Friday, April 24, 2015



I recently counted my books and discovered I had too many. I cannot read all the books that I own. What can I do with them? I can read a page or two and put them down. I can read a paragraph while I am on hold waiting on the telephone for the plumber to answer. I can read the back of them while the peas are boiling on the stove. I can give them away to my friends. I can tell my friends that they can have more and give them to their friends. I can prop open the front door with some and then take others and throw them out the door. Sometimes there is a crow who makes a terrible cawing sound at night in the tree outside my window, and I can throw a book at him. I think I will throw CALL OF THE WILD at him. 

And then I can have children and give them all to my children. I can have grandchildren. I can have grandparents. I can build a fireplace. I can build a match. I can build a fire. I can try to make all of the books rhyme. I can say: it’s a beautiful day today, just like all of my books always say, because 

It is a beautiful day. Today. It is too beautiful to read, today. And so I build rocks outside made of sand. And underneath the sand I bury books. I bury books near the birds. I say None of Your Business to people who pass by and asks me what I am doing. Or I say Please Come Inside And Help Yourself To Anything You Find - on the floor, in the closet, on the mantel, on the staircase, on the bed, in the bathroom, near the window, anything that I am holding, anything I own, to anyone I know, anyone I don't. This is what I will do.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

BREAKING UP

I remember painting the floor, starting from the outside and working my way to the center. When I realized that I had painted myself into a corner in the center of the room, I reached out with my right hand and tried to paint a star on the ceiling and swing as hard as I could to reach the living room but did not because I had enough paint for one room and not enough paint for one room and a star.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015




Dear Faye,

Unless there is something right in front of me, I think of you. So I do my best to put lots of things in front of me.

Much love,

Ricky


Monday, April 13, 2015

NEANDERTHAL


There’s no point in counting one to eight million years
to better understand man standing up and saying
How do you do. But I still want to do it. I still am 
certain it would help to understand something.
Or perhaps someone specifically.


I would like to cook a homemade meal for you
but first I would have to have a home

I would have to understand a stove, an oven,
and a book of recipes

I would have to be able to turn on a stereo
to select a beautiful song

I would have to understand what music is
and why we eat

I would have to know why people want to know
each other

and then

I would have to meet you 

I would have to say

Pleased to meet you

and someday be 

pleased to have met you

and do what they do

and what we do 

and then

to be

pleased 

by it

Sunday, April 12, 2015

HAPPY


The airport in Buenos Aires is simple and beautiful. You still have to walk the tarmac to get to the terminal, and you can see waterfalls nearby and in the distance, a beautiful blue ocean. What is interesting is that shortly outside your line of focus, the ground and the trees are partially real but also partially sketched in colored pencils. Red, blue, green, and a slight bit of yellow.

It is my favorite airport in the world. I believe all of this to be true. Although I haven’t seen all the airports in the world yet. Once I do, I should die. 


Recently NASA released thousands
of space travel and intergalactic sounds

They all had wonderful names 
like Quindar and Delta IV

Vector Transfer, Roger Roll
Lightning On Jupiter

They were all terribly disappointing
I can make much better sounds

With this interesting collection of
gizmos that I have on my desk

Even outside, I hear a collie barking
and a little Mazda is beeping its horn

How wonderful they sound and 
how sexy in a way

Of course if they were in outer space
they would sound like nothing and not sexy

Or maybe nothing would just sound like nothing

Which is what your heart sounds like
when it stops beating but as despondent

As I was at how little outer space
seemed to offer today there was one

I did like: Space Shuttle Landing.
It was beautiful and regal and powerful

It was so strong, and so much more majestic
than the Lightning of Jupiter or Fifth Quadrant Pulsars.

It was the sound of the end of something.
Something wonderful. Something new.

It reminded me of coming home after a long drive

It’s summer now, but who knows if that
will ever end but there I am 

Seeing you in the driveway, 
and remembering the feeling 

Of outer space, of wonder, of
thinking: what could that

possible be? Where is the car
and where is the dog?

and thinking

How quiet it can be, how
quiet this moment is

how wonderful it can be this moment
when your heart slightly stops beating


CHURCH BELLS DON'T ECHO


One church bell tolls, and it finds another
when it does. And then that one tolls, as
a sort of greeting. And that one finds another, 
and the tolling continues.

Eventually, you cannot hear them anymore.
Did I mention that each church bell that tolls
is smaller than the last?


WHAT'S IN THE ROOM


What I remember is a coral pond with many tadpoles in it and a few goldfish. At twelve, the light would come through the ceiling and illuminate the water. Over the water was Jesus, who was the color of a white elephant. Many miles away, there were grey elephants, but no tadpoles and no goldfish and no sunlight once you closed the door, and paid just the right amount of money to see the elephants, and it was actually nice, because the sound of an elephant indoors is more beautiful than the sound of an elephant outdoors, although it is a sadder sound. It is. And

By now the white elephant is gone. I cannot say for certain what happened to the sunlight and the fish. If you look in the sky, you can still see indications of white and sound and grey.

THE SPIRIT OF MABEL


It occurred to me were I to walk outside 
on a sunny day in Manhattan in 1904 and yell 
MABEL! At least ten people would turn around 
and say “Yes?” And yet when I tried it today, 
only nine did, and there was no one there and
one was missing.


I spent the night looking up places to fly to by airplane. I wanted to see how expensive it could be. My God! Buenos Aires is $2000! My God! Palermo is $2200. Good Lord! Hong Kong is $2500! That’s interesting! Paris is only $600 (if you fly from Hong Kong!) Chicago costs nothing! (If you live in Chicago!) I wonder how much it costs to fly to Rome if you live in Rome. I believe they once asked this question in Japan, in the form of a haiku. My Word! Las Vegas is a mere $300! A trifle! I will go to Las Vegas! Why would I go to Las Vegas? Why in the name of all that is holy would I go to Las Vegas?

I have all of these words on my license plate. People are nice to me at the DMV because they know I don’t like to fly.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

SKYQUAKE


There is a large, booming sound in Moscow. Then there is a large, booming sound in Kiev. Then there is a large, booming sound in England. English people talk about it, in their awful English accents, but not for long, for soon, there is a large, booming sound in America. And another. And another. And another. In America. The large, booming sound wants to live in America and so it does. And now there is nothing to talk about in England. Moscow is dark tonight. Kiev is beautiful, and still.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

It’s Sunday morning and I am looking at an old cookbook of steak recipes. Under “Libations”, they suggest vodka submerged in ice, with a cream cheese dollop, garnished with celery salt. Later in the book, they offer a hundred recipes, all with champagne vinegar. Why? Champagne Vinegar: the happiest sound I know, along with the most melancholy. Why put these two together? Then again, Why, when we see a dotted line, do we ache so to sign it? 

LA VIDA DE PABLO NERUDA Y LOS PANQUEQUES

I could only read Pablo Neruda once, briefly, while on the beach. And the little amount I read of Paul Neruda made me realize he was a brilliant man. For instance, he wrote a brilliant thing, or two, about pancakes, I believe, and then, I think, corn. A brilliant pancake and corn poem. It might have been two poems. Two poems, equally brilliant, that I read on the beach, about pancakes and then,  corn. Although I was not really on the beach. I was in a bookstore at the beach. Interestingly, you couldn’t see the beach from the bookstore. But you could smell the delicious pancakes. They were the ones that you used to make. The poem I read today was brilliant. Oh, with the smell of roasting corn inside. It reminded me of the beach.  And Pablo Neruda. Perhaps you wrote it. Are you Pablo.
You are brilliant.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Once I wrote an article about wooden spoons and why they please people. Of all the things I ever wrote, it was this article that pleased the greatest number of people. It did not please as many people as the wooden spoon might please, but it did an excellent job for such a short article, and that pleased me. So: the people who read the article were pleased, and I was pleased that they were pleased. Still, I often hear that on one’s deathbed, one feels as though, no matter what, it wasn’t enough. This is the problem with pleasure.

Monday, March 16, 2015

30 DITTIES TO DATE

If you like any of them, please say hello. If you would like to add something (and can access Cubase) - all the better! Send me a note and I will send you a file.

https://soundcloud.com/rispylotilla
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