John C. Mannone


The black vinyl of an old record caught the eerie sheen of the living room light. Like a lavender wave, light crested the spinning ridges. I heard the pops and hiss as if water spumed on rocks with a rhythm of splashes in sync with the warbled platter dancing on the turntable. It subsumed me. I submerged into music just below the surface. I felt each jazz note wash over me as cool salt surf; my feet working hard against the surge, until I blended with the sea that swept me into my past where I could waltz with you while the minstrels played our song, and Sachmo sang What a Wonderful World. This gift. A world of sound so different from Vietnam, where I can hold you close to me, and dance the past away. Where I no longer need these phantom legs.


John C. Mannone has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry and is widely published in journals such as The Pedestal, Glass, Lucid Rhythms, and Prime Mincer. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and Silver Blade. He teaches college physics in east Tennessee and serves as a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry.