Ricky Garni lives in suburban North Carolina and works as a photographer and writer. His work has been published most recently in the Blake Jones Review, Tilted House, and Can We Have Our Ball Back? A GLORIOUS GALLOP V. AN ADAGIO OF INDIFFERENCE – his latest, lengthy collection – was released in December, 2020. Visit him on the web here.
The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Ricky Garni and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
We sat in the banquette
and he told me about a book
he loved on the Enlightenment
while I waited for my taxi to show
but my taxi
never did. Still, on he went
all about the Enlightenment.
But would he drive me home
at last, or would he just talk
about the Enlightenment?
After all, the restaurant was in
the desert and I have no idea
how to get home from the desert.
Still, he didn’t budge, except for
his lips, which talked about
Enlightenment, blah blah blah –
on and on, always
with this joker, nothing but
Everyone Loves To Do Their Laundry
Everyone loves to do their laundry
at seven in the morning
and that includes everyone in Japan
I know this because I have seen photographs
of people in Japan doing their laundry
and there is a clock on the way and it reads
seven o’clock not eight o’clock at night
which is after dinner which is what time it is
right now but not in Japan but in Japan at seven
O’clock in the morning people are smiling
and holding small, beautiful bundles and
walking towards laundromats with beautiful
neon signs that are emblazoned with something
in Japanese probably something like
‘Laundromats’ although the word might not
have ‘mat’ in it I think of ‘mat’ as a word
that almost belongs to Japan in a way as it
does to all of us and so it is possible that it does
As so many things belong to Japan and rightly so
Still, you might ask how I would know what that is?
It is 7:00 on the dot when the Japanese do their laundry
Filed with garments that are often the color of
a sub-oceanic grass cluster of a sublime cocktail
pink, that of another world and not one that we
will ever know other than that and the answer is
Simple: It’s 7:00 right now as I look at my laundry
and then look at a photograph of Japan taken in
the 19th century and everyone is clean and beautiful
and nothing has changed and nothing ever will until
It is 8:00.
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the California Sierra and served as El Dorado County’s inaugural Poet Laureate. Her poems are included in Villanelles (Everyman’s Library), California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Heyday Books), and California Fire & Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. Her latest collection is Windows of Time and Place: poems of El Dorado County (Cold River Press, 2019).
The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
You think too much about the daily order,
6 o’clock, pouring coffee, spill it
brown liquid soil after rain perks the fire’s footprint.
Coffee flies from your hands, a nightbird
winging your brain, banging against window glass.
Eyes too blurred to see. Ears clogged with sleep
as if you’d flown up mountain faster
than you could drive. Lava cliffs pocked with nests,
beaks and wings blacker than outside your window,
than spilled coffee sopped with a regretful rag.
Cast the sop-rag aside, head upcountry
into thin air, your shadow long and lithe in rising sun.
She didn’t realize, but it was Poetry
standing invisible in the hall, or lying between
them in bed – the visitor he saw
but couldn’t name, intruder with mischievous
intent. She felt the presence. It woke
her in the dark hours, so she slipped down
the hall to her computer, and wrote
while he slept deep in the sleep of the silent.
But for her the words kept coming,
she couldn’t stop them. Adrenalin from brain
to hand. And at the last period
she felt lightened. Might she call it a poem?