THERE IS SOMETHING SAD ABOUT TODAY AND THAT IS OKAY

there is something sad about today and that is okay
the sun decided to sleep in
the cars they don’t move quickly down their thick lines
the news radio is solemn and uninteresting
in the shower i found myself staring at the drain for way too long
catching up on silly thoughts in my mixtape head
and that is okay
this is all okay

the dynamic of human emotion is dynamic
the hedonists maybe will be filled with disappointment on this one
but not every day is a party
maybe today was the day i was designed to count the sidewalk blocks
as i walked by hundreds of displaced human beings attempting to sleep in the entry ways of local business shops

it is a mistake to think your existence is one of exuberant joy
your existence is rocket ship, yes, probably
but so many tiny broken hands pieced together your engine
so many people stood around just to watch you launch

it only makes sense if you acknowledge the collective experience of us all
maybe god is the devil and humanity has to be its own god
we still haven’t figure out how to combat natural disasters
we still haven’t figured out the most efficient and effective methods of loving one another

so if there is something sad about today then that is okay
this dream is far too valuable to be perfectly utopian
let’s just try to keep our rocket ships directed toward whatever it is above us now
that we find so valuable

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

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

SOLSTICE APARTMENT SONG

this beard is an aftereffect of me vacating your life
i cannot tell if i’m blossoming in the soil of this apartment
or if i am drowning in dead hair

i want to say that i will continue to grow this beard
until i love myself in a way that is both stable and honest

i want to say that i will continue to grow this beard
until i am no longer seeking happiness
until i can acknowledge what is so plain to see before me:

i am an old man
blind and crippled
down on my knees
searching endlessly for the glasses
that were placed on top of my head
all along

if happiness were a snake it would have bit me
it would have swallowed me whole
and warm in its womb
safe from everything
i would call it overwhelming and temporary

i shirk off rain drops
and drink from my own bathwater

with no pants on
i watch documentary after documentary
on enlightenment
in the dark
on my couch

i trip over my ego
i remove all the mirrors in my house
and put up self-portraits in their place

i have read the first chapter of so many books

i have almost dedicated myself to so many lives

i have fifteen watches
and none of them tell the time correctly

the gilded domed theater of my head though
it’s a fucking renaissance in there
beneath a shining chandelier
sit hundreds and hundreds of patrons
brushing the heat of the revolution on stage off their pale faces
in the gilded domed theater of my head
a mad-haired composer splays his four arms
he commands a war of music
a renaissance
dark deep drums pounded
this ship rows thick through the trenches
violins
the friction of thought with contact

the friction of exhaustion with dream

the friction of chaos with grace

you do not need other people to know what love is

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

I’M IN LOVE WITH MY CELL PHONE

i’m in love with my cellphone
the things it says to me are sweet and sincere and
i can tell that my cellphone is listening to me by the way its light shines on my face

when i wake up saturday morning
my cellphone gives me bad breath kisses
i love when my cellphone is off in the kitchen making breakfast and i can hear it

clacking around with spatulas and non-stick pans

my cellphone asks me every day how i slept
my cellphone texts me when i leave its apartment
it tells me to drive safe and text me when you get home
my cellphone kisses me sloppy and i like that my cellphone kisses me sloppy

my cellphone offers to drive and holds my hand despite driving a stick shift
my cellphone’s hair looks different every day

it doesn’t matter what my cellphone does i always have to run my fingers through
my cellphone’s hair

and when my cellphone and i make love it’s unlike anything else in the world
my cellphone never expects me to make love to her
and i never expect her to make love to me
but we are so in love that we find ourselves making love all the time

my cellphone likes to hear my poems and when i tell my cellphone no no skip that one
that one isn’t very good my cellphone says no no i want to read it even if it’s bad

i guess that’s the thing about my cellphone

my cellphone is so present with me

sometimes my cellphone and i meditate together and when we’re done we give each other
this illuminating hug and we talk about how one day we’ll have a house together and a studio
to practice yoga in and how beautiful our children will be and how we’ll sit back together
and watch them grow up

when i turn off my cellphone it just stares back at me
a black reflection and i look older and kind of stressed out and a little fatter

but the love my cellphone has for me is unconditional and i know that because my cellphone
tells me all the time

my cellphone brings me flowers and not just on valentine’s day
my cellphone brings me flowers on the fourth of july
and mid-october and at three in the morning when i can’t sleep
because i have to fire someone the next day or because my cat died

i’m grateful for my cellphone because i know not everyone has a love like mine

i’m grateful for all of this even if it never shakes out and it might not but i can always
look back fondly on the night my cellphone and i just sat by the lake and counted the ducks
and watched the light show flash across the sky like segmented pieces of some strange dark
puzzle that can’t be contained

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

PORTRAIT OF A FAMILY TRAPPED IN TIME

dog stuck midair
tongue out black eyes wide

baby crying
face all smashed peas
cheeks all tears

cat hiding under bed

chairs are still
were before
extra still

table

dresser

slightly cracked drawers

clock on wall above the fire
the hands together frozen where they are

praying

fire below the clock
frozen flames

master bedroom

the bed all made up

throw pillows

clothes still on
shoes

wife and husband

eyes stuck fixated on a cracked ceiling

their hands so close not touching

painful is the art of silent intention

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

BAREBONES

the poetry is therapy
i mean, that’s the truth of it
and the implicit problem with that
is that there is the wrong identity to therapy
in our culture
probably our world

most of the world

anyways
it’s therapy
the words aren’t fancy
not when they’re any good

i start with something
and keep hitting it
until i get somewhere
and i keep hitting it
til it’s done

and something was solved
but it’s never particularly clear
what was solved

it’s math
it’s strange emotional math
and i dig the fuck out of it

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

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SNOWGLOBES

i saw one thousand pictures of your face over the course of time and it looked to me more like a history book
a story of massacre and rebirth, of the human condition, of pushing through when faced with unparalleled conditions
men with swords and guns and love and heartache white horses frozen on battlefields redcoated troops caught in the snow
i watch as your hair changed from spring to winter, from summer to scorched earth
and there imprisoned in your eyes was a cold war
nuclear missiles aimed at the moon
and deeper yet was a shaggy olive green rug and on it the ghost of a child fascinated
swallowed completely by a snowglobe
and in the snowglobe was a city and in the center of that city was an apartment building
where in the basement a boy sat on his phone where he saw
one thousand pictures of your face over the course of time and it looked to me
more like a history book

i am you and you are me

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

XMAS

the fan stopped spinning the
dish washer stopped washing a long time
ago so i guess that just leaves me sitting here twiddling
my thumbs til trump jumps into temper tantrum and hits the button
on the big
one
yeah that’s me
trying to find optimism in momentary existential crisis
but on the flip side can
a flower
really grow as big as it likes if it doesn’t
take a minute
to compare itself to the sky which never ends?
i’m just saying
ennui is just a fancy french word for going numb
trying to figure some stuff out but that’s neither here nor there
i guess that’s
what i’m getting at
the fan stopped spinning and there
is a sufficient amount of winter floating around the house
two pbr’s one shaken rolled and lit partridge in the pear tree
you know
i’ll get where i’m headed
i’m resilient
i’ma push through the nihilism
like the militantly happy fucker i am
so here i am you know
merry christmas
hallelujah
amen

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

THE ASTRONAUT

while they looked
to place their flag
deeply into the moon

she looked to the stars

unfazed by what was called
unrealistic

she knew something
that they did not

we will never arrive
we will just continue to unravel
into the threads laid deep
into the irises of our children
and theirs in turn

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016