Five Poems

by Ricky Garni


My mother was older when she had me, and she used to tell me that she was worried that even though she was certain that she had happy memories, she couldn’t remember them. And so when I was a very little boy, she bought me a small blue diary and instructed me to write down my happy memories every day, without fail, and I did. I started in the morning after I woke up, and then before breakfast, and then after breakfast, and then during school at recess, and then after school, and then before dinner, and then after dinner, and then just before I said my prayers and then right before I went to bed. And every time I wrote about my happy memories I always wrote the same happy memory: “writing.”


But to go downstairs. Downstairs has the living room, and the rec room, and the kitchen.
It also has a view of the harbor and in the morning, the light sparkles on the water.

But upstairs has the bedroom, and a view of the mountain. It cannot use its springy torso
to go upstairs, because a spring torso cannot do that. Still, if “a Slinky has no choice but to go downstairs”

then the Slinky must have been upstairs, once. Perhaps his wife carried him upstairs. Perhaps she could do it again. As long as she realizes the bedroom is where her Slinky wants to go. As long as she has the strength. As long as his wife is not a Slinky, too.


Robert Mitchum’s torso was shaped like a top.
And when he was young, it was easy to explain
what his torso looked like if someone asked you.
“It looks like a top.” When he was young, everyone
played with tops. Even little boys with small chests.

But by the time Robert Mitchum died. nobody played
with tops. But people no longer asked about his
chest. They would ask questions like: “How did
Robert Mitchum die?” Which is harder to answer.
Everyone dies in their own peculiar way.


Every day I see the sun kiss them in the morning. Every night
I see the moon make them soft and warm. Beneath the soil
these carrots grow bigger and bigger, and there are more
and more carrots, and they are much too beautiful to eat,
and I just don’t know what to do, until one day Elizabeth
knocks on the door, in her carrot-colored sweater, saying
It’s me It’s me and Oh good I think to myself and then I say
Oh no, oh no. I think both. I do. I drop my bucket. I do not mean to.


I have learned how to take pills super well.
I wish someone would buy me an ice cream cone.
Like my mother did when I learned how to roller skate.
Such a good boy!


Ricky Garni was born in Miami and grew up in Florida and Maine. He works as a graphic designer by day and writes music by night. COO, a tiny collection of short prose printed on college lined paper with found materials such as coins, stamps, was recently released by Bitterzoet Press.

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