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Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian
Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Writing and Photographs from New York December 1-8, 2021

 

NEW YORK TRIP DECEMBER 1-8, 2021 

Southwest Flight 3414 to Denver, CO

December 1, 2021 

First flight since the pandemic. A week with my family in New York. And like many NY visits, we will be in constant motion, driving and training our way between Rockville Centre, Pine Bush, Rochester, NYC, and Smithtown.


  

Concourse Symphony: Denver International Airport

 

I can’t do this right now. I had to end my relationship with these people. Sandy is in a very uncomfortable situation right now. Cats. Big cats. An actual map. It’s not a globe. In his presence. That was the catalyst to go ahead and say, “You know what, he’s technically cheating.” Yeah. I know. I swear he said “intimidation and jealousy.” So these emotions that I have. I’ve never seen that. I’m sure it happens. Very large, very fat. Very large, very fat. I don’t like that.


Flight 6505 DEN to LGA (LaGuardia Airport) 

The second flight was delayed due to the Santa Ana winds. Surprised to learn that this flight is only three hours. I spent more time in the airport in Denver than I will spend in the air. Chose a seat in the second row so that I can be one of the first off when we land. Motherfuckers are slow. 



Coming into New York

At the Whitney with Vicki

December 2

 

so glad to find myself

on the LIRR with my

youngest sister again

 

New York’s magic is instantaneous

we are standing by the father of

my niece’s best friend

who also happens to be

Anne Waldman’s eye doctor

headed to his office in the Village

 

he notices my purple Ginsberg hoodie

and oh-so-casually mentions

the Kerouac School

have I ever heard of it?

 

so now he must know

Allen changed my life

and Anne my stalwart supporter

            and spirit guide

 

everything I am

everything I do

thanks to her

outrider wisdom

and unyielding passion

 

he tells us his family moved

from Brooklyn to Rockville Centre

he misses the free concerts in Prospect Park

doesn’t say why they moved

 

there is a brief discussion

of cataract surgery

lasik and PRK

 

and then 20 people with luggage board the train

I try to move aside

but end up directly in the way

of a guy in lab coat and mask

who yells at me to move

and complains bitterly

about my stupidity

 

I am thrilled by his rage

the efficiency of his honesty

having suffered two decades

of passive-aggressive pussies

who would rather suffer in silence

than reveal their true feelings

about anything

 

we find a seat

and I explain to Vicki

how my first failure

led me to Ginsberg’s collected

Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

Anne, Boulder

 

this poet’s life

which grabbed hold of my t-shirt

to pull me into the future (the now)

the path selected me

 






we emerge from the underground

and she leads me to The Curious Garden

a decommissioned elevated train

otherworldy oasis of innovation and imagination

with an unparalleled view of The Village

 

the experience set off by

Kate Hudson’s feet

100 feet tall:

 

Blade Runner foot fetishist’s wet dream

 

this transcendent path

the setting for our

confessions, worries, tears

 

a pact is formed:

I’ve got your back

and you mine

from this point forward

 

loved ones stay a

certain age

in the mind’s eye

how/when did she turn 40?

how is it possible?

not my little sister

 

powerful

protective

mother bear

type-A

party girl

 



downtown Mount Rushmore

Andy, Keith, Frida, Jean-Michel

 


heart, lung, and fallopian tubes

dangle from tree branches

ancient railroad ties

and the most spectacular

view of The City

 







plus The LittleIsland

gobsmackingly mindblowing

Roger Dean fantasy

dropped onto the east side

of the Hudson River

at Pier 55

 

proof of vaccination required

to enter the Whitney

Lee Krasner, Edward Hopper,

Kiki Smith, Joseph Cornell, and all


Who knew there was any such thing as feather butterflies?

 



time for dancing

and Jay De Feo’s Rose




Vicki is amazed by

Liza Lou’s kitchen:

feminist take on housewife servitude

in the form of thousands of beads

adorned by the poetry of Emily Dickinson

 

I am blown away by

PepĆ³n Osorio’s “Angel: The Shoe Shiner

 

too sacred to photograph

and amused by Oldenburg’s plushie cigarette butts

 

how to describe the universes contained in

decades of Jasper Johns

a retrospective worthy of a 91-year-old master

overwhelming enough to cause my sister

to wonder at his process

 

                        I am pleased to find

                        Richard Avedon

                       

& Frank O’Hara

                        whose footprint

becomes a tribute

to his singular genius

and too-brief walk

around NYC

 






purchase a pretzel for Vicki

and a bacon egg and cheese

prepared by Alec, smile beaming

from the window of his food cart

at the corner of Gansevoort & Washington







 I tell Vicki the sandwich is unbelievably good

like tasting almost anything while stoned

except I’m not high                 no that’s not right

 

                        I’m wasted on my city

 



I have a moment

as we pass the Flatiron building

weeping with joy to be on these streets

falling for every big booty, goth scowl

and insane utterance

 

the faces of the crowds

in my dreams

and me always

walking against traffic

 

I trail behind Vicki

as she talks on the phone

soaking it all in:

 

Andre the Giant Has a Posse

Diane von Furstenberg

mobile COVID tests

sometimes two tents

on the same block

 

love every puddle

every odor

every everything

I’m home

 

Road trip with Greg

Rochester to Smithtown, Strong Island

December 6




.

Pre Emption St. 

Cayuga Lake

            wine slushies

TAUGHANNOCK FALLS

 Pennsylvania

Pursue Your Happiness

 

Jay-Z/ Grateful Dead mashup:

“99 Problems” / “Scarlet Begonias”

 

Clifton, PA

 

back window

 

Save a deer

 

HUNT A PEDOPHILE

side window

I HEART MY CAT

 


December 7

Long Island Railroad

to Penn Station

 

overhear two conductors

talk about how as the train

came in to Rockville Centre

a passenger was attacked, choked

and they tried to grab his phone

 

6th Avenue Symphony

 

Oh hell no. Oh hell no. Here’s the deal. This woman is 80-year-old batshit razy. She gonna drop that shit in your lap. Wanna know why? Wanna know why? You know why they scared? ‘Cause she prob’ly done heard that shit. Just a way to cop out. So thank you, truly. I know I know. I don’t wanna see you. I genuinely don’t wanna see you. Slap ‘em down. It’s an awkward position for you.     


With Barbara Lynn Cantone and Colin Poellot




With Barbara Lynn, my best friend since 10th grade




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