Sunday, May 24, 2009

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS

In 1970, Blood Sweat & Tears released their 3rd album. It was called “Blood, Sweat & Tears” not “Child Is Father To The Man” like you think a third album might be called but that was actually the name of their first album which I never heard and didn’t want to hear much. Still, for some reason during that summer, which was a beautiful summer which I should have been playing outside, I spent my daytime hours instead staring at the cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears–not exactly in love, but truly soaking it in although I am not sure why, because it didn’t have eight musicians on it sitting with child-size versions of themselves on their laps in a kind of creepy, interesting child-is-father-to-the-man way. What it did have was just a sort of a photograph with nine print-stamp men wearing coats that look like peacoats on it, plus two trees in the foreground, plus a misty fog that seems to rise just to their stomachs (although not quite since the men are different sizes and the misty fog is always the same size and some of them were sitting down and some of them were standing up.)

The two colors on the album, other than white which doesn’t count, are black and a sort of interesting pink-grey. I really love pink-grey, I discovered that for sure in 1970. Boy, I probably spent ten hundred hours over three months staring at that cover, at those men, and the pink-grey fog and at the trees. I don’t know why, but I really loved it, the whole thing. And I was afraid to buy it because then I could look at it all the time, afraid to not buy it because then I couldn’t look at it when I wanted to during shopping hours if somebody else bought it instead. I wasn’t really sure what Laverdier’s restocking policy was, and jazz-rock albums weren’t really that popular quite yet. I guess you could say that I didn’t know what to do, and so I spent an unhealthy amount of time at the Laverdier’s Drug Store in Rockport, Maine in the summer of 1970 when it was sunny and beautiful outside and the blueberries were unsually scrumptious, but I don’t think about it that way, at least now, and I don’t regret it at all. It was a good thing and I was having a really good time and I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could.

But as the summer came to a close, luckily or unluckily, I decided to go ahead and buy Blood, Sweat & Tears one late August day for $3.99. I walked into Laverdier’s Drug Store, and without even looking at the cover, at least very closely, I picked it up out of the rack and walked straight over to the cashier and passed the Sky Bars
and Zero Candy Bars and 100 Grand candy bars without even considering them, which was pretty unusual for me because of my sweet tooth. And even though I have never plopped down money on a counter before for any reason, I did this time, PLOP, with my four dollars which I was very excited about as something to have in my pocket but even more as something to use to buy a Blood, Sweat & Tears album and still get a penny in change.

The next thing I know, the cashier is staring at my four dollars and saying: “Whoa, Honey, you owe me 15¢” because sales tax in Rockport, Maine in 1970 was 4%. Oh no!

$4.15! How could that be? I hadn’t even listened to my brand new Blood, Sweat & Tears album yet and already I was upset. Sales tax? What? I asked. OK, OK, and I paid it, even though it was quite a surprise. Good thing I didn’t slow down near the 100 Grand candy bars. And from there on, things just got worse.

The next week was rainy all week and we lost our Basenji. The week after that I left for boarding school for the first time in my life and I was miserable and lonely for four whole years. I won’t go into the details, because being unhappy is really uninteresting. And it was unhappy/miserable, not horrible, like, say, Bangladesh. But still, miserable is bad enough, and I will say, though, that I left my Blood, Sweat & Tears album at home, since I didn’t think that they should have to go through boarding school just because I did because it hadn’t done anything wrong and it didn’t deserve it and it had already made me happy for two weeks even though it was raining and I missed my Basenji.

And so I only got two weeks to listen to the new Blood, Sweat & Tears album before I left for boarding school. On the other hand, I was miserable in boarding school for FOUR WHOLE YEARS. Still, it was a terrific album, I don’t care what happened or what anybody says, even the people in boarding school who call it ‘facile’, uggh and no matter what or where I give Blood, Sweat & Tears my most heartfelt recommendation for any bona fide lover of tasty servings of jazz rock music (not fusion) with a dash of classical that inspired so many others like Chicago, Electric Flag, Chase, and the Ides of March even and suggest that you go out and buy it right away, listen to it a lot, look at the cover as much as you can, but don’t go to boarding school and if you must go to boarding school go for, say, an afternoon, or maybe, just the earlier part of one morning before lunch.*



* not four whole years

Thursday, May 21, 2009

OZ = OZMOTO

f you go to the SuperCuts on Broad Street, ask for Oz. He will cut your hair real nicely. When you sit down in the chair he will ask, “What will it be?” Now here’s the important part:make sure you say: “I would like an Ozmoto today.”

Now an “Ozmoto” is a haircut of finger length all around the head, except a little bit shorter on the sides and that is it. If it weren’t a little bit shorter on the sides, it would just be a finger length haircut. It wouldn’t be an Ozmoto.

It would be a haircut. But you wouldn’t come to Oz for that. You would come to Oz for an Ozmoto. An Ozmoto is all that Oz cuts. Oz=Ozmoto.

And Oz has been cutting Ozmotos all his life. Back then his mother said, “I think I will name him ‘Oz’ and then she said, “I think, but I am not sure.”

But now as you sit down Oz says, “What will it be?” And you say, “I think I will have an Ozmoto today,” and Oz smiles and is happy his name is Oz and ten minutes later he says, “That will be $8” and you hand him $12 and he says,

“Thank you” and then he says, “Next” and an older gentlemen walks towards the chair as Oz brushes off the residue of yet another Ozmoto from the chair and then carefully, slowly, the gentleman ascends into the chair and as he sits down Oz says, “What will it be today?”

and the old man stops for a moment and pauses and then says, “I just don’t know today–what do you think?” when all eyes turn to Oz and the all eyes turn to the old man and then all eyes turn to Oz and you can barely hear the fire engine outside and the little boy with the Ozmoto

stops crying about his balloon that popped and stares at Oz as everybody stares at Oz and then at the old man and then again at Oz and the room is quiet and Oz’s doesn’t say anything but stands with his scissors in his hands right behind the chair and his hands start to tremble.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IF I COULD DOODLE LIKE FRANK GEHRY

I used to think that if I could doodle like Frank Gehry that I would be a happier person. But then I thought: "If your doodles turn into incomprehensibly beautiful abstract objects of great architecture, they are no longer doodles." What are they? I wondered. Super doodles, I said.

Still, I do wish I could doodle like Frank Gehry.






all artwork, including handsome monsters but not crinkly devilish types or sketches by Frank Gehry, ® mr. crispy flotilla, 2008

Saturday, May 16, 2009

JOB

I woke up late but the birds were still singing
which they usually stop doing about 8:00, still,
there was no point in going to work so instead
I went over to my wife’s house and said, “It’s
over!” and she said, “What’s over?” Because
I forgot to ask her to marry me, lo those many
years ago, if I remember correctly.

I don’t. I would lose my head if it belonged to
someone else and I had to find out where it
was every day and put it back on with staples.
Time to go

somewhere I guess and then I put the pizza in
an oven anybody’s oven without taking off
the cardboard tray, which eventually bursts
into flames, in case you ever want to have
a good laugh at a pizza box bursting into flames
and then guess what? My entire family died,
but not in a fire, not in mine. So let’s just say, lost.
I left them somewhere, and wouldn’t you know it?
Forgot.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A HISTORY OF JELLO: A ONE ACT UNFINISHED PLAY BY PETER COOPER (DECEASED)


DIALOGUE, 1899

Scene:

New York, a sunny day, during the balmy summer of 1899

Characters:

• Pearle B. Wait, NY Carpenter and Cough Syrup Manufacturer

• Orator Francis Woodward, neighbor

• May Wait, Pearle’s wife

• Italian Salad


••

Pearle: Well hello, Orator. Nice day, isn’t it?

Orator: It certainly is. Where’s May?

Pearle: She’s inside making a jelly mould.

Orator: Jelly mould? What ...?

Pearle: it’s a satisfying taste treat that is icy cold, sweet and delicious. It jiggles on your plate.

Orator: You know I asked about May because I have been thinking about May all day.

Pearle: Really. It jiggles like a crazy person.

Orator: All night, too. I can’t seem to stop. I can’t sleep.

Pearle: A crazy person on Ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew made from the Banisteriosis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf from the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon.

Orator: What has happened to me?

Pearle: I bet you want to know what flavor it is.

Orator: What? Who?

Pearle: It can be any flavor. That was sort of a trick question.

Orator: May. My May. My dearest.

Pearle: Flavor-wise, so far, I have had good luck with

• Apricot
• Berry Blue
• Black Cherry
• Cherry
• Cranberry
• Cranberry-Raspberry
• Fruit Fiesta
• Grape
• Green Apple
• Lemon
• Lime
• Margarita (seasonal)
• Melon Fusion
• Mixed Fruit
• Orange
• Peach
• Piña Colada (seasonal)
• Pineapple
• Raspberry
• Strawberry
• Strawberry-Banana
• Strawberry-Kiwi
• Strawberry Daiquiri (seasonal)
• Tropical Berry (prepared only)
• Tropical Fusion
• Watermelon
• Wild Cherry
• Wild Strawberry
• Green Tea
• kiwi


Orator: I’m sorry. You were saying–apricot, what?

Pearle: Far less luck I have had with

• Apple
• Black Raspberry
• Blackberry
• Bubble Gum
• Chocolate
• Coffee
• Cola
• Concord Grape
• Cranberry-Strawberry
• Root Beer
• Italian Salad
• Lemon-Lime
• Mango
• Melon-Berry
• Mixed Vegetable
• Orange-Banana
• Orange-Coconut (pudding)
• Orange-Pineapple
• Passion Fruit
• Pineapple-Grapefruit
• Maple Syrup
• Plain
• Raspberry Mango
• Seasoned Tomato
• Sparkling Berry
• Sparkling Mandarin Orange
• Sparkling White Grape
• Strawberry Punch
• Triple Chocolate
• Tropical Fruit
• Wild Raspberry

Hah! Italian Salad – what was I thinkin’?

Orator: Sorry...What? Root Beer? Maple Syrup? Seasoned Tomato?

Pearle: Orator, don’t you think that it is a little odd that my parents named me ‘Pearle’? I’m a guy, after all. With a robust sexual appetite and attendant proclivities. And I am married. To May. Why do parents of a guy named Pearle name their kid ‘Pearle’? Your name is a little funny too, though. It’s Orator. Tell me a little about your parents.

Italian Salad: Italian Salad, yeah baby.

Orator: Sometimes when it is late at night I think of myself and May at that little restaurant in LADY AND THE TRAMP

Pearle: You mean the Frank Sinatra song thing?

Orator: ...and we are absent mindedly slurping up a single strand of spaghetti until our lips touch for the first time...

Pearle: Oh, not Frank Sinatra. I know what you mean! That spaghetti sort of thing happens when you are in love. It happens to everybody. That happened with my May! It’s not really as fun as it sounds, but it is a pleasant memory. Not in Italy, though. It happened somewhere different.

Orator: It never happened.

Pearle: I kid you not! (starts to become distracted, and in a low voice, to himself): Italian Salad, again, as far as thinking goes, I don’t know if I was doing that. The Maple Syrup one, though, that I still stand behind. It’s an aphrodisiac. Like oysters or rhino whatevers.

Orator: Stop.

Pearle: Did I ever tell you about the time May and I...?

Orator: Seriously. Stop.

Pearle: No, this isn’t a joke. This is serious. May and I did the Ayahuasca thing with a mess of Mestizo healers on the outskirts of Puccalpa. I ate the head of a poison dart frog. It tasted crispier than I thought it would. And a little gamey. It wasn’t at all good. For one tiny second I could see God in the milky white coating of his tiny black eyeball. It wasn’t very pleasant. It made me feel all squishy inside. But again, an enjoyable memory, over all. Isn’t that what life is all about when you come right down to it?

Orator: No.

Orator is distracted from the subject of poison dart frogs as he sees May in the doorway, mopping her brow with the tail of her blouse, which is moist and translucent and clinging to her taut, firm body in the powerful summer heat.)

May: ooohhhhh

Orator: God, when will it be 1900?

Pearle (not seeming to hear Orator, who has vivid blue eyes, like blue jello.) And now here we are, it’s 1899 and I’ve got a wife making a triple chocolate jelly mould in the kitchen and the Amazon is so far away ...(sighs)

Orator: Why don’t you go back?

Pearle: If only...

Orator: You could. You could do it right now.

Pearle: You think?

Orator: Sure. I’ll help. Don’t worry about May. She will be fine.

Pearle: But the money ...

Orator: Have you ever considered a patent? I wouldn’t mind throwing a few dollars your way. I have to say that the jelly mould thing sounds tasty. Mighty tasty.

Pearle: Oh, it is. (sighs) I have this vision of making it from a powdered gelatin, dissolving it in hot water, chilling it and allowing it to set and then adding delicious fruit and vegetables and whipped cream to in in various moulds of sundry shapes and sizes. I was thinking of maybe cute little things, like jigglers maybe, or sturgeon bladders or calves' hooves. A Sarah Bernhardt shaped plastic moulds that you can freeze and then plop into a little dessert bowl would be nice.

Orator: Uh huh.

Pearle: It came to me in a dream.

Orator: Uh huh.

Pearle: It was a dark night, and I was restless. I had so much on my mind. May was beside me. We had made love, for hours I think...

May (from inside the house, slightly off stage): not really.

Pearle: ...how she loves me so. But I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t dream. You have to dream. If you don’t, you will die. I read this article about it.

Orator: We need to get you a plane ticket.

Pearle: Sometimes it’s all I think about. Why should wives and young daughters stand for hours over a hot fire, mixing compounds to make people ill, when in two minutes and with an expense of 10 cents, they can produce an attractive, delicious dessert?

Orator: I am going to get you a plane ticket.

Pearle: What? Why? Do you think that the Peruvians would be interested in it?

Orator: I don’t see why not. It helped you, didn’t it?

Pearle: Sure, but that’s me. It just seems unlikely for Peru, that’s all. Life in the Peruvian Amazon is already so perfect. Why should they care for icy cold flavored jelly moulds?

Orator: How much is a plane ticket to Pucca whatever?

Pearle: Seriously? No kidding? Orator–you’re a real pal! I'm going to go right upstairs and pack! Ora, I could kiss you. In fact, I am going to kiss you, right now on the lips, hard and strong, as though it were for the last time.

Pearle approaches Orator, his hands extended ever so gently towards Orator’s face.

Orator freezes in place.

May places the jelly mould in the ice box.


Fade to Black.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

FRIDAY

Today I felt heartened that William McKinley broke with tradition and sat next to Ida Mckinley at state functions and dinners so that he could cover her face with a hankerchief or napkin if she suffered from a seizure which she did ever since the loss of her two children and the hankerchief saved her from being embarrassed which is a very kind and loving thing to do for your wife I think and I also wonder why more people don’t mention The McKinleys when they talk about great loves that are out there in history and I imagine it is because they didn’t appear really glamorous or much like movie stars but Ida McKinley had a fascinating face and William McKinley certainly loved his wife in a really big way and love in a big way certainly seems glamorous to me, although it is true that he wasn’t very glamorous-looking if that matters which is does sometimes, sad but true.

Friday, May 08, 2009

THURSDAY

Today I was rejected as being too breezy.

Later in the day, I was rejected for being too conversational and casual.

Today I thought I was told that I was chiasmus, but I was mistaken; still, I was rejected, despite the chiasmus.

Today I was told that ‘most greatest’ isn’t good poetry.

Today I thought that if rejection were music, it would sound like the theme song to Willy Wonka.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

LP RPMS from MAYBE WAVY (1998)

The man who invented the LP couldn’t stand very elegantly and didn’t smile when people took pictures of him.

One day a man took a picture of him and he was next to a 8 foot stack of 78 RPMs and he was holding an equivilent amount of music under his arm in the form of 33 1/3 RPMs long playing records and he had a pen clipped in his jacket breast pocket. He also looked as if he were perhaps tapping his foot.

The first LP was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, and it was there, somewhere in his little stack. The first recording EVER was Edison’s “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a foil-covered cylinder which fell apart real quickly but I don’t think that this was in either the 78 or the 33 1/3 stack because they appear to be classical music repertoire only and besides, the original fell apart. Fell apart. I love to say that. Mary Had a Little Lamb fell apart. Dr. Peter Goldmark no longer stands next to stacks of 78s in an inelegant fashion; he is dead now. He fell apart. I wonder if his mother could stop him from crying when he was a little baby by singing Mary Had a Little Lamb before she, then he, fell apart. They fell apart.

They did.

THURSDAY

Today I read a poem about Bonegas and I thought to myself ‘What is Bonegas?’ and then I went back and read it again and it was ‘Boogas’ this time and so I thought to myself ‘What is Boogas?’

Today I saw Ingrid Bergman fighting the Nazis while traveling in a luxurious yellow Rolls Royce in 1964 and last week I saw her fighting Nazis without a car in France in 1942.

Today I tried to make a mess with Indian ink and I couldn’t; I could only make perfectly round black orbs and blobs. Lord knows I tried but I couldn’t.

Today I read a poem by William Carlos Williams that I didn’t understand about “your voice whose cello notes upon the theme have led me to the music” and I thought that William Carlos Williams was supposed to be easy.

Today I wondered if I were married to a woman who suddenly became a cello if I would stay married to her. Probably not.

Today I thought that I should confess more things.

WEDNESDAY

Today I confessed that seeing my glasses folded upon a book on my nightstand makes me feel accomplished and intellectual.

Today I confessed that seeing my dipping pens in a paper cloth covered in ink with a bottle of India ink nearby makes me feel artistic.

Today I didn’t confess so much as I really wondered why I forgot that Mariel Hemingway was completely naked in PERSONAL BEST and no matter how hard you stare into her eyes you won’t see the slightest whiff of Ernest Hemingway, especially when she is naked or pole vaulting.

I have nothing more to confess today.

I have one more thing to confess: I feel nervous when the dishwasher downstairs sounds like somebody breaking into the house.

TUESDAY

Today I liked it when Mrs. Pipchin said that Florence could ‘lump it’ if she was disconsolate having to live without her frail and beloved younger brother Paul as he undertakes a rigorous course of study under the firm and unwavering guidance of Mr. Blimber in 1848.

MONDAY

Today I was out of breath when I woke up from a dream in which I deserted a friend when an intruder threw tiny knives at him and I ran past him as fast as I could in my Better Him Than Me mode and I ran past everything I could find until I reached the mountain and then home somehow and the police were there of course and they asked me to sit down and answer a few questions and I said first I want to know did he survive and they said Yes he did and so I breathed a sigh of relief as I plopped down in a leather chair and the policeman said Perhaps you would be more comfortable in another chair and I said Why? and he pointed with his notepad to the tiny knife punctures that were everywhere on the leather chair.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

“If there is one question I dread, to which I’ve never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it’s the question, ‘What am I doing?’”


MAYBE WAVY

from the introduction:

MAYBE WAVY represents the fourth volume of what was supposed to be a trilogy of Wavy works. The pieces included here are of two varieties: poems that I did not include in the earlier three volumes because I thought that they were written a little hastily and therefore weren’t very likeable, and poems that I didn’t care for because they were too old and I didn’t particularly like them because, well, old things are embarassing. Things do change, however. I like many of these now, I don’t always think that being hasty is a bad thing, I tend to embarass less easily these days, and would hate to see all of these things, especially the really old ones, go away forever, especially ones composed in places like Connecticut, a place that I can’t imagine I will ever go to again even though I had actually thought about going back to Connecticut every once in a while, but now that Paul Newman doesn’t live there anymore, what’s the point, honestly?

This work is dedicated to B. Rodney Marriott, Frederick Tremallo, Jonathan Williams, Allan Gurganus, James Applewhite, Inez Hedges, Jeffery Beam.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ricky



479 pages. Available at lulu.com

all artwork, including handsome monsters but not crinkly devilish types, ® mr. crispy flotilla, 2009
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