…was a very special day here at Vandam Manor. It featured a mid-morning unannounced visit from the Rizzis, that is to say the hepcat poet and raconteur Richard Rizzi and his glamorous wife, the painter Susie Kaufman. They carefully eluded our high-tech security system, embodied in a life-like robotic dog whose keen sensors only detected them after Richard rang the doorbell.
Delivery was made of a poster, itself a work of art with an immediate value of no less than twenty-five thousand dollars, announcing a performance titled Voltage Whore that will take place in Kingston at The Mezzanine, August 9, at 8:30 pm. (The Mezzanine is located at 79 Broadway.) The performace will be “words and sounds” by “Hawks, Chris Hawkins, Richard Rizzi, Dana Flavin, Rich Holler, Gary Sherow,” and I’m recommending that everyone in the continental United States attend. Get there early.
The exquisite poster, created by Richard himself, and signed by the artist, features a white abstract pattern on a gold background. At the bottom, lying on its side, is Richard’s trademark self-portrait line drawing, featuring the usual gigantic erect penis (“That’s a bomb,” Richard protested when I took note of it).
Also delivered was a copy of one of Richard’s latest poems, fresh just that morning from the Rizzi poetry oven and also signed by the author. I would mention the title of the poem, but I wouldn’t want to offend the sensibilities of regular reader R. Dionysius Whiteurs. I can quote a few lines, however:
queer warlord releasing bad blood
in a rusted needle planned to take over the ghost world
with brown powder — i pay the rent with skin
Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
The Rizzis, Madam Vandam, and I retired to the informal dining room, where our trusted houseman Chester served everyone a round of refreshing Adirondack Seltzer. Richard was offered coffee but said that he had already consumed his quota for the day, none of which appeared to have been decaf.
Richard told a long story, with Susie keeping things moving, about a series of phone calls and an array of friends recently dismissed for offenses against art. More description than that would breach confidentiality.
Susie and I did a run-down of the sad condition of local culture. I noted that “there is not a single comfortable bar, comfortable cafe, or comfortable restaurant in New Paltz,” and that “even in P&Gs I get the feeling that when the waitresses press certain buttons on their computer stations it means ‘leave or the roof will open and the ejector seats will go off.'” I also reiterated my desire to purchase The International House of Indigestion (IHOI) and gut it with a small bulldozer.
In any case, the visit flew by too quickly and the Rizzis were off, the stories and the conversation hanging miraculously in the air, still singing, like poetry.