Wake for my youth so far (i hope)

and the next clock reminds me that in eight months of living in this apartment i have yet to clean my fridge
and the next clock reminds me that the older i get the less i grow my beard out and that one is surprisingly sad
the next clock tells me tonight i should relax and watch kendrick lamar videos
and the next clock irks me to paint paintings any time i try to close my eyes to sleep.

the next clock is you, naked at the foot of the bed, crawling towards me
yet another clock is you, locked off and silent, no matter what volume i twist my voice to.
yet another clock is america.
yet another clock is my car in the driveway, my debt flooding the basement, the sounds of sirens surrounding my house at one in the morning though i couldn’t be certain what the crime is.
the next clock is death. duh.
the next clock is time and time is a live studio audience laughing. they are laughing and laughing though i don’t get the impression any of this is funny to them. though i don’t get the impression they are enjoying themselves, or that they are here for any reason but to be an ethereal railroad tie, punched through my railroad.

and lately i don’t get the impression this gets easier.
i do get the impression that one’s dreams change over the course of any given lifetime.
sometimes in revelation. sometimes through Reality, as Reality kicks our asses at ping pong, and then proceeds to literally kick our asses. and then proceeds to give us the beautiful painful distinct privilege of watching our parents get older.

the next clock is me, and it’s a very large clock. i can see myself in its glass. the image is changing. for me, it’s like a roulette wheel spinning through different versions of myself, upon which i can impart varying levels of love.
the next clock is Christmas, because even the worst of Christians can’t deter me from loving the heart of winter, two exits after the solstice. even the worst of Christians can’t deter me from finding sonic joy in the temperance of warm alcohol and family. whatever family may be. don’t cage in your limitations on love. do you hear me?

the clock ticks like an atom bomb. i shed my skin like a snake. i drive the bus to school. i turn in my homework on time. i kiss the girl, on the neck, in the car. i pull out the praying bar and i sit and i pray to a wooden ceiling.

dear wooden ceiling, allow me to not get too wrapped up in this algebra. allow me to magically know when the pizza is done cooking. let me roller skate with death during the couple’s song. dear wooden ceiling, shield me. dear wooden ceiling, allow me to know the difference between surrender and defeat. may i lay with lions and come out their king. let me lay with a woman who humbles me. chase off the ghosts, this isn’t pac-man, but it’s pretty close. illusory fruit and maze. like a bible story.

dear wooden ceiling, when i die make me a clock with no hands. paint my wings in something heavier than feathers. kiss me warm. wrap me in velvet until i miss the sandpaper. until i wake up, and i wake up, and wake up, i wake up, wake up, wake up.

 

Stupid Flowers 30% off

Hey guys,

If you’re interested in picking up my book, it’s currently discounted on Lulu to 10.50. If you can grab a copy, please do.

Just click the Puppers in the Basket if you’re interested.

Love, Brice

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The Guts of Dexter

you find yourself falling apart like wooden blocks
toppling over your self

you don’t know if this is the norm
or if this is an experience completely unique to you

you were in a car eight hours down the pacific coast highway
but you missed it all you slept so hard

your body is constantly reinventing itself
checking scars is a good way to make certain you are still alive

very similar to lucid dreaming
we all need something to ground us

something to yell at us that we’re okay when we find ourselves in a wind tunnel

if god is real then i think they’re probably suffering like all of us
their garbled brain gone schizophrenic
multiple personality disorder as they try to decide which human reflection of them is correct
post traumatic stress disorder from watching city after city fall
like wooden blocks toppling over themselves

your heart is a parakeet at best
some kind of mid-sized bird in a shoebox

you don’t really see any of this coming you’re so busy buying better shoes

you’re exhausted you don’t allow yourself to see it until you get stress sick
and you find yourself hopped up on dayquil watching people’s court and price is right

you start to wonder if you should be your self as you find yourself older each day and still single
asking your self am i that one individual milk jug at the back of the fridge at work?

eternally stuck restless half frozen past expiration waiting for some magic warm hand to grab you
your feet fall asleep as you balance on the strange telephone wires of time

asking yourself had someone not told me i’m good with people would i be in customer service?
if i didn’t excel at mathematics would i have any interest in being a mathematician?

you’re like a swan boat maybe, with a hole in it
a tiny hole on the underbelly

not enough to capsize you but definitely enough to make things uncomfortable
enough to make you feel bad for the attention that you require to continue to float

you shouldn’t feel bad
god is somewhere counting change to see if they can get themselves a rodeo burger before payday

we’re all just ditzing around and there’s a few of us who really think we’ve nailed it
but those people’s houses could get hit by tornados

or sometimes they get crushed beneath the extreme illusory weight that the stack on their chests
i’m not blaming them i’m just saying we’re all the weird green potato chip somedays

i’m just saying if you figure out what normal looks like please draw me a diagram or make a pie chart or cast some sort of line out because i’m starting to settle down on the idea that it most likely just doesn’t exist and that pretending that there is an answer is probably the best way to destroy riding this question out until our inevitable descent into the guts of Dexter, the turtle that someday will swallow us all

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

In Pictures

the earth is pulling back against us all
as we push off we realize we are all just scratch n sniff stickers glued down by gravity
mannequins set into motion marching out of cars into light rail trains
big trucks stuck in traffic
whales in sardine boxes
broken pencils trying to carve our initials in an asymmetrical heart below our loved ones
two letters
a big fucking cake
shared joy empty beds
faces unpixelated and repixelated across empires
across oceans full of skeletons and sunken ships
and then in the clockwork of it all we begin to burn up
ten thousand grams of mess
disattached in smoke and flame
burning
dear john letters and IOUs
burning
unresolved conflicts
trains halted before the crash frozen in grayscale in pictures
burning
dead watches on anxious wrists
wedding rings on the claws of monsters
burning
for the strangers who prefer to stay strange
and the family too distant to be familiar

Potential Song Names

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a swan in a tar pit
the brain busted from the jar
i organized my smut films
pray to the government
discounted lobotamy
haikus for hitler
scorsese was a saint
unprinted newspaper
taxi cab yellow
born on the forth of august
died in the arms of a clock
anger management problem
kentucky fried children
the age of bob dylan
god bless you, mayor hancock
twenty dollar motel room

and letters

and letters i do not have the letters that i wish
to have to letter you i do not know where to
begin i love you in a language that i do not
speak and i am so afraid and desperate and
desperately afraid that i will never have the
letters to build the ladder that i wish to build
to climb into your left lung and sail across the
air of you like waves i do not have the letters
and each day you are further away from me i
do not have the letters all i have is this poem
made only from these letters which i use so
very damned often i just wish to hold your
hand in a flea market and i wish to spend my
last days on this earth wandering aimlessly
to the local fruit stand missing you so very
immensely and it will be a hurt that i have
never felt but i don’t know how i will ever
climb into your left lung to have it because
i do not have the letters and so i write in
circles and predicted patterns like a paint
shaker hoping desperate for a crack in the
lid and when the whole colors of it all
splatter maybe i will see that i did not need
the letters because i had the colors i had the
colors inside of me and if it’s your love then
you will have it and that i like to believe i
like to believe i like to believe because i
close my eyes and you are not so sky distant
you are tangible and somewhere maybe
drowning in letters and desperate for color
and i know i will be your favorite color i
know i will if only i can find the letters or
the colors or the maybes tucked behind
bricks in the strange alleys that we’ve
both passed through in dreams

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Sink

i see you
in places maybe i shouldn’t
i can’t help it
even in the shattered glass frame
of your dark night of the soul
you radiate like gamma ray bursts

so i see you

as you dance on ink
as you drown in bedsheets
as you dig at your shoulder blades
and you pray for wings

i see you

in halls without doors
in ballrooms without music
in basements without foundation
they just keep sinking
and you could fight back
but in some strange ballet
you sink with them

i realize you are communicating with them

that you will not be swallowed

you are unafraid of depths
and that is not to say
that you are immune to deaths
you feel them wholly
maybe more than all of us combined
but when the light is gone
you open your pupils as wide as they

an immortal child
shining like a bruised orange
continuously peeling and unpeeling
peeling and unpeeling
and i’m lucky i knew you

when i was the darkness that swallowed you
you became me

you were not afraid to sink with me

and when we came out the other side

you were gone
and looking out now on an endless lake
i see the ghost of a deer walking on the water

i see you

 

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The Bravery

three months ago,
i left my job

three months ago,
i took the etch-a-sketch portrait i’d created
of myself
and i shook it fucking hard

i shook it hard
and watched
as every singular bead
like individual ounces of my security
disappeared

and when i looked in the mirror
i saw just that

an empty etch-a-sketch

but i decided not to sketch again
i decided
that spirit
couldn’t be contained in this way

that this time
there would be no filter
between me and the burning world

i threw the etch-a-sketch through the window
i defenestrated my ugly

and i walked sternly through my front door
naked and cold
out into a vast sea of somethings
that i had never experienced

three months ago,
i began this recreation
i, a self-aware mannequin
tearing any arm that grew from me
if it did not reach for the right things

tearing any leg from me
if it attempted to pace
at any speed
that any human being had before
attempted
to pace

and everyone told me to seek the road

but i quickly knew i did not want the road

i have spent my entire life
a set of four run down rubber wheels
thinking that there was something outside of me
that would save me

some joshua tree
in the middle of a desert
where i would fall to my knees
and know what i was

no.

i am the tree
and i denied myself
any shade
any water
any sense of safety
from the truth of it all
until i could say
that the way my branches splayed out
into the world was like a silent sermon

this way
is the way
i was born to stand

three months ago,
i was born
out of a mouth of secrets
into a wide open sky
that enveloped me
night after night
until i opened my mouth wide enough
to envelope it back

i did not swallow
i let it live there
i told its story

i fluffed the silly clouds
like pillows
and offered the house i carried with me
to whoever
and whenever

freedom is a bravery
one that says not that i am free
but nothing will stop me from being so

beauty is the acknowledgement
that something outside of yourself
is the same as you

truth is laughter

and i don’t know what love is

three months later,
i’m waking up from a dream
and it’s not easy
this
this now is the turn

this now is me
in the shadow of the wave of the dream
wondering do i sit still and hold my breath
or do i swim aimlessly

i’ve grown so far
and now i don’t know anything
maybe that’s the bravery

 

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g l o o m y

the trees stopped talking, they are lost
in the grey evening, the purple humming sunset, and
i am walking in endless circles in
the middle of the road

the houses are wavering, creeping taller
and shorter, windows like eyes, squeaking
swings where we sat, and contemplated
a reality for us to coexist in

the ground is littered with trash, half
eaten hamburgers, empty soda cups, and
busted roaches

i close my eyes and i am kissing
you, i close my eyes and it is soft and
warm and we’re drowning in an old mattress
in the basement of your parent’s house

i open my eyes and i’m still circling the
street, one dog barking, swing still
squeaking, i am engulfed beneath a giant
sky and i start to feel like i a grasshopper in
a mason jar just hoping someone will shake
the glass

 

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