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 he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.
This is John L. Stanizzi. Thanks for having a look. A brief word about this book. They are from a one-year-long project called POND — The poems are acrostics. Everyday, at different times during the day, I would visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I’d jot down some notes, take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presented itself. Then I’d head home and write a four line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which made the project so interesting and challenging to me, was that I did not allow myself use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, and D word for every day.
I began the book on November 9, 2018 and completed it on November 8, 2019, without ever missing a single day.
November 1, 2019
Preserved in the path where I’ve walked for a year, beside the overhang of multiflora roses and wild raspberries, niggling little footpath leading to where the hope for poetry resides, the wish to decipher what the pond is saying this morning, what the wind in the leafless trees thinks.
November 2, 2019
Process, this walking to the pond day after day, oracle absent, I must find what I find. Today its molehills’ navigational randomness, like a mountain range seen from above, and the detrital mist, flimsy, wafts over the water like dimity rags or ideas I just can’t pin down.
November 3, 2019
1668 The Frost beheads it at its play – In accidental power – The blonde Assassin passes on – The Sun proceeds unmoved -Emily Dickinson Preamble to what comes next, Emily’s blonde assassin, one-sided villain, has returned hinting of the future, necromantic squatter, this heavy hoarfrost, has one thing in mind – darken the landscape and lay to waste the many things we cherish.
November 4, 2019
Pillow of mildness this 53 degree November afternoon. Onlookers, the bird are utterly still, and the silence is lovely, necessitates a quiet chant or one-line supplication to honor the didactyl flow of Fowler’s stream and mine coming together with a watery gentle sound.
November 5, 2019
Patera of a pond, it gets more shallow every day; oddments at the shore – pebbles, a shell, a golf ball. nonnegotiable this rising and fall, this roaring by of time. Droning is just an illusion; it’s all moving fast – up, down, in, out.
November 6, 2019
Pigwidgeons of chickadees drink from the stream, outrage at my slowness to fill the feeders. Naggy about the cold, missing my frogs and swallows, the pond, dedicated partner in this journey, holds nice and still for a photo.
November 7, 2019
Pastorate of all the birds this little stream. But this morning it’s official; the cold is here to stay. The juncos have returned. Nearness of the last day has me thinking of trying to take the year in all at once, descriptive and clear and all of it passing before me like