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

WHISKEY MAN

you’ve got ash on your leather jacket
yellow in your grinded teeth
and a shit stain on your soul
you’re drunk again
and while you’re out parting knees
she stays in saying prayers
for you and your quickly fading cigarettes
you’ve never been the type
to step in line
even at easter service
you stay lazy-seated
while the body and blood get old
your dinner’s getting cold
and you are what you eat
but you
are not innocent, young, naive or sweet
you’re burning up, whiskey man
and no one will cry at your funeral
not even the miscarried children
you could have carried if you wanted to
but you’re too busy kicking rocks
too busy stealing complacency from plants
you drink in your water
while the desert streams run dry
the tumbleweeds are off to work with ties and briefcases
while you stumble in the wind
the sun warms your bride’s face
while you set happy homes on fire
you take what you desire
you are a whiskey man
the world will never forget you
disaster fables scars wrapped up in the butt of your
coffin nail
the world will never forget you

AS SOON AS I LEARNED THE WORD “NIRVANA”, I VIOLENTLY SHOOK ANY CHANCE OF IT OUT OF ME

i noticed all of a sudden that my speedometer went up to 160 mph
i realized i was twenty-three years old and god what a disappointment it would be to wake enlightenment prematurely
i stopped setting alarm clocks
i tore calendars down from off my walls
the sugar tooth i had pulled from my mouth grew back
i was a haphazard caution sign child playing in the garden
i ran stoplights and came back to steal them when no one else was around
i shook hands with night exchanging with him business cards for a bottle of moonshine
i crammed stolen stereos into the trunk of my hot car heart
i hit baby seals with plastic bats and shaved off one of my eyebrows
i took power tools and removed the hinges on my bedroom door
i removed the glass between the people-animals and the zoo-animals
i shattered fragile dreams letting in the monsters of nightmares
i have something else to say
there are mirrors everywhere
and i have kickstarted my disappearing act with a fundraiser for demons when i should have been more useful in a coma
the edge is sharp
and it is not always in vanity that mothers teach us not to run with scissors
there are mirrors everywhere
books fold symmetrical over themselves
(closed casket funerals for pens that bleed to death)
there are mirrors everywhere
framing reflections on scars of stupidity that run from our eyes to our mouth
there are mirrors everywhere
in fun houses we smile open wallet smiles at a maze, a labyrinth, a fleeting moment of no identity but we leave our poetic fingerprints at every crime scene
and in every bathroom
on foggy whiskey glasses
and speeding tickets
the handles of weapons
the rope of guillotines
(we piss our names in the snow)
there are mirrors everywhere
we hate seeing ourselves on camera
vampires, lost boys
and i have kickstarted my disappearing act
can’t see my bloody reflection
i toast bad habits to breaking bad habits
wait. wait.
i regret
nothing.
do i?
i’m paving the path to enlightenment with hot coals.
but i want to die with blistered feet.
i meditate on rock and roll
god
i am so god damn american
i am starbucks hot tea
i am approaching nirvana in the disoriented footsteps of kurt cobain
the planned suicide of hunter s. thompson and i’m asking these mirrors
what is the opposite of nirvana?

what is the opposite of nirvana?

there are mirrors everywhere.

what is the opposite of nirvana?
what is the opposite of nirvana?
what is the opposite of nirvana?

(reckless poem implodes on its own structure)

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

DOCUMENTARIANS

we tattoo our saints on our skin
whoever they may be
we take still life versions of happiness
and shove them into electronic time capsules
we are documentarians
we plan kisses in the rain
and film them as candidly as we can
we give each other diamonds
we write each other songs just the same
we stick flags in our moons
and try to become immortal
we want to live forever
we frame our successes
and store our failures in attics
we send our past child-support
and we manufacture half me half you hybrid
creatures and stuff them with our ideas
like cotton
we strap them to car seats in the back of
subaru legacies
we pay money to ride giant metal death machines
and eat cotton candy afterwards to celebrate life
we purchase a snapshot of us screaming sitting next to
those we love
we build houses out of thousand-year old trees
(what a superiority complex)
we sit on dated fossil couches
watching the history channels
we visit graveyards
and talk to people with petrified ears
we leave flowers that die
for people who have wilted noses
we burn things we want to forget
and we burn things we want to keep
so we can make intangible memories
the past is always prettier
cities look closer than they appear in rear-view mirrors
we reminisce over reminiscing
in late night diners
telling waiter faces we recognize
that we’ll have the usual
we date our writing
(january ninth, two thousand eleven, 12:34 pm)
we celebrate anniversaries
even our dvr’s and bank accounts have histories
this is a good thing
these are all good things
we are writing post-dated fables to the future
we assign value to objects
and sometimes capitalism wins that battle
but most of the time
they become souvenirs
keepsakes
photo albums
snow globes capturing a world we shook up
posters on the naked walls of our minds
refrigerator magnets that draw us together

death is exiting through the gift shop
buying mementos for the memories we just made.

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE OF VARINIA RODRIGUEZ

her words are semi-automatic rounds fired from her metal gut
do not fuck with her
this girl knows how to say “cunt”
emphasizing each consonant like a brooklynite biting his tongue
she stands like a soldier
on stage she sets herself on fire and its the audience who are left with third degree burns
leather jacket and heels
a camel hanging off her red lipstick
her red lipstick a soapbox
for the symphonic neurotic urgent purging of the psychological warfare of varinia rodriguez

she is a punk rock train plummeting down the ugly slopes of the rocky mountains into sure oblivion
she screeches, sparks fly from the silver tongue permanently embedded in her cheek
but then she pulls the emergency brake and from the chainsaw sound of chaos
the train stops
in the silence she makes firm eye contact
points a forty-four magnum at your chest
you can almost hear the heartbeats in her bullets

chaos and well-thought out speeches
order and sober drunk shit storms from heaven
none of us are safe from the psychological warfare of varinia rodriguez

(i challenged her to whiskey
and as i dropped an ice cube in my glass
i’m fine
she says
this girl
the ice
just waters it down
i’ll drink you under the table she said
and we toasted
to new regrets
and at the very least
bad poetry)

the psychological warfare of varinia rodriguez
is not easily saturated to the regimens of pen and paper
it is violence with feathers
it is peace with bombs
it is words like unfiltered cigarettes
mental pictures like sepia snapshots
it’s a short girl standing on 4 am tables crying honest
a decibel in her voice for every woman, man and child who cannot vocalize
varinia’s poetry is getting kicked out of bullshit stores for breaking in the sales windows
i bet some nights she sits at the window like a cat, anxious of everything
i bet some nights she sits at the window like a sniper, anxious of everything

the psychological warfare of varinia rodriguez
you have two options
hear what she has to say or hear what she has to say
and stubbornness is irrelevant
when honesty is pertinent
and varinia rodriguez is a loud speaker
and varinia rodriguez is a warm hug from an old friend in the cold breath of denver
and varinia rodriguez is a song that you have to hear now not later
and the psychological warfare of varinia rodriguez is the heart under the floorboards breaking though with a crowbar while you’re trying to sleep in ignorance
but it is inevitable

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012