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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


Enough birds.
No more branches, no more moon, no more
clouds, light glinting on
no more water. Refuse to sing because
the song is stuffed and birds
they lilt and carol wordlessly of what, of whose
turn it is to bird and bird and bird
the same translations as assigned.