PLAYING HOUSE

we kissed consonants at each other
our lips fumbling over fumbleover
i thought about why people love zombies
as you crafted pie charts about love
i left the engine on
and stuck in the claustrophobic clusterfuck
of our romantic pissing contest
i wish someone would have closed the garage door
then we could have died slap-happy crack-happy
playing house and imitating the pretty people on the television set
her eyes were as blue as mountains
her tongue, as soft as record scratches
and my sculpture of myself was made out of leftover bits from childhood art projects
happy in the womb were we
our bodies arguing over awkward gesticulations
it was a stillbirth
each secret brought us closer until collision
the golden umbilical cord wrapped around our necks
we suffocated on love
auto erotic romantic pedantic asphyxiation
and our friends and family left the room as soon as we entered
love was circle ponies
and now
i don’t know what it is
until i do, i’ll pursue these one night stands with monogamy
these closed relationships with open wounds
and drain brain fluid onto dead trees

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

REVIEW OF TIM BECKER’S “NEW YORK CITY BONES”

“I’ve been with you since the collapse
When the earthquake shook up the dust
and we were intimate
Since the sirens went off
and your alarm clock scattered
Your eyes were shades of gray
behind a morning cup of coffee
The blades of grass were shaking off the dew
and gasping for breath
I’ve been with you since we fell apart
and melted in a flash flood
While our bodies caved in
In colors and shades
As you stumble out of bed
and I mumble weary nonsense
Somhow I just know we’ll be okay
But now I’m lying here in the
cold sweat of a nightmare
And you’re gone”

I met Tim Becker when I worked with him at a certain popular coffee company, and I knew as soon as I met him, we were going to be more than coworkers. I could tell right away that Tim was smart, and as cliche as it may sound. the fact that he was a twenty-three year old who walks with a cane told me he was someone with stories; someone who lived his life.
At the end of one of our shifts, as Tim closed up the doors, he asked me if I would like to stay a bit and smoke some clove cigars with him outside of the store. I obliged and Tim and I spent a good hour or two shooting the shit, our favorite subjects being The Beatles and Radiohead. I had given up on ever being a Radiohead fan, so Tim dragged me to his car where he put in one of their CD’s. I’ll never forget seeing that stack of Radiohead CD’s Tim had in his car. This guy digested music the way I digested music; ferociously, trying to get to know the artist. Tim wasn’t the type to listen to a song by a band, let alone an album, he would patiently absorb every lick of music that artist ever wrote. I’ve been blessed in our friendship being the same way.
Tim is quiet passion. A rare combination. I can’t keep my damn mouth shut for the life of me. I remember working with Tim at that coffee company that shall not be named; I was playing the part of an angst-driven twenty year old rambling in his ear “Tim, I love her so much but all we do is fight and her dad hates me, but maybe I’m giving up on a good thing etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” and after probably an excessive fifteen minute rant, Tim stopped what he was doing looked me dead in the eye and said “Brice, sometimes the things we want the most, are the things that would kill us,”
I was over her. He had successfully said exactly what I needed to hear in so few words because Tim is one of those people who listens, who thinks and who says all that needs to be said, never overcomplicating things.
Why do I tell you this? Because Tim’s poetry is the same way. Anyone who is even the smallest follower of my blog knows that I… tend to ramble. Don’t get me wrong. I love to ramble, but there’s something to be said about saying only what needs to be said. Saying things as succinctly as possible. Tim does just that, and powerfully. I think about one of my favorite poems from his book; a poem called “Thirty Cops.” Tim explains how one night he found a group of thirty cops standing around a dying deer, contemplating what to do. He ends the poem, “and thirty cops just earned an hour’s pay.” Beautiful – and if your thinking “thirty cops? really?” yes really, because Tim’s writing is as honest as it is intimate.
Something I may have failed to mention that has been a key factor in a great friendship with Tim is Tim’s sense of humor. It comes from that same quiet place as his passion, but damn if it doesn’t bite you in the ass. It’s sharp, it’s caustic, and you don’t know you’re a victim of a joke by Tim Becker until it’s long over. Ladies and gentleman, as Exhibit B, I present to you Tim’s poem from his book, New York City Bones, aptly titled “Poetry.”

“The wall to my left is white
I’m sitting on a chair made of wood
The room is normal temperature
The ceiling has a grainy texture
The carpet doesn’t look like the ceiling
There’s a photo of my wife on the desk
She is smiling
There’s a painting of a flower
The painting is square
The flower is red
I’m wearing a hat on my head
I’m holding a pen in my hand
And I’m writing this poem
People like descriptive poetry
This is a descriptive poem
Publish this shit”

Ha ha ha. Tim’s book, New York City Bones, published by Flashlight City Press, is well worth the read.

Especially for the hipsters, because they’re gonna want to be there to say “I’ve been following him since New York City Bones,” or perhaps whine that “His first book was way better.”

Copies of Tim’s book can be purchased through this link: http://flashlightcitypress.myshopify.com/

THE GREAT AMERICAN BURGER MACHINE

the great american burger machine
fifty thousand shades of lip gloss
the land of the buy one get one free
five thousand types of cigarettes
a must-have priced-to-sell item
limited time offer while supplies last
best-in-class five star rated
save time save money save energy
are you sick of all the trouble?
are you tired? are you stressed?
god bless whoever invented point nine nine
two-for-one rebate coupons
the american way faster
cheaper better longer lasting
it keeps going and going and going
newest model special edition
collector’s edition twentieth anniversary
edition do i hear one dollar
two dollar two dollar two three
can i get three can i get an amen! sold!
to the man in the stunning suit sitting
beside the label whore in the
ergonomically-correct chair and
god bless you and god bless you and
your beautiful artificial blue eyes and
your beautiful artificial children
all of you everywhere everyone all
at once holiday sale! pre-holiday sale!
post-holiday sale! back to school!
summer vacation! labor day! black
friday! president’s day! memorial day
sale! come on in! open twenty four
seven three sixty five all major
holy-days and the lights and the lights
never turn off and it keeps
going and going and going and
going…

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

 

SOCRATES BEAT

i like having my arms tug-o-warred between nazi germany and hippie utopia
i like playing pin the tail on the next president of the united states of america
every day colorado is a different shade, a different mood a different temperature so i must mimic her dance steps in the dark
i like considering the entire menu because the moment i order the same i always do – i feel vindicated and why is the waitress staring at me?
from henceforth when people ask me my political views i will answer “yes”
from henceforth when people ask me my religious views i will tell them i subscribe to the church of Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Ganesh, Thor, Zeus and the flying spaghetti monster sitting on a cloud having a religious debate
i want to be a child again – when my favorite ninja turtle was ‘all of them’ – and that was okay
i will stop ending my sentences with periods and begin to end them with question marks?
because i know, and everyone can agree on the fact that, i don’t know everything and you don’t know everything and the guys on t.v. with podiums for legs don’t know everything but collectively we can get a lot closer
screw their very important person tea party – we are all the united nations
we are truthseekers and truthspeakers and truth is the mental atomic bomb i hold most dearly
the freedom of truth, the beauty of truth, the love of truth, and god, do i love her
truth is my lady, she’s never wrong but she’s a good listener, but she loves to argue, but we never go to bed angry
and neither should the rest of us, unless we need to
we need to document the world we want
we need to break down our neighbor’s door with a giant cup of sugar
let us be open doors and patient ears – not wind-up chattering teeth talking to ear plugs

i like having my arms tug-o-warred between nazi germany and hippie utopia
and i like earth better than heaven, because there’s more books to be read and written on the subject
we are still rebuilding the tower of babel and they will never let us finish

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE

step one
look in the mirror
you owe it to yourself
to have one more conversation with the person who knows you best
we have this inability to truly move on from anything
without saying goodbye

goodbye

*note: when setting one’s self one fire,
i suggest you make an itemized list
of the necessary items
these things take preparation

1 costco-sized bottle of lighter fluid
1 lighter, any brand, may supplement matches for classic effect

in addition to these two quintessential items
1 should make any necessary preparations
to make sure others do not get burned

step two
if you are seriously dedicated to setting yourself on fire
buy a notebook in whatever color you prefer
locate a pen and

make a list of pros and cons
i.e.
pro: dramatic, incendiary death at a time and place of your choice
con: serious burns, death (debatably a pro or con), this is an irreversible decision

it’s just the responsible thing to do to discuss this with your friends and family in vivid detail

note: sometimes we burn in pairs, holding hands, as the world watches

step three
relocate pen and pad
and write a letter to everyone you care to inform of your decision
there are several sources in written and digital form to assist you
with proper letter writing format
essentially you can decide whether it should be formatted as a business or personal letter
tell your mother you love her
tell your brothers and sisters you’ll miss them
tell your stepfather fuck off
tell your ex-lovers it’s all their fault
tell yourself “i’ll go to heaven
or i’ll just be dirt in the ground
or i’ll be reborn as a phoenix
or i’ve accepted the fact i will go to hell”
i can’t tell you which is the truth
but it’s still worth considering
tell everyone you care to tell
you’ll be setting yourself on fire

step four
dress for the occasion
the tricky part is
if you wear your favorite band shirt
it will get ruined
and that band may get the impression they were involved in this decision
when you and i both know never hearing them again was on your cons list

note: before moving forward, it is important to consider who will be the one to sweep up your ashes.

step five
drench yourself in lighter fluid
it is more difficult than you would think to do this by yourself
it will be cold
do not be conservative with the fluid
you only get one chance to do this right

note: as i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil

step six
i suggest counting your final breaths
you can countdown from 10 or 3
essentially it’s up to you, any number is okay
but i do suggest you do this
these are the last breaths you’ll ever breathe
make them count
breathe slow
close your eyes
escape from reality for a second
trust me though
these breaths are worth counting

step seven
click the lighter

step eight
your final breath

step nine
the last thing you’ll ever see

step ten

step ten
touch the flame to the fluid
set
yourself
on fire
you will burn until you burn out
but first you will have a short time
to relish in how it feels
to live in one thousand degree celsius temperatures
eighteen hundred thirty degrees fahrenheit
you will burn
and you will be missed
no longer engulfed in reality
you will burn and burn
ashes to ashes
dust to dust
flight 11 to l.a.x.
first degree
second degree
third degree
murder
burns
like wordstogether
bones’ dust
splayed across the earth
charred debris
in an urn
you will burn
until you burn out
you will be missed.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012