Sunday Apr 22

Patrick-Bizzaro.jpg Patrick Bizzaro has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry, two critical studies of Fred Chappell’s poetry and fiction, a book on the pedagogy of academic creative writing, some textbooks, and a couple hundred poems in magazines. He is a frequent reviewer of his peers' work in magazines like Asheville Poetry Review, North Carolina Literary Review, and Appalachian Journal, among others. Bizzaro, first Director of the University Writing Program at East Carolina University, is a UNC Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor for Teaching and ECU Scholar-Teacher Award winner. He lives quite happily with Resa Crane and their five-year-old son, Antonio, in Indiana, PA, where he is currently a Professor of English in Indiana University of Pennsylvania's doctoral program in Composition and TESOL, after retiring from ECU. During his last year on the ECU faculty, he received the “Outstanding Professor” award from the ECU Department of Disability Support Services, the ninth award for teaching he has received during his career. His articles on composition studies have appeared regularly in College English and College Composition and Communication. His co-edited book on poet and pedagogue Wendy Bishop is due later this year from Hampton Press.
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Traveling by Train through Manassas

 
 
Traveling by train, you pass a station
boarded with wood
shattered in forgotten wars.
 
Old men still stand
in dust by the tracks,
waving gnats away. You wave back
 
out of respect for something
dying, alone, in small towns.
At twilight, sun settles
 
low in your window
and, inside your car,
people return to local papers,
 
reading them back to front,
papers train-shaken and flapping
like the hands of those old men
 
by Manassas Station
who wait, continue to wait
for something to happen.
 



 
Deserters
 
The first Battle of Bull Run showed that it would take months of stern discipline to harden the farm hands, store clerks, bookkeepers, brakemen, and teamsters so that they would stand in the face of fire.
                                                                                                     Harry Hansen, The Civil War: A History
 
They begin their march toward home
unexpectedly at first,
surprised themselves
to feel packs on their backs.
 
Once in the cover of the woods
they understand they have planned all along
to stretch out one leather-soled trudge,
then another, until puffs of dust rise
 
rhythmically to their nostrils,
easy at first as early morning ballet.
Later, miles from camp and hungry, when wind
shoves against their struggling forms,
 
they learn what the miner knows
when he lifts himself from the pit,
feeling all over
the weight of his body, the strength of air.