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Ari Banias

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Ari Banias

Ari Banias was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the Chicago area. He received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Hunter College. He is the author of Anybody (W. W. Norton, 2016). Banias has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Stanford University, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He lives in Berkeley, California.

by this poet


People, far too many people here—
drinking, leaning on the furniture,
congratulating my father
on his new life. Here’s
his young wife, young enough
to be my older sister.
She—if you can’t tell
the whole truth—is nice.
But he slams his glass
onto the table, yells


I watch a woman take a photo
of a flowering tree with her phone.
A future where no one will look at it,
perpetual trembling which wasn’t
and isn’t. I have taken photos of a sunset.
In person, “wow” “beautiful”
but the picture can only be
as interesting as a word repeated until


boxes taped up and up then tied with twine | addressed on every side | in that careful longhand taught on other continents | they looked like mail bombs | going round and round the carousel | in a regional anxiety | stinking barrel of sheep’s cheese beaded in sweat | olive oil tin wrapped in much plastic | each