COMING SOON

FEATURING THE POEMS “HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE” , “WHEN I WAS MAYBE TWELVE YEARS OLD” , “TO VEGETARIANS” , “SUBTERRANEA” , and “THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE OF VARINIA RODRIGUEZ”.

AVAILABLE THIS SEPTEMBER THROUGH FLASHLIGHT CITY PRESS.

Interesting in reviewing? Please email me at bricemaiurro@gmail

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COMING SOON

Flashlight City Press

REDHEAD (TO DENVER)

my dear
you are between a rock and a hard place
your face does not illuminate the same as the others
your lights are few and speckled
but i’ve always loved freckles
you are a grid system at first glance
i know they tell you real women have curves
but real women know better than that
sometimes you are cold and the conversation runs dry
but it’s not easy being as high as you are all the time
i love you
i never want to leave you
and i know you don’t believe me
but you are the manic pixie dream girl
who at times is slightly annoying
but i know your heart is too full
homeless men laying out sleeping bags
on the floor of your rib cage
great tent cities on your shoulders

they try to tell you your heart is a cash register
but i have heard your heart ticking at the cabaret tower
sixteenth street a string on your cello soul
i am in love with you
you smell like the west
like dust and beerspit

you are the little sister anxiously awaiting her groom
california, california, california
they all leave you for california
but you and i both know they’ll be back
california is a pathological liar
her lie detector tests look like her richter scales
it is you i love
when i am within you i hear your quiet insecure voice
you’ve been torn up, torn down
and the mountains will always take your shoes off
when you party too hard

your children
they play along the light rail tracks
they run off to school at d.u. at m.s.c.d. c.c.d. at b.f.e.
but at the end of the night, they’ll always come back
i am a part of you, beautiful
let the jesters run off to hollywood
we will show our unpainted faces to the world together
“next stop, 10th and osage” you whisper
“convention center”
“pepsi center elitch gardens”
let them think you’re vain
i know why you stop where you do
i know in december you get lonesome for your heroes
you refrigerate poetry in your cold air
the mercury cafe measuring your temperature
big blue bear
your awkward oversized blatant invitation
your 2 am curfew

don’t cry
the tears will freeze in your eyes
you are the rose that grows from the black ice
you are an indie movie theater
you are a redhead
my midnight streetlight as i caress up and down you elevators
you are leela’s coffee
tarantula billiards
you are definitely not wells fargo
they may tattoo you
but you are swing dancing at dazzle and above poetry cafes
you are 18th and market 21st and wynkoop union station tattered cover cheeseman park wash park everywhere inside of yourself
you are two-fisted mario’s blasting shit metal into your bitter chilly hair
you are the girl in a hoody and a skirt
hot dog stands that new york rejected and chicago was too tired for
you are the moodiest girl i know
you get a little too drunk on coors light
and you let far too many stoners crash on your city park couch
your heating bill is way too high
and you are never the same person twice
but i like crazy girls
the mad ones
and i know you will get the everything you desire
just keep being a mile above the rest
freckleface
a beautiful underdog who dances best drunk

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “BOSTON LOGAN”

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”

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 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