John Stanizzi



“Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September day?”

Alan Jackson                                                                                                     
September 11, 2001

Who has not found himself alone
half in blackness
half watching God
hinting at memories or fortunes,
wondering with some measure
of distress
whether or not
what is about to happen
will carry us with it?

Is this complacency
or restfulness?

I attempt to read the waves
of the fata morgana for you;
perhaps there is
an answer there this morning.

But no.

Subjective as the lines
of a polygraph,
I can only surmise
that a large object
is colliding
with the bottom
of a skyscraper this time.

We wonder together –
what will this mean
for the fallen,
if anything?

The sky is closing now,
and we turn
our faces away
as we must.

Long ago we learned,
then ignored,
that when the tragic occurs
we must turn away quickly,
not feeding a single
morsel of death
to that circling hunter
waiting for the exact moment
to plunge
and devour.




John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits, Chants, Sundowning, POND, The Tree That Guides Us Home.   Besides Soul Lit, John’s poems are in Prairie Schooner, Cortland Review, American Life in Poetry, New York Quarterly, and others.  John’s nonfiction has been in Literature and Belief, Stone Coast Review, and many others.  He was awarded an Artist Fellowship in Creative Non-Fiction, 2021 from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and Culture.