Runes

There is the cracking–
thin, brittle chafings
of bones begging to splinter,
to silver holy music
through darkened hollows,
and there is us,
Love’s loneliest brood,
spelled out
like vagrant relics,
like glistening runes,
upon God’s most silent
scattered linen.

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Moon River, Winter Remix

Ribbed, solitary leaf,
cradled in frozen canvas,
stray comma
to the rivered language of glacial moon,
that is where I find her,
my love,
spreading pure as the music
of first snow.

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Killing Commendatore

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Review of Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Killing Commendatore.
“But at three o’ clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, and the cure doesn’t work — and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’ clock in the morning, day after day. At that hour the tendency is to refuse to face things as long as possible by retreating into an infantile dream — but one is continually startled out of this by various contacts with the world. One meets these occasions as quickly and carelessly as possible and retires once more back into the dream, hoping that things will adjust themselves by some great material or spiritual bonanza.  But as the withdrawal persists there is less and less chance of the bonanza — one is not waiting for the fade-out of a single sorrow, but rather being an unwilling witness of an execution, the disintegration of one’s own personality.” –Scott Fitzgerald, “The Crack-Up” (1936)
In Killing Commendatore, the sprawling new novel by Haruki Murakami, the dark night of the soul which confronts Murakami’s nameless protagonist is met with a sort of bewildered impassivity, and resigned stoicism — qualities that have often factored into the emotional color schemes of Murakami’s “leading men.” In this case, the man is a thirty-six-year old portrait painter, who is blindsided by his wife’s decision to leave him. Aligning itself with this unexpected upheaval, is the realization and fact that his deeper artistic passions, the true signature of his soul-fire, have gone away, or settled into the quasi-comfortable numbness which has colonized many areas of his life. “I hadn’t become that sort of artist, or that type of person because I’d wanted to. Carried along by circumstances, I’d given up doing paintings for myself. I’d married and needed to make stable income, but that wasn’t the only reason. Honestly, I’d already lost the desire to paint for myself. I might have been using marriage as an excuse. I wasn’t young anymore, and something—like a flame burning inside me—was steadily fading away. The feeling of that flame warming me from within was receding even further.”
Read the full review here.
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Nocturne by Riot-light

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Kindra Austin’s insightful and engaging advance review of Nocturne Variations (due out November 30th) appearing in Riot Material.
“Nocturne Variations is the tale of young Piers, a runaway, huffing enthusiast, and doyen of shadow puppetry. Within the pages, Biscello has created a kind of dystopian subculture where the illusory and the palpable breathe equal air; he’s built a world where even the shadows have distinct voices, and philosophy and folklore weigh the same.
“Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan 
Welcome to Tabanid, the L.A. vaudeville nightclub where dark and lascivious characters come alive. We meet our protagonist in the coat closet, engaged in a tryst just as she’s due to take the stage. One develops an opinion of Piers straightaway; seemingly carefree and wild-hearted, what Piers may lack in savoir faire, she makes up for with an offbeat kind of charm. The camaraderie between Piers and her shiny shadow partner, Trink, endears her even more — as an observer, it may be easy for readers to overlook Piers’ addictions in the beginning.”
Read the full review here.
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Arclight

I am happy to announce that my debut poetry collection, Arclight, will be published in 2019 by Indie Blu(e) Publishing. More details to follow.

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Pique

The infinite patience
of a rose,
its respiring pauses,
is a secret vigil
and rewrite,
a lonesome serenade,
heard only
by hearts broken
to light’s smoldering
pique
and shadow.
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Fade-In

We are not here
to tiptoe through the garden
at night.
We balance on the edge
of a slow-whirling blade,
a smooth silver plane
with teeth,
belonging to a star, unnamed,
its heart a fiery proof
and fade
of joy and grief.
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Something Twisted This Way Comes

Runaway, androgynist, shadow-puppeteer, Neverland refugee, nimbic love-child of Edie Sedgwick and Holden Caulfield.
Enter the world of Piers this November 30th.

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taoStyling

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Interview in taoStyle, revolving around Taos, New York, the writing life, and my new novel, Nocturne Variations.
“Brooklyn, New York born and raised author, poet, playwright and spoken word performance artist, John Biscello, has called Taos home since 2001.
The author of novels Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, and Raking the Dust, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, (Broken Land was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year), John has a new book coming out and we met recently to talk about it.
When I arrived at the World Cup that afternoon, John was already there, seated at the window, in the corner. I said hello before going to the counter to order a coffee from Jack Lorang, who just happened to be working that day. Lucky us! Jack makes some of the best espresso for miles around. He’s a damn fine writer as well, so it seemed doubly apropos that he should be there.
Americano in hand, I joined John at the window. Autumn was closing in on us, but it was still t-shirt weather, and the tourists walking by hadn’t given a thought to the changing seasons, judging by their breezy attire.
John (in a t-shirt and black jeans), looked every inch the quintessential Brooklyn (next generation), Beat Poet – a throwback to the era he continues to be inspired by.
We jumped right in as writers do; spanning the Western Canon in minutes – leaping from Miller (Henry) to Jack KerouacBill Burroughs and Paul Bowles to Shakespeare, Bukowski and back again faster than the speed of light. Almost.
Both of us fast, NYC fast, stream of consciousness fast, as the pages of beloved books, dog-eared and marked, turned over in our memory banks. Pages as familiar as a love once lost and then found again.”
Read the full interview here.
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David Lynch’s Room to Dream

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Review of the new bio-memoir, Room to Dream, written by David Lynch and Krisitine McKenna.
“For the past forty somewhat years, David Lynch has dreamscaped a long day’s journey into night, taking audiences on a hallucinated tour through the underworld of their own splintered psyche. In a world, or perhaps I should say industry, often bereft of visionary spellcasting, Lynch has been the equivalent of a cinematic shaman, a goofball deviant in bi-polar shades, trafficking in symbols, archetypes, glyphs, images and impressions, fished out from a fathomless substratum. His oeuvre, a steam-punk Frankenstein of interchangeable parts, speaks to the savvy and glee of a mad scientist at play, while his blending of the eternal with American pop has given us a surrealistic soap-opera with an eye toward the numinous. Carl Jung eating apple pie in a diner while riffing on anima with a gum-clacking waitress named Flo; the red-jacketed ghost of James Dean partying on top of a toxic mushroom cloud while Marilyn Monroe lip-syncs “Happy Birthday” in Yiddish; a blue jukebox isolated in the desert where it serves as an altar for a congregation of devout rabbits . . . these could be dispatches from a world of Lynch’s making.”
Read the full review at Riot Material.
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