ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Ian Ganassi


A whole flock of butterflies or herd of demijohns
Couldn’t badger me into going to the drag strip.

I couldn’t quite get close enough
To hear the secret behind the secret.

Walking down the street,
The homeless man proclaiming:
“Whatever happened to Tobor the Eighth Man?”

It suspends one’s disbelief
For a little while.

The emergency I’m not sure I believe in
Went begging for something to get.

“Anything with nature in it appeals to me.”

I should join a club and beat you over the head with it.

A mile is as good as a miss.

Let’s all have some fun!

I’m shouting as quietly as I can.

The mess left behind by the looters and the march of dimes.

Some save it for a rainy day that never materializes.

Then again, a hawk harassing pigeons around a windy sky,

Like in Virgil—

Why did I look up just at that moment?



The vandals set up the match just after superman died.

What happens when someone who already has a very high voice takes helium?

The great deal that broke the mahogany dresser was a rip-off of epic proportions.

“Done is done.”

Men make counterfeit money; in more cases, money makes counterfeit men.

The kids driving themselves crazy in their parents’ “beamers.”

The time was permanently out of joint.

The time was long overdue.

The fact that the antique keys were preserved preserves me.

But death does not resolve ambivalence.

The clerks of culture are descended from the technicians of the sacred.

It was a dubious pleasure to shampoo the rugs in the dead hunter’s trophy room.

Options that aren’t options, as though drowning in a box of imaginary toys.

The raven hopped off the doorframe and told the taxidermist to get stuffed.

A Day of Discount Shopping Turns into a Desperate Shooting.

The trick is to look unconcerned, even when you’re freaking out.

Ian Ganassi's recent news includes poems accepted by Book of Matches and Meniscus, and poems recently in New American Writing and First Literary Review East. A second collection of poetry is due out next year.

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