Indie Blu(e) Publishing Releases Arclight

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is thrilled to announce the release of  Arclight by John Biscello.

John Biscello is not simply a novelist and poet, but an alchemist of verses. In Arclight, Biscello captains a voyage that transcends the physical world with graceful introspection, and philosophical wonder. His reflective nature invites us to ponder our own life experiences and ideals. Arclight is a true tribute to the human heart. 

“I always saw the humanity

behind his thick-lidded eyes, the small child,

begging for a banquet of golden crumbs

to appease the motherache churning

in his heart and stomach.

A thousand lions

pitted against a studded

chain smoking beer gutted gladiator,

I saw that too, he, the lions, the gladiator,

the arena,

the smoke and booze,

all of it…”

from, I See Myself

Arclight is available from Amazon in print and Kindle version.

A Review of John Biscello’s Nocturne Variations

Nocturne Variations: John Biscello

Reviewed by Kindra M. Austin

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Nocturne Variations is a twenty-first century presentation of avant-garde literature.

Super. But what is avant-garde? Avant-garde is a French term that means advance guard; people and ideas that are ahead of their time. It’s a concept that refers to artists, composers, and writers whose works oppose mainstream values. As a noun, avant-garde is defined as new and unusual or experimental ideas in the arts. Often connected to political activism (think of Theater of the Absurd, Bob Dylan, and John and Yoko), there exists a misconception that avant-garde must always be politically driven.

Regarding visual art, it’s of popular thought that the avant-garde movement began in the mid-nineteenth century with French painter Gustave Courbet and his astonishing gift for realism. A notable example of Courbet’s opposite is fellow modernist Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealist who created The Persistence of Memory. Courbet and Dali differ in style and perception, but their works are equally avant-garde.   

That’s all good to know, but we’re supposed to be talking fiction. So, what are some examples of avant-garde literature? Literary experts go bananas over James Joyce’s Ulysses; first published in 1922, this epic is best known for its stream-of-consciousness style. Another disturbance to convention was T.S. Eliot’s publication of The Waste Land, a poem that obliterated traditional form and ideals. 1922 had proven to be a formative year in the writing world. Thanks to writers such as Joyce and Eliot, we saw the influence of the modernist movement flourish in the works of Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, and ee cummings.

Fast-forward to post-modernism: radical novelists like George Orwell and Anthony Burgess, and the experimental poets of the Beat Generation continued to revolutionize written expression. In the twenty-first century, however, avant-garde literature, or experimental fiction—whatever you prefer to call it—has become rather familiar. We’re living in an age so saturated with uniqueness, it’s a challenge to produce anything that is not derivative.

Enter John Biscello.

Nocturne Variations is the tale of young Piers, a runaway, huffing enthusiast, and doyen of shadow puppetry. Within the pages, Biscello has created a kind of dystopian subculture where the illusory and the palpable breathe equal air; he’s built a world where even the shadows have distinct voices, and philosophy and folklore weigh the same.

“Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

 Welcome to Tabanid, the L.A. vaudeville nightclub where dark and lascivious characters come alive. We meet our protagonist in the coat closet, engaged in a tryst just as she’s due to take the stage. One develops an opinion of Piers straightaway; seemingly carefree and wild-hearted, what Piers may lack in savoir faire, she makes up for with an offbeat kind of charm. The camaraderie between Piers and her shiny shadow partner, Trink, endears her even more—as an observer, it may be easy for readers to overlook Piers’ addictions in the beginning.

The world in which Piers subsists is a cruel one, and not unlike our own. She is often confronted by a monster called childhood trauma, as well as the devastating knowledge that she isn’t who she is supposed to be. As her story progresses, the spiritual theme presents itself organically through her musings, self-reflection, and interactions. Yes, we learn a great deal about Piers when she must run away from L.A. We also discover that this world can be a kind and forgiving one, not unlike our own; for in the old coal-mining town of Redline, there exists a new life path awaiting Piers.

It takes the relationships that Piers develops with Henry Hook and Gwen to reveal Piers’ actual nature. Once the enlightenment hits, you realize you’re not only an observer; you realize that you want to take care of this tragical shadow being.

“Wait for me somewhere between reality and all we’ve ever dreamed.”

                                                                                                            —J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan 

Nocturne Variations includes an arrangement of features that one might consider too ambitious. On the contrary, these pieces intermingle with the narrative quite naturally. Poems; diary entries; newspaper excerpts; interviews; notable quotes; and notes on cinema all operate as single vehicles with a shared destination. This composite not only makes odd sense, but it excites.

Biscello’s command of dialogue interested me because of the unusual structure, and I’d quickly decided that standard formation would have only disrupted the story’s distinctive movement. This novel is proof that he is one of the great visionary authors of today. He impresses with his employment of unconventional construction, multiple points of view, and cinematic scene direction without sacrificing a single thread of the human element.

Simply put, this novel is bold in design and syntax. As an author, ravenous reader, cinephile, and lover of art, I challenge anyone to argue that John Biscello’s Nocturne Variations does not qualify as both avant-garde literature and multimedia artwork.

Nocturne Variations releases on 30 November, 2018, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes JOHN BISCELLO

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Originally from Brooklyn, New York, author, poet, playwright, and performer, 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, a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, and a children’s book, Once Upon a Time: Classic Fables ReimaginedBroken Land was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.

Unsolicited Press, an indie press out of Portland, OR, has released a second edition of Raking the Dust, and will be doing the same with Broken Land (August 2018), leading up to the release of his new novel, Nocturne Variations (November 2018).

 

AVAILABLE WORKS

RAKING THE DUST

Raking the Cover

In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury, and surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare-bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J., a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration, however, their lives turn inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.

FREEZE TAG

Freeze Tag new

It wasn’t a bad neighborhood, just coarse and ingrown, with too many nerves wired to the same frequency. Comprised of five stories and a novella, Freeze Tag takes you inside the heart of Bensonhurst, the “Little Italy” of Brooklyn. A boy teaching himself how to “disappear” as his family collapses around him; a group’s last desperate hurrah at a dive strip club; a comic book artist returning home to grieve his lost childhood love; a middle-aged woman using baby-talk to seduce her daughter’s boyfriend-these and other storylines mix concrete grit with magic realism in rendering an essential portrait of The Old Neighborhood.

More of Biscello’s work can be found on his blog

Spoken word tracks, radio theater, and other clips can be found on his Soundcloudand youtube channels:

Amazon author page