Rachel Levitsky and Friends


The last Sunday in Brooklyn was productive. To say the least, I was convinced to get up and purchase a juice, to leave on the train, to ride the subway through the tunnels, out to my beloved island. MoMA or BUST! I thought to myself how silly it was for a huge fan of modern art, I did not make it there any sooner than my last moments. I stopped by the Coffee Bean. Had a scalding latte made with soy milk for just under $6 – across the street sat the architectural skeletal (still functioning) building that housed David Letterman for the past 5,000 years as the voice, the familiar glow from my late night, night owl childhood. I posed for a selfie in front of it, naturally. Rolled a cigarette, ignoring the jaundice yellow stain on my fingers from smoking. And walked on, stepping into the most beautiful church bells ringing, had it happened? At last I had made peace with New York to the point of being dragged away with my teeth chipping, holding firmly to the sidewalk, because despite kicking and screaming I had to go home anyway.

I am not reviewing the MoMA. I have much to say about the art, have much to say about the conversation I was having, making me feel flooded and the feeling of turning to my right and seeing, “A Starry Night.” In person. Warhol’s soup cans, brought tears to my eyes. My childhood has never come full circle so strongly. I wished to paint. I wished to sit in my studio, hours as my currency and paint. Play. Read. Think. I wished to make art, something that had gone away for a while.

Minor details. I decided to hop the F train back to Dumbo where I would see Rachel Levitsky read – she is one of the collective voices of Belladonna* and I was intrigued to attempt Dumbo again. Levitsky introduced the theme of the show, introduced the work she did with Christian Hawkey, Susan Bee, Simone Kearney, & Ariel Goldberg. Mostly art/lit collaborations, response pieces from drawing to poem to painting. Also stunning curvilinear drawings from Simone Kearney. I am really interested in dual voice readings, particularly the female/male combination of voices and so Christian Hawkey despite being sick, was a wonderful addition to the shared space within his and Levitsky’s language. Their piece made its’ way to me in the form of a chapbook which I cannot even touch yet, because the best thing (though mortifying at the time) came when I introduced myself to Ariel Goldberg.

I proudly proclaimed that I did visual art, with a focus and intent on queer visibility. Goldberg shot down my childhood with her hello. “I wrote something on why we shouldn’t label art queer.” Ha! I never thought, imagined I could meet someone that is the epitome of what I was looking for in regards the knowledge I sought. But I didn’t know this at the time.

Inside my brain I cursed myself for saying hello, and quickly passed along my card saying I would like to read it. I migrated to a lone corner of the store, and shuffled through poetry books I couldn’t afford. Rolled a cigarette and left, said goodbyes and left. I have been eclipsed to the point of forgetting the content of Sunday’s Salon, knowing there was some interesting work and some work I will put on the back burner. I feel like at the time of this review, I went to a visual catalogue of the work, and the research is up to me to do at this time.

Starting, firstly with, Ariel Goldberg and “The Estrangement Principle.”

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