Poetry from Ricky Garni



  1. Rise early and make your bed; scream that you’ve made your bed.
  2. Eat a hearty breakfast in the dark. Outside, with possums. Inside, with Elwin.
  3. Exercise while watching the horses run fast and free on the highway – oh, so very fast.
  4. No alcohol on our lips but you may let it trickle down your nape or small or onto your feet.
  5. Smoking is detrimental so don’t do it unless you look cool doing it wearing a chapeau of some kind or something somewhat flammable
  6. Get outdoors. Ride in one of those miniature cars that go 4 MPH, for an hour. Call home and say “Please pick me up” and explain that you are 4 miles away in that direction, there.
  7. Eat a light lunch based upon the idea of airiness and then fly to Spain and have a siesta with a matador.
  8. Early to bed. If you dream of arcades, wonder why and laugh. If you don’t, wonder why and laugh.
  9. Answer a phone call in your sleep. It’s Elwin. Tell him you love him very much, it is he who you love. Ask him over for breakfast in the morning. Early. Toast, sweet butter-oos.




One year I celebrated my birthday with a coconut donut.

One of those big, fat, sloppy, heavy, oily ones that they

don’t make anymore. I miss them terribly. But I must admit,

I  take great pride every time I outlive something wonderful

like a big fat donut. Or a flower. For example: the yellow

rose petals that covered you as you slept in the bathtub.

I had just turned 20.






Perhaps when we asked our parents about eternity our parents pointed to something vague. They might have pointed to a tree. Or a plate of figs. Or they might have pointed to our real parents.




We all laughed when Joseph came to school

one Monday morning wearing glasses.


We didn’t have to wear glasses,

so why did Joseph?


By recess, Joseph, generally gregarious,

was the laughing stock of the second grade,

what, with his glasses and all,



For those who still remember, we hope that

Joseph will forgives us. What we did was ghastly

and grotesque. Since that day, we have grown

and are now quite gorgeous in our glorious hearts.


This essay was completed in order to ascertain

the functionality of the G key on the typewriter.






Tristan chose to sit on a bench for his first book

in a simple and dignified pose with a salmon-colored frame.

Even though he looks at the camera in a formal fashion

over the years the creases in the book suggest the appearance

of a poet holding a long chain or hula hoop


Tristan is a poet of danger and fun. Time is imposing this judgment

upon him, and I thank time for that: a gift to a long ago Romanian

whose mirth was rumored to be obscure.




My feelings about you are different every time I think about you.

Just like my feelings about Dirty Harry, Chubby Checker, and Douglas



Or almost any obsession available that is truly magnificent.

Two that come to mind right away: Chubby Checker, and Dirty Harry.


Ricky Garni grew up in Florida and Maine, was educated at Exeter and Duke, and has lived off and on in the Triangle since 1977. Over the years he has worked as a teacher, wine merchant, studio musician, composer and graphic designer. He began writing poetry in 1978.