John M. Ganiard is from various parts of the Midwest. He holds an MFA from the
University of Michigan, where he was the recipient of a Hopwood Award in poetry.
He currently lives in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA).


Let me tell you:
there is no such thing

as my parents, fleshy,
colliding. This is the myth

of activation. All night
the semis have obliterated

curious deer.

I came from such ditch
and ribcage,

the terminus
of a half-mile of red pulp.

Look up at what is left:
the full moon and Jupiter.

I am the devil�s son, and I
have come back for nothing.


What is the fruit that signifies regret
in fall, what path

does that fallen, rotting fruit take—
is it like a joke to an empty passenger seat

about how the road home
leads through these billboards

for handjob emporiums, but none
are off an exit marked Climax?

What is the difference between
the boy who is expected to do wrong

and so does wrong, and the boy
who assumes all expect

wrong from him, and so slips
into wrongness? Do the higher orders

fold always back down to instinct?

Who is an animal? Because I've wondered

what it takes to get so bold
to slap the slogan bumper sticker on.

I've wondered about the death of punishment,

the living words of the dead gods,

all this season's abandoned hives—

are these like the accident caused by the car
that stopped fast in fear of the speed trap?

Now, when I see a grain silo, I think
only of how easily

it could be used to store hundreds of bodies.


Only if fascination could end,

knowing what I know:

not to learn anatomy
exclusively through

silent porn, not to steal
ephemera, not to smoke

near the joggers,
not to take someone home

just to fuck them.

If it could just go like this:

passion, passion, then
no passion, haltere

then no haltere, then no floating.

Youth Entry

All the good dreams accorded
with my youthful ideal of strife:

instant death of enemies dissipating
into air or retreating under a stream

of the heavy, brightly colored tracers
as from white-grinning G.I. Joes until

the battle scenes dissolved
into the palaces of victory

which, to me, then,
resembled middle-range hotel rooms

with king size mattresses.
Spartan homecomings, white light,

the permanent reward of un-
undressable lace on lovers,

the naive shape of sex lacking
the anatomic precision of actual fucking.

I drooled, I know
this prefigured

how destruction and arousal
would always be conflated.

But don't make me return
to the memory of those dreams

like some forgotten
storage unit

and scrub clean again all but the stench,
because those lover's bodies—cavities

closed in first by wasp nests
and then water-logged in the floods

of increasingly temperate winters—
have long since been removed.

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