by Ian Ganassi


I used to wonder
About Captain Kangaroo’s uniform;
We knew Mr. Greenjeans had green jeans.

You never know it’s a uniform
Till you try it on.

An army of one.
They pay it no mind, which doesn’t matter.

And all around you the flood goes on.
Be diligent.

There’s always a clock and a disgusting commercial.

When it’s on in the emergency room
There’s no escape,
Just when you thought
Your condition couldn’t get any worse..

Tycoon urges grandson to dump seductress.

Make a clean breast of it,
Mr. Clean.

“The humblebee is so named because it hums as it flies.”

“The genus to which the bumblebee belongs is Bombus.”

Don’t get confused, Mr. Rogers,
It’s still the same neighborhood.

Woman lives with abusive dad, corresponds with convict.

A hushed atmosphere of reverent stupidity
Stood at attention before the bank vault
At the opening bell and the closing racket.

If you’re in a wheelchair, for instance,
Money only goes as far as you can push it.

A quadriplegic makes an unlikely bank robber.

Farmers responsible for another 6 million tons of shit.
So much for the news.

Very nose.

And fatal pileups.


The abstracted pedestrian was busy nursing his sciatica
At the crosswalks, the worse for wear. And his little dog too.

They considered him to be under the delusion
That it was all a dream.
But he went about his suffering anyway,

And business as usual.
Was he ill? With a perpetual complaint?
And in which doctor’s province did it fall?

Which is to say someone beyond all other remedies,
For whom there is no remedy.

Our province is the plain;
Oh give me a home.

On the other hand,
“Said Tweedle Dum to Tweedle Dee…”
And he was right.

I am very fond of my rattle
And of the mysterious noises
Made by the plumbing.

But Halloween is not what it used to be.
Remember those wax teeth we used to get,
That had something like Kool-Aid in them?
Pretty disgusting actually,
But they seemed like fun at the time.

And at the clothes or boundary line, it was hard to get orientated.
She used to like standing with her arms out,
Pretending she was a compass needle.

It was cute,
But it never helped us find our way home.


Granted it gets a little boring most of the time. And there’s
No time to waste. Bring out your dead, that is. On the day of.

Didn’t anybody check to be sure the door was open before the party?
Let’s do the done thing and blow this pop stand, fast, man.

Eventually you might found yourself an institution.
As for your visit to the reception area, please try your call later.

The bank guard began covetous but soon grew bored,
Like a museum attendant with esthetic aspirations.

He somehow got where he was going though no one knew how.
Steep stairs led the way. Which was innately corrupt.

Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish from defeat.
What gets lost in the mall stays in the mall.

Just like the store—it works if you work it. What happened to Honey Boo Boo?
Otherwise why such a big commotion?

In no need of charity or pity,
It’s a crucial fact and a rough road down which to crawl.

The man in the gabardine suit was sorry to say goodbye to the grind.
But, on the red carpet, what’s behind all those beautiful women?

Suburbia is the ethical center of our great country;
The party people can’t be blamed for their spontaneous combustion.

The rag-ends of our coats and other dilapidated paraphernalia.
Don’t look now, but I think it’s time to put the costumes away.


Ray Milland hurling the candelabra at the head of the stairs.

When in hell one ought to do as the demons do.

Things black and blue, and borrowed too,
The invisible beauty queen deciding to sue.

Those who can’t take it especially like to dish it out.

Therefore am I shipwrecked in the desert.

Eventually the dearly departed become a phantom limb.

If only we could determine where the end begins.
I know where it ends.

“I should say so.”

We stumbled out over it, “We went too far.”

Life always spills over the rim of every cup.

Two deeply neurotic people who should never have married anyone, much less each other.

You can’t make Hop Along Cassidy out of King Kong.

You can’t make an encyclopedia out of an encyclopedia salesman.

A struck dog yelping and turning in circles,
Ignored by passing motorists.

Sometimes one has to win the hard way, by losing.

About the Author:

Ian Ganassi: My poetry, prose and translations have appeared in more than 100 literary journals. Poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in New American Writing, The Yale Review, AMP, American Journal of Poetry, and Poetry Pacific, among others. My first poetry collection, Mean Numbers, was published in 2016. My new collection of poetry, True for the Moment, will be published in the fall of 2019 by MadHat Press. Selections from an ongoing collage collaboration with a painter can be found at