27

last few moments
of feeling everything

bundled winter
that runs so deep in me

i’ve set out just to get by lately
i find my time is coming back around

chasing paper
and leaving little notes

erasing stigmas
and trying not to breathe

i hold my breath from disposition
i hold my breath until my face turns blue

but in these dripping drops of sand
executing me
i find i’m nothing less than mostly whole
the most i can ever hope for

i was born this way
the way i am now
all mannequin stuffed to the brim
with the tree limbs that the lightning
strikes down

i creature of habit
holy brain
all one million thoughts
never time to listen
too busy feeling what’s coming in
the next moment
aren’t we all we all

step halfway through your mirror
and chase the time like quickly fading life

there’s a shadow
that’s casting over me
like clouds on mountains
i feel my destiny

i was born to make it through
these 27 years
come tomorrow
and in the passing traffic song
i just might find a fraction
of something worth saving
until this next life
come tomorrow

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

WE WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE ANYTHING LESS THAN GODS

we were never meant to be anything less than
gods

we were born to give birth to creation and take
from that creation a sense of purpose
and take that sense of purpose to church
real church life church
the church of no religion
that’s where we were meant to share this
heart thing

and there among the listening ears of one thousand
hearts
all dolled up all eyes all silence all honest
eardrum
it is there that we can be heard
and capture the anthem we hear
like a lightning bug in a mason jar
and wear it around our neck
not so much like a medal
and much much more like a locket of memory

i say this all with humility
we are each and every one of us so tiny
but maybe that’s exactly where we got it wrong
we wanted the gods to be so big
but really i do believe
that the gods are so tiny
and maybe we each and all are them

maybe we are the tiny gods we pray to

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THE GLASS MAN

his skin was made of glass. most stunning of all was his heartbeat in full display systolic diastolic every time blood rushed through his veins. his lungs too, expanding like wings. but so gently did he try to step wherever he went. one thousand onlookers unflinching locking eyes on what they did not know nor understand. when he stepped on the sidewalk the ground clacked like his heel and the concrete were trying to make a fire.

skin is not see through. in each and every person there is an entire intimate ecosystem that is rarely glanced upon. no one knows the churning of your gut. no one sees when you swallow your words and they river down into the pit of your stomach.

of course the man who was made of glass was out in the open. sometimes he would stand at a busy intersection, glass top hat before him, still and steady, just letting the world look on at his public secret. he stared blankly into the sky as children and adults examined him as if he was a museum. as if he was no more than an exhibit tossed out in urbania, here for all to see.

he could not hide, and one day it became too much and he smashed his hand crashing into a brick wall. where once there was delicate glass fingers there was now sharp scattered shards. it’s amazing how quickly fragility can turn to fear.

and the world looked onward still. and the glass man one day decided to never again be shaken up. to not be afraid to show his organs in their fierceness, but to learn to control them. so steady the rhythm of his lungs. he took deep breaths. and his heart for the muscle it was grew larger and larger. all in the eye of the world around him.

when he died, it was an open casket funeral. a still life painting of a life lived thrown out into the open. and as they closed the casket, the glass man became like the rest of us. remembered for those moments where the world was allowed to see right through to the soul of you.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

CAREFUL PATIENT MINDFUL

never have two strangers known each other so well
sitting side by side careful not to cross the crack in the cushions
but every random glance carried the weight of everything
everything there ever was between us and eventually my fingertips
abandoned their post in this armistice to commune with yours
interlaced and quiet they rested like lovers sharing a twin-sized bed
i and you we found ourselves stumbling right back to the page
that we had dogeared the shit out of

this poem is worth its weight in paper
but what comes with it is one thousand ounces of time
dropped from a dropper onto the paths we cross
not always together but never without the other one
and where we’ll end up i do not know but i do know
that these liquid ounces of time will form a mandala
careful patient and mindful that love isn’t this thing
that you take a bite out of and you’ve got it with you always

you’ve gotta keep chewing
through the sweet there is sour and seeds and
moments of pure confusion where you find yourself
in a half empty bed and the wind is too warm
and sleepless and bruised you wander through the halls
you sonder at the dreams you’ve had since you were a child

but if you keep chewing through that
then you’ve got it
you’ve got four lips two each smashed in passion
wandering the edge of another person
delicately traveling through the stories
that never come out in words

in this world you may never be without
there is always fireflies to be caught in jars
but when their bulbs burst like old cameras
when the stars disappear down the broken drain

there in the dark
careful patient and mindful
is love.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

AMERICA

america
you pray like russian
roulette

you kiss like you’re trying
to commandeer our teeth

you smell like the little samples
0f perfume in skinny magazines

america
you’re pirating porn on the internet
wearing nothing but a stolen pair
of air jordans

america
you’re panting like a dog
do you ever put your tongue
back into your mouth?

america
your gums are bleeding
from brushing your teeth too hard

do you ever do anything
with grace?

it’s always 75 miles per hour
drunk on jack
jacked up on red bull
listening to two metal albums
on your cell phone
while playing candy crush
in seven o clock rush hour traffic
because life is too short
not to do
exactly what is most important to you
in that exact moment

america
you may listen to podcasts
on new age philosophy
be here now
live in the moment
but you always fast-forward
to the good parts

you always cut away the meat
of your steak
and sit back and chew on the fat

america
you’re so good at interrupting
the people you ask
to speak on your show

america
you borrowed from me
whenever i tell you you say you didn’t
but you did
and i want it back

america
you invented advertising
and marketing
and coffee and beer
and whiskey and electricity
and freedom and democracy
well
at least that’s what you tell everyone

america
you pretend to be attention deficit
but the truth is you are consciously choosing
not to listen

plus you can get great turnaround
selling addy to high school kids

america
were you ever great?
will you ever be great?
hyperbole is a french word
but its nine-hundred percent american

i once thought i saw you
through the brush of trees
that line flathead lake
there i know i saw you
this grand estranged deer
wide eyed and still
your black eye gazed back at me
full of one-thousand yard stare
post traumatic stress disorder
you looked at me
like you just discovered
the human concept of time
0r math
or internet-streamed television service

i picked up my AR-15
and i pointed right at you
as you bolted
deep into the thick trees of bigotry

i swear i saw you

the one that got away

a hologram of a dream
of an invention

a colossal invention

there in the hand of every american
there in the heart of those who believe

not a device to help you
a device that is you

america
are you recording this call?

america
why do i have to press one for english?

america
why is my seat so small and inconvenient
in this giant bullet
that flies through the sky?

america
you’re pronouncing
“patronizing” wrong

america
i asked for no special sauce
my daughter is allergic
i can’t believe this
what are you going to do
for me?

america
what are you going to do
for me?

america
why aren’t you the country
we talk so fiercely about you being?
we spent so much time so far
talking so fiercely
about what you could be?

america
tie your shoes

america
get a job

america
love your neighbor

america
i’m not going to pay for your webcam
i don’t care h0w handsome you tell me i
am

america
if you say a word too many times
it starts to sound funny
it starts to stick to the roof of your mouth
like jiffy (c) peanut butter
america

america

america

america
when will the illuminati
reveal themselves?
was 9/11 an inside
job?
when will those walmarts
be turned into internment camps?

america
you manufacture paranoia
shelf after shelf
aisle after aisle
section after section
department after department
store after store after region
after enterprise

america
take my tickets
i brought my swimsuit
i want to ride the preschool to prison
pipeline

plea bargain my politics

mass incarcerate my poems

america
you can’t fall asleep sober
if you even fall asleep at all
you keep counting sheep
like you’re tallying days
on a prison cell

your eyes are automatic doors
that slam shut behind us all

america
your bloodsteam is refugees
you’re just too intoxicated to see it

you’re so busy building walls
you forgot to put in a door

you’re so busy campaigning for president
you’ve got not time for your family

you’re the kind of ugly
that happens over the course of a lifetime

you
america
are a pyramid scheme

you
america
beg for food
while you choke to death
on your thick privilege

you
are the one
who was born so late
to sing the world to sleep

america
you pray like russian roulette
to a god who can’t hear you
over the sound
of your own
gunshots

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THIS HERE IS MINE.

this here is mine.

this space.

this poem.

scrawled line by

shivering line

it belongs to me.

this sandbox

wherein i am god.

i am good.

i am holy.

safe from missile.

safe from drone.

this here is sanctuary.

amnesty.

my space in the attic

of a bigger god’s poem.

come the day

they come and take

my house

my home

my street

my grass

my water

my daughters

the tombstone

on my grave.

the day they come

to take it all

they will not know

but still

still like a frozen heart

this here is mine.
COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

VINCENT

i dug a tunnel to chinatown trying to escape the happiness that i had built for myself
cracked seven mirrors erased hours upon hours of footage of me taking acting lessons trying to figure out how to best play myself
if anyone tells you they always know who they are, they are lying
some days we wake up on the floor and it takes all the sunlight in us just to get back into bed
blankets build like cocoons but we don’t always come out with wings
nature can be a bitch
life can be unexciting
black without white is meaningless
sometimes war are fought in hopes of peace
somedays we are all all are mistakes

maybe the love poem is that i’m trying so desperately not to write a love poem about you
but you’re there, sifting through the stitches that tie my heart to my arms
and my arms hang tree to tree in the pending summer just hoping to be a hammock for you to rest your restless love in

cancel my subscriptions
burn my bills
take every word i’ve ever written chop it up and tally the words i’ve used the most
see the patterns in the madness the song that unfolds when you just close your eyes
cannibalize myself
my obsession with destruction is each time i rebuild
i dream of being an astronaut, a teacher, a homeless prophet
but i remember that all i want to be is the person i was before
just better

i ran from it all
i ran from family
i ran from love
from earnest truth
from boredom
god damn did i run so hard from boredom
but that shit is everywhere
and if you can hear the music that plays
when the record ends
when the needle just slides along the edge unwilling to give up
if you can hear the music there
you got it all

and i’ve got it all
each star in my sky assigned a name
frida and jean-michel and andy

i call that one vincent
he’s my favorite

and when my clouds roll in
vincent is still there
him and they still patrol the ethers
watching the stupid mistakes i make
less like a biopic
and more like trashy reality television

they still look up at us
always on fire they are
always on fire
always in love
always ready to swim through
the same black sky
never to find
anything but everything and nothing
and everything and nothing and nothing
and nothing and nothing and wow wow wow
am i the love i see in you and everyone

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

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