The Window Man

There was a man cleaning the windows outside at work today.
I could see him from my desk. I spent a minute disregarding
his presence until I could no longer take it. I put my shoes
on and walked over to the window, where from my side I stood
and sternly stared at him. I watched his focus, splashing
cleaner on the window and then meticulously running the
rubber blade of his squeegee down the glass. It felt like
math. His eyes following his actions, until he caught site of
me. He stared back at me. We couldn’t speak to each other if
we tried, not with words. But I stared out at him, behind him
some comforting green screen of blue sky. It was a cookie
cutter blue sky. The kind of sky that almost feels beautiful
because it’s existed in every movie ever. The kind of sky that
almost feels beautiful because you drew it in crayon so many
times as a child. He remained staring before this manufactured
sky, chewing his chewing gum, and I stared back. I watched the
window man as he blew his chewing gum into a big giant pink
bubble and filled it with war stories. He filled it with big,
big fish and the story about the one that got away. He filled
it with the song that played the day he met the love of his
life and the clouds that rolled over the day she passed away.
I had nothing to say back to him except to raise my right
hand, as if I had been exalted by his honesty, as if to say
to him, “Is this not love? The way that we understand that
we are not the same, and that truly we just may never actually
hear each other, but still to say I hear you?” I raised my
hand to say I hear you and he raised his hand to say the same
to me, and pulling the pink bubble from the tip of his lips
he pinched it and floated off into the crayon sky and I
went to gather my things and leave work early because I knew
for sure that this day had nothing else for me.

Mayday

it was crazy, really
the way that we sat talking stoned in your basement
the way that these words that we thought tasted like sweet ginger kombucha
poured out of our mouths like turpentine
muddying our naked bodies frictioning like flint

it was crazy the way we burned down
and the whole time we burned down
we yelled and whispered “i love you, i love you”
again and again until our bodies gave out

the whole time we burned down
the carcasses of deer dissimulating into the dirt
a fast motion video of ten thousand worker ants
hounding the occasion to taste the sweet remnants of the moment
but us born again small in their bellies
but ten thousand times over
but love

but there’s so much stubbornness in early May to be had
spring is a pushy little bitch

and then we were disappeared
too everywhere to feel anything other than everything
and in the everything was a call to arms to push through your madness
to push through my own madness
to find out what lies on the other side of all this madness
even knowing the answer is more madness

and every ounce of moon rock that we pulled from each other’s skin
by the force of our own separate gravities
every ounce of ocean that we precipitated into little cartoon clouds above our heads
every ounce of green honesty flourishing like feathers in your eyes
told me what i already knew because you’d told me so many times

what you’d told me so many times
as i maybe foolishly argue that love and freedom are the same thing

what you’d told me so many times
that i’m so busy thinking about the winter in the heart of the spring

Much Love

don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that there is a downside to giving too much. just be careful that you are taking care of yourself along the way. if you’re doing that, your heart can be a greyhound bus, my friend, taking lines and lines of future funeral guests in and throwing them gently wherever it is you want them to go. let me make myself clear. love more. if you are at all like me, your plateaus are your valleys. your high points are painful because you realize damn, we’re not gonna get a lot higher than this. but you will.

i am not one to prescribe to the christian devotion but i do believe in heaven. to scoop up some beat philosophy i wanna tell you that if you’ve got the bricks and the smile you can start to build a staircase to heaven right now. just remember – the feet go on the top side of the bricks.

look, i’ve been scared shitless this year. my anxiety, especially lately has been through the roof, but i think that’s largely because i’m not letting it win. i hold it true that at my core i am an introvert but i love people too god damn much so what i’m learning is how to be a buoy in a sea full of people. i’ve gotta be. i was given the gift of air so i can’t stop filling these life rafts, and you. you’ve got way more things going for you than i do. anyone who resorts to rambling as a profession like myself really has but one job and that’s to tell you that you can do anything. anything other than writing. unless you’re a writer too in which case we’ve got coffee. it’s not always warm but it’s mostly free and once you sit down at the alphabet piano and feel those synapses firing in your fingers, you’ll get it.

there’s not much to get. the television will tell you there is. the internet will tell you there is. a massive self-help section at the old timey bookstore will tell you there is. that’s fine. none of these things are innately bad. but really what it all boils down to is it’s all love. and not just a little love. much love. what i have for you is much love. so eat off my plate. sit across from me at my table. get on this here greyhound bus because there’s space for you. there’s space and there’s much love. Yes.

 

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

and letters

and letters i do not have the letters that i wish
to have to letter you i do not know where to
begin i love you in a language that i do not
speak and i am so afraid and desperate and
desperately afraid that i will never have the
letters to build the ladder that i wish to build
to climb into your left lung and sail across the
air of you like waves i do not have the letters
and each day you are further away from me i
do not have the letters all i have is this poem
made only from these letters which i use so
very damned often i just wish to hold your
hand in a flea market and i wish to spend my
last days on this earth wandering aimlessly
to the local fruit stand missing you so very
immensely and it will be a hurt that i have
never felt but i don’t know how i will ever
climb into your left lung to have it because
i do not have the letters and so i write in
circles and predicted patterns like a paint
shaker hoping desperate for a crack in the
lid and when the whole colors of it all
splatter maybe i will see that i did not need
the letters because i had the colors i had the
colors inside of me and if it’s your love then
you will have it and that i like to believe i
like to believe i like to believe because i
close my eyes and you are not so sky distant
you are tangible and somewhere maybe
drowning in letters and desperate for color
and i know i will be your favorite color i
know i will if only i can find the letters or
the colors or the maybes tucked behind
bricks in the strange alleys that we’ve
both passed through in dreams

Stupid Flowers Promo

Sink

i see you
in places maybe i shouldn’t
i can’t help it
even in the shattered glass frame
of your dark night of the soul
you radiate like gamma ray bursts

so i see you

as you dance on ink
as you drown in bedsheets
as you dig at your shoulder blades
and you pray for wings

i see you

in halls without doors
in ballrooms without music
in basements without foundation
they just keep sinking
and you could fight back
but in some strange ballet
you sink with them

i realize you are communicating with them

that you will not be swallowed

you are unafraid of depths
and that is not to say
that you are immune to deaths
you feel them wholly
maybe more than all of us combined
but when the light is gone
you open your pupils as wide as they

an immortal child
shining like a bruised orange
continuously peeling and unpeeling
peeling and unpeeling
and i’m lucky i knew you

when i was the darkness that swallowed you
you became me

you were not afraid to sink with me

and when we came out the other side

you were gone
and looking out now on an endless lake
i see the ghost of a deer walking on the water

i see you

 

Stupid Flowers Promo

 

Amnistía

i can see the you that lives in your head
eternally folding and mending your bed
i can see you laying and counting the sheep
restless and worried and empty of sleep
i can see you waiting for some kind of spark
lying alone on your bed in the dark
lying alone in the dark on your bed
of course i mean you that lives in your head

i too am someone who lives in my skull
with cupboards of china awaiting the bull
and when the bull comes the whole damn thing rattles
in grey panorama it battles and battles
in Guernica in restless in blood on the floor
but it’s the silence come after i truly abhor
i traipse through the shards on my bare swollen feet
and the me in my head hides under my sheets
and lying alone in the dark in my bed
i think of the you that lives in your head

and maybe one day i will open my door
and throw on my rucksack and go to explore
the great range of skulls that make up a range
of mountains with faces so real and so strange
their eyes always blinking and sleeping at night
and while i meander these mountains i might
look in your eyes and see all the magic
that seeps through like beauty seeps through all the tragic
i might find a door at the cusp of your eyes
and crawl through your pupil to find you surprised
that someone has entered the room in your head
and i’ll lay down beside you on your newly made bed
and i’ll kiss you and love you and we’ll fall asleep fast
and i’ll tell you the distance i’ve traveled is vast
i’ll tell you my stories of bulls and the war
and the light shining brightly through the cracks in your door
and the sound of surrender and the breath of the dead
because i see the you that lives in your head

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

LOVE POEM FOR A WEDDING

and how the lights will turn around on you
and in shining procession do they fall
in the spring the blooming eyes of custom
winter raises spirits until its call

crystal glasses clinking almost shatter.
they do. she says it so you hear her words
ringing to the back. a car parked at her
request outside. cans hang down to the curb.

liquor pours forever or so it seems.
the night proceeds and proceeds into haze
and sweet surrender and unspoken dreams
so goes the night. so goes the coming days.

watch the sincere glimmer through all your rites
and keep another on those shining lights

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

CALIFORNIA KING

he carved a trench in south broadway
with the simple two step of his left hand brain
shoesoles grinding into the worms and dirt
the dirty ground drizzled with blunt wraps

he tried to solve the puzzle of strange love
that two backed beast which was sometimes a love
and sometimes not flipped over on its white belly

a canary with whooping cough
carrying out flat broke melodies
in the coal mine of his head

birds perched on the sides of brick buildings watched
their short term memories mistaking the lurch
of his pending heartbreak as déjà vu

the trench dug deeper
up to his neck in undelivered love notes
written in braille for the girl with no arms

then the rain came
ten million tiny fists falling then pixelating
ten million drops of water:
the polar opposite of a candlelight vigil
and the rain swept through like a political revolution
here then gone

the polar opposite of wedding vows

cold war on opposite ends of a stage the size of a california king mattress

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