solitude is a bee keeper.
a beekeeper who drinks
too much. he rises
at dawn, but it
doesn't matter, he still
drinks too much.
even the bees admonish him
saying "mr. beekeeper, bob,
you drink too much." or so he
imagines them admonishing,
in his delirium.

but does it stop him?
of course not: he is their
master! their
keeper! and perhaps
he doesn't drink too
much; perhaps it is just
something he imagines

in his delirium. oh,
to return to the days
of the ancient roman
empire, and to keep
bees there, who spoke
so very little, and
admonished even less

POEM #2: e=mc2

so I began the
new century by
reading an
article on
albert einstein

brilliant physicists

he is really
brilliant! he
is a lot more
brilliant than
newton, tons
more brilliant
than galileo,
and much, much
more brilliant

the kindly cleaning
lady 1 who always
washed his socks
and dirty sweatshirts
on tuesdays
in princeton, new jersey
in the twilight of
his career. he

tried to do them
by himself on
fridays, but
he always failed

"separate der colors
from der vhites!" she
would say, "colors
en der cold vater--
vites in de varm
und de hott"
she commanded.

but alas,
he never did.
what on earth
did she mean?
albert einstein
wondered, nibbling

on those irresitable
pastrami sandwiches
that she so expertly
made, as little bits
of pastrami scattered

upon his notes
like beautiful cherry
blossoms and lotus
mentioned so frequently
in the poems of li po.

thank god for frieda
I always say.



the piano at thrift world played like an old friend. it reminded me of a man who plays games like five card stud and wears yellow shirts with black ties with polka dots that are blood red. he doesnıt wear boots but he does wear moccasins. his heavy wool coat has his initials embroidered on the lapel. he enjoyed listening to art pepper play ³somewhere over the rainbow.² his hair is combed down flat and is the color of a french bathing suit from the 50ıs. too bad about his girlfriend. and

when he lied about his hand and tried to palm a king of spades, he was almost an identical match to the A flat below middle C on the piano at thrift world that stuck everytime you played it, as if it were lying down on the railroad tracks with blood trickling down its chin, unconscious, robbed, now penniless and doomed to die--he really shouldnıt have cheated at cards and especially shouldnıt have palmed that king.


POEM #4: I

I am looking not at a sweater today and amy bought this sweater for 10˘ for me at a yard sale. as I sit in the yard, wearing the sweater, I also decided not to look at a dog which could be neutered soon, amy tells me, and perhaps will be. instead, I am looking at a lovely girl made of stone kneeling in a bed of weeds near a dog eating canned dog food before he gets neutered. it will cost about $40 tops to neuter him. he is very playful today; very frisky. my heart is filled with sorrow: not for the girl of stone, and perhaps only in part for the dog who is eating with gusto. will afternoons always be as beautiful as this? I ask myself. it's almost sunset. my gaze turns from the cold stone of girl to the playful dog. he scoots his dish towards the grass, and then flips the bowl over, licking his chops, jumping about hither and thither as if to say: "in all likelihood: no."


I love when you ask a
question of someone and they
respond immediately, without

it is an almost supernatural
experience and I think probably
hindi in origin.

"jake," I asked in the grocery store,
"what do you think would be  
a good name for our baby?"

"thelnt," said jake.

jake and his wife cathy once worked
very hard on a crossword puzzle.
after a real long time, it was finally
complete. "whatıs the last word?"
asked jake.

"thelnt," said cathy. "it canıt be,"
said jake. "youıre right," said
cathy. and so they went back to
work to see what they had done

years later, I ran into jake quite
by accident.

"since that day, many years ago,"
jake told me, "I have met two
thelnts. one is my neighbor, and they
other is a rather unpleasant
bodyguard/chauffeur of bul
garian extraction."

"thelnt," jake said with authority,
"would be the perfect name for
your child."

part 2

today I am leaning towards "shin."
months ago I saw a wonderful
commercial for northwest airlines
and inside an airplane was a very
handsome japanese architect
who said: "everything I see inspires

I used to ask all my friends: "who is
that japanese architect who is inspired
all the time?" and no one seemed to

I asked everybody. perhaps I should
have flown northwest airlines.
I did start to take a sketch pad
everywhere, though, just like
whoever he was. I think I felt
more inspired, but I am not sure
that I it was by everything.

2 days ago your mama and I
waited in the doctorıs office in
order to speak with a nutrion
alist. we didnıt know at the time,
but she was about to pull a
plastic glass with plastic milk in
it out of a steel case and say:
"this is how much milk you
should be drinking."

she also would do it with 2
pieces of plastic chicken & 1 cup
of plastic green beans. yet before
any of this happened, we were
in the waiting room, and I opened
up a very old TIME magazine. it
spoke a great deal in this particular
issue about computers
and princesses. on pg. 24, though,
there was an ad for northwestern
airlines. there was a picture
of a man with his eyes closed with a
watermark of geometrical shapes behind
him and in front of him, too. "everything
I see inspires me," said shin takamatsu,
architect. "everything."

Soft Kiss

Taking the cap off of a pen is almost precisely the same as taking the cap off of a syringe.

In dreams, you can “access” ability. It’s always the same sensation: suddenly you can speak French, you can fly, or you can play the guitar like Andre Segovia did before he died.

All dreams have water in the if you look hard enough.

There are “good” composers and “bad” composers. Good composers have names that are beautiful to hear: Elgar, Chopin, Fauré, etc. And it is just the opposite with bad composers in that you want to jump through a glass rooftop (as in a poorly-made action-adventure movie) when you hear their names: Schostakovich, etc.

In dreams, anyone can play any instrument but everyone should play the flute. It’s easy to carry, and it’s silver.

Most men, eventually, find a tube of lipstick in their bed before they die, regardless of whether or not they die in bed. I think it’s called a tube.

If you can’t fall asleep, try saying the word Krypton. While making love, say the word kryptonite.

The reason that everyone has nightmares in the 20th century is that, at some point, they watched and listened as Shine On Harvest Moon played on a player piano.

In dreams, bourbon is nectar. When, in the Bible, they speak of manna, they actually mean bourbon. The last word to escape Pandora was bourbon. When, in France, they say Je t’aime it actually means I love bourbon. Charles Foster Kane’s last words were: I think I could go for a bourbon and then Rosebud.

There isn’t a man alive who would take a bus ride and walk a mile or more in order to see the handwriting of James Joyce, as I did in my dream.

Love letters, I discovered in a dream, burn at the same temperature as standard notarized documents or legal statements or even notarized love letters, of which there are a few, although they tend to be rare.

Marching music should never be played at all, not even loudly. Soldiers are fine, though, and do a very good job.

At some point. everyone quits their jobs in their dreams.

There will come a time when you, the reader, will cover your mouth in surprise as you read the paper and say: But he was so young! and think of all the dreams that you have lived through in your life. Exactly half of them were beautiful, exactly half of them were not.


an unknown saint

a letter
from a distant

a velvet rose in
her hat

she can’t sleep
at night
and so

she takes
long walks




nobody stares
at her

even when it
is winter

and she is



but not too

touching the
snow with


as her lips confess


she sleeps

in a


she always

of being
a painter

and of

chanel, I

she once



and other

she noted

“when you’re a painter”

you can think
of other
things not

like when

a writer

a big

of ink

on the
page as

you sit

the pen

the sheet. you

“were those my words

that I

in a pool...?”

she says it
is that way


with god

“never forget”
she writes

and at

the bees come

and find rest

on her

poem written to infinity

you are large and easy to read
I am happy that you are sky-blue
It seems that you are gaining weight

and inventive? yes, you are. I like

for example, that you say nothing when I say the word “today.”

I like the look in your eye, or eyes, when I say “tomorrow,”

and you say,



you are challenging, you are a
and you are toleran. infinitely?

sometimes I wonder:
are you sexy, too? well, look at this puff of smoke.

why yes,

you are at that.


once, while feeling bad, I took a good look at my life. I noticed that I
owned a pair of headphones and that they rested on the top of

the complete works of shakespeare. I spoke with a friend and she told
me that religion can be found in the rocks, and in the trees, and in
fruit baskets but not old

garlic, which beckons fruit flies. I listened to "beautiful music in the
night," and it was Mozart, preceeded by Debussy; it conjured the image
of a chocolate mint; it did. I ate a

chocolate mint, then a raspberry-infused chocolate, then a praline laced
with chocolate, then a creme de cacao chocolate piece and then I looked
but didn't touch one book called
THE DARK AGES. I counted my friends. I had: THE DARK AGES, LITERATURE OF

FLORIDA. I reflected on the mist: it smells, I thought, of both heaven
and the craggy coast of maine. I took pictures. one was of a lamp:

the light bulb
was soft and
bald. it re-
minded me of
the roman

another was of a chest of drawers:

filled with flowers
where creatures
die horrible deaths

I threw away my camera. I put it in a pile of food that included
carrots, lentils, potato chips, more and more chocolate. the camera was
not filled

with film. I considered the words I liked:


in remembering basic things, I realized that I owned a
typewriter. it is black and gold. it is my imaginary friend. it wants
repair and a new ribbon, and perhaps, a word to type. how about--

"fustalarian?" although it wants a new ribbon, and it shall have a new
ribbon, after it is repaired. when I thought hard, I thought (also) of
all those places that I would like to be:

* on a smooth-stoned beach at sunset

* in a delicate garden "where all sweets are sown"

* in a busy furnace, or perhaps kitchen, savoring a minty broth

* john donne has a dark moustache

as for my typewriter, I am only borrowing it from earth. like my
fusebox, it illuminates my life with a certain gossamer smoothness. and,
yet, like the fusebox, it is fragile, delicate, and can be thrown on the
ground or through the window or down the stairs and will

break: all light would cease abruptly. another thought I had: if you
don't want to lose things, like, say, a bicycle, or a friend, chain it
or him to your bed when you go to work. make certain that it is tied
snuggly and securely. make certain, also, that you pack a good,
nutritious lunch and eat slowly. when you have done all of this, write
in your notebook:


1) read john donne
2) remove headphones from shakespeare
3) learn to be more tolerant of others
4) unchain bicycle from bed
5) unchain friend from bed

and lastly:

6) don't laugh when people say:
"I want to visit Iceland."

because they are probably sincere, and they probably just don't know.



Ricky Garni is a wine merchant, teacher, and bicycle collector living  with his sons Linus and Dashiell in Carrboro, North Carolina. His work has been published in PIF, THE QUARTERLY, NO EXIT, THE POETRY PROJECT, BIG BRIDGE, and other venues including SALVO. His latest work, WARDROBE, is available through the mail if you want to write him and ask him for it. He will pay the postage if he as he feeling a little ritzy at the moment.

For more information contact: Ricky Garni