the tightrope
in space and realize if you for a second look down, you very well may lose your balance
but keep your spectacles set off into the distance and you will not fall. the body follows
the heart and the heart wants what the heart wants and row and row and row.

row furious. row like the broken heart of theodore roosevelt across long island sound.
row sore-armed and hollowheaded treading molecule after molecule of holy water
behind you until all you have left to realize is that there is only you, and a million miles
of ocean, influenced up and down in constant reminder that nothing is ever dead.
nothing is ever dead and no one person insignificant enough to not cause ripples that
may expand through not just liquid or air or soundwaves but they can push like anxious
oars through the familiar foundations that we so often refuse to acknowledge may just be
impatient graves ready to take us under. they are always ready to take us under.
so why not rise up against the coming looming deadly tide?

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

TO BLACKHAWK AND ITS LOST BOYS

i opened my wallet and out fluttered 300 dollars like origami cranes
out into the night sky. flapping their wings delicately towards the moon.
i drove back down fire mountain in the middle of the night
my stomach churning diesel oil each pair of headlights passing judging me
for my carelessness. for my inability to be complacent for one god damn second.
sometimes the worst curse of all is never being complacent.
never being able to let your head spin 360 degrees and see what you have.
or what you have in that moment. or see that you don’t have anything.

so i chase the 300 dollars.
i go home and head into my basement where i build a boxcar racer with wings
and i try to shoot up into the sky to regain the green birds floating towards the sun
but it’s silly.
the flying boxcar racer is far too wobbly and it can only get 10 feet off the ground.
so i close up the garage, i head into the kitchen and my make myself some cereal
and in the bottom of the box is a prize
it’s a hand and it’s flipping the bird at me.
when you press the button it says fuck you.
it says fuck you you asshole.
did you think this was boardwalk and park place?
did you think this was landing on go and rolling doubles?
you got a long way to go, buddy.
and don’t think for a second you’re not the one who folded up those
dollar bill cranes.
don’t think for a second that you didn’t just cost your self two months of stability.
don’t think for a second that you are jesus christ there’s no nails in your hands.
you’re no howard hughes. you’re no muhammad ali.
you took a shit ton of pot shots in the first couple rounds but this ain’t over.
it’s not so cheap to be a poet.
the talk ain’t shit if you ain’t walking.

and i felt like a narcotic anonymous.
i felt like the room was six billion cups of shit coffee
and i stand up and say
“my name is brice, and my impulsivity is often devastating
to myself and those around me. yeah i might have adhd.
yeah it might be detrimental to my well being but i like the way
the words come rolling off my forked tongue.”

and i thought of you, pistol pete.
gambling man run off devoid of family, devoid of love.
and buried alone.

i heard about your funeral, pistol pete.
father of my father.
i heard it was quiet and understated.

and then when my grandmother died,
the woman you abandoned,
the saint who raised these seeds from the dirt.
it was like a symphony.
her voice turned to sunlight and radiated the room.

and i’m somewhere inbetween.
leaning into my demons like a wheel shook towards the wrong side of the road.
like an uncomfortable buzz at two in the morning on the highway.
the red lights the blue lights the hellsound of siren on the fringe
of a beat up highway where i count my blessings in what is the cheapest
meal i can eat when i can’t afford to eat?

and i’m salaried and white and american and oh so stupid.

and i’m not gonna do it again.

when i die
it will not be quiet and night.

when i die
my voice will turn to sunlight and radiate the room.

my voice will hang in the belfry and i will not pass down
this legacy of being unable to get down on bended knee
at the door of a woman
beautiful enough to have me.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

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