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True for the Moment, Poems by Ian Ganassi
The poems in True for the Moment address the transient and impermanent nature of internal life as it intersects with life in the world. This impermanence is part and parcel of the deceptive and shifting performance of language. In “Your Last Chance,” the fifth poem in the book, we find: “Nope, no number of dictionaries can save you now.” Nothing, not even love, is free from the conditional nature of experience: “All she remembers after all these years/Is how good I was in bed.” (“Marking the Blues”). One of the last poems gives us a ray of hope: “There’s a kind of salvation in the practice of the mundane,” “And practice makes perfect, or at least it can contribute/Some sort of equanimity to the dementia reality is known for…” Art and artistic technique alone are reliable, as well as the comedy that is enacted in the poems.
“Ian Ganassi annotates the absurdities of our current world, and presents them within a variety of forms that work together despite their structural differences, because of the common threads amongst them. By means of delightful & consistently strong use of sets of observations & aphorisms, cynicism & koans, paradoxes & parataxis, Ganassi points out that truth itself is a variable these days, reduced to an absurdity because it is something we can no longer rely on: ‘100% lemon juice with added ingredients.’ Ian Ganassi's True for the Moment is a book for our times, for the reality show we do not want to be part of & yet cannot avoid. As he notes in one of his poems, ‘I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I’m used to it.’” —Mark Young
“Ian Ganassi’s True for the Moment presents wordplay as swordplay. Like Lewis Carroll at his cheekiest, each poem is a mad curio cabinet of imagination, dressed in riot gear. A triumphant breakaway from the staid, stale, intentionally indecipherable Ho-Hum-etry coming from “you-know-where”—where poetry went to die. Ganassi presents us with startlingly fresh, front-of-the-line imagery, often using form—and brilliantly blended with delicious helpings of surrealism, experimentalism. Sharp, cutting and deadly accurate, I would urge anyone to buy this book and bring it with you anywhere—especially to a knife fight!”—Robert Nazarene
“‘Nietzsche is dead,’” declares Ian Ganassi, and these immaculately irreverent poems live up to his declaration. At a time when truth and freedom are under attack, they fall like the pieces of a shattered necklace to the floor, becoming mosaic, montage, mangled mirror. Their playful cant pulls the carpet out from under us. A marvelous book.”—Andre Bagoo
“While some politicians claim to ‘have the best words,’ a case could be made that Ian Ganassi’s latest collection, True for the Moment, has even better ones. He also has some aphorisms and truisms, and a nimble knack for putting them together in a feast of non-stop sound and hilarity. Ganassi is not afraid of rhyme or form or puns; he’s not afraid to be a bit ribald, risqué, off-color, spicy, suggestive, and downright Rabelaisian; and not afraid to combine them into greater parts of a whole and take language to a new frontier, seemingly out of the air. These outré poems offer the reader a veritable grab bag of goodies, and lest you think this poet has simply cobbled together a string of random phrases, I would urge you to note the craft and craftiness here, both great and grand. Unconventional, unorthodox, idiosyncratic—you can quibble over the most appropriate adjective—but if you follow the poet’s logic, you will come to some profound conclusions. With lines like ‘The world is God’s non sequitur,’ who needs the Hokey Pokey? This is what it’s all about. In short, Ganassi answers all the unanswerable questions of the universe, and then adds a few of his own.”—Cindy Hochman
True for the Moment is Ian Ganassi’s second poetry collection. Ian is a retired dance accompanist, having played African and Caribbean percussion for dance classes for at least 30 years. As a poet and musician he has collaborated with dancers and musicians throughout the New York metropolitan area. Since 2005 he has collaborated with the painter Laura Bell on an ongoing collage project called The Corpses (after the surrealist parlor game). The collages have appeared in galleries, literary journals, and other venues. He has published poetry in numerous literary journals, including The Yale Review, The American Journal of Poetry, New American Writing and Blazevox, among many others.