ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Ian Ganassi



She monitors the floor
With her head around the door

While the stolen garden
Bakes in the patio sun.

And I sit here soaked in sweat
Waiting for the filter to get dry.

But how the leftovers swarm!
It’s a one-way street

From here on out.
And if the garden is stolen

Why should I water?
Swing your partner.

Dancing cheek to cheek.
It makes me want to go back to sleep.

Who was your source, the tap?
You don’t miss water

Until you have to buy it in bottles.
Then you wake up and your kitchen is gone,

Replaced by a great hole
Gaping with rebar. Annie get your gun.

And the potatoes are baking
In the potato sun. Never seen one?

Don’t start searching now,
By this time they’re way too hot to handle.



Sad in the city, sad in the country,
Heavy water in the arboretum.

A beautiful rush, business as usual.

The plaster cast of Rin-Tin-Tin
In your backyard
Has been sniffing something.

“The streets are awash with it.”
There’s always something,
Or something more,
Slopping around out there.

You deserve a brick today—
Some smack in the head.
It was flying around in the storm.

And many failures.
But you were able to brush it off.

Paintings of wine labels, THC jelly beans; that nerve or chord

Continues reverberating with the in-crowd, which is almost
Everyone. We were trapped in time.
Take me out to the ball game.
We needed the sunglasses for medical reasons,
And they looked good.

But I’d rather see the world as it is,
Rain or shine, so to speak,
Including the thrilling bobble-head dolls.
Take me out to the ballgame,
Just don’t leave me there, speaking of trapped.

Life moves forward
And around at the same time,
The earth around the sun,
The months making the same marks
In succeeding years,

The tire going around and around down the hill
To its rendezvous with the kerosene.

Does anyone have a match?


Ian Ganassi's work has appeared in New American Writing, Blazevox, Beyond Words, Home Planet News, and The American Journal of Poetry, among many others. His full length collection, Mean Numbers (China Grove Press), is available in all the usual places. Selections from an ongoing collaboration with a painter can be found at

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