New York Visit

Hi friends,

I was recently in New York where I had the opportunity to visit many of my favorite old haunts. My friend, David and I attended a weekend intensive (not sure if that is the right word?) at the Omega Institute near Rhinebeck, New York. A highlight of the weekend is simply the Omega grounds. They are gorgeous, hilly and contain a lake. We kayaked, rested in hammocks, and took night-time pictures of orbs. Fun! Our accommodations were fantastic: We stayed in cabins Willow-B, situated close to the Cafe and Bookstore. Score! The workshop gave me a deeper insight into the use of guided meditation (we did them repeatedly, so I also had a chance to practice patience, and look at my judgments, some of them warranted?) My favorite event was what our facilitator called “A Shamanic Journey” in which we were invited to visit one of three places: Astral Planes, Earth as it exists, or the Under World. I have some previous experiences with what I call “Breath” and meditation, so I decided I would take the plunge, into the ocean. (Yeah, I was scared). Suffice to say, I had an amazing experience: too bizarre to literally translate. I can tell you this: I jumped off a cliff  (Huelo, Maui) into a net created by gigantic sea turtles. One of them offered me a ride on its back (amazing, if you’ve never tried this, I say: go for it!) We traveled over a long oceanic distance, ending up in the Gulf of Mexico, near the current oil leak. My panic began to register when I saw the impact of the oil on the birds and wildlife. My host turtle (in a nutshell) explained to me that the animals are taking care of things. (Because clearly, as humans, we are incapable of cleaning up our messes). When we were led out of the process (it all happened lying on the floor, eyes closed, Native American drums beating), I ended feeling energized and fantastic!

We also did a lengthy process on Father’s Day (happy day, Dad!) which was powerful in the context of thirty men bestowing our loving attention on one another. Such a gift to be more generous, vulnerable, emotional, to be felt, seen in this way. Something our planet could benefit from in huge amounts.

Incredible healing sessions followed on Sunday at the Omega Wellness Center. My friend, Michael in Los Angeles has a dear friend, Kellie, who is manager at the Wellness Center. We’d never met Kellie, but she arranged for David and I to have excellent massages on Sunday. My therapist, Gi, really made some progress with my current disc situation.

On our return to Garden City, we stopped for dinner in Katonah, NY where David and I lived briefly in 1998. Memories, like the corners of my mind! We kept watch for Marissa Tomei or Stanley Tucci, both used to live close by. Nothing like good diner food to nourish the soul.

The next day was Summer Solstice. No better place to celebrate than Jones Beach! Another location I’ve been numerous times with David and Andrea: Area 6, past the Jones Beach Theater. The doonies! And exotic birds with orange beaks. The sounds of the waves. Those cirrus clouds. The sand. Laughter with David. Endless time. Another layer of connecting deep inside to my reason for being here.

That evening we saw the new Joan Rivers movie at the Malvern Theater. What talent, drive, and raw energy came from her performance. It gave me fresh insights about her. I always knew she was funny, crass, a certain zany brilliance. What I didn’t know was that she wants so desperately to be taken seriously as an actress. Not a comedian. And, of course, she falls from that personal truth again and again, and again. She is so hard on herself. It made me reflect on how I do the same. In what ways am I being ruthless with myself? I recommend seeing the movie. Joan is a force to not only be reckoned with, she is 75 and has a work ethic better than most college graduates.

Tuesday was our Manhattan day! My former playground. We trained into the city and met our sweet friend, Andrea at Taralucci E Vino on 18th Street in Chelsea. Great eats, fun catching up, and a sweet waitress from Haiti who is a trained makeup artist. Go figure! One of the many things I love about the Big Apple. Next we stopped at Cupcake Cafe attached to a bookstore, down the block. Shared dessert and large mugs of dreamy coffee combinations. And what would the day be without a little shoppy-shop at Catharine Malandrino’s trunk sale. I was hoping to see the Housewives of NY there, but it was afternoon. Jill and Ramona were probably there when it opened. Next we blasted down to the Village to the GLBT Center for a poetry reading with Matthew Hittinger, Stephen Motika, and Michael Montlack. Moderated by Steven Cordova, a very gracious host. The work was diverse, voices distinct and it made me feel so excited to be there. And I set another writing goal: I want to be part of the reading series at the Center. I want my work to be included in that realm. I spoke with Steven as we were leaving, and he seems interested. Just say YES!

It would be remiss not to mention the time I spent with Evelyn, David’s mom. Evelyn is like home to me, a wonderful, adorable, considerate, and darling woman who is so kind. She also makes a mean french toast. And grilled cheese. Hang in there, Ev. I hope to see you again this summer.

I had two more pieces of my work published over the week that I was away. The first, a poem was at Amphibi.us. Thanks to editor, Shannon!

2010 June 18 | amphibi.us

Also, I had a racy piece taken by Sleep. Snort. Fuck. Thanks editors!

SLEEP. SNORT. FUCK.: Robert Vaughan

The writing continues to fly…summer takes off…what are you up to? Any big trips on the horizon? How will your life benefit from your 2010 experiences?

A few other random things I recommend: Christina Aguilera’s Bionic CD (get the European version if possible), Coco Chanel movie (sad and reverent), James L. White “The Salt Ecstasies” a poetry collection with a foreward by Mark Doty. And the New Yorker‘s issue (June 14 & 21) was dedicated to ’20 Under 40.’ Meaning twenty writers under forty years old.

Nicole Krauss: “The Young Painters” : The New Yorker

Then, as I am a dedicated user of Facebook, Dan Wickett, Exec. Dir. of Dzanc Books published an alternative list called 20 Writers to Watch:

Facebook | Dan Wickett: 20 Writers to Watch – An Alternate List

Hope you enjoy both!

Peace, Love, Fly.

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, published author, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely found in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, BlazeVOX, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Managing Editor at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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18 Responses to New York Visit

  1. David says:

    well yes the workshop.. :”intense” Intense in examining my own issues with facilitators who are “less than” I know Joan Rivers would have ripped him a new one.. on the floor? why are there diamonds down there? close my eyes? why are you going to put my rent money in my pocket while I’m not looking? bake you a cake? so you can tell your model/escort lover about it? Bless his heart, I know Jesus loves him… yes all you say is true… thanks for taking careful notes… LYLT

  2. David says:

    ps you are the wind beneath my wings.. oops.. shart

  3. Dez says:

    You were in NYC and I didn’t even know it? I wish we would have had time to hang out, but it sounds like you were really busy. It is nice to hear from time to time what you are up to, and I always enjoy reading your writing, fiction or otherwise. Thanks for posting again. Happy Pride.

  4. Beverly says:

    Nice to hear from you, Robert. I really like your poetry! This piece, “Still, the Clouds” is so lovely. Also, I enjoyed “Shades of Gray” that you had posted at the same site, amphibi.us. Well done!

  5. Yasmine says:

    I am one of your biggest fans. Keep up the great work!

  6. CAROL says:

    Loved your New York Story, Robert. As always, feel lucky to have you in my life.

  7. Theo says:

    Fantastic read…sounds like your trip had lots of magic included in it. I know how much you miss NY city and the environs now that you live in the Midwest. Loved your story at S.F.F. and also your poem at the other site. Congrats! You are really on a roll.

  8. carolyn says:

    So great to read our latest about New York, it takes me back to when I just to sit next to you in ZCD conferences laughing hysterically at our journal entries. Thanks for sharing so much of your life….incognito, alias, or other. love you.

  9. carolyn says:

    correction on last comment…..your latest about NY, not our.

  10. theprayerlady says:

    Hi Honey,
    Was so good to hear from you and about all your wonderful adventures. You’re amazing how you see the world and all you take and give to it.
    Hope they take your pieces also, how could they not????????????
    You’re too good, anybody that refuses is just jealous.
    Love you so,
    Mom

  11. Andrea says:

    Oh cupcake…you are my cupcake AND the wind beneath my wings. So great to see you too! Miss and LOVE! xo A

  12. Jim McCabe says:

    Rob, you need to check out

    http://www.guidedreadings.com/books.html

    If you don’t already know or know of Paul Selig, you should. Paul is an old friend of mine (though not as old as you!) and he is the real deal.

    Peace and Love,

    Jim

  13. Cynthia says:

    Robair…such a wonderful voice you have, even with these journal entries (I love your fiction already, as you know). Congrats on your latest publications…how many does this make? 30? Must be somewhere up around that. Great work, my friend.

  14. Stan says:

    I admire your ability to capture so many wonderful moments about your recent trip to NYC. Also, I had no idea that you are a published writer- one of my pals, Helen, told me to check out your blog and I like it. So, keep up the great writing! Where else can I read your work?

  15. Jeri says:

    What a way with words you have. Truly great! Continue on with your calling.

  16. Benjamin says:

    I liked this poem, “Still, the Clouds” a lot. Your narrative tone suggests so much more heartache than the words convey. Nice!

  17. Suzi says:

    I’m sad to know you were so close and I didn’t know it. I would have loved to have gotten together with you. Bo and I recently reconnected in the city and it was a joyous time.

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