Ricky Garni is a graphic designer living in Carrboro, North Carolina. His work can be found
in Evergreen Review, Camel Saloon, Used Furniture Review, Orion Headless and other periodicals.
His latest work, Butterscotch, was released in 2012. His first work, Peppermint, in 1995.
Well If That's The Way It Must Be, OK
In constructing a book, remove the pretty woman from the cover
and in its stead, place a cardboard box that says IMPORTANT on it.
But won't the pretty woman mind? No. The pretty woman is inside
the box named IMPORTANT. She feels safe and warm and valuable
now, even as you walk on by.
Stroll By Numbers
I am a man walking to the ocean with lipstick
in a large suitcase that belonged to my mother
that was given to her by my father who said
if I ever die please walk this to the ocean
and now that he isn't dead yet I am disobeying
him so that he will know that I did so before he does
but when he does I will walk again to the ocean
with a large suitcase that I bought myself with no
help with a small hole in it where the lipstick can fall
out to mark my way until I decide what is best
for all of us which I suspect might be another
suitcase and another ocean.
You might not know this, but
You can still buy Mexican Jumping Beans.
You must store them in a cool place
like a refrigerator. You mustn't feed them
for they have all the nutrients they need
inside their tiny shells. Remember:
they are in the pupa, or puma, or pulva,
or pucha stage, something like that
but honestly: what the hell are they?
I have been having nightmares since
I was five years old. In one nightmare,
I put the MJ beans in the freezer and kill
them. In another, I am running down
the street and something brown and
furious is gaining on me. That night,
when I woke up, I was an orphan.
Of course, that was a dream. So are
Mexican Jumping Beans. But still,
they aren't from Mexico. What
does that matter? I don't want to
go to Mexico! I want to stay,
I want them to break free and say
I'm alive! Of course, the oxygen
would kill them. It happens all the time
in the movies. I hope you like science
fiction movies. And the girl running
down the beach to embrace her lover?
He is unfortunately in the larvae stage.
I watched this show
a man dated a woman
and they skipped stones
on the lake at night.
She had a Thunderbird
because her father was rich.
He was poor so
he did not eat escargot.
She of course
ate escargot -
I forgot to
What could he do?
He broke up with her
They both went back to the river
at night and skipped stones.
He heard her stones skipping
and so he went over and said hello.
Soon they realized that it was all
a terrible misunderstanding
and it didn't matter
if he was poor or he was rich.
And if I had written the show,
I would have made the man blind
and the woman deaf. I would have
kept the lake but it would be different
I would have called the escargot 'snails.'
and added a beer
I would have hummed
when I wrote the script
and counted the stones
and divided by two
the only day I walked to work
Back to Front.