Ian Ganassi


A surfeit of information, a heightened form of gossip,
A version of prurience that is mistaken for caring.

I couldn’t tell if they were one person or three.
Between a kiwi a pomegranate and a persimmon,
The persimmon is the most like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.

But more of that later.
She was relatively quiet.
A cousin for instance.

The uncle I had forgotten was right on the tip of my tongue.
The expression on his face was that of a man
Perpetually on the verge of a sneeze.

The intention at which we never arrive,
Something we were pleased to call real.
We know it because we remember it, and vice versa.

Instant coffee with rancid milk. Hard to believe
I used to drink that crap. But be careful what you regret,
You might have to drink it again. That and dirt-cheap beer.

The eagle flies tomorrow. Took long enough,
Let’s hope it’s not a buzzard.

Sitting around waiting to be punished for being prolix,
It’s evident that someone died and will be dying.

These turn out to be the facts of life,
The birds and bees flying backward out of the frame.
A cucumber frame? A false accusation?
Am I worried about it? “Try me.”

Coffee tea or amalgam?
The thought goes something fragmentary
The necklace shattered all over the floor.


Music is a universal language
Unless you find yourself
A stranger among strangers
In a strange land,
In which case it’s more like
The tower of Babel.

“Want some grapes?”

When they open that cat’s skull
They’re sure to find something
Rattling around, a suicide note,
For instance, saying he really
Wanted to stay.

Remember when diapers were delivered
By a truck with a stork painted on it?
I still see that truck once in a while,
Like a sighting of the Goodyear blimp.

But the fountain of youth
Is in a place so remote
We would inevitably die
Trying to reach it.

The broken space where the record player
Gouged the bent note out of my eye—
They were looking for a pariah
In a different color.

Meanwhile the corner of Third Avenue
And Third Street keeps turning,
With a profound feeling of self-importance.

Ian Ganassi's work has appeared in New American Writing, Blackbox Manifold, Map Literary, The Yale Review, New England Review, and many other places. His poetry book Mean Numbers will be out in the Fall.
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