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Poetry by Ricky Garni 

Ricky's book, Yes, I Don't, will be published by Oyster Boy Press this Fall.




© 2004  Ricky Garni




the ancient chinese poets
wrote of so many things
and in such beautiful
ways that sometimes it
makes you lose your breath

as though you have fallen
out of a tree onto your
back and you are gasping
for air: is this what it means
to die?

as you grow older, you fall
out of trees less, fear death more
or less, and note that chinese poetry
speaks so often and so deeply
to the heart, but still so often

and never mentions lonely
old dogs in old straw hats






so when I walked up to the mirror I
thought to myself: is this the day when
I will finally feel like I am a man?

I was twelve years old. and then I walked
up every day for another thirty years,
right to the mirror, it didn't matter which
one, they all are pretty alike, and I said,

is this the day when I will finally feel like
a man?

twenty five years after I first walked up to
the mirror I noticed little wrinkles around
my eyes. twenty seven years later I noticed
that when I shaved it wasn't all black anymore,
some of it was blond, or I guess, really, grey.

twenty eight years later my mother died. I broke
my foot. I changed a tire on the car. I subpoenaed.
I said "I have no idea." I went to the hospital. I saw
the car coming. I held the baby book in my hands.
I threw it away. I said "Here I go."

twenty nine years later I watched high sierra
with humphrey bogart. he was about twenty eight
years old at the time. he seemed very manly.
not me.

two mirrors talk to each other from across the
hall. "how do you do it?" one of them asks. "it's a
gift" says the other. "and a curse," replies the other,
"and I wish I could do it," the other mirror says, '"but frankly, they
all look alike to me"




All work is copyrighted property of Ricky Garni.



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