Ian Ganassi


The Fat Lady

For mice in a peaceable and plentiful kingdom there were more
Than a few crumbs, especially if you’re wearing your best

Slippers. They called me mad at the university. It seemed
A bit dopey. If you’re liable to read the Bible you’re liable.

They had a ritual for every ritual. Unfortunately, they were
Also fairly useless. And they could go both ways. Boll weevils

In my meal down by the Red Cross store no more. Then there was
The war. Sign up to be gunned down. Or maybe you’ll be lucky

And get a desk job. Read Wilfred Owen first. The fact that makes
No sense except in its facticity; when the current phases

Through the present there’s only one direction down. Yet another
Remake of Night of the Living Dead. “I been cheated, been

Mistreated …” The wrong direction is a long way. I always
Turn down the latest opportunity. Something that puts in us

The fear of contamination. They’re putting Clorox in
The bathroom again. She was a regular at all the local places.

But if you kick your own things all you do is break your own
Things. Which hurts. Vengeance is always avenged. I’m very glad

To say that I’m very glad to say that I’m very glad to say
That … I have been to the opera but I don’t know who won.

They found traces of a caustic agent on his left glove.
The parties returning from the party made a futile sound.

And they had yet to hear the news. A group portrait—before
And after in one shot. But a shot of what? There seemed to be

No middle ground, or C. What did he mean by it? Whom did he mean
By it? Rejection wasn’t enough, he had to stick out his tongue.


Ian Ganassi’s poetry, prose and translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including, most recently, New American Writing, Interim, Offcourse, The Drunken Boat, Warwick Review and New England Review. He lives in New Haven with his imaginary cat.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014