ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Three Poems by Ricky Garni


I wish I had just stared at my first computer when it was wrapped in cardboard,
and instead of opening it had gone down to the lake instead, with a borrowed canoe,
and took that old canoe out into the middle of the lake and looked for geese flying about,
although there are few geese at the lake, flying about.

It was raining that Saturday. I sat down on the floor instead and plunged the knife into the
cardboard, until there was nothing left except a computer in the center of a pile of cardboard.
I remember a long parade of ants marching from the kitchen into the living room, and the rain
was tremendous. Some were stuck in the styrofoam. The lucky ones escaped.



The putt-putt of the mail truck down the street
is not like the rumble rumble of the milk truck
at dawn.  By the time the milk is delivered,
the milkman is at home and opening up his mail.
What is this? he says. And goes to bed. You know,
the milkman goes to bed at noon.



I would like to be a painter so that I could insert myself
into all of my paintings even the nature landscapes filled
with flora and fauna and of course one lone shepherd.
Or Op Art or Trompe l'oeil in which I am cannily escaping
my own frame. I could be inside a sculpture shadow in
De Chirico or nestled snuggly in a teardrop in Man Ray.
Cityscapes would be the easiest of all insertions,
with all the noise and rumble and passersby –
but I would have to avoid the crashing JMW waves
for safety's sake and of course the lonely sailboats
on the wide expanses of his famous waters. Once
I fall in love, which I plan to do, I wouldn't be
above inserting a second shepherd or a first mate
on a schooner or two people, one being a gent,
sharing a hot dog on Fifth Avenue with extra 'kraut
but of course no ketchup, even if it meant knowing
that it would one day be only be one person, one
hot dog, 'kraut, no ketchup and one day no people,
no hot dog, and one street, on a beautiful, warm,
sunny, city day.


Author 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, and has produced over forty volumes of prose and poetry since 1995. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on seven occasions. 

Return to Offcourse Index.