Blue Boy

   There’s something wrong with him, my father said. Look at him. Something’s not right. Something happened to him. He’s sick. All he thinks about is writing. That’s all he thinks about. He is blue.

   Even though I wasn’t there, I heard my father. And took perverse pride in what he said about me. All I thought about was writing. I was sick. I was blue.

   This meant I had gone over to the other side. Completely. I had gone and was not coming back. The tether had been cut. I was now completely possessed by my demon-lover, Writing. She wouldn’t let me go. I wouldn’t let her go. There was symbiotic clinging. Desperate, clawing need.

   My father was right. Something had gone out of me. Something vital. And it wasn’t coming back.

   I took a job at Duane Reade. No one told me what my duties were. I just started doing stuff. Mostly I moved items around on the shelves, trying to look busy. That, and I dusted the shelves. Somehow I was in possession of a feather duster.

   While I was dusting, the store manager asked me if I could work tomorrow night. I gave it some thought. I tried to think of reasons why I couldn’t work tomorrow night, but just wound up saying—I’m not interested in your offer. The store manager’s thin dark severe eyebrows jumped to the middle of her forehead. Do you even want this job, she asked me.

   I gave it some thought. Yes, I said, but only on a part-time trial basis. Maybe a couple of days a week. We’ll see how it goes.

   The store manager nodded curtly and walked away. How could she fire me? I couldn’t even remember having been hired. What was I doing at Duane Reade dusting shelves and reorganizing their inventory?

   At one point, I stopped working and stepped outside through the back door. There was a breathtaking nightline view of the city. Everything was lit up, with a resplendence that evoked the nostalgia of old movies. It was New York, through a Hollywood lens, in the 1930s or 40s.

   My heart went out to that city, but the rest of me returned to Duane Reade. I picked up my feather duster and went back to work. I knew that I was between worlds. A decision would have to be made soon.

Posted in Prose | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four from Moonglow

Four of the poems from Moonglow on Mercy Street, appearing in the latest installment of Riot Material.

moonglow-on-mercy-street-book-by-john-biscello-copy

Posted in Books, photography, Poetry, Press, Prose, Publications | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Moonglow Reading

An invitation to join me at mi casa this Sunday, January 17th @ 4pm (MT), as I will be doing a live Zoom reading from my new book of poetry, Moonglow on Mercy Street. 

This event is part of the SOMOS Poetry Salon Series. During the reading, there will be trivia opportunities to win free, signed copies of Moonglow. 

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/5757580081?pwd=SnZncXlvUUZPY3F3OEhyOXM3TnVxQT09

MOONGLOW ON MERCY STREET: These fifty poems, most of them written in 2020, comprise a kaleidoscopic palette of tones, moods and styles, in crafting living mythology from the world at large and within. Metamorphic bop, scat-alchemy, bare bones blues and gospel, love songs and odes, pagan pop, and cinematic remixes, make of Moonglow on Mercy Street a free-range concert aimed at the imagination and the senses. And, as a lyrical pilgrimage fueled by hope and wonder, it stands as a shining testament to Henry Miller’s claim that “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

 

Posted in Artwork, Books, photography, Poetry, Press, Prose, Publications | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State of Address

A salon. After hours. Dimly lit.

We see a red styling chair. Behind it are a counter and a wide mounted mirror. In the right upper-corner of the frame there are dismembered mannequins set against a wall.

The salon OWNER, a woman with fashionably short hair, enters the frame, sweeping the floor.

The sound of a door opening, faint sound of traffic in the background.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN enters. The stovepipe hat, the beard, the coat, the whole Lincoln bit.

LINCOLN nods to the OWNER, who gestures toward a chair.

LINCOLN takes off his hat and coat, sets them down on a table.

He proceeds to sit down in the chair which is set against a sink, facing backwards.

The OWNER turns on the water, then eases LINCOLN’S head back, his neck slotted in the cleft built into the sink.

The OWNER rinses LINCOLN’S hair, massages his scalp. She applies shampoo to LINCOLN’S hair, repeats the rinsing and massaging.

When she is done she towels off LINCOLN’S head and gestures toward the red styling chair.

LINCOLN goes to the chair and sits down. The owner covers LINCOLN with a smock.

The OWNER turns on the radio. Albinoni’s “Adagio in G Minor” is playing.

The OWNER gives LINCOLN a haircut. When the haircut is done, she prepares a hot towel and places it over LINCOLN’S face. She removes the towel and proceeds to give him a straight razor shave.

After the shave the OWNER gets down on her knees, between LINCOLN’S legs, wrangles his dick out from his zipper, and gives him a blowjob.

When she is done she rises to standing and wipes at her mouth.

The OWNER exits the frame.

Lingering shot of LINCOLN slumped in his chair, eyes closed, “Adagio” still playing.

LINCOLN gets up, puts on his coat and hat and exits the frame.

Lingering shot of the chair, the counter, the mirror, the mannequins.

Sound of a gunshot, a body thudding against the floor.

“Adagio” is suddenly washed out by static.

The OWNER re-enters the frame, turns the dial.

We hear Lincoln’s voice, in scratchy-time-weathered audio.

LINCOLN

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

(Dead air, popping and crackling with fuzz)

LINCOLN

(scratch-repeating, techno stutter-effect)

I-I-I-I-I

do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

(Electronic lounge beats kick in)

The OWNER goes offscreen, re-enters with a broom in hand, begins sweeping.

Electronic lounge plays as she sweeps up.

From the far-right corner, we see dark blood seeping into the frame.

FINIS

Posted in Cinema, Prose | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Nature of Daydreaming

In America,

daydreaming is fast becoming

an anachronism,

and endangered species,

with its habitats

being destroyed,

and its numbers in the wild

decreasing at an alarming pace.

Which raises the question–

What would daydreaming’s extinction

mean in relation

to the internal travel industry

as a whole,

and will its ghostly echoes

reverberate within

a stream of celibate downloads,

upon which the birth of Imagination, reconceived,

swaps slow, sovereign wandering

for breakneck usage rate?

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Love Poem

There are some lovers who,

in the spacious means

allotted by respect,

green toward one another,

as gardens

hold reams of moonlight,

without constraint

or undue possession.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Root Cause

The offshoots

of roots

spread everywhere

under your feet.

They are the architectural tentacles

of a magnificent culture.

Ground there.

It is the tended prelude

to most solid

flight plans.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Seuss Meets Buddha

Building a rocket-ship

of a meditation chair,

low to the ground,

in my sawdust workshop

of a heart chamber,

so as to comfortably

leave my body

and astrally roam

with medicinal curiosity—

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ink

There are some of us,

a strange lot,

who enjoy rolling around

in spools of text

and bathing

in wet ink—

for fun,

for pleasure.

It is not a recommended past-time,

but rather one that is born

from the necessity

of invention

as the supplest means

to vital connection.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cosmos

To have an open dialogue

with the cosmos

through a sensitive antenna

of a flower

with lavender petals

crowning my head

was something I used to scoff at

or dismiss.

And now?

I am a gardener,

tilling seeds of moonlight

in the holiest lay of space,

or nature herself,

facing the sun

with a thousand shoots

merging across the divide

into one.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment