Broken Clock

6 a.m.
The first sound I hear
above the encroaching despair
is the gulls screeching into the dawn,
then the barely audible
liquid roll and swirl
of the bay against the rocks.

An egret,
back for the second day in a row,
stands in flat water
near an oval of white light
too bright to look at.

A single half-sunken cormorant glides by
unfettered by human sounds –
the distant train’s clattering approach,
air conditioners,
some hum on the horizon,
the whine of fishing boats, three of them,
single file, heading for the haze beyond the rock
where cormorants and gulls
laugh themselves silly,
and in the cottage
the clock has been stopped at 3:45
since last summer,
the closest we’ll ever come
to putting all of this on hold.

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, Chants, Sundowning, POND, and The Tree That Lights The Way Home.

Besides Eunoia Review, John’s work has been widely published, including the journals Prairie Schooner, The Cortland Review, American Life in Poetry, Praxis Magazine, Rust + Moth, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Laurel Review, The Caribbean Writer, Blue Mountain Review, Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, Rattle, Hawk & Handsaw, Plainsongs, Potato Soup Journal, and many others.

His work has been translated into Italian and appears widely in Italy, including in El Ghibli, the Journal of Italian Translation, Bonafini, Poetarium, and others. His translator is the Italian poet, Angela D’Ambra.

His nonfiction has been published in Literature and Belief, Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, Evening Street, Praxis Magazine, Potato Soup Journal, The Red Lemon Review, After the Pause, and others. Potato Soup Journal named his story “Pants” “The Best of 2020” and it appeared in their anthology celebrating these works.

John is the Flash Fiction Editor of Abstract Magazine TV, and he has read at venues all over New England, including The Arts Café Mystic, 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, Connecticut. He 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 has been awarded an Artist Fellowship in Creative Non-Fiction – 2021 – from the Connecticut Office of the Arts for work on his new memoir.

He teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT, and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry, CT. His website:

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