let this be a flower in a field on fire

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

let this be a train
that moves backwards
the more it moves
forward.

let this be a broken bone,
a fractured sense of self,
a painting with a bullet wound
in its acrylic heart.

let this crack open
the shell of everything.

let this be an ambulance
through the small hallway
of your childhood home.

let this be a wound
that you pick open
every time it scabs.

let this
be spelled incorrectly
but sound perfectly incorrect.

let’s invite god
into the winter of our
grieving.

let’s dishevel
what’s left of our hair,

unbrush the back
of a once-wild horse,

uncover our garden
and introduce it to the frost
like a handshake with a hope
that looks like a blade.

let this kiss you
on both of your kidneys,
two red chalices
holding the anger
of your everyyear.

let this blister
before your lover
invites it to burst all over them
like an afterbirth.

let this sleep
through the war.

let this fight
through the dream.

let us weep
like our tears
could cool down the soil.

let me love you
in a language i will never
learn to speak.

let us honor arrows
for releasing the chi.

let us have an abundance
of only what we want and need,

a poem
that cannot be written,

a million wrong ways
to love each other.

let us dance with the king
of carrot flowers
who only speaks in maybes
until we too wear his carrot crown.

let it die like it was meant to.

let us never cease to grieve
anything,

let it muddle,

and let the muddle muddle
into more muddle,
as is where we birth tomorrow.

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

that does not dream
what it can sense before its very very face,

that there is no line
between what is burning
and what is drenched in rain.


Photo: Michael Benz

The Anatomy of a 32-Year-Old Man

What arms are these
that I have found
set gently against the
ground?

They fit just fine
and within them
is a sense of something
new.

An eastern wind
blows in
as I pluck an apple
from the tree
that I grew beside.

These arms change
in an intimate set
of seasons.

These arms
that wish to be wings
and thus move
to become them.

Flower petals fall
all around me.

I do not flinch
at death

nor do I
make myself big
in the face of its
bear.

I cup my new hands
at the end of these new arms
and pray for rain
that pools like fire.

I pray to gods
that look at me
evenly
from the other side
of a healing Earth.


every year on my birthday i write a birthday poem. “the anatomy of a ___ year old man.” thank you for reading.

Image: Joe Pilié

How to Read My Poems

slink up
behind them
in the stale of
night
with a baseball bat
with nails
sticking out of the end
and bash them in the
head
like a zombie
terrorizing your childhood
home.

do not listen
to their
bullshit.

bitch back.

stomp
on their
toes.

poison
their drinking
water.

let the fucking
curse words shout
at their
stupid
fucking
faces like
unintentional spitwads

but don’t
talk
behind their backs.

my poems
keep their friends close,
but their enemies
even
closer.

(C) Brice Maiurro 2012

Cover art: John Jennings

Strange Yet Important Times

You really don’t understand who you are until something is taken away from you, and I have to say, over the last few weeks, as I’ve watched my event calendar open up more and more, I’ve really begun to see what makes up the fabric of my life, and how I’ve built my therapy into my daily life.

It’s nothing new to me to understand that poetry has saved my life, time and time again, but as I’ve lost direct contact with so many friends and loved ones, so many open mic nights and community dialogues on social justice or anything really, the one thing I’ve found taking the place of that time is writing, and really poetry.

I’m cut from a different cloth then a lot of other folks. I spend a large amount of time in general just trying to understand myself. I struggle sometimes to want to socialize, probably something of an imposter syndrome, as I can’t stand the idea of acting, or of being insincere. At times, this leaves me in silence, not talking, and sometimes it leaves me feeling lonely.

This is in direct contrast with my love of people. One spring, while I was in college, I had some extra money and two weeks to kill so I took off on the road to Las Vegas. Along the way, I discovered Moab, Utah, a place that has become incredibly important to me, and eventually I arrived in Vegas. I quickly learned that it wasn’t the places that were important to me, it’s the people. It’s the experience of sharing things with people. I came to have a newfound appreciation for Anthony Bourdain, and the ideology he carried in how he traveled – find the local spots with the local people, and talk to them. The way I saw it, he had the dream job, so it was hard on me, as well as many other people, when this man I saw as someone living his truth, living his best life, took that life from himself.

As so many elements of my life have been stripped away, I’ve been feeling incredibly vulnerable, as if someone removed all of the doors to my house, and I am unable to keep the wind or strange creatures from wandering right in. I find myself feeling incredibly existential. I’ve been going to work each day to a pulmonary clinic with very few patients. As I walked down the hall today, I began to have tunnel vision and found myself wondering if I exist at all. I went to the grocery store to get lunch and the few people there seemed like set pieces, like extras on the set, coached not to make eye contact.

This all is so incredibly lonely, and strange, and it has heavily reminded me that when I walk down an asphalt road, that road is an invention. That is something that someone decided should happen. Synthesis places on top of a patch of grass. The building I write this in wasn’t always here. Obviously, this all leads to the poetry.

As I’m figuring new things out about myself, one thing seems to be a key element of who I am; dark times might be difficult for me, as for anyone, but that is where I grow best. It is the void that makes me an optimist. It is hopelessness where the poetry comes around and acts as a vessel for me to travel through to tirelessly seek hope.

When people ask me on New Year’s Eve if I had a good year, I always tell them: I always either have a good year or an important year. I don’t know if things are good right now, but I definitely believe they are important.

I hope you all find optimism, hope and poetry in this strange time.

Much love.


Brice Maiurro is a poet and storyteller in Denver, Colorado.

the anatomy of a 31-year-old man

it’s the bones that i’m thinking about. the frame. that which goes unspoken for but consistently holds me up. there is a stream that runs through green hills beneath a harsh sun. the grass has barely started to brown, to burn. and at the far edges of this still life is a frame that holds together like a family. there is a nail that trusts the wall. a wall that trusts the floors, the ceiling. light shines in through windows. i step, lifting a congregation of bone and marrow by muscle, over and again, in ten million years of motion leading to one moment where i look outside the window. my neck twisted upward to the golden sky i look for any trace of saturn and i think to myself where is it? and i answer back to myself it’s gone.

 

every year on my birthday i write a birthday poem. “the anatomy of a ___ year old man.” thank you for reading.

Hero Victim Villain – Book Release

hero victim villain

EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE AND I WANT TO SLEEP FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS.

I’m excited to say my second collection of poetry, Hero Victim Villain, will be released on June 24th from Stubborn Mule Press.

This collection is mostly an accumulation of poems that I wrote late 2017 to early 2019. The first poem in the collection, The Canary Who Swallowed The Coal Minekind of set the tone. I say in the poem “everything is on fire, and I want to sleep for at least two weeks.” The poem goes on to basically explain how everything is on fire, a commentary on my own anxieties and paranoia and feelings of helplessness, the way I can play the victim at times.

My friend Brandon Pooley calls it the poet’s disease. The way that some creatives will be self-destructive ultimately in the name of art. Something I want to get away from. I think that art is born out of self-discovery. Yeah, if you’re going through some hard shit you are possibly growing as a person, but it doesn’t have to be hard shit. Go on a trip, walk backwards to the grocery store, change jobs. I think what’s better than drinking yourself into a coma every night is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by pushing yourself to be more. Henry Rollins says it well:

“If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don’t show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents, out-learn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.”

The book goes on to explore these themes more. Savior complexes, the monsters we are and the monsters among us, all with a healthy dose of humor. I’m really excited about this collection. I hope to stop by the blog a bit more over the next couple months with more short writings, but thank you for reading. I hope that not everything is on fire for you.


photo: henry desroches

The Anatomy of a 29 Year Old Human (2017)

*just about every year on my birthday I write an “Anatomy of a … Year Old” poem. Thank you for reading.

i am a giant lizard monster
trying to lay down comfortably in a sprawling metropolis but the buildings scratch at my back

the cars pierce my feet like legos

i fold myself ragdoll into a suitcase in attempt to be smaller
i’ve tried my hand at big, i wish to be little

i stare into the mirror but it’s not a mirror
it’s the ghost of marley and he’s eating my cereal

he tells me i need to grow out my beard again

he reminds me i am a joshua tree at the end of the western world
he reminds me that it is crucial that i push through heavy desert ground

my veins are filled with marathon runners sprinting but only when it’s dark out
i’ve begun to name the avenues they run down, federal, larimer, colfax

rush hour is a real bitch
my hands shake at the horns honking screaming for attention

i’ve spent twenty eight years sawing myself in half for the big audience
i want to spend the next twenty eight sewn together

maybe salinger, alone in a boat in the middle of a forest

maybe vincent, a militia of mad men in the fields of anxiety

there is hair in my ears and when i was signing my contract this was not mentioned
television led me to believe that this corresponded with twilight years

meanwhile the movies led me to believe i would be a wealthy philanthropist batperson by now
i conveniently ignore al bundy’s belly, his thin hair, his vicious kmart realism

my eyes are the brownest they have ever been
this is good

this is spirit in form
petrified wood to be built into rocking chair conversations and tobacco pipes

i am seeking a clean definition of masculinity
and my femininity is my best hope to get there

there is goldfish in a glass bowl lodged in my heart
i still haven’t figured out what that’s all about but i feed it pellets

i remember that though the castle it swims around is small it is still a castle
and the castle is me and the goldfish is the music of it all

i’m confused
i’ve wrapped myself up in ace bandages but i’m not injured

i decide to play a mummy because for a brief minute this year i was a pharaoh
and now all i want is to be surrounded by true gold and sleep sleep sleep

and wake up thirty and haunt the shit out of these fuckers for at least a few more

cropped-king-boo.jpg

enso poem one

enso

great wonder beyond the wall
the wall beyond the shadows of something
the shadows of something beyond enveloped life
oversaturated perfection
inconsistent adulterated human experience
swept clean like dead flies from the floor beneath the burning building

“enso” is a Japanese word meaning circle. ensos are symbolic of many things including enlightenment, infinity and the void. in some practices, Buddhists will each day paint an enso, usually in one stroke, in a certain hope of drawing a perfect circle. there is both a sense of giving in to the moment and the ongoing discipline towards perfection therein. with these enso poems, i will write poems in one fell swoop, hoping for the best, hoping to strengthen my muscle each day, and resolved in their imperfections.

The Anatomy of a Thirty Year Old Man

I kind of feel like a field of ten thousand oranges,
like a universe made up entirely of suns,
like some sort of cosmic relief to be freed from subterranean dirt,
like I’ve worked my way through codependent alcohol-induced relationships
and deciphered every single Fall Out Boy lyric.

I kind of feel like God,
except I’m buying Glide floss at the grocery store
and everyone around me is God too.

I kind of feel like the flower section at King Soopers.
I feel like the succulent on clearance at King Soopers
but then I purchase myself and water myself back to health.

The sky is a Charles Mingus song,
my eyes are an audience drunk on sound.

I’m chewing on the clouds like white taffy.

I’m mourning ten years of residual teenaged angst
but teenaged angst isn’t dead,
it’s just hiding under ground
punching the lid of its coffin until it can break through
and avenge the man that massacred my wedding party.

I kind of feel like love.
Like I’ve arrived in a nice suit at a wedding.
Like the king of the dance floor, drowning in waves of hands held high.

Like my twenties largely prepared me through the trial and error of shit mistakes
to enter my thirties entirely renewed and ablaze
and ready to make all sorts of new and interesting mistakes.

My bones are bionic.
The marrow is whiskey.
I am whiskey now, I don’t need to drink to get there.

I’ve aged in barrels.

My beard sleeps soundly against the walls of my face.

If I had ten thousand blenders I’d turn them all on to high.

I am a giant monster that could attack the city but instead
I’m opting to dig deep in the dirt and plant large gardens of flowers.

I am realized chaos,

I am a cat thrown into the sky
and landing in downward dog.

My tongue spits om after om
as I regenerate my bones.

I am sailing on an ocean of great intentions
and I spent a quiet night with Hemingway
taught how to punch caustic sharks in their stupid faces.

Neruda has taught me that revolution and love
are one and the same.

Warsan taught me that our pain is our story
and it can be behind us,
like a great thick wind pushing us into new pain.

I am naked and painting myself to blend in with the grass.
I am green and inseparable from everything,
except I’m acutely aware I’m 30.

I’m acutely aware of the position I’ve established on my doomsday clock.

I am the clock hands of Doctor Manhattan in the mouth,
along the sides, in the cunt,
floating like oceans across the breasts of a lover.

I am meditating on Mars about my goddess of war,
and how she has awakened inside of me the armistice of my arms,
now outstretched into great giant fields of oranges,
where I reach out,
and grab them,
and peel the skin,

and I try to pull the pieces out neatly,

but the orange says no,

the orange says,
enough already,

dig your face deep into me and eat me rabidly.