John L. Stanizzi
Four weeks into a total knee replacement, “It’s still early,” the doctor says when I complain about the pain. “The TKA can take a year.” And the pain had absconded with the muse – until the other day, when a local art association asked if I’d write a poem after a photograph of a rainy morning by area photographer, Brooke Foti. I was so moved by the painting that I did write, and ended up with the first viable draft of a poem since my surgery. That eased the pain. http://johnlstanizzi.com/
Headless Body in Topless Bar
Headline in the New York Post
You misunderstood the sign
and thought that you’d finally found a place
where no one would judge you
by the plateau that ran from shoulder to shoulder
and buttoned across
the same way you’d button down your shirt.
Surely lots of the folks in this topless bar
must button across the runway of their shoulders
the same as you,
without the pressure of worrying
about mascara and lipstick,
or the brittle little hairs
sprouting from their nostrils and ears.
But no worry here about making things up
off the top of your head,
or listening to people’s inane blather
flying in one ear and out the other,
no more feelings of inadequacy
about not being able to flap your lips
or pick your nose,
no irrational concern about your shortsightedness.
No. You’d just be another headless patron
standing around oblivious and content,
missing the rumping, thumping hip-hop,
the loud, boring chatter,
the games of deception and manipulation
among the few brazen patrons
who were not headless.
As far as you knew
everyone here was in the same
proverbial boat as you,
looking for a nice safe place to rest,
surrounded by your own kind,
where insults to the body and to the mind
didn’t ever happen,
and everything just rolled easily
right off your shoulders.
-from a manuscript in progress called Sundowning
Cry to Me
for Greg Willett
St. Mary’s School
East Hartford, Connecticut
We walked through some heartache in ’62.
Gary liked Teresa but Teresa
asked Elizabeth to tell Peter that
she really wanted to go out with him
but Peter had been making out with Jane
in the theater, celebrating their
one month anniversary, so that was
out, and even though Jane broke up with Pete,
Peter kept asking Gail to talk to Jane
which Gail wouldn’t do because she’d told
Brenda that she thought that Peter was cute
but Brenda wasn’t listening to a word,
wrapped up in lonely teardrops shed for Greg.
The waters of 8th grade were never still.
So Jah Seh
"So Jah seh
Fear not for mighty dread,
'Cause I’ll be there at your side.”
for John “Terry” Ryan
July 12, 1946-July 4, 2015
Terry would joke that hanging out with me
was just as good as being all alone.
And I agreed. We could sit for minutes
neither of us saying a single thing.
I always took that kind of ease to mean
that we were comfortable enough to
not find it necessary to speak a
word, some small talk used to break the awkward
silence. That’s just it; the silence wasn’t
awkward. It was as easy as being
all alone, looking out at the vast hills,
not even acknowledging their presence,
but knowing they were there, and that they’d be
there, your loyal friends waiting by your side
The two sonnets are from a manuscript in progress called Hallelujah Time! – Volume II.
©2015 John L. Stanizzi