There is a specific tenor to dreaming in a silent and snowy land. It’s that place where your voice grows brighter, then brittle and glassy, before shattering into a choir of a thousand birds, and everywhere the echoes attempt to muffle the whitehot roar and null of silence.
It is the tenor of distance, how a dreamlife does what it can to make you real, it mostly fails, as you look out past slow blue edges and see yourself, a silhouette, mounted on a glacial floe that is drifting farther and farther away from you—you, the watcher, you, the witness.
You want to say something. Want to speak the kindest most useful words you can to the exiled you. Nothing comes. You wave goodbye to yourself.
A third version of you, echoed in a mirror of burning ice, sees you waving goodbye to yourself, and sadness comes. There is something about that naked hand, waving.
Glacial pools are also mirrors of fire.
This comes to you and brings a measure of comfort.
You recall the words of that young Italian boy, Leolo—Because I dream, I am not.
This, too, a measure of comfort.
It seems you are attempting to collect and accumulate small comforts, perhaps hoping to string them up like talismanic beads on a phantom necklace, perhaps this is how one wards off the night-moths of memory.
What is the right tenor for a dreamlife in a silent and snowy land? A place where turning back is the same as doing nothing at all. You hear low humming voices coming from your throat. You imagine these are small, forgotten animals in dire need of oxygen.
You open your mouth. The silence of the landscape rushes in, a jetstream with teeth. You check your mouth for blood. None.
Glacial pools are also mirrors of fire.
You are beginning to understand a few things now, but really what’s the use?
You think you can make out the glacial floe upon which you have been sacrificed, a floating bloodless altar destined for god knows where.
You wave again, sort of. More like a meek frozen flower that is afraid to exert itself.
You know that the eyes that are on you are your own, and you feel ashamed to bear witness in such a way. It feels wrong, like swindling or cheating.
Glacial pools are also mirrors of fire.
These echoes and wraiths may be the death of you yet, who knows?
What kind of tenor is required to dream the right kind of dreams, the useful ones, in a land of silence and snow?
The worst kind of death is to die before it’s your time.
If a lot of silence and snow becomes enmeshed elements in your dreamlife, so be it.
Do not ask for anything, do not complain. Never demand. Cross that off the list right now for good and all.
There is something sad, something beautiful and tragic, something ancient and archetypal about the solitary figure, claimed by frost and silence, continuing to seek a sort of eternal childhood in the land of dreams.
Something sad, and deeply touching…


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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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