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, 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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