JOHN L. STANIZZI
John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections—Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking,
Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide—Ebb Tide, Four Bits,
and Chants. His newest collection, Sundowning, will be out this year with Main Street Rag.
John's poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York
Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle,
Tar River Poetry, Rust & Moth, Connecticut River Review, Hawk & Handsaw, and many
others. His work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy. His
translator is Angela D'Ambra. John has read and venues all over New England, including
the Mystic Arts Café, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage, and many others.
For many years, John coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at
Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT. He is also a teaching artist for the national recitation
contest, Poetry Out Loud. A former New England Poet of the Year, John teaches literature at
Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.
Pitiless, windless, these days before the solstice,
occurring this year in concert with the full cold moon,
never to happen again until 2094.
Don't see a single reason to plan for it.
Plush, mattress-soft grass after night-long rain. And then a bird.
Objectified in fog, then vanished. Camera useless.
Nova of broad-shouldered hawk out of the fog, into the fog,
dimity scrim of fog behind the pond, pinned up with wild raspberry thorns.
Pageantry of fierce cold on the backs of 30 mph gusts
ordains the 28 degrees to something much lower, much more frigid.
Nestling against the cedar, I hear her whine from deep inside, a sound of exhaustion as the
decimater of pleasantries, the wind, moans everything here black, white, silver, gray.
Piquant cardinal tilts into the bush and all that red
opulence vanishes against the flat gray of branches;
nibs of sleet make a tiny sound colliding with my jacket;
dulled, steely pond reflects the thick, deep overcast by not reflecting it.
Patrolling the pond's shore, the birches are whiter against the
obsequent streams stiffened by the cold, the gray woods, the
nattery chickadee who follows me like Frost's small bird,
downhill slightly to the pond that reflects brilliance despite my gloom.
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