Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Dear Y,

When my brother starting screaming on the Flying Bob my father gave the operator a fresh 10 dollar bill and said: “Keep going.”

My son went on the Flying Bob because he wanted to. Once he was on, the operator came up to me and said: “You put HIM on the Flying Bob?” He was three.

Then there is also Bob Newhart.

Love,
Ricky

SIR JOHN

A new song with John Gielgud on guest vocals, with an abbreviated rendition of Hamlet's soliloquy.

https://soundcloud.com/rispylotilla/ogodgod


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

X/Y


Dear Y,

I wonder what it must be like to not play the piano. I wonder what it must be like to see a piano and just see a beautiful piece of furniture. Or looking at the keys – what do you see? I see a C, and then an E flat above it, and a G above that and then a B flat and then a D flat, I hear a beautiful, odd sound, Manhattany sound. I imagine most people don’t hear the sound I hear when they see those notes in between other notes. it’s one of my favorite sounds and I wish I could describe it in this letter. I am singing that sound now although I cannot sing.

Love,
Ricky




CERTAINLY BATMAN, ANYTIME

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


GUMDROPS

Before I could try one, they disappeared. You can look everywhere now and you won’t find them. But I will never know because of my condition. My condition includes my inability to see something, like a gumdrop, and say “Why not?” and then do something about it. 

When I dream of gumdrops, and I do, they are always shimmering in the desert. Sometimes I hold out my hand.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015


The nest of a hummingbird is small and round and the color between green and brown. The baby hummingbirds can be fed with a tiny eyedropper, the kind you might use with the baby of a doll – they seem to chew the water as they drink. These baby birds make a ferocious fuss in their nest, and their nest looks like a small sushi roll that is trembling like a grandmother’s hand. 

This is what I can see from where I stand, about ten feet or so from the television that is up against the window that looks upon a tree in the summer. I am uncertain of what is in the tree. My grandmother stands in front of it, trembling.


After the show, we talked about the city we live in and how we don’t like it. We used to like it. But when we liked it, we never felt it was necessary to say that. We don’t even know who we would say it to. Somehow it seems right to say it now, that we no longer like it. We say it to the city that we used to like, although we never mentioned how we liked it when we did.

 We are drinking cinnamon whiskey and listening to music, in a different city tonight. It’s easier to talk this way. Soon we talk about moving back to the city we liked. No one says ‘That’s something that we cannot do.’  And no one seems bothered that we don’t. We like it here, in a city where we never think there is something we cannot do. This is unusual. So perhaps we will stay here instead. 

In a hundred years, what will we think of this terrible decision we made? 

Saturday, August 01, 2015


1931

In case the bear chases you
You have a basket of fishes
If it isn’t blueberry season yet

Bears oh how they love blueberries so
Bears are so fast and cuddly looking 
But mostly bears are so darn fast
And you can toss the fishes because

You have a basket of fishes
You have your clunky old bike
You have hopefully enough fishes today
For this beautiful summer morning ride

Friday, July 31, 2015


SMALL

I watched a man insert a quarter into a block of dry ice. The quarter shook and shook like it was in terrible pain as it went through the process of sublimation. I hope that I am not a quarter someday, and that some man doesn’t touch me and do terrible things with me this way,  but if I am, I hope he just takes me out of his pocket and spends me, since I am a quarter, for a Coca-Cola or a perhaps a bag of chips, for this is what I was meant for.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

THE MOVIES MY COMPUTER TELLS ME TO SEE

A movie about a piano tuner of earthquakes.

Something like “Inside the Cosmos” or “Inter-Cosmos” or “Enter the Cosmos”  (I don’t speak German.)

Something about a woman with hungry eyes (who wears a metal snake bra.)

Something like “The Women of the Woods” or “Les Trees of Boulogne” (a place in France?) (I don’t speak French.)

The Terrible Infants. (That one was really easy even though it was in French.)

Santa Claus (in Mexico where he goes on vacation and meets Merlin the Wizard  and there’s a magic sleeping powder and everyone hates Santa Claus everywhere but hopefully Merlin will help him probably with the magic sleeping powder.)

A movie about Marlon Brando (something about his method conundrum.) Handsome!

A big-boned lesbian leader of a She-Mob who wears a cone bra (another movie with bras.)

A movie about Alcofibras who makes a woman appear in a goblet and they stroll through the beautiful fake woods in 1903.

A movie about having no breath and being in love in France and being really beautiful and dashing.

A movie about killing Joan of Arc because she made someone angry even though she was pretty.



When I was little they said that computers would be smarter than me. I think they are now.

know I rely upon them for everything, from plane fares to Utah to making the perfect piece of toast.

Why should I see these movies? I wish the computer would tell me. But instead it’s as quiet as a mouse. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015


AN ODE TO LOVE

If you are a lemon there are so many things 
that can happen to you. Including laceration on the rim 
of an ice-cold martini. Or having your skin scraped off 
and put into a tangy vinaigrette. But you might also fly 
in an airplane to an interesting place.
And end up in a beautiful refrigerator in Norway.
You can fall in love with anybody you want.
Here or there, anywhere, dead or alive.

But that’s true of everything.
I own two dachshunds for instance.
Sometimes I pretend I am going to ear their food.


THE DAY I RETIRED FROM MY JOB AS A POET I DECIDED TO WAKE UP EARLY BEORE THE SUN ROSE AND LOOK AT THE BASIL PLANTS

I hadn’t watered them in a week 
because my job was crazy-busy
but I did water them last night 
after I decided to quit my job

I just went up to my boss this AM 
and said, “I quit, boss!” 
just like they did in the movies
and I took the trolley home, the kind 
they also used to have 
in movies 
they were black and yellow

and then just loafed around 
the apartment house until 
I remembered ... 
my basil plants! My damn

basil plants! I was about to water 
them but then I remembered 
that you should only water them
right as the sun begins to set, 
a friend of mine told me that, 

and I have many basil plants 
so I just waited 

and just as the sun began to set 
and before Gunsmoke was on 

(this happened in about 1958 
when Matt Dillon was still alive 
and the sheriff on Gunsmoke)

I watered my basil plants and 
then went to bed after reading 
the morning papers

(there were morning papers and 
evening papers in 1958 and kids 
on bicycles threw them on your lawns) 

I wasn’t sure when a good time 
to look at basil plants might be 

(my friend was gone, after all 
this all happened in 1958) 

but it seemed to me that the early morning 
would be best even though I had no reason 
other than that to get up 

(but what could be more important than 
looking at a freshly revived basil plant 
behind your apartment as the sun begins 
to rise and you have nowhere to go?)

Why do people have basil plants 
when they have apartments ?

Well I think it is because they want 
to feel like they have homes

This was true in 1958 
and it is even truer now

(in 1959 and 1960 and 
so forth and so on)

Anyway
that’s not
the important thing

The important thing is
that I quit my job
and that I have
basil plants
and the sun
will soon rise
and soon
I will see them
again


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Faye

Yesterday it will be two years since we lost one of gentlest of souls on earth. It really should be easier over time, but I think at times that sorrow continues to burrow until it hits the bone.

I love you, Faye. I miss you every single awful day.


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