FLAT PLANET

I am wearing a tuxedo and listening to Boards of Canada in my bathtub. I have set my television on top of the toilet seat and unplugged my electric razor to free an outlet to plug it in. I tune the television set over to a news station and The President’s face flashes before me. The television still on mute, Boards of Canada still playing, I watch the squabbling motions of the mouth as a blue banner across the bottom of the screen informs me of another closed door. I myself have closed the bathroom door and locked it. I have taken large pieces of wood and strategically nailed them to the door of the bathroom to ensure I am safe from the flat planet on the other side and it from me. In the bathroom stall at Sputnik, somebody wrote Make Stabbing Nazis Great Again. I hold a strong fist for non-violence but I fear that if I release the grip of my fingers I may find a dead butterfly in my palm. I hear a door slam shut in Wyoming. My cellular phone is ringing but I am too shattered on the tail end of a coffee high to gather myself to answer it. A cuckoo clock tweets. Boards of Canada continues to play. My cell phone rings again. My yellow home telephone rings as well. I could not be bothered to move. My hotline phone rings. I have opened my window to let a winter breeze in and outside of my window I can hear a nearby payphone ringing. Every phone on this flat planet is ringing. The President continues to move his marionette mouth. The television set remains muted and even if it were not, the sound would be drowned out by Boards of Canada and the ten billion phones ringing on the other side of the door which I have boarded up in case of anything. I have nightmares but I just try to fall asleep when I do. One phone is ringing for your state senator. The invisible voice on the other line recites a love poem about tolerance. The line stutters and turns to a solid beep before the voice of a robot operator speaks and requests that you try your call again. Another person leaves another voicemail. A slave song. A song that would sing the body electric but it is cast on the other end into an ocean where the electric sting fizzles out and is ultimately swallowed by spineless jellyfish. For a split second, I escape my tuxedo and my bathtub and I think about the purple lipstick kiss that you left on my kitchen cabinet. I imagine what it must be like to have time to love another human being the way that the marrow in our bones so desires. Another phone rings. It is my dear friend Cathy asking me if I will be marching for equal pay and I say no. I have to work that day. Jessie asks me if I will be marching for affordable housing and I say no. I’ll be working my second job that day. The bathroom door seems to shake and I have a heart attack and I recover. I pull my heart out of my chest, wind it, and put it back in. I ponder if the door really did shake. I place my ear to it and on the other side of the door I hear the breathing of a police officer in riot gear. I can hear the condensation of his breath on the curved clear mask that surrounds his face. I start to wonder if this is real or imaginary. I reenter the bathtub, having another heart attack while fact checking if there is in fact a police officer in riot gear on the other side of the door. I check multiple websites that a website told me are credible websites. They point to yes. I still hear the police officer’s breathing beneath every phone through time ringing and beneath Boards of Canada performing an electronic composition based on the ethereal horror of 1970s horror films. I realize I may be in a 1970s horror film. I stand up and look in the mirror and my tuxedo has become an evocative dress spattered in blood. I am now the main female protagonist in any of several slasher horror films. I look at the blue bags beneath my hollow eyes. I look at my barely covered breasts. I realize that I have not slept in several days as I am being chased by a man with a giant knife. He shakes the door. I retreat into the shower and curl into the fetal position. Closing my eyes I hear the ringing phones again. Beneath the sounds of the ringing phones I cannot hear America singing. I see three little girls in glittered red white and blue dresses dancing at an inauguration. I taste the bloody residue of a hamburger on my tongue. The sink drips. Each drop an unfulfilled promise. A window appears on the wall. I watch as a singular brown leaf levitates up to the branch of a tree out the window. The leaf turns golden. The leaf turns bright green. A dedicated army of leaves follow suit levitating up back onto the tree. A return to their parents’ home. I watch a boy on a bicycle drive by out the window in reverse right to left. I watch as a demolished building becomes undemolished. It is a big box store. I watch as the big box store brick by brick is unassembled. Construction workers use their crane to pull steels bars out of the sky and back onto the ground in piles. Slowly the buildings disassemble. Smoke goes back into giant cylinders. A park with trees. Winter Fall Summer Spring. The sun sets and then rises. Cars drive by backwards. It is all so fast. A toddler walks, then crawls, shrinking back into a newborn baby. A mother drives with her newborn baby to a hospital and doctors work carefully to put the baby back inside of her. Each day she shows a little less. I watch a political bill, a mainsail, disappear one letter at a time. I watch bathrooms relabeled colored and white. I watch a painter paint over a black president with white. Back in the bathroom the drips from the fountain float upward, scared they return to where they were. I see refugees fleeing peace for war. I am alone. I pant like a dog. I sweat like an intelligent woman in a Russian cathedral. My hands brittle. Sledgehammers pulling back bricks. Walls being built. Dominoes. Flowers fold up into buds. The television turns to static. It disappears. I unboard the bathroom. I disassemble my one bedroom apartment in Denver. I drive to Aurora. Police cars outside of a movie theater. I drive to Aurora. I kiss my girlfriend goodbye and then lay on the bed where we make love depressed as all hell and wondering where we’ll be when the sun stops rotating around this flat planet.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2017

A GALLERY OF HUMANS

These paintings walked around so sick of it all.
“This one is so damn traditional,” said the painting, on the observation of a preacher in his Sunday’s best, “I just don’t know what to even think of it. It doesn’t challenge me, it doesn’t provoke me, I feel like I’ve seen this trope a million times over.”
“Okay,” said another painting, “But at least it makes sense. This one is so abstract.”
The painting referenced a human in torn denim, purple lipstick, probably thirty overall piercings and ‘daddy issues’ tattooed on its chest.
“It’s so abstract,” said the painting, “I feel like this human is trying too hard to make a statement, but the statement itself isn’t that strong.”
On the other side of the human gallery, another painting just stared at a different human, completely consumed. The painting was encapsulated by it. It felt as if time were standing still and moving so quickly, all in the same instant.
The human had his hands tucked in its acid wash jeans. It wore a white v-neck t-shirt and smoked cigarettes like that was its core function. Pretty standard Americana kind of thing going on, but he had these absorbing greyish blue eyes that the painting couldn’t look away from. The eyes were in motion. Like some great thunderstorm traveling slowly across an evening sky.
The painting felt something it had never felt before. It was as if the human was alive. As if buried behind those stormy sky eyes was a soul desperately reaching out, trying to connect.
“They say art is dead,” said the painting, “But this. This is alive.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

TOO FAR DEEP

and it’s getting
darker
and darker
by the
second
redefining
the concept of
black, the blackest of
black
and i’m not afraid

don’t
misunderstand me
for one second

i am not afraid
in the least, i am
content to
listen to the
sound of water
dripping
from
the
walls

i am happy
to listen to the wind
echoing circular

i am lost deep
in too deep
way too deep
too far deep

i’m running away from
something
into the arms of
death

i am trapped
inside a rising bottle of
poison
i am kissing
alice through the
looking glass

we are falling, our
guts in our mouths but
we are falling together
and i’m crossing
the line
the line
the edge
the point
where reason melts
like clocks
broken hands
of a clock
black eye
on its face
and seconds
are beats
in this
symphonic
movement

i am wide awake

i do not need light
to see i am everything

i can imagine myself
to be doors left open
the wind catching on the shades
red silk shades blowing
i am lost amongst them
whiskey dreams
absinthe nightmares
marijuana reality
the onyx shine
of the inside of
a beautiful
mind

skeletons
running on
treadmills
glow in the dark
thousands
and thousands
and thousands
around me
burn
down
the
curtains

my dear,
we don’t need them
let the stars dance with us
i can never be alone
as long as
you’re in
too far deep too
and you
are the muse i’ve made
you’ll never let go

a codine buzz
a disdain for yesterday
and i’m on it
i’m in too far deep
and my intent
is not to climb out

my intent
is to keep digging
until i get to
the
other
end
of my
reality

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “THE HOUSE OF GOD”

MY GREEN FAIRY

the absinthe drinker. viktor oliva.
the absinthe drinker. viktor oliva.

some days
i just
fall
down
the stairs
and i
just
keep fall
ing through
smoke
and mirrors
i travel through
this
funhouse
and past
the golden gates
to the other side

of reality
where she waits
for me
my green fairy

she dance for me
my green fairy
crazy ballet of fire
on her glass stage of desire
she dance for me

her wings in proud display
naked and raw and hard on the throat
she walks across
the good and the evil
of my spectral shoulders
and this she says to me:

“calm your head
your days will collide
if you do not.

close your eyes

feel me running up and down
your spine
this waltz
in waltz three quarter time

taste my heat upon your lips
feel me burning on your breath
sugar cubes and billowed smoke
white lighters and youthful death

open your heart
let me in
the ceremony
is about to begin.”

and i listen to her
my green fairy
my blue delusion
my red midnight
my black confusion

she dance for me
in sacred gardens of the mind
waltzing in three quarter time
she moves the moon along the sky
visions of toxic absinthe why
channels of unrequited love
dirty water, holy dove
she dance for me
she lie with me
and every night
she die for me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “EARTHBENDING”

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