Once upon a time before people were monsters. When people didn’t eat each other. Out here we’ve got to be careful. I defected. I became fugitive singular. I defected from plural, from we. I defected so as to claim I again, I for the first time, so as to become a roving sovereign speck, someone who will take to the open road, there were so many tales of the great open road, the open road a glowing nexus and magnet for the unimaginable, I wanted to go there, wanted to singularize as chance and exile so as to see, so as to experience. Once upon a time before people became monsters who ate people. Times were different, I think, so I’ve heard, I don’t know. Roving, sovereign, I will give myself a new name, a new definition befitting the open road, I will call myself Calamity Jane, and in my distances there will be clangy boxcars, kerosene lamps, brown sludge coffee from rusted tins, and I’ll need a hat, a good hat, a proper hat, the right hat for a roving sovereign self who calls herself Calamity Jane. What about stage coaches? Wild horses? Pulp serials and penny dreadfuls? Everywhere is dust, vaudeville reruns of previous apocalypses, dust-skinned bones, so I guess I can summon and plagiarize whenever wherever however, the rimless bowls of dust being a broad open canvas upon which I can conjure from scratch.

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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