The Tilt

but one boy dared to go play in traffic
and despite what you might picture for him
the traffic learned to swerve around his magic
from the sidelines the other boys looked onward
and they saw nothing short of illusion

it wasn’t illusion
it was nothing short of a victory of the soul
stubborn thumping rebellion outweighing cold measured logic
the tilt in the axis of the earth

Stupid Flowers Promo

Blues #3

one of those days where you just watch the movie over and over again. you stare on again as the man drives down the orchard avenue. as he picks up the black and white girl in the colorful dress. as they drive to the hilltop. as they smooch beneath the moon. as he drives her back home. as the dad looks disappointed in the window. as he drives away. as he dreams about her. as he wakes up in the morning and tells his buddies about the date by the lockers. as the bully challenges him to the fight. as they throw fists. as the principal interjects. as the girl gets mad that he fought the bully. as they break up. and they get back together again. and you watch it again. and you eat the cardboard box your cereal came in. and you eat the egg crates. and you chase it down with one hundred raging bulls unsettled in the acid of your stomach. and you close your eyes for the running. and you close your eyes and you hear the film again. seeping into your daydreams. and you wake up. and you’re back again. you’re back again with the film. and it’s okay. you know it’s gonna be okay. because they’ve broken up before. and they always get back together. and it’s familiar. it’s familiar like your childhood home. like the tin boxes above the kitchen cabinets. like the ceramic chicken in the windowsill above the sink. like the broken latch on the backyard gate. and you could quote the movie. you lip along the words. you anticipate the music. the transitions between scenes. and eventually you fall out of it all. as the dvd menu plays on repeat. and it’s okay. it’s plays on repeat and it’s okay. because when you wake up tomorrow this will be the day that never really happened.

Blues #2

he mourns the death of being a manchild
he thinks to himself this is the end this is it
after tonight i will be a manchild no more
i will no longer have the distinct privilege
of not acknowledging so many specific realities
and he takes all his paint-spattered action figures
and he throws them down the garbage disposal
and he flips the switch like an old-timey frankenstein
movie and he hears them crushed and crushed hard
under the weight of a future that will certainly swallow
him whole like a giant black whale that flies in from the
coast and as he walks his unread books to the corner
bookstore the whale’s black eyes open wide and swallow
him into the vacuous truth of it all

and then there it is
the vacuous truth of it all
the pain is better
it was pain that made the mountains
and the city he grew tall in

Blues #1

my tired squid arms
my back arched too hard
like a great bridge
broken in half and sunken into some dead sea
the hyena laughter upstairs
the moans of strange women
through the cracks
in the walls
the refrigerator laughing and laughing
the paintings that i could never bother to hang
the rusted wheels of shopping carts
pressed onward through my migraine
the undaunted lights
shining down on me like an interrogation
the flat tires on my bicycle
the migraine channel
the pity party channel
the death too soon channel
the disney channel
and the moon is beautiful
the moon is god damn beautiful
the moon is so beautiful
please stay beautiful the moon
stay with me
stay here with me
i’ll be good to this one
i’ll make you breakfast every morning
and kiss you to sleep
i’ll love you like i should’ve loved yesterday
and we swing and we sway
and we swing and we sway
as the gods watch on
most likely in pure confusion

St. Peter

as the crow disappears into the black
as we walk drunk and pointless down the back alleys of cap hill
as we kiss the neon signs of this western town with whiskey breath
where are we really?

our names etched in no one’s skin
no street signs for us
no great buildings for us
no park bench

where are we really?

did we escape the cold confines of america
to find nothing for us on the fringes?

did we die
to be reborn in the image of our bad karma?

am i the resonating waves of my ancestors?

these questions are too much
as i fall into a warm coma
and fall in love
with the girl behind the piano
in a bar where you can still smell
the booze in the freight elevator

a city for the drunks
a grid system to keep them walking alright
chess pieces
queen annes and pawn shops

and us breaking glass down back alleys
if you’re always drunk, are you sober by right?
and us lost in the stabshoe inbetweens

no money
no wallets no time
no distraction no pleasure
no pain no disenchantment or anger
no bombastic dream of revolution seen to manifestation

the crow disappears into the black
another poet fingerpainting death
another poet fingerbanging their skull
chasing airplanes on foot
swimming through brick walls
drowning in empty bottles
counting time in ounces
playing yesterday’s lottery
renting rooms in ghost towns
watching television with the power off

leaving the back door open for the murderer
that couldn’t be bothered to come

and st. peter
smug as fuck
looking you in your dead eyes and asking
was it worth it?

Junk Mail

for four days straight the godless mailbox was nothing but junk mail
for four days straight i opened the god damn door on it just to slam it shut
no letters, no christmas cards, no wedding announcements, not even bills
just four days in a row of the terrorists hitting me with the junk mail

four days straight of politicos too busy social climbing to plant a tree
four days straight of how many clowns can we fit in this car
this parade of monsters dressed like catholic school girls
the unending blaring horn of bigotry, the unending call to the streets

the television, the radio, the internet, the bus stop, milk’s up fifty three cents
folding my resume up like a paper plane and watching it dive bomb the void
strutting quietly past the corner fast food, pretending it’s not whispering at me
the call of the beer, the call to sit dizzy and not be chokeholded into thinking

the ice cream headache of commercials in the middle of youtube videos
the chronic back pain from digging through sixteen tons of news sources
stuck in the elevator for four years with the worst elevator pitch ever elected
clawing at the walls like a junkie, like a madman, like a lab rat forced to break down

and so i write. to whom it may concern. i hereby request. that you cease. and desist. from further shitting in my mailbox your bullshit ink machine manifesto. grapes. ninety-nine cents a pound. buy one get one free apples. milk is up fifty three cents. printed on the carcasses of dead trees. and i. forced to reconcile your bad decision. throw it in the trash. into the dumpster fire. that you created. piece by piece. with every photographic decision you made in the dark room of your heart as the working class began to eat at their own arms as they broke down and wept in the streets for food for shelter for basic common human decency that has somehow become foreign that has somehow become too expensive that has somehow become at best your attempts to throw a bone. a newspaper ad, no coupons, but just to let you know hey. milk is up fifty three cents. and next to the ad for boxed cereal a giant middle finger. in suit and tie. please. just fucking stop. with the junk mail.

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rent is due on park avenue

rent is due on park avenue
rent is due on park avenue

time to pull it all together
time to kick away the doldrums
and sit down
to shake out a solid plan
for food this week
rent is due on park avenue

time. moving flawlessly onward
two tiny steps at a time
floating off
time floating off into the vast ocean of black space
ten million tiny alarms ringing in your head
rent is due on park avenue

come to think of it
i am not as happy as i could be
i could use so much more happy
where can i find so much more happy?
rent is due on park avenue

ten million wound-up tin soldiers
perfectly aligned
guns at the ready

sprawled out across the warehouse floor
perfectly aligned
perfectly ready
because rent is coming due on park avenue

and i

still vigilantly optimistic still

and i
wound-up tin poet
with a golden key twisted up in my spine
i sit and write poems

i document the continuing story that we wrote a long time ago
in the vast empire buried beneath our birdsong

and i pretend it’ll fit in the words
this empty sort of hollow where roses grow on the perimeter
all over the ribs and they bloom for space in the hollow
and they die for wars that no one knows who won

and i still vigilantly optimistic still

 

and i
still vigilantly optimistic

still.

Looking for reviews

Hey folks,

I’m excited to announce that forthcoming is my first book of poetry. I am currently looking for people who have book and poetry review sites or otherwise who would be willing to read my book and review it. Please feel free to share this info however you deem fitting.

Thank you for your support,
Brice

Analysis of a Wheelchair I Found

my apartment is small and has too much stuff in it. i don’t think i’m a packrat, it’s more that i’m a goldfish whose bowl size has changed a lot. i was living in a townhome, then an apartment, then a small house, then a bigger house, and now a very small apartment. so all this nonsense i’ve accumulated, nonsense i’m attached to, has just piled up in here. and maybe the attachment is the problem.

i’ve got this great piece of furniture that i use as an entertainment center. i found it by the side of the road. i used to use it as a sort of alter. put a bunch of candles and gemstones and my tarot cards on it. that was a different time for me. i’m still spiritual but there’s an activeness to it. i think the spirituality for me is born out of flexing the muscles in my soul. going on road trips. quitting a job i hate. putting myself in uncomfortable situations. forcing myself to reckon with unknown parts of me and how they interact with unknown parts of the world. so now that alter is an entertainment center. maybe that’s symbolic, but i don’t think so. i still read the tarot. i do love that.

i’ve also got this metal frame shelving unit. i found that in an alley near my apartment. it was rusting in the rain, but i love that too. it’s very industrial looking and beat up but when i moved to south broadway, i started to pick up this affinity for the grit of the city. i found this dirty beer sign by the trash and i just grabbed that too. in my bathroom there’s this sign for a concert that i just ripped off a pole in my neighborhood. it’s got packing tape surrounding it and it falls off all the time. you get sick of beauty, i think, or at least the normal idea of beauty. i love the shit out of van gogh but i wouldn’t want his prints on my walls. and it’s not the most innovative thing to find the gritty city stuff beautiful either. i’m familiar with heroin chic. i’m also familiar with the idea that a homeless person’s life shouldn’t be your artistic expression. these items don’t come to me in some sort of interior decorator mentality. they scream at me. take me. it’s rare but when they scream at me to be taken i take them.

most everything i own for furniture i found or was given to me. my bed and bed frame were gifts from my former landlord. he lived upstairs and i think he pitied me for the breakup i was going through when i left so he threw me that bed. and also he’s just a genuinely nice person. i’m glad he came into my life. he’s your traditional red-blooded conservative, but i also was around while he sat at his computer for hours researching the judges up for election. i’ve also seen nothing but kindness from him. i also saw him give up alcohol to get the woman he loves back. i’m pretty proud to be the recipient of a bed from him.

on my wall is some drywall that my friend sarah painted a painting on. one night, in the twilight of this round of our friendship, her and my friend ivan came over and big surprise we just drank a little whiskey, listened to laid back music and painted to our hearts’ desire. sarah and i painted, ivan i think read. ivan is a person of integrity like that. so sarah takes this torn up piece of drywall and paints this magical barren frozen tundra of a landscape on it. with these harsh red streaks that look almost digital. and in the foreground, the focus of the painting is this polar bear, and it’s got red on it too. it’s dripping with blood but i’m not so certain that’s the case. she just did this with a piece of drywall. and now she’s off in vancouver with ivan and she just started her first day at a job that she hates and she’s going to quit on day two. she asked me what she should do.

there’s this weird cycle where i used to give shitty impulsive emotional advice, and then i gave empathetic advice based on what i would do, and then i started asking people questions to help them figure out what they wanna do, and now i just don’t think i know anything at all.

i found a wheelchair the other day. i don’t need a wheelchair, but i couldn’t stand to see a wheelchair, an old school wheelchair covered in sharpie graffiti, by a dumpster. i couldn’t let it go. i don’t need a wheelchair but this thought lingered over my head that if i didn’t take it, it’d be gone. so now it’s in my living room. there’s three chairs in my entire house. the armchair i’m sitting in, the wooden chair at my desk and this wheelchair. it’s empty but it feels like it’s here with me in person. like we’re two old men sitting by the fire shooting the shit.

i don’t think i’m going to keep it, but i’m not going to throw it away. this isn’t a moral story of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. and some things are just trash. and these things i own i don’t know that i think of them as treasure. i think of them maybe as friends looking for my advice.

Lenny Chernila, from what i heard secondhand, would take objects from someone’s house and put them in someone else’s house. like this belongs here now. some would say that’s weird, or rude. but you don’t own these things, not really. and if they’ve come to you, it’s only fair to know that at some point they’ll leave you.

i don’t know how this wheelchair is going to leave me. i picture a scenario where maybe danger will happen, god forbid, and someone will be incapable of walking. maybe a stroke, maybe a broken leg. and i, walking by, will say, wait here, i have a wheelchair. i’ll run gallantly down to my apartment and grab the wheelchair. that’s too heroic though. this wheelchair doesn’t have a hero complex. but it’s not my chair either. and me, i’m just hear to give it advice, but the older i get, the more i see how unqualified i am in fact to give advice. maybe i should just listen to the wheelchair on this one.

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