Tuesday, September 25, 2018

GUEST POST: Nocturne Variations by John Biscello

Unsolicited Press 


Nocturne Variations by John Biscello

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: November 30, 2018 (Available for Pre-Order HERE)
List Price: $18.00 
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Synopsis: Dystopic Peter Pan meets surrealist noir in this cinemythical tale about love, loss and the illusions of shadow-play.

Los Angeles, December, 1989, is when we first meet the seventeen-year-old Piers, a runaway and a savant puppeteer.  Addicted to Sike, an experimental drug which promises a surrogate return to Childhood, Piers, in an act of revenge, robs a briefcase full of Sike from her dealer and flees L.A., pursued by two hit men.  Hiding out in the Southwestern town of Redline, where she meets and is taken in by a man named Henry Hook, Piers is soon confronted by the buried trauma of her past.

Comprising a jigsaw synthesis of narrative, journal entries, letters, monologues, film footage, poems, photographs, and press clippings; Noturne renders an interior world of fragments and parallels, and casts a tinted light on the neverland between dreaming and waking.


They were spinning slowly, ever so slowly.
  Do you want to go faster, Piers reached down for the dial. I can make us go faster.
  No, Anya smiled. I like the speed. We’re moving so slow it’s like we’re not moving at all.
  Piers and Anya sat in the Amusement Seats, across from one another.
  Piers drew the cloth to her face, huffed, then passed it to Anya.
  Piers stared at Anya, half her face masked in cloth, an asthmatic bandit in the throes of huffing.
  Piers stared and stared,
  and her vision dissimulated into small birds,
  winging across the painted winter of Anya’s face,
  and into the rabbitpink of her eyes, a dying sun
  or lighted prehistory.
  And then, like a slow-motion dream in reverse,
  Piers found herself earlier in the night:
  Anya, on stage, a glacial Venus, dancing with the other Winter’s Brides,
  dancing to invoke snow, which came in the form of electro audio fuzz.
  Can you hear the snow falling, Piers elated to Trink,
  who nodded—Yea yea I can hear it babygirl, I can hear it.
  The Brides, rejoicing in prayer, intensified the frenzy of their dancing,
  as the snowfalling amped into a blizzard of white noise,
  that raged and raged and then
  A ribbed, cathedral silence,
  freezing the Brides into a penitent tableaux.

  And then, the frizzy feel of cloth in hand, returning Piers to Anya who was now sitting across from her, Anya has handed me the cloth and I have just huffed, and I am now saying to Anya—Remember when you were a kid and you’d spin and spin and spin as fast as you could until you fell down and it was like the greatest thing in the world? Did you do that?
  Anya laughed—Yes I did that. I think kids everywhere do that, no matter where they grew up.
  Where did you grow up?
  In the Ukraine. In a small village. Where did you grow up?
  I didn’t.
  Piers laughed, as did Anya.
  No, I grew up in South Dakota. In this town called Belle Fourche.
  Belle Fourche, ah. What does Belle Fourche mean?
  It means Beautiful Fork. Not for me though. It was more like Ugly Knife Twisting In My Side. How was it growing up in a small village and being different?
  Different? Because I’m albino?
  It was sometimes hard. People could be cruel. But I learned how to tune out the negative stuff.
  Now you’re a beautiful ice fairy in L.A. you are made of ice and snow and magic, you know that right?
  Yes, Anya played along, and even though it’s past midnight I haven’t melted yet, the spell hasn’t worn off. I get to be an ice fairy for a little while longer, and then—
  And then?
  And then I don’t know.
  Anya laughed.
  Piers placed her hand over Anya’s.
  Anya’s hand is warm. She is an ice fairy with warm hands, Piers thought.
  Anya stared at the small pink offering astride her hand and said nothing.
  It was almost two hours into the new year, and the new decade.
  Piers and Trink opened the evening with Straddling Lizzy, which had been followed by Winter’s Brides. The show comprised albino-only performers. DeLeon, himself albino, had imagined transforming Tabanid into a winter’s dream, which is exactly what he had done. An ice sculpture of Botticelli’s Venus had been the centerpiece of the refashioned setting.
  Anya, like the other performers, was made of white and blue and pink. All other tones and colors had been abolished, a calculated extinction in composing a Winter’s Bride.
  How do you feel, Piers squeezed Anya’s hand.
  I feel fucking amazing. Anya scrunched her bare shoulders toward her ears. I feel like that little girl who spins around and around and falls down and is happy. I feel just like her.
  You are her.
  I am?
  Yes. Deepdeep in your eyes I can see it, I can see her. Or maybe her ghost.
  Anya’s lighted face dimmed to solemn. She bowed her head and began to cry.
  Piers expected that the tears of an ice fairy would instantly freeze, but they didn’t. They filigreed silver, like slash-marks in snow.
  Piers kissed the back of Anya’s hand, and then her wrist. She feathered her lips against the ridges of Anya’s knuckles.
  Trink, in full gale mode, blasted in.
  He placed one hand on Anya’s shoulder, one on the back of Piers’s head, and intoned a benediction—I hereby absolve thee of all sins accumulated in the year previous. You are free to to sin anew, and may your Innocence multiply at the speed of first and last kisses.
  Trink withdrew his hands from Piers and Anya—I shoulda been a priest, huh?
  Anya laughed and wiped at her tears with the back of her hand.
  Piers lifted her head and turned to Trink, who was staring at Anya.
  You crying sweetheart? Trink gentled his fingers through Anya’s frosted hair. What did Piers do to you?
  Piers didn’t do anything, Anya said. It’s just, I remembered something and then I started crying.
  Ain’t that always the way, Trink maternally cradled Anya’s head.
  When it comes to memories, Trink continued, there ain’t no bigger crybaby than yours truly. As for our little Peersy here, she ain’t much of a crier. I think all her tears go into her puppets. They do all her crying for her. Show us your hands.
  Piers, smiling, displayed her hands, palms down.
  The other side, Trink asserted.
  Piers flipped her hands, palms up.
  See right here, Trink traced several lines etched into Piers’s palm. If you look real closely you’ll notice that these lines got a bluish tinge. That’s from the tears she cries through her hands. When her hands start weeping she closes em like this—
  Trink folded Piers’s fingers and thumb inward
—And she sends the tears back. She banishes them like bad kittens, like . . . you ever see a river reverse its course? Ever see it run backwards?
  No, Anya said, I don’t think so—
  Well the river runs backwards in the case of our curious specimen Pierangela—
  Pierangela’s your real name, that’s beautiful—
  And Pierangela’s backward river of tears becomes a shadow show, right Pierangela—
  Right Trink—
  You two are funny—
  Then come to the beach with us—
  The beach—
  Yea that’s why I came over, a bunch of us, including your Winter’s Bridesmates, are gonna go to the beach and keep the party going till the sun comes up—
  And then what happens, we melt—
  Yea you and the ice fairies melt and me and Trink we . . . what happens to us Trink—
  We fall into a thousand year sleep—
  Yea a long deep sleep for me and Trink but I’ll remember you Anya, I’ll dream of you—
  And will you cry through your hands and reverse the river, for me, the memory of me—
  I will—
  Okay sounds like fun let’s go.


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 two novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale and Raking the Dust, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. Broken Land was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year. His third novel, Nocturne Variations, is due out November 2018 (Unsolicited Press).

     BUY NOW

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews