Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Breathing in,
this holy seethe,
an etheric reflux
of fierce fire and starlight,
which has kept me in tow
and fasting thrall
to my dreams
for as long as I can remember.
When I was a budding young sorcerer,
new to the world, I knew all the right spells by heart,
and understood, not through intellect or common logic,
but through a felt-sense, the natural course
of my relationship to the elements,
and to the mutable feast
comprising my worlds within.
I twinned, and then I split,
watching a consortium of fragments
move out into time and space,
satellites orbiting the Grand Guignol of life,
each with a different set of needs
and demands,
yet sorcery remained,
at the hidden luminous heart of it all,
my deadpan and mentor,
my best friend and cosmological lynchpin.
Sorcery, even when I wasn’t looking,
or perhaps especially when I wasn’t looking,
taught me how to boogie to private drumming sessions,
and deeply trust and abide in lyrics untranslated to mortal claims
and everyday thought;
Sorcery, behind my back, showed me a path into and through
fated woods where tall dark trees
moonlighted as metaphors
while simultaneously maintaining their realness,
and I was lulled into marveling at the memory of silver,
as it fell from leaves like filigreed fingers of rain.
Sorcery asked me
to look beyond my need for control,
to cede the smallest view in a windowless room
for the edges of cliffs that petitioned my plunging,
parachuteless, into an immeasurable unknown.
Sorcery asked me to gamble on the infinite.
Fear often held me in check,
or stuck voodoo pins
into the doll-sized effigy imagined by me,
but sorcery would swoop in like gangbusters
to break up energetic knots and kinks.
It might have been easier
if sorcery would have assumed the form
of a snow-bearded wizard with the requisite daftness,
intrigue and ancient-infancy, but that wasn’t the case—
It was form-less, a feeling, a gauzy ball
of glowing green light pitted in a gut-rooted squall,
it was a calling, to not see but intuit
the mirrormask Buddhasmile
painted across the moon’s featureless face,
it was faith of epic yet subtly fine-tuned proportions.
When sorcery talks to me, or rather when I am given a chance
to translate its ciphers and glyphs, it says things like—
Mapless wayfaring is not for the faint of heart,
or, Wonder is your spiritgiven privilege, do not squander it!
It is then that I do my best to relax and surrender,
to give myself wholly over to something much bigger than mortal-visioned-me,
and the power comes in recalling the naively wise felt-sense
of that budding young sorcerer who knew all the right spells by heart,
and who, to this day, remains in thrall to the holy seethe,
equal parts fierce fire and starlight.


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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