Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

David Garyan: Two Poems

From Venice Beach to Venice, Italy

Business is good or bad,
depending who you ask,
but business remains the same,
much like plain spaghetti
when it’s cooked across the world.
Come far crescere il vostro business?
How do you grow your business?
“Ah, non lo so,” dice il veneziano.
“I don’t know,” says the guy
from Venice, but which one?
And though we both work
different hours and days,
the weekend remains
il weekend in the end.
Cosa farai nel weekend?
I think you understand …
because we’re all looking
forward to escaping
life’s monotony,
like Italian women
buying groceries in high-heels,
or American girls
in flip-flops getting gelato
from Capri in Marina del Rey—
the aim is the same.
Our lives are graffiti—
some admired, some erased,
and some left alone,
in places where our walls
are built for fresco,
where they’re erected
to keep out immigrants
and also i migranti,
and where walls
are left in silence,
or perhaps even forgotten,
to be what they are.



The world is an electrician
receiving shock therapy
to treat the mania
of being electrocuted
at work.
No, it’s an astronomer
in a blackout,
walking home
with his head down
because the extra light
from the stars
won’t help him navigate
the confusion of life.
And maybe that’s also wrong,
because in some graveyard
there’s a coroner
buried next
to an undertaker,
and both knew
neither the cause
nor the depth
of their alienation—
like shadows falling
on snow that feel
deprived of the warm
light that can kill them.
Still, this sounds false,
because there are spies
who’ve excelled at their jobs,
only to be diagnosed
with multiple personalities,
and now they can no longer work—
like clocks which stopped working
at 5:30, but for years
you’ve only checked
the time at 5:30.


cover of (Diss)information by David Garyan

Purchase (DISS)INFORMATION by David Garyan

Author photo credit: Arthur Ovanesian

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