Icarus, Remixed

I was Icarus
with double-edged wings
once upon a time.
The dreamer’s big eyes,
full of flames and longing,
the impetuous nature,
the jazz of my soaring,
all of it
defined me
as the blaring antithesis
to my dad’s son-proofed
set of lockbox rules.
But I got into the groove, boy,
you know I did,
and I gleefully sacrificed my youth
to the incandescent god of cosmic disco
and crapshoots, the one that feeds voraciously
on the hustling of the young, on the ripening
vocabulary of their roots, and living lexicon.
As the legend goes,
I was gobbled up
and spit back into the sea
as singed feathers
and unfulfilled dreams.
My memories, or rather want of memories,
became gurgling pods of sea-foam,
and I became a rote eulogy
on the collective lips
of a conscripted pantheon.
Despite the way
in which it’s been told,
the residual gist of my legend,
there is no moral to be drawn
from my story,
not really.
The moral
is the afterthought,
the wearied tack-on,
it is my father’s noble, outstretched hand
still trying to reach me,
to hold me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is–
I was Icarus
with double-edged wings
once upon a time,
and the claims of my legend
were shaped by a Sun
that deals in fate and destiny,
not meanings,
and I, the boy formerly known as Icarus,
have gotten to live a hundred thousand lives
as a star in a show with a variable script,
and no apparent ending.


icarus 2


(Image by Henri Matisse)

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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