Gusty Winds May Exist

Gusty Winds May Exist. This was the sign I saw on the highway when driving back from Albuquerque. Gusty Winds May Exist. Which, speculatively insinuates, they may also not exist. A climate conundrum and barometric riddle to challenge everything you thought you knew about wind, particularly wind which falls under the classification of “gusty.” Bigfoot, the Lochness Monster, Santa Claus, gusty winds–all these potentialties straddling the line between reality and illusion, what is and what isn’t, make my brain bust into a happy breakdance. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Marvelous words from M.C. Willy Shakes, who may or may not himself have existed.
Anyways, to hop-skip over to someone who has masterfully exceled at being there/not being there at the same time: Miss Cindy Sherman. I recently fell under the spell of her Untitled Film Stills, my crush on this body of work was instant and deep and moved me to no end. It was a magnetic resonance which demanded my honoring of and partcipation in that “world,” and so I wrote a series of poems, sixty-six in all, corresponding to Miss Sherman’s stills, what I’m tentatively calling Untitled Film Poems. To publish them without the accompanying images would feel diminished, and yet securing the rights to publishing them with the images may prove very difficult. That being said, I’m trying to get the work into Miss Sherman’s hands (though, she, the woman of a thousand faces backlit by a guarded anonymity), which will require a small miracle of its own (but I do believe in miracles, I do, I do!).

On the cinematic front, we continue slow and steady progress on Ballad of the Cuckoos, a short film that I wrote and will be directing. The storyboarding process with Troy Paff, the film’s D.P., has been damned fun, bringing me back to my roots as a comic book fanatic who always dreamed of writing comic books (once I realized and begrudgingly accepted that I probably wasn’t going to procure a superpower). And so, yea, the creative swing of storyboarding has felt  like comic-book in-visioning, a frame by frame process that speaks to my easy-to-glee inner-geek. Our hope is to launch our fundraising campaign in September. If you are interested in following the progress of our “little Cuckoo,” please subscribe to our email list (birds of a feather…and all that jazz):
Riot Material, the L.A. based magazine founded and run by Christopher Hassett, for which I am the regular Book Critic, recently expanded from an online magazine to print, with the inagural issue featuring the photographs of Sally Mann, and the poetry and artwork of the late Anthony Hassett. My most recent review–Junichiro Tanizaki’s Devils in Daylight— can be read here:
That’s all from the Biscello front, folks. Bear in mind that gusty winds may exist, and if they do they might be carrying not only the voices of ghosts and ancestors, but also powerful and important secrets which your wind-carved heart-cave may be calling home. I wish you all a deep and true and candy-eared listening. And leave you with a poem (and its corresponding Sherman image) from Untitled Film Poems.
cindy #32
Some women
waited for men
to light their cigarettes
for them
but never her—
she, the one who netted
her own desire,
and blatantly committed
a most lovely heresy
by balancing
a small piece of the moon
on her fingertips
until her cigarette
and underscored
the legend of the woman
scorned as a witch
by men
who didn’t know what to make
of unclaimed fire.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables, which were paired with the vintage illustrations of artist, Paul Bransom, for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ.
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