We Pretend to Be

here
nearing perfect form
do i pretend to be
something of gentleman

top hat
ascot
lovely pocket square
monacle
long tailed coat
newly shined shoes
i do look the part so well

and beneath
classic human skeleton
blue veins
red muscle
tendons fibers skin
hair nails eyeballs
i do pretend to be

and watch me walk around
the party

watch me
as i
looking across the ballroom
(wood floors, glass windows
chandeliers, fire, wax, wick, etc.)
spot a female
flowing long dead hair
large breasts
red dress the amalgamation
of ten thousand machine-placed
sequins

watch as i approach
muscles pulling leg
tendons working in conjunction
the cardiovascular system
in tandem with the human heart
it all moves footstep by footstep
in newly shined shoes
across the wood floors of the ballroom

and now we
meeting eyeballs
engaged
pupils expand
let in chandelier light
a legion of cheek muscles active
and we talk and smile
we pretend to be
something

and we dance
to mathematical sound
recognized by ears as pleasant
dancing
we
two human beings
in sequence through time and space
until the song
the mathematical gathered sound
ceases
and then more

and more and more and more

and we pretend it all

watch us as we pretend

and then no matter the trajectory
of following hours
eye balls rest
beneath eye lids
automatic breathing
automatic bloodwork
and we believe we somehow changed

we believe we somehow not what we were

and maybe we believe wrong
but we believe
what we pretend to believe
and that’s nice

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

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To a Crooked Old Man

the past
dies slowly
sometimes

it clings on

its nails
buried deeply
in skin

desperate
to find a strangle
hold

through wind
and weather
it lives on

but in slow due time

it will die

starved for attention
it shrivels up
and sinks
into the waiting mud

there is no funeral
for the death of thoughts
that never should have lived

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

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Patreon Site Launch

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Recently, I decided to try this writer thing full time and I’m looking for support to make that a reality.

There are a couple opportunities through Patreon to receive a signed poem from me or a signed drawing depending on your contribution level.

Even if you can’t donate, I want to say thank you to those of you out there who read my poems week after week. There’s nothing more a writer could ask for than readers.

Please take a minute to check out my Patreon site HERE.

Five Lines then Good Night

sometimes it’s ten thousand pounds of silence
sometimes it’s hail storms of white noise
it’s all too much to bear
and too much to translate to time
it’s far too reasonable that we’re all found in scattered fragments of bone

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

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

The Bardo

it’s strange to think that there is someone above my head right now. that as i lay here in bed that someone is just floating above me, playing guitar terribly, maybe in a chair. it’s strange to think we’ve crossed paths in halls and that’s not significant, or at least we’ve decided it’s not.

i just passed by  a woman at the coffee shop watching porn. just neatly watching two naked lesbians go at it, her hands neatly in her lap. and i think maybe she’s allowed to do that. i’m not harmed. i’m almost indifferent, yet on the flip side it’s worth noting as i’ve never seen a woman at a coffee shop watching porn before.

the thing about old jazz music is you know that the people performing it are dead. it’s strange to think that their breaths were recorded. that i’m hearing their dead people breaths through brass. it’s strange to think i love it.

i don’t really think i know how to write a poem. a lot of days i sit down and i feel like how i imagine those people who tried to put together an ikea set on acid felt like. poems aren’t really tangible. old poems always sound angsty.

it’s strange to think that i watched a movie of an actor playing Basquiat and then after that, switched on, i watched a documentary with footage of Basquiat painting that painting. and now, years later, it’s strange to think i’ve seen that painting. they don’t want you to touch the paintings because they need to preserve them, but i think it’s probably for the best because i don’t know that i could handle it.

it’s too available. all of it. it’s all too available. i quit my job after six years and right now i could do pretty much anything and a large portion of my time goes to putting game pieces on the monopoly board for the contest my grocery store is running. it’s strange to think we can do just about anything. and we don’t just have the now. we have the then. the Basquiat painting, the brass breath of dead jazz musicians, the incredible freedom to call a poem whatever we want to. there’s indifference to a woman in public watching two previously recorded women have sex. we’re all one and we’re all connected but that’s not just beautiful. in a sense it’s kind of unbearable, like putting together an ikea set on acid. i am seven billion humans, a bunch of trees, a lampshade, an episode of “everybody loves raymond”, a Beatles song in reverse.

i am brass breath from a dead trumpet.

there might be someone over my head but it’s definitely not god.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

Walk Careful, Young Man

walk careful, young man

choose careful where you put your fire
your trust
where you put your amnesty
be mindful of your side of the sidewalk

walk careful
choose wisely where you turn
which road you choose
which back alleys you duck down
who you call friend

beware
and be aware
know what body is attached
to the hand that feeds you

don’t do anything
that might upset someone else

don’t do anything

alternatively

realize
young man, young woman
old woman, old man
old young anyperson
anybody anysoul any wandering heart
sick to death and seeking life
realize your breath is dream
and your footsteps dream
and each fist that comes slamming down
so real and so painful
that is dream too

fight hard with love and listening
move with purpose
do not die

take your prison sentence
and become the cells
in other people’s bloodstreams

walk careful, young man
strange systems surround you
but you will burst forth a radiant child
and spatter paint stains on every soul
on every single golden soul
that is paying attention

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

The Beginning is Assuredly the End

i crack the spines of the books i read
page by page i bend back the paper
wrap it back around the book
like a snake eating its own tail
and chapter by chapter
it disappears

and the days of my life
they feel so very similar
to the flapping pages of a novel
very textual and dense
and then washed away
in a small silent wave

but nearing the end of it all
you come to find that the pages
which once seemed to ember
and disappear into the ether
never did

they are in fact still with you

and upon realizing the last period
of the last sentence
of the last chapter
of the last book you’ve read
closing in on itself

what you come to find is that book
is there in your hand
exactly the same as it’s always been
each page in the exact same order
like well-trained soldiers

but the spine is cracked
the covers worn in
white cracks and a slight curve
the book tries to open but doesn’t

and i find my spine is cracked too
and though i am the same
i am slightly more worn
and those words that i ate one at a time
stick to the sides of my stomach

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

A SOLID DOSE OF EUPHORIA

ants are crawling
in militant rows right across the range
of my two arms

fingers morphing intertwining
like crazy bamboo

a sharp stab of light

and in the thick mud
of this weekdream haze
no one says hello or goodbye

the robots
have made us into robots
you are what you eat

you are what you eat
you sing what pains you
while you’re dreaming still you breathe

and dynamite
giant sticks of self-lighting dynamite line the halls
the interior of my skull

the wallpaper
tacky and outdated

the chinese lamps
swinging like chemicals

the american dream
boxed up and sent down the nile

and you, dear lover
where the hell are you
i was promised
i was promised so many times
over and over
a white boy’s dream

the ants dig in
and burrow deep into my dusty liver
make home in my kidneys

fire ants
red helmets and eyes
government operative spies come to sink in
and make chaos
where once a sweet bassinet rocked

the wallpaper
tacky and outdated

the television
paused on the image of a scared mob

the television
paused for four years
on loud static

play
the television
muted on a talk show
one million tiny bulbs
commercial enlightenment

the television knows a lot of things i do not
the television jammed on the nightly news
on the news and entertainment
on the news and entertainment

every now and then
the class at large raises their hands collectively
and decides what reality we’re going to try out for a while
what mold of human gelatin we will adhere to

black or red
spin wheel spin

i’ve lost one hundred pounds in the last five days

i’ve read nine hundred books in my dreams

i’ve lost a sense of self and truth and reality

this ambient dream
this color wheel
these vivid 3d images
sincere sounding conversations
the realistic smells
even the size of the map itself
a person could really get lost in this
this ambient dream

haha
hahaha
i guess you’d have to have been there

when the wall fell down
when the chains went up
a swift change of guard
in the middle of the graveyard shift
if you blinked you might have missed it

at least love
dripping sweet puppy love
two humans eternally speaking in code
until the code breaks down
and the reality grows unfamiliar

the television
playing the same movie on repeat all day
i catch segments here and there

the television
learning how to browse the internet

the television
broadcasting ten million game shows all at once

the internet
this land is your land
this land is my land

the size of my apartment shifts from time to time
600 square feet/500 square feet/50 square feet

and then 4000 square feet and i’m jumping on
the trampoline in my backyard with my two daughters
and my labradoodle Andy and a heavy dose of antipsychotics

while you’re dreaming still you breathe

there it is
a solid does of euphoria
i am plucking berries off the nihilism tree

and the berries are sweet and delicious

and in the thick black blood of heartache a ship saves you from drowning

and there it is
the sunlight peering through the blinds
catching a human unknowingly in a state of nirvana
the realization that nirvana is all around us
that it belongs to no one person
and that it belongs to every one person
in congruence

in Congruence, there is a tree at the center of town
and the people go and visit it and leave blank canvasses at its stem
and the tree, in the night, in the rain, paints these portraits
these brilliant portraits that capture the day better than any asshole poet
they stamp time and experience
they bottle memory

in regards to bottled memory,
and the power of remaining through time
stonehenge is the closest thing to god
and also just a bunch of random rocks

i see it when i sleep
a collection of stars rotating around the earth

while you’re dreaming still you breathe

and i smile down on you this day
and next day and each day and through
the years of darkness we will stop and say
we loved through this all
and we survived to this moment like stonehenge
the closest thing to god

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017