The other day

I met a monk who juggled watermelon seeds

with his tongue.

When I asked him how he did it,

he spit the seeds at me,

a staccato stream of seeds

as if the monk were no monk at all

but rather a cartoon gangster, or vaudeville gunner.

I ducked.

All of the seeds flew over my head

except for one, the lone seed that clung

to the top of my shoulder.

The monk’s eyes wrinkled with silent laughter,

which soon emitted from his nostrils and mouth

as a soft hissing sound.

How do you do that, he pointed at the seed

perched on my shoulder.

I smiled and shrugged and the seed fell off.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and bought a watermelon.

When I got home I cut it open and made a project out of seed-removal.

Then I tried juggling seeds with my tongue,

but couldn’t do it.

Several hours later, having not made any progress with my juggling act,

I sat down and stared at the lovely sloppy wreckage of watermelon and rind,

and at, or rather into the dreamlife of seeds gathered in a small glass bowl.

I picked up one of the seeds and planted it on my shoulder.

It’s easy, I said, as if the monk were there watching and listening,

and his silence roared like the most marvelous applause.

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.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s