American Alley

“What absurdity.  There is not one novel of America.  There are a thousand Americas. Big Business is only one of its inhuman, monstrous products.  But jazz is the expression of America’s romantic self, its sensual potency, its lyrical force. Big Business and Politics are twins, they are the monsters who kill everything, corrupt everything. Why not pay attention to the artists who humanize, keep the source of feeling alive, keep hope alive?” – Anais Nin, Winter, 1956

On the street corner

where Main meets


a thin man in a beret,

holding a briefcase,

standing in front of a mounted

American flag,

barking through a megaphone–


bought and sold

souls bought and sold


while three blocks down,

in a nameless alley,

the sound

and fury

of a squealing sax,

eliciting lore

from a calling

measureless in its purge.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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