John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections Ecstasy Among Ghosts (Antrim House),
Sleepwalking (Antrim House), Dance Against the Wall (Antrim House), After the Bell
(BigTable), Hallelujah Time! (Big Table), High Tide—Ebb Tide (Kelsay Books), Four
(Grayson Press), Chants (Cervena Barva), Sundowning Main Street Rag, POND
(impspired—UK), as well as The Tree That Lights The Way Home (Antrim House).
Besides SOFTBLOW, John's work has been widely published and has appeared in
Prairie Schooner, The Cortland Review, American Life in Poetry, Praxis, The New
York Quarterly
, Paterson Literary Review, The Laurel Review, The Caribbean Writer,
Blue Mountain Review, Rust + Moth, Tar River, Poetlore, Rattle, Hawk & Handsaw,
Plainsongs, Patterson Literary Review, Potato Soup Journal, and many others. His
work has been translated into Italian and appears widely in Italy, including in El Ghibli,
Journal of Italian Translation (ed. Bonafini), Poetàrium, and others. His translator is
the Italian poet, Angela D'Ambra. His nonfiction has been published in Literature and
, Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide, Scarlet Leaf, Evening Street,
Potato Soup Journal, The Red Lemon, after the pause, and others. John is the Flash
Fiction Editor of Abstract Magazine TV, and has read at venues all over New England,
including the Mystic Arts Café, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage,
and many others. For many years, he coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition
for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut (USA). John was
also a "teaching artist" for the national poetry recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud; he
spent a decade with Poetry Out Loud. A former Wesleyan University Etherington Scholar,
and New England Poet of the Year (1998), John was awarded an Artist Fellowship in
Creative Non-Fiction—2021 from the Connecticut Office of the Arts for work on his new
memoir. He presently teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester,
Connecticut, and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry (USA).


12.27 p.m.
22 degrees

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.


9.55 a.m.
44 degrees

a Fog

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.


3.34 p.m.
28 degrees

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.


7.58 a.m.
32 degrees

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.


7.24 a.m.
32 degrees

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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