Tall Black Armchair, or, Anais Nin Revisited

“The woman will sit eternally in the tall black armchair.  I will be the one woman you will never have … excessive living weighs down the imagination: we will not live, we will only write and talk to swell the sails.” – Anais Nin to Henry Miller

It was a gag,

or maybe not.

Maybe a seance of sorts,

a call to the past, or . . .

whatever it was, it demanded action.

I bought a tall black armchair

at a thrift store, one of its legs

slightly shorter than the rest,

which somehow felt right.

I placed the armchair in the attic

and draped a white sheet over it.

Drew big dark eyes on the sheet

in permanent marker,

and then a Rorschach blot of a mouth.

I laid a pair of my ex-girlfriend’s

black lace stockings on top

of the sheet, almost as an erotic offering

to flesh things out.

My ghost of Anais Nin

now needed sound

and so I

made a mixed tape of clips

of her voice

then placed a cassette player

with the tape inside

under the sheet

and turned out all the lights

in the attic

as I lit one thin long candle

which gave off a warm auerate glow

and then communed with the ghost of Anais Nin

for however long eternity lasts

in the world of one

who sails

according to Imagination’s standards

alone.

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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