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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, September 24, 2020

Our visit to Saint John Coltrane Church, August 2015


John Coltrane by Neil Jacobs

Toni Lumbrazo Luna and I were married in 2015, and we decided that our honeymoon would be a California reading tour. We read our poetry in Berkeley, San Francisco, Eureka, and and Monterey. One of the highlights was a featured reading with Julie Rogers, David Meltzer, and saxophonist Zan Stewart at Bird & Beckett Books.

In the following excerpt from the travel poem we wrote during the trip, we visit the Saint John Coltrane Church in San Francisco. I was reminded of our visit when I read the following article on the NPR website:Five Decades On, An Eclectic Church Preaches The Message Of John Coltrane.

I am very pleased to learn that the church is soldiering on. 

Happy 94th Birthday, John Coltrane.     

 8/30/15

 

No pics allowed at

Saint John Coltrane Church

Sunday Mass

sparsely attended, at first

 

the energy in the room is palpable

Procession takes place

in a room behind the stage

as we wait

 

“open your hearts

as we go into

confession”

 

            tears well

 

                        sit or kneel

 

                                    and confess

 

“Praise Him.

That’s alright now.”

 

some join

some don’t

 

beautiful tapestries

with likenesses of Trane

and Lady Day

hang throughout the

Sanctuary

 

Miles Davis

draped across

the donation table

 

as the older cat

w dreads hanging below his knees

blows, my heart cracks open

 

                        shies away a little

 

                        when we get to

 

“one God        one god”

 

            same old

 

                        push and pull

 

                                    acceptance

                                    resistance

 

                                    desire &

                                    suspicion

 

                                    a quiet, more

reasonable voice

from deep within

reminds me

that all humans

struggle for

meaning and

understanding

 

the room awash

in slightly muted

red, gold, green

the drummer

a beatific Buddha

in a blue t-shirt

 

                                    however the concepts

                                    of sin and evil

                                    are understood

                                    we all seek the same peace

 

“Thank you,

Jesus

Thank you,

Jesus”

 

as the ceremony continues

other musicians arrive

the door is left open

to encourage the folks

walking down Fillmore Street

to enter

 

a tall guy in

a blue shirt

takes his turn

blowing sax

 

                        celestial

late Trane

transcendence

 

and I feel my heart

fill with that light again

 

count at least

five sax players

like angels-in-waiting

 

by the time the sublime melody

to “A Love Supreme” begins

the room is full

 

“we’re just trying to get a measure of what’s happening”

 

many passersby

stop to listen from

the doorway for

at least a few minutes

 

“If you love Truth, give God a hand, please. We call this the sound exorcism. We try to keep it beautiful, but this ain’t no gin joint. If the horn player starts speakin’ in tongues, we understand. When I went to see John Coltrane, he was like a Pentecostal preacher to me. I know we’re gonna have a good time, because the devil’s been busy all week. If you pat your foot, you’re a part of the band. Don’t clear your throat in here unless you’re ready to praise the Lord.”

 

deacon came up

in the African Orthodox church

part of the “no middle ground” crew

preaches on Revelations

believes we are in

The Last Days

 

“Saint John Coltrane was a scientist. Will indicates someone’s intention. Will is modal…. You can’t get sidetracked when you’re dealing with willing something into being…. I didn’t even talk about the All. The All, that’s a lot.  You have to be surefooted. You have to move with purpose and authority.”

 

the importance of sharing information

 

Abraham-Hicks: The Vortex

Coltrane Speaks


Newlyweds Christopher and Toni Luna in San Clemente for their honeymoon, August 2015 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Collages by Christopher Luna September 2020

 


 a new reality

For Zoe Weimer

#artthatreconnects 




Giving And Giving 
For Coraline Luna


Love yourself 
For Liliana


JUST BECAUSE IT FEELS GOOD
For Aimee Taylor and Kelly Schrock


BRILLIANT POET
For Leah Klass

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

"Atta," Angelo Luna's Birthday Poem for his Father


 Angelo & Christopher Luna, Father's Day 2020

Atta

by Angelo Luna


Not a beat poet

but loves the beat, certainly

Smooth jazz

rapid rhythms

the claws that sink in 

when an Invader 

grabs you by the short and curlies 

and tells you to 

fucking 

Dance


Not a a beat poet, no

but described by Ginsberg 

decades before his existence nonetheless

First thought, best thought

Uninhibited

Uncontrolled

a radioactive substance in writing


Internal Radiation Therapy

words healing the country 

from the inside out


While the world burns in 

Trump’s America

Bolsonaro’s Brazil

God’s Earth

he writes his truth, and fights fire 

by sucking the oxygen out of the room

A man who’s quantifiable praise for his ancestors 

quiets crowds 

when it’s spoken out loud


No more fire


There aren’t enough of him


Not quite zen

but buddhist in soul and practice

Does what’s being said need to be said? 

Why are you saying it? 

Does it help anyone? 

They may be mantras to some

but it’s better thought of as a scientific method

dissect every interaction

future and past

and see which parts were necessary


Make yourself the best you can be


I write inhibited

Clinical

still coming into my own and learning from my betters


He teaches as a delimiter

not a time bomb


Not a beat poet, definitively, 

but heavily influenced

and proud of it. 

Surrealist

Grounded

visionary works 

clutter file cabinets, real and digital. 


Ginsberg watches him from another life

passing by on the street every chance he gets

without knowing it

I like to think that if reincarnation is 

the way things go 

that good ol’ Allen 

is younger than my father

Maybe he’s a student

a fellow teacher

a preteen he makes a collage for.

Maybe he’s me, though I doubt it

I have other elders to follow


Stoic principles prepare us for loss

and I’ll spend my time in study preparing for his, most


Regardless of the sum of my works

or the product of his

I don’t know what real life will do when he’s gone. 

A crack in an invisible wall

that only suffers when a truly great person leaves


There’s only so many it can take

I often wonder if his 

will be the last


He betters himself

works with his son to live longer

even though it hurts 

and sometimes isn’t as entertaining as others


He doesn’t want to see that wall crack either

he wants to surpass legacies

become one of those elders


No, that’s incorrect. Forgive my candidness, 

but that’s what 

Want

He would be happy leaving a mark on a closed

small circle

I want to see his name in essays 

50 years from now


Either way

I’ll be proud. 

He deserves it.



    Allen Ginsberg and Christopher Luna in 1994 


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Warrior-Goddess Jane Revolves Alluringly in the Cosmos of Our Dreams: For John Hall, who asked why I had put Barbarella on my book cover

 


Warrior-Goddess Jane Revolves Alluringly

in the Cosmos of Our Dreams

For John Hall, who asked why I had

put Barbarella on my book cover

 

she is

like he

—as it turns out—a

extraordinarily multifaceted

 

both sex object

and warrior queen

goddess in the flesh

 

even at 82

perhaps

especially

as a woman

of a certain age

 

a fire in her

that a lifetime

of dealing with

jack-offs

& sexist underestimation

failed to quench

 

pure perfection

ideal of womanhood

turning over & over

& over in the void

 

arousing us

to change

stimulating us

to become

better men

 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Celebrate Like You're Running Out of Time, a Birthday Poem for Greg Luna (restored, with Angelo's photographs of the hawk that visited)


Sarah Wood with her painting of the hawk that visited us (see below)

Celebrate Like You’re Running Out of Time

A Birthday Poem for Greg Luna

Dedicated also to Angelo Luna,

Toni Lumbrazo Luna,

& Lin-Manuel Miranda


1.

 separated from his love

Angelo studies stoicism

obsesses over stats

keeping an eye on the latest

from the WHO & the CDC

to tell him where his head is at

perhaps his studies will lead him

to develop the NYC grit

his mother denied him

when she tore us from our home state

so that she could spend her days hiding

all I know is I admire him

I must respect his wishes

regarding our time outside the house

he’s keeping us all safe

and in return I enjoy

the gift of time with him

 

it’s all we have in the end

 

2.

 lockdown inevitably changes one’s perspective:

I now realize that I suffer from

          self-created

          ego-driven

          paranoia

                             all of which are illusion

                             and a colossal waste of my

                             limited time on this earth

 

or that I spend too many moments

worrying about bullshit

 

being isolated

from family & friends

 

(since late 2001)

 

has forced me to reconsider

my concept of both freedom & independence

meanwhile

the world burns

and an evil thug

has his rich knee

on the neck of

our democracy 

3. 

on this day when independence from monarchy

is reduced to a mindless, heartless, nutrition-free

cartoon of patriotism

 

I marvel at you

my brother

an anomaly

in our contentious family:

a truly peaceful person

and the only one able to

broker peace

when shit goes down

 

wish I had an ounce of your ease

to soothe my troubled mind

it is as if the spirit of our grandfather

his tranquility          the quiet power

          of his equanimity

had leapt into you

so that you might embody

the harmony

this energy affords

 

                             I love you for it 

4. 

yesterday as we watched Hamilton

crying & laughing & experiencing

a resurgence in our love for the republic

 

a hawk appeared suddenly on our back fence

& everything froze—you should have seen it

 

yellow & red & ferocious        majestic

 

& completely indifferent to our petty worries

 

we caught a brief glimpse of true freedom & realized

 

how lucky we are to be alive right now




Photos by Angelo Luna