July 17-23, 2017: Poetry from John L. Stanizzi and Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

​John L. Stanizzi and Mitchell Krockmalnik Graboiss

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​John L. Stanizzi

Bio (auto)

John L. Stanizzi is the author of the collections Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide – Ebb Tide. John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, Passages North, The Spoon River Quarterly, Poet Lore, Hawk & Handsaw, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Rust+Moth, and many others. John’s work has also been translated into Italian and appeared in Italy’s El Ghibli, in the Journal of Italian Translations Bonafinni, and in Poetarium Silva. His translator is the poet, Angela D’Ambra. His next full-length collection, Chants, will appear in 2018, published by Cervena Barva Press. A former New England Poet of the Year, John has read at many venues throughout the northeast, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. He teaches literature in an adjunct capacity at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry. Visit John on the web here: www.johnlstanizzi.com

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​John L. Stanizzi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

Misheard lyric from Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.

Do it with your badself, I wanna do it with my badself.
Bob Marley

Not long after the doctor gave me a
drug to make elevators less scary
and to allow me onto the school bus
with the kids instead driving behind
them, sucking fumes and the toxicity
of embarrassment, afraid to be locked
inside that death-trap-yellow-cigar-tube…
…not long after my introduction to
that seductive little pill that made me
calm, and which quieted down the three-chord
punk outfit banging around in my head –
around that time was when I misheard Bob’s
Do it with your badself!  I thought he sang
Do it with your Pax-il!!  Roots just for me!


Hartford, Connecticut

Johnny was my father; I am Johnnie.
That was one of the distinctions he made
to be sure that no one would mix us up,
which never really made much sense to me.
He was very tall and his hair was brown –
my hair is black and I am much shorter.
You’d think that he’d be satisfied with that,
but just to be absolutely sure, he
assigned me the middle initial “L”
which he told me I’d always have to use,
while he took the more sturdy “W.”
Just wanna be sure they don’t mix us up.
Giovanirro was his actual name —
he should have just used that in the first place.



Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Bio (auto)

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over twelve-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes.  His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dad’s Funeral

We had the funeral in St. Luke’s Church
as my mother wanted
Out of consideration
I stopped making cracks about the Pope and
his wives and children
and stopped using the word Popemobile
which she hates more than anything
Afterward we buried him
in Luke’s bone yard
It was an unusually hot day for
the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
and the pallbearers sweated heavily
The ripe smell of metabolized alcohol wafted
in my direction
I pinched my nostrils shut
and watched a woodpecker
work a nearby Horse Chestnut
It was a bloodless burial
My mother had acquiesced to my one demand
that we have my father’s blood drained
and cremated
before he was put in the coffin
In that way, I told her, God’s Will
would be done
She muttered something about “cults”
and I threatened her—
if she was going to use that word
I was going to use “popemobile”
and I was going to rant about
how pedophilia was woven into the
very body
of the Church
She muttered some more
but without using that word


She made love to me gently
.as if we were in mourning
.as if we were a couple who had lost a child
I held her
Blue flame flickered in my arms
a pilot light
keeping hope alive
but for what?
Like the Buddha
.she had converted suffering into enlightenment
The napalm heat of her soft skin was the best thing
in the world
I was about to leave my body and
soar around the room
 like a dragonfly pulling figure eights

Affair Gone Wrong

Sometimes Mouth vows
it will forget a person
Knife’s three attempts
to end my life
makes Mouth a liar
Dr. Right
took scalpels and retractors
and went to Argentina
He’s on the Pampas or in some city
celebrating Carnivale
with another woman


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