A LETTER TO A BANK

dear bank,

i know what you did, and you broke my heart
i hear your clinking heels come by my window at night
i’ve been nickeled and i’ve been dimed
you are 52 fictional stories tall
a full house of cards
and a plastic laugh track plays when we beg for a loan
your wagon has driven off the coast of california
and as it collides with the ocean floor its tremors
turn to earthquakes
birthquakes that tremble dresses of bimbo whores

dearest bank,

you broke my heart
then charged me an overdraft fee
i can’t remember the last time i held a physical dollar
i can’t remember the last time i held your hand
try and understand
i want you back
i do i do i do
when the fridge is crying at midnight
telling me it’s hungry all i’m thinking about is you
oh great cash register building!
wolf in sheep’s clothing
masquerading as guardian angel to my sweet denver
homeless hobos and scummy bums shine your shoos
oh great cash register!
beneath your great ship slaves row – oh ee oh –
to move you along
how could you do this to me?
customer since 2006
platinum debit card
and all the pretty horses on the merry-go-round
under the reigns of your painted wagon
come circle-jerking backaround
and the music plays laa la la dee da
and i am enamored once again
instantaneous forty hour work-week come to fruition
at the click of a button, slide of a card
convenience with a convenience charge
oh great cash register in the sky!
you are squatting without permission in the house of the lord
and denying god a second mortgage

my dearest bank,

the buck stops here
i don’t want my money imaginary anymore
and i understand
that you have overdraft fees
account transfer fees
balance inquiry fees
atm fees at your
automatic teller machine machines
to help teach me about responsibility
ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black
i’m leaving you
loyalty department (talking paradox)
try and stop me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “MOTIVE”

MOTIVE

was it because you were bullied in
school? were you abused as a child?
did you have a vendetta against society?
did the world just rub you the wrong way?
was it because you could only see sin in us all?
did you have undiagnosed mental issues that should
have gone diagnosed?

were you exposed to violent video games,
violent movies, violent comic books at a young age?
were you plotting this for months?
where were you when you decided to take the terror
inside of your broken rib cage and turn it into the
terror we all feel carving holes in our hands?
was it drugs? was it years and years of pent-up rage
and silence? was it something someone said to you
a long time ago that you could have told someone?
are you godless behind your hidden eyes?
were you broken to begin with? are you proof
that some of us are born with two demons on
our shoulders? that some of us enter through exit
doors in shameful masks to rip down the red curtains?
to pierce the surface of innocent skin and beautiful lives?
did you feel your skin pressing the trigger of the gun?
do you hear any of this in your head? most of us do.
most of us are playing judge, jury and executioner in
our hearts and in our heads. hosting trials
asking ourselves what is right and what is wrong
don’t you dare
be proud of yourself. don’t you dare
think i will remember your name. don’t you dare
say you’re sorry – most of us are questioning the state
of the color red but some of us
aren’t around anymore to do that. twelve of us
are stories that couldn’t be saved. twelve of us
are the names that should be remembered. twelve of us
will never see the end of the movie.

the rest of us
are still here saying prayers at dinner tables with empty
chairs. we are listening instead of hearing. we are speaking
instead of listening. why weren’t you? when did your sun go
down and why in the black night of aurora did you sneak
shadowed into these happy homes and tear apart the very
fabric of our humanity? where are you now? who
are you? i will not remember your name. you are not god.
you are not the devil. you are everything we are not; and
you are unanswered questions that you could have just
asked somebody.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “SIMON SAYS”

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who died early today in the Aurora Theater Shooting. May those lost rest in peace. I can’t imagine what you’re going through and I wish you all the best in this impossibly tough time.

SIMON SAYS

at work
in the parking lot of a
shitty kind of
morning

listening to
the opposite of
lullabies

windows rolled up
doors locked

and if i smoked
i would be smoking
now

out the front
window of my hot black
car

a man with glasses
directly across the way
from me

exits his car
and begins walking
towards the work building.

windows rolled up

“stop,” i say,
he does.

“lock your doors,”
he does. he can’t hear me.

“get on the roof of your
car,” and he turns back around,
robotically, and steps up onto the
roof of his car.

he is skinny and awkward,
standing on the hood of a ninety-five
civic, so naturally
unnatural.

“now jump off,” i say, and
he does. and shit
i’m late for work and i’m sure
he is too.

“take out your cellphone,”
and he does.
“call in sick for me,”
and he does.
“call in sick for you,”
and he does.

i tell him to climb a tree
and he can’t hear me
but he can,
and he does.
he swings
like a monkey from
a branch.

“go jump in
that lake!” and
like a dog chasing after
a ball, he
obeys.

he does not look
tortured.

within someone else’s will
he is peaceful and
undaunted.

he just stands there smiling
in the lake
by the parking lot
near work.

i think of all the advantages
of this situation; the
power.

i command him
never ever listen to my commands
again,
and he does.

it was nice to take a sick day.

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

THE ANATOMY OF A TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD BOY

Every year on my birthday (July 19th), I write a poem called “The Anatomy of a ___-year-old boy. It’s my birthday today and I’d like to share with you all the poem I just wrote:

Let’s start with the head.

We found the skull to be very thick and stubborn to get
through. One surgeon working on this operation swears
in his testimony that at one point after successfully opening
the skull that he watched the skull close back in on
itself, though this could not be confirmed (nor denied.)

Upon successfully surgically opening the head directly down the
center we were able to begin our studies with a very profound
journey into the central work station of the twenty-four year old
boy. It seems the subject’s mind is fairly saturated with high levels
of dreams,
however, it is worth noting that these dreams are clotted with
equally high levels of thoughts on the female gender:
There were several times during the operation where we had
to enter the brain to rewire the shifting eyes to focus on the
subject at hand.

On that note, the subject’s eyes rarely seemed willing to look
at one thing for too long. The subject was easily distracted
by outrageous ideas, some as far-fetched as doing what he
loved for a living.

Upon searching the mouth, we were clued in that the subject
may suffer from attention deficit disorder, when leftover bits
of Adderall (Amphetamine) were detected hanging on
for dear life at the back of the throat. It is important to note
that this may in fact be the residual effects of a misdiagnosis
but our tests were inconclusive one way or the other.

The subjects bones were made out of a foreign material
unseen in any of our previous cadaverous experiments. Several
chemical tests were unable to identify the substance, but
a brief but luckily contained accident by an intern where a
flammable substance was spilled on the subjects bones led us
to the undeniable conclusion that the subject’s bones, head to
toe, were composed of strike-anywhere matches. The subject,
as we then learned, is highly combustible; it seemed the slightest
spark could set our subject on fire.

Upon examination we were able to monitor the subjects’
heartbeat; and what we found there was most astounding;
not only did the subject have an arrhythmic heartbeat, it seemed
the subject’s heartbeat was reactive to whatever music was playing
in his head. Ranging from classics, such as the Beatles to newer
inquiries, such as Foster the People, it seemed the subject was
completely at the whim of music. Our psycho-surgical analysts
were starting to gain concern that the subject may be too fragile
to undergo this surgery. Everything we were seeing underneath
the skin was substantially honest and vulnerable. (I disagreed with
our psycho-surgical analysts on the proposal of concluding our
endeavors. Personally having counseled the subject prior to
inoculation, I saw the great vigor with which he wrote his sworn
affidavit aggreeing to the procedure.) As if our finding with
the subject’s heart weren’t intriguing enough, later tests showed in
rare, nevertheless consistently intermittent moments, the subject’s
heart would stop beating all together. It brought a wave of fear
over the operation the first time, but we quickly found undeniable
evidence that though this subject’s heart concretely did stop
pulsating time to time, that it did always begin again, always
back to its normal frantic pace.

There was a certain correspondence we were able to identify
between the systolic beat of the heart and the left leg, and the
diastolic beat of the heart, and the right leg. One doctor remarked,
and we all agreed, that the subject marched to the beat of his
own drummer.

Though no tests were performed, I noticed a certain shakiness
in the subject’s hands through much of the testing. As if the
subject wanted to feel everything that was happening to him.
Or maybe as if there was some passion that he was suffering from
anxiety to get back to doing. On a less professional, and more
poetic note, it seemed as if he was typing on the air. As if even in
the midst of this numb surgery he was crafting something.
I couldn’t help but notice.

Government funding only allotted us so much funding for this
endeavor so from there I thought it best to conclude, hoping next
year to re-up our grant and continue to study the anatomy
of a twenty-five year old boy.

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

PUNCH-THE-CLOCK

late for school
not the first time this has happened
my internal clock is set to work – 7:30
and psych starts at 7
i can’t keep track of this all
my mental calendars have been dipped
in hydrochloric acid
i’m not meant for itineraries
but i’m trying
going to bed at nine
setting alarms for six
work at 7:30
work at 7:30
punch the clock
punch the clock
god, i want to punch the clock
the minute hand and the hour hand
are strangling me
while the second hand hits me in the kidneys
tick tock
the pendulum of a grandfather clock
is a swinging blade inching towards me

(as of late
i have to assume that the sun is still coming up
and settling down
cubicle walls and textbooks shade me from rationalizing a systematic symphony of light and then dark and after burning so much midnight oil i’m forgetting waht a normal chemical balance feels like)

my skin is as pale as computer paper
my heart beats like the beep beep at the beginning of call center calls
i want a room made of windows free of clocks where time is just something your parents made up to scare you
i’m trying to make this poem free from rhythm
free
free from
make
this
make this poem free
from rhyth-
make the poe-
m free
no beat
inevitable
inevitable
chaos leads to structure
and structures can fall from chaos
please
just a mental day
sorry
i’m just having a mental day
i’ll sleep in for once
count sheep out of order
and lose count
stop tallying everything
deny there being
seven days a week
twenty-four hours a day
three hundred and sixty five days a year
punch the clock
five days a week
forty hours
plus over time
i am over time
count the things formerly known as days
in moments

i breathe in
i breathe out
inhale
exhale
systolic
diastolic
rhythm
rhythm
maybe
this all
was in
vain.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

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Brice

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