an ode to Allan Stewart Konigsberg

On New York Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I notice a film crew. It is sometime between 9:30 am and 9:45. I am wearing sleep between my eyes even though I’ve showered and coffee’d. My legs are parted and I am straddling a heavy beast of metal, gears, rust and squeaks called Heleanore the bicycle. I slowed down because I always do when I see a wardrobe truck, table of catered food, and a slur of wiring and lights. I am thinking about work, the exhaustion of being a worker and…then…I…see…

There were two main things on my list to do before I die:

In March, 2012, BlazeVOX books published my full-length book of poems, to go without blinking

…and on 25 October, 2012, I crossed #2 off my list: meeting seeing Woody Allen.

Somewhere on that residential street, you can find my heart– that literal pumping muscle– in a pile of yellow, orange and red leaves because I am quite sure it leapt out of my body.

I. Just. Stared. Got. Off. My. Bike. And. Watched. Him.

I thought about what I could say so that I wouldn’t be seen as just another “fan”. Instead, a future friend or someone he might call on Sunday to drink coffee with and talk about our favorite NY Times articles. I’m not looking to run away with him or have a romantic tryst. I’d just like to share a peanut butter sandwich on pumpernickel bread, maybe a Dr Brown’s root beer soda and some stories.

If I wasn’t on my way to work, I’d have remained in that spot all day. Instead, I breathed him in, waited for him to look over (which I am quite sure he did!!!) and notice the frizzy-haired redhead. Then I shakily biked off.

As I ride the 5 train toward the Bronx, I reflect on what I would have liked to have said to him…..

Hi. Hello. Welcome back to Brooklyn. I live here. Well, I live about six blocks away. What made you choose this area to film? How is your health? I mean, you look great. I was just wondering. I really enjoyed To Rome, With Love, though I must admit that my top three favorites in order are Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Play It Again, Sam. I didn’t think you were filming in New York anymore. Where is your favorite place in New York to eat? Does Soon-Yi call you Woody or Allan or Stewart or…? What are you reading right now? Do you like peanut butter sandwiches? How do you spend your Sundays? Women who I’ve attempted to flirt with have said I look like you. Perhaps they didn’t mean it as a compliment, but I was flattered. How do you balance marriage and kids with your creative life? I make everyone I fall in love with watch Annie Hall with me and they usually love it just as much as I do. Do you still talk to Diane Keaton? Have you read her new book? Do you think I look like you? I write poems. Do you ever read poetry? What is your biggest regret? Are you a morose character? I think about death all the time even when I’m in the throes of an orgasm. Where do you feel most inspired? My dad met his idol, Milton Berle, on an airplane and it wasn’t such a positive experience. Do you idolize anyone? Is there anything you’re afraid to speak out loud? How often do you cry? You always get the girl in your movies; I always lose the girl in real life. How non-fiction is your fiction? Can I give you a poem? Can I make you a sandwich? Can we have lunch together? Do you really not want to be part of a club that would have you as a member? Yeah. Me either.

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