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Ricky Garni



My first thought was to procure a collection of beautiful hand-tinted postcards from all over the world and write a single card to each of my friends in which the message described the setting on the other side of the postcard – a zoo, a large building in Singapore, eelgrass in Florida. etc. Such descriptions were often done in the heyday of hand-tinted postcards.

My second thought was to write to a number of different settings, using the other side of the card as my guide. I would send a drawing of the zoo to the zoo; a large building in Singapore to a large building in Singapore; a drawing of eelgrass to someone who is fond of drawing eelgrass. This would make people happy, or perhaps even startle them.

My third thought was to write about money on each postcard. Hand-tinted postcards are extremely expensive, and quite precious, but this seemed more difficult a choice to make: do I simply write the cost of the card on the back of it (EELGRASS: $4.59)? Do I write about the nature of money itself, and how odd it is to buys something because you love it, and then send it away from you to someone else, someone who may or may not like it, and who may or may not tell you if they did or didn’t like it? Not everyone in high buildings in Singapore, for instance, likes high buildings in Singapore.

I had a fourth and final thought, but it was less about what to do with postcards than it was to do with the act of writing and sending postcards: from my desk, I can see outside to the porch, and on the porch there is a vase of artificial flowers. I write my postcards with a plump pen and no eraser, even though I often make mistakes. When I finish a postcard I walk to the mailbox wearing tennis shoes.

Walking to the mailbox takes about four minutes. The mailbox is red and blue with rust stains. The stabbing sound the mailbox makes when you release the handle sounds like a tuba. It’s beautiful today. If it is raining, I do not go to the mailbox. I stay at home and write. I think about the rain and I write things like this: I love this postcard, the artificial flowers look beautiful in the rain, and at night these rain flowers seem to glow.


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Ricky Garni has worked over the years as a teacher, wine merchant, musician, and graphic designer. He began writing poetry in 1978, and has produced over thirty volumes of prose and verse since 1995. His work can be found in many online publications, print magazines and anthologies and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on seven occasions. 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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