Poem – KING (By John Stanizzi)


            B.B. King, Bushnell Auditorium, Hartford, CT



  1. B.B. King wasn’t through one song when I

became possessed and was torn from my seat,

Ernie imploring me, No!  No!  John!  John!

But he was too late.  I was on the stage,

the first one up and followed by a crowd,

all pumped up because we were breaking rules.

His voice got louder, and I thought he was

calling security to get us down.

But what he was saying was You wanna

dance?  OK we’ll dance!  Just let us re-set.

And they closed the curtain while we waited.

And when the curtains opened up again

the band was set up against the back wall

and we all leapt back  on the stage to dance.


  1. Most of the women wore their Sunday best,

broaches and sequins and furs, which made the

task of hoisting them up on the stage a

delicate, careful endeavor by their

men in shiny suits.  I was there with waist

length hair and patches on my holey jeans.

And up against the back wall of the stage,

deep and wide as a country field, B.B.

and the band stood small against the massive

scrim that went from the stage floor to the sky,

and we were on that stage, smiles and laughter,

dancing ourselves giddy while sweet Lucille

helped to tell the Been downhearted story

and B.B.’s ring was close enough to read.


Author Bio: John L. Stanizzi

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, and his is newest collection, Sundowning, brought out by Main Street Rag. Besides Antarctica Review, 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 non-fiction has appeared in Stone Coast Review. 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.