When my mother said Let’s go down to the Rialto it never occurred to me that the name Rialto was odd or from anywhere else or meant anything other than Rialto the theatre in my hometown like the Orpheum, whose name was only a phoneme with no trace of the god of Poetry, though later I would learn about him and about the bridge and realize that gods and bridges can fly invisibly across the ocean and change their shapes and land in one’s hometown and go on living there until it’s time to fly again and start all over as a perfectly clean phoneme in the heads of the innocent and the open on their way to the Ritz.
From How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett. Copyright © 2007 by Ron Padgett. Published by Coffee House Press. Used by permission of the publisher.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 17, 1942, Ron Padgett was elected as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2008.
Date Published: 2007-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/rialto