Issue 4
Keeping Busy

Keeping Busy

The hardware store clerk had a hobby:
Drinking all night, he assembled
Model trains. His hobby, however, was drinking.

“I’m getting out of this business,” he said.

Thank God for Social Security
And the dandelions of suburbia.

As for the Emperor,
Even his enemies emulated his hairstyle.
A month of frost bought him an island.

This is all terribly bucolic, and that sort of thing,
But don’t we deserve something more enlightening?
That’s a rhetorical question.

Do me a favor and carry your firehose to someplace where it will be more useful, like a fire.

Instead of beating me over the head with it.

Always stay away from those
Who carry ’round a fire hose.

Solita Gauzeater and Jimmy Flagella
Were whiling away the time
Before their wedding
By screaming at each other.

They rode away in a chorus of tin cans.

A clean October day—
So clean you can see your reflection
In the dogwoods.

The act of dying is of no importance—it takes such a short time.

That house is in other hands now.
So is the town, for that matter.

Ian Ganassi’s poetry, prose and translations have appeared in more than 100 literary magazines, including New American WritingThe Yale Review, and New England Review. Recent news includes poems in Otoliths and forthcoming in Poetry Pacific and Bending Genres.  His poetry collection Mean Numbers was published in 2016. His new collection, True for the Moment, is due out in spring 2019 from MadHat Press. Selections from an ongoing collaboration with a painter can be found at