Rick Lupert

Poetry • Spoken Word • Jewish

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

It’s Spritz O’Clock Somewhere

Paperback $19.95

eBook (PDF)

Poems written in Bologna, Florence, Naples, and Paris
Ain’t Got No Press / May 2024 / Paperback / Ebook / 356 Pages

Rick Lupert’s 28th collection of poems and latest travelogue written on the go in and on the way to and from Italy and France.

“Rick Lupert’s unique voice can be counted on to show you the world as you’ve never noticed, making the ancient familiar and providing the everyday with unseen facets. In this latest work, Rick takes us on an enchanting tour through Bologna, Modena, Pisa, Florence, Naples, to end up in Paris (the dream). with his lovely wife, Addie (she’s in charge of gelato). He holds his wit and wisdom lightly enough to pack into a carry-on, quietly noting contradictions/hypocrisies, and absurdities that humanity is heir to along the way. I lost track of how many times I laughed out loud, but enough that my son’s cat felt compelled to leave the room. I encourage you to put on some Puccini, pour yourself a glass of Limoncello, and experience the journey through the eyes of this poet/ husband/father/fellow-traveler. Sometimes, everybody gets a halo.”

–elizabeth iannaci Poet, story-teller, adventurer,
author of The Virgin Turtle Light Show, & Passion’s Casualties

Poetry from It’s Spritz O’Clock Somewhere

Thoughts in a Lyft

Do I have my passport?
Asking for a friend.

Addie is practicing Italian
in the ride to the airport.
So far she’s able to say
one moment please and
would you like cream
in your coffee. So those
are two less things to
worry about.


The bell in the clock tower for which
this hotel is named, rings two sets of times.

When it is eight o’clock, the bell will ring
eight times, then a few minutes later

will ring eight more. This ancient snooze
system surpasses the need for a digital age

but doesn’t prevent me from asking Addie
is it ten o’clock? thinking we have overslept.

It is eight o’clock she responds. But there were
ten bells I tell her. There were eight bells

she tells me. We have not overslept and
I have lost the ability to count to ten

on this vacation. This feels right to me as
no one should have to commingle with numbers

when work is thousands of miles away.

It’s an eclectic mix of music in the breakfast room.

Opera into The Rolling Stones.
A song that sounds like
Stevie Wonder, but isn’t.
Addie doesn’t want to be
mentioned in this poem so
I won’t, but I will say that
smooth jazz is never the answer.

Good Morning, Florence

It is difficult to know what day it is on a trip like this.
Often, extra time and thought has to go into determining

this information when someone (like your wife)
asks you what day is it, or you need a reference

for when you are scheduled to be somewhere
or leave a city.

This morning the double espresso is
not quite as strong as the other days

and we are going to visit all the
Catholicism possible. We are going to

climb up the Catholicism and see what
we can see from the top of the Catholicism.

We’re hoping not to fall off the Catholicism.
We have to wear special clothes to

not offend the Catholicism and we will
go into the museum of Catholicism.

I’m also hoping for a gift shop of Catholicism.
They have the biggest Catholicism here

and we hope to be impressed by it
despite our different allegiances and

regardless of what day it is.
We’ve got Judaism scheduled for later.

They have just a little bit of Judaism here.
I just wish today’s (It could be Thursday.

How do you even know?) coffee was
so much stronger.

Goodnight Naples

One walking tour into Naples and
she has won me over. This historic center
which goes on forever, with unlimited
pizzas and Limoncello and things to
look up at, and down at, and all the
directions you can think of at. A city
of Italians built on a city of Romans
built on a city of Greeks. Three
completely different sets of Gods
still competing for my attention
in layers of stone. Just tonight I’ve
eaten so much pizza there is
enough of me for two Ricks
which is perfect because I’m
staying here and sending the
other one back to tend to all
the emails. Maybe, after enough
Sfogliatelle I’ll have enough for
a third who can get another job
and finance this whole operation.
This whole operation is going to sleep
now to dream of putting lemons and
vodka and sugar into jars, and
making my fortune selling whatever
happens in four to six weeks.
Goodnight Naples. But not goodbye.
Never goodbye.

Waiting for Refuge des Fondus to Open

Across the street, La Vache et le Cuisinier —
The Cow and the Kitchen.
I’m going to ask if I can meet the cow.
The kitchen is not necessary.

Not Ordinary

A tip in a guide says another ordinary picture
of the Eiffel Tower — try something new.

I wake up in Paris with that ordinary beauty
staring at me through this French window.

The way she pierces the sky and stands
assuming above everything else created

in this land of cheese and beautiful streets.
We will wander all of them today, our only

day here, like it’s the infusion we’ve needed
for years to tide us over until the next time

we are lucky enough to why not our way
across the sea to this place. Monet,

we are coming for you today. Seine,
we will touch lips on your bridges.

Notre Dame, our much needed checkup
after your disaster is on the schedule.

All of it in our eyes in one day. There are no
ordinary pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

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