Saturday, April 4, 2020


A few words from John Stanizzi: the poems 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, or 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.




9.05 a.m.

34 degrees

Patterns die hard even this deep into winter.  This wind’s

ovation is for winter’s return to dawn; though the sun has

nibbled away at the snow-pack, it is still knee-deep, slow to

dissolve. And the wind says nothing about spring


8.20 a.m.

21 degrees

Patiently, I keep telling myself, patiently.  Five starlings are

outclassed by a pair of cardinals wheeling across the pond.

Nuthatch’s diminutive grunt-laugh seems to say, Winter’s

deadbolt is still locked, and I come looking for change where there is none.


7.37 a.m.

35 degrees

Pair of titmice in flutter display, the sound of wings, the sound of

ornamental high-pitched vocalizations that sing of corporeal contact,

naturistic flight-dance, flitting, floating down, flying up, spring

dance, mating tango, as the world around them slowly melts.


8.59 a.m.

45 degrees

Parting with a roil, two streams – Fowler’s and ours -- pour into the pond.

Operatic black birds – grackles, starlings – too

numerous and active to count – red-winged black birds, cowbirds -- 

descend on the feeders with an audible voraciousness, devouring everything. 


2.16 p.m.

51 degrees

Pacifistic melting; the breeze is warm; the voice of the stream

ongoing, it blesses the Sabbath with clear water, encourages me to

notate its clarity that I may drink one day, that I may help to nourish this cedar

dragged to thinness and pain by bittersweet from which I will release it this spring.

John L. Stanizzi, a former Wesleyan University Etherington Scholar, is the author of the collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, SleepwalkingDance Against the WallAfter the BellHallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb TideFour Bits, Chants, and his newest collection, Sundowning.  Besides Bradlaugh's Finger, John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, Rattle, Poetlore, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut River Review, Hawk & Handsaw, Plainsongs, and many others. His creative non-fiction has been featured in Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide, Scarlet Leaf, and Evening Street.   John’s work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy.  His translator is Angela D’Ambra.  John is a former New England Poet of the Year, and teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT.  He lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020




Spring surprises us this time.
"Don't close the door yet.", it says.
"Death awaits on the doorstep."

We cover our mouths as if 
our emotion will escape
through the orifices, yaps.

Death seems to stoop in our yard, 
spread an endless fistful of seeds
and spit to provide them nourishment.

Litanies of leaves recite breeze.
Spring keeps the door open.
We stand near the apartment's end.


The bird's monologue demands
nothing of the listeners,
now not being a time for breadcrumbs;

the clouds prearrange their thoughts
and then think them out aloud;
the monologue comes into fashion,

and the roads of this city
drift harking and mishearing
what, one possibility may claim,

could have opened the spaces 
only truths can level.
The bird cares not if they listen.

Kushal Poddar edited the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’. He authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), A Place For Your Ghost Animals (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), Understanding The Neighborhood (BRP, Australia), Scratches Within (Barbara Maat, Florida), Kleptomaniac's Book of Unoriginal Poems  (BRP, Australia), Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems (Hawakal Publishers, India) and now Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel (Alien Buddha Press)

Sunday, March 29, 2020



You're riding a nude bicycle
with the handlebar
poking at a memory breeze

the sunshine says the stiff rod
in your hand wants to make a turn
but there's no corner coming up

the ginkgoes of the street chant
the bicycle needs a heavier
and darker coat of paint

and who knows what else
shows up on the screen
and who's watching it

your breath may silk
the air around you and pink it too
but you'd better pedal fast


At the end the ball
knocks the soccer players off the field.
Only grass stays standing.
The blind man shakes his head,
doesn't believe in the sun.
Darkness another lie.
A lone maple takes its
shadow for a walk on the lawn.
A breeze holds the leash.
The clock stops in the bank.
An indoor cemetery with
rows of grave-still desks.
Green light on the box.
The cat inside the tv is asleep
with her eyes open.
The groundhog raises
its head high above the grass.
Let's vacuum the rug.
Give me air. Give me wind.
Give me a fan or silence.
Take these walls away.
At dawn the window
and I start glaring at each other.
Raindrops stare back at us.
Pillows sleep all day.
At night they tell us
all about their dreams.
The two hands keep racing
tardily around the clock.
The spokes of a broken wheel.

(The Explosions of a Villanelle)

who has given you the right
to chew it like a fish fillet
and stand there spitting dynamite?

yes, you can savor every bite
you have picked out from the tray
but who has given you the right

to share its old  metabolite?
try to taste what others say
instead of spitting dynamite

whatever caused the plight
of barbs and arrows to wither away?
Who has given you the right
to switch from the nimble and light
weapon of humorous essay
and stand there spitting dynamite?

your words echo the halls of night
not a well directed play –
who has given you the right
to stand there spitting dynamite?

Paul Sohar has been writing and publishing in every genre, including seventeen volumes of translations. His own poetry: Homing Poems(Iniquity Press), The Wayward Orchard (Wordrunner Press) and In Sun’s Shadow (Ragged Sky, 2020). Prose: True Tales of a Fictitious Spy (Synergebooks) and a collection of one-act plays from One Act Depot (Canada, 2014).