Where on Earth

Nineteen rifles and the village was burned to the ground there were nineteen rifles stolen by rebels and then came the awful burning down what was called scorched earth policy. My mother my father my brother were burned down to the ground with nearly two hundred others my god the atrocities committed my god I go on repeating numbly coldly in someone else’s voice not my own my god the atrocities. The village. I escaped. I don’t know how. Later on I heard the story it was on a radio program about this man a painter who went to the village the ruins of the village and painted. Every day he went to what locals from nearby villages now called the Vanished Village he went there wanting to paint the bones of the village the ghosts wanting to paint what the land held and was telling him what it tolled. The program said the man was a medium between the living and the dead and that dreams had led him there to the village to paint to listen. The man went there with a dog his dog’s name was Ginger or the dog was ginger colored or maybe it was both the name Ginger the color Ginger I can’t remember but the dog went rooting around and found a doll with broken limbs half buried in the earth. And when the man picked up the doll when he held it the man said everything came to him torrents of grief rushed through him the grief the voices the burning. The doll it seems was a medium between the living and the dead a gateway. The man painted the doll. In painting her he felt the presence of the young girl to whom the doll had belonged the young girl who had been her best friend. When I heard this I got to wondering if the doll had belonged to me. Were me and the doll best friends? I don’t know. My history isn’t mine. The village has been barred from my memory. I was told it was my home and so in that respect I have inherited its ghosts but what else. Mother father brother. These are words almost like stones dropping into a dark well and sometimes feelings sometimes sensations. They are dirges coming to me from graying far off places from graves I don’t know. When I hear the voices calling I feel as if the fire is moving dangerously close.  

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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