06 December 2012

Monogram Memories: A Christmas, Um, Thing. [Greatest Hits]

This time,some years ago,your humble correspondent was working at the Louis Vuitton Flagship Store. Here are some notes from that time: my Last Days Of Retail.
If you are a store, and you're French (which I'm going to assume you, dear reader, are not), here is how you assert your Frenchness during the Christmas retail season:

1) Leave your front doors open when it's 22 degrees out, ensuring that people shopping for $1600 handbags can see their own breath as they utter the words "I'll t-t-t-take it".
Expecting to be warm indoors during a luxury shopping experience is simply not chic. One must suffer for beauty. Also? We don't like you. Or care. And your hair is funny.

2) Refuse to play Christmas music. Instead, play depressing emo girls wailing about how their lovers have left them and it's probably their own fault, but if said lover doesn't return to make thm miserable again, they will probably either take pills or continue wailing. Or both. "Rudolph the RedNose Reindeer" is a bourgouis construct, and has been denounced by LeviStrauss in his famous tract "The Deconstruction of Rudolf de la Nez Rouge"., in which reindeer are proven to be a failed neo-Marxist syllogism.Parce-que: Christmas music at Christmas is so...predictable.

3) Refuse to have sales. Sneer openly at those customers who ask. Sneer openly at customers who don't ask, for their lack of courage. Sneer openly at anyone who happens to be walking by and within sneering distance. Nous sneerairons.

4) We spit on the concept of Christmas decorations. Instead, we have a conceptual artist who walks around the store before it's open and murmurs the single word "holly". So spare. So simple. So chic.

5) Your hair is funny and your shoes are a laughable relic of the former life you have now outgrown. Your children are sad and your wife has a lover. Do not ask me what is the price of this purse. You can not purchase back the strayed affection of your spouse, who is sleeping with a german art student who moonlights as a garbage man in order to impress his marxist, much younger other girlfriend, with a $420 beach towel. Do not try, either to do the first thing I suggested or to understand the structure of this sentence. Pah- I spit on conventional sentence structure.

There ya go. If you ever want to be a huge, French, luxury retail store at Christmas, you now know everything you ned to be a huge success with people who would not want to belong to any club that would have them as a member. I.e., all of humanity.

04 December 2012

What Is The Journey But Our View

 (Note: The 18th Century Russian Empress Catherine The Great, wanted to take a tour of Russia.  In order to keep her happily assured that everything in Russia was absolutely FINE- which it most assuredly was NOT--her lover and prime minister, Potemkin, erected an astonishing series of village facades , for Catherine to ride past. She was happily fooled, and Potemkin kept his power. The villages were burned as soon as she passed.)

What Is The Journey But Our View  (lyrics)            Peri Lyons   c 2012 ASCAP

There was a Russian Empress
Who said she had to see
What was going on
With her Russian Peasantry
So: She rode out in state for a year and a day

And her minister Potemkin rode ahead.

Potemkin rode ahead... to build
The fronts of houses -but not the houses
The fronts of villages -but no villages
He hired handsome peasants to stand outside
and Catherine
Was satisfied

When Catherine the Great looked at the view
She saw what Potemkin intended her to
No trouble, no starvation and no poverty
Potemkin Villages as far as she could see

Potemkin rode ahead to build
The fronts of houses but not the houses
The fronts of villages but no villages
He hired handsome peasants to stand outside
and Catherine
Was satisfied

And Catherine’s sleep was untroubled
And Catherine’s mind was untroubled
 I fear we are too untroubled
in our complacency
Potemkin Villages are all that we will see

when Catherine the Great rode past and on her way
Potemkin Villages were burned down the same day
That lying architecture, had to go away
No one could make a home there anyway

Potemkin rode behind to burn
The fronts of houses- burned like houses
The fronts of village-s burned like villages
The handsome peasants had already moved on
And Catherine
was long gone

I sing this song to say the burning hurts the same
The fake and the real all burn, with just as hot a flame
But this complacency is turning into shame
I did not see
The Potemkin Villages you put up just for me

My darling, you rode ahead to build
The fronts of houses but not our house
The fronts of villages but not our village
And everywhere you lied
and I
Was satisfied

And yes my sleep was untroubled
And yes my mind was untroubled
 I fear we’re all too untroubled
in our complacency
Potemkin Villages are all that we will see:

That heedless wreckage ,is our legacy.

30 November 2012

Adam Cvijanovic’s Post-Natural History at Postmasters Gallery

Adam Cvijanovic’s Post-Natural History at Postmasters Gallery

Best show I have seen this year. Bar none.

28 November 2012

Secrets of The Universe-REVEALED!

Secrets of The Universe

The Universe is very big, and very mysterious. There are some scientists, however, who claim it only looks mysterious because it's far away.  And because it's very very dark. These scientists claim that the Universe is not actually full of Mystery: that it's actually just full of Math, and is only pretending to be Mysterious, because it didn't get good grades in calculus.. They also claim that the Universe is five hundred thousand billion years old*, whereas the Universe claims to be 39.

As I am a professional mystic, the Universe has revealed some of its deepest, darkest secrets to me. Now, for the first time, The Universe's REAL secrets...REVEALED.

Here are a few of the Universe's most closely guarded secrets:

1) The Universe wet the bed until it was 5 million years old.

2) The Universe's favorite game is "Worlds With Friends".

3) Occasionally, the Universe, giggling madly, will spell out really dirty words across the sky, using leftover stars. So far? No one's noticed.

4) The Universe occasionally whispers, the following phrase to itself: "Hey--"I'm a ME-niverse!"

5) The Universe likes toast. But it's hard to get it delivered. More often than not, it arrives either stone cold ? or too far in the future, to eat.

6) The Universe thinks Saturn is, frankly, a little pompous. The rings? A little showy. A little too.."moderne". Yes...Saturn's up to something, the Universe thinks. -But what??

7) The Universe watches every TV show ever, all the time. It thinks 1950's game show host Bill Cullen is what every human looks like. It approves.

8) The Universe has many secrets. One time, it fell asleep and some galaxies went sideways. It put them back but The Universe really hopes the duct tape, holds. 

9) The Universe hums Mozart every Wednesday morning. It listens to NPR, but millions of years too late.  

10) The Universe knows your home address, and wants to send you brownies. But somehow? It never finds the time.

"Good nigh"t, says the Universe. "I have told you some secrets. Now turn off the Hubble for a day or two, so I can take a shower."

xoxo pl 2012

* The age of the Universe is another Mystery. I solved this one quite easily, by the simple expedient of Making It Up. -Shut up, it's Quantum.

23 November 2012

"Don't Be A Stranger" (lyrics)

"Don't Be A Stranger"
                                                   Lyrics: Peri Lyons  C.Juicyfruit Music/ASCAP 2012 all rights reserved

When we met- I don’t know why- you somehow felt like home.
You saw me to my soul, I saw.. Could I stand being known?
I couldn’t feel desire, back then, without some shallow "danger"...
But when I left you smiled again, and said : “Don’t be a stranger”

I wouldn’t kiss you, then, as well, ‘cause I desired another: 
Another shallow boy, who cared for no one but himself.
I truly thought love was a toy, and that there was no other
Way to love that was "exciting", so I put you on a shelf.

“Don’t be a stranger”-  
You meant more than I knew
I knew that I would never be a stranger- not to you- 
“Don’t be a stranger”
This was your gentle art
You taught me slowly not to be, a stranger to my heart

Just friends again for so long –then- I let myself be kissed
 And what I was so scared of,  I’m scared now I almost missed
My fear of boredom was the reason that I’d always flown:
Turns out the biggest bore of all,  was never being known

“Don’t be a stranger”
You meant more than I knew
You knew that I could never be a stranger- not to you- 
“Don’t be a stranger”
This was your gentle art:
You taught me slowly not to be
A stranger to my heart

We mostly are the opposite of how we play the world:
The ship that looks the fastest, never’s had its sails unfurled
The recipe that looks the best’s , the one’s that’s never made
The man who seems a player, is the man winds up played...

The love that travels deepest, is the love that never strayed;
The man who plays for keeps, is the one man who can’t be played;
The love who truly loves you, first can TRULY feel like danger;
The strangest and the strongest love is only when you’re not a stranger.

“Don’t be a stranger”
You meant more than I knew:
You knew that I would never be a stranger- not to you- 
“Don’t be a stranger”...
This was your gentle art:
You taught me slowly not to be
A stranger to my heart

I’ll never be a stranger now, no matter where I roam
You showed me what freedom is 
you gave 
this strange and stranger’s heart…
A home.

Peri Lyons  juicyfruit music/ASCAP 2012

22 July 2012

Confessions of a Psychic: Excerpt

(Written in June, 2008. Copyright Peri Lyons, all rights reserved.)

Last night was kind of the exception to every rule I have as an intuitive.

Started the day off right by doing a (thank heavens, spot-on) reading for a nice new client, an attractive and articulate British artist. It was a relief to get verifiable facts right, as lately the psychic stuff had been feeling stuck. Now, for whatever reason, my mental clouds cleared and I couldn’t talk fast enough to convey the torrent of information I was getting. Artists are often much easier for me to read. I suppose that’s for a few reasons: one being that artists lead less conventional lives and therefore have fewer things to”hide”; another being that visual artists think in very vivid images, and those images often show up for me “verbatim”, if you will. In this reading, when I was telling the artist about his immediate family, I was trying to get his niece’s name. Immediately, I saw a picture of an English Garden.”Her name is ‘Garden?’” I asked, incredulous. He grinned.

I looked closer, and started naming everything I saw in the image in my mind. “Garden. Stone wall. Bunny rabbit. Oh…FERN!! Her name is Fern!”

He was laughing so hard he couldn’t speak for a moment, but when his mirth subsided a bit, he gasped out, "No, actually her name is Stonewall Bunny Rabbit.  It's an English thing. Yeah, her name is Fern"

The rest of the reading went well, although we were both confused when I got an image of his late father, in which the lanky English gentleman was wearing a white sleeveless sweater and white shorts. "No" he said decisively. "He never wore that."

A bit crestfallen, I said " well, okay, I can be wrong,I guess, but ...",  and bid him Adieu at the door of my shoebox-sized flat.  A postscript to this: a few days later, he rang me up."Peri, remember my dad showed up wearing the white sweater and shorts?  Well I rang. my mum, and was telling her about the reading, and she said " you idiot, your father, played tennis religiously for the last 20 years of his life.  That was his tennis outfit."

There was a slight pause "I had left home by then, but I should've remembered that."

"No worries," I reassured him. I was in no position to rebuke anyone for forgetfulness. The day before I had temporarily puzzled a friend when I asked her to close the, um, the, um “rectangular shaped wall thing."

She stared at me, then a light went on, and she exclaimed, "Oh, the DOOR!  You mean the DOOR!"

"Uh, yeah. Door. I knew that." I said touchily.

She looked at me with narrowed eyes. "Why can you remember the word ‘rectangular’ and not the word ‘door’? I'm just curious."

“I was testing you," I lied briskly. “Come on, let's go."

As the British artist left, my phone rang. It was a party entertainment agency.  Somehow they'd heard of me, gotten my number, and asked if I would do a last-minute ”Tarot reading" gig. Since I had decided that day that there was a new pair of rather spendy Louboutins that I needed in order to keep breathing voluntarily,  I said "Abso-LUTELY”, with a fervor that took the nice woman from the agency a bit aback, because there was a pause before she recovered, saying brightly “Ooo-KAY then!"  She gave me an address, said " It's a party, thanks for doing this, bye!"  And hung up with a relief I could hear 20 blocks away - On reflection, I should probably have paid a little more attention to that.  However, pausing only to change into a cute dress, feed the prowling catbeasts and mentally spend the eye-popping sum she had promised, I headed to the Upper West Side.

The building's lobby was gleamingly ostentatious.  The doorman had obviously gotten high marks in the “eyeing visitors suspiciously” part of the doorman exam.  When he finally put down the tenant phone and announced grudgingly, “They'll see you now", I heard the unsaid warning "…and don't track anything on the carpet with your Payless MaryJanes there, peasant."

The building elevator was bigger and much better furnished in my apartment.  Which made sense, when I got to the party place and found that their co-op was measurably bigger than the actual town I grew up in. It also seemed oddly deserted, until suddenly a cacophony of high-pitched giggling broke out in a far distant room.  I set out to find the noise, reluctantly abandoning the idea of leaving a trail of the ChexParty Mix so I could find my way back to the living room, and came upon a party, all right…it was a 12 year old's birthday party. Yikes. The nice agency lady didn't mention this. I don't read for people under 18.

While I was undergoing a St. Augustine-size crisis of conscience--"Dear God, give me a way to keep my professional ethos intact and yet still be able to buy shoes", was my shallow yet heartfelt prayer-a professional kids party entertainment troupe was organizing a"Murder Mystery" for the young ‘uns. Wow. Those children managed to reach a decibel level that would make Def Leppard weep with envy.

Meanwhile, I  walked in and greeted the assembled parents. I was led to a kitchen table by an immensely patronizing mom, who made it clear that she thought I was a…well, a Tarot reader sent by a party agency. (Which is why I don't work with agencies, there's just too much stigma to overcome and it takes energy away from the reading.) She sat me down in front of her extremely nice friend and said, "Here. DO her."

[Note: She meant "do a psychic reading for this person", lest you think this story is going in another direction entirely.]

I thought “O-kay. Let's see if we can take that smirk off your puss, my dear." Sat down, took the younger woman's hand and said ,"Disc problems, neck, two discs, for operations in two years. Also lower back, L2 and L3 discs, especially affected."

They both gaped at me. Well, that was fun.

The older woman said, accusingly,"Who told you that?" She was a little angry.

I turned back to the younger woman."Your mother issues are entirely valid; she WAS enormously controlling and she WAS verbally abusive, but you have to remember that you were her only daughter, and she did love you tremendously but-due to the situation with her father, especially-she simply didn't have the emotional tools in her toolkit to show love. And she didn't love your three brothers better."


The other woman said."Look, someone must've told you she has three brothers."

I took HER hand and said,"You work in an agency of some kind; your specialty is coordinating various groups of people in some way; you work, with each group separately and then coordinate them. You work for the greater good. You went back to work recently after taking time off. You just got a promotion, you sit here [drew diagram on the tablecloth with my finger] and the man who is your boss and yet is not directly your boss, sits over here. He has a tree in his office. The woman you don't get along with sit here: she's bossy, but doesn't actually know what she's doing. Short black hair. Bad lipstick choices."


Then suddenly, I'm a bit ashamed of myself. Everyone has their buttons, and mine is being condescended to. I have way too much pride. And psychics are supposed to be accurate, but we are not really supposed to show off. -Or are we??

More silence.

Then suddenly the older woman begins to laugh. She's delighted, like a kid who's Justina really good magic trick. “That's TOTALLY RIGHT!! OH MY GOD!! That's AMAZING!! How do you DO that?"

I said truthfully, "I have NO idea."

I finished both their readings, and as always happens after I do a reading for someone, we felt sort of bonded and would smile warmly across the room. When we caught each other's eyes at the party. Meanwhile, you put a visible Tarot deck in a room with a bunch of 12-year-old girls and soon you will be surrounded by an imploring, lipglossed tribe of supplicants. No way I could say no, but man, is THAT a tricky thing… Many, many ethical considerations. I do not do readings for the under 18 crowd. Finally, I figured out a way in which I could do it with ethics and integrity. This involved reflecting back the most obvious positive aspects of the child in question, and telling them that if they take breaks during studying to say the magic phrase." I am now remembering and understanding this perfectly!" that they would do even better in school. I also made a point of telling them that there's no such thing as hard-and-fast "fortune-telling": that we each make our own luck and destiny, with hard work, honesty and respect for ourselves and the folks around us. [Re-reading this, I sound a bit like a sanctimonious pill, but it was the best I could do at the time.] -Just to satisfy ‘em a little, I would tell them how many brothers and sisters they had, or if they had a pet and what kind of pet they had and even sometimes with the pet's name was. They LOVED it. BUT--not a single girl, even the 13-year-olds, asked about boys. Is the latency period longer than it used to be? What's UP with that?

Then, just as I was leaving the older woman came up with her five-year-old boy. He was a "Leave It To Beaver" outtake with huge blue eyes, total sweetness radiating from his every pore, and a Mets hat on.

"Max says something to ask you" she said.

"Will you read my fortune?" he said.

[Oh, boy. Yikes. God? Help me out here.]

I knelt down."Hi Max! I'm Miss Peri!"

"Hi," he said in a suddenly wee voice.

"Max, I see with my magic powers that you LOVE baseball!"

His eyes got really big."Wow!" he breathed.

"Well, you ARE wearing a Mets hat, Max. So that's not magic, it's just paying attention, which is really all I do."

He thought for a minute. "Can you tell me what my favorite subject is?" he challenged.

" Math!" I shot back. "And you're good at baseball because you're really great batter and have great hand-eye coordination."

His mom laughed. "He just tested really high for that."

Max looked down and blushed. "I AM a great batter", he admitted in a whisper.

"And I bet you have so many friends, because you really care about other people's feelings and that's great."

"Yes." he whispered.

"Max, you're going to have the best year ever. That's my prediction." I shook his hand and prepared to rise but he caught my arm.

"Miss Peri?”

"Yes, Max?"

"Will I have children?" His eyes were big and his face was solemn. He really wanted to know. It was such an odd, unexpected question, that my eyes welled up.

"Maxie, you can have all the children you want, you can adopt some too. But promise me something?"

"What?" He looked relieved, but still anxious.

"Please don't get married until you're at least 11"

I kissed the top of his head and ran out the door.


For more information on what I do, and to book an appointment, please visit http://www.PeriLyonsIntuitive.com 
Thanks and love

01 June 2012

Last Letter From Stalingrad

Last Letter From Stalingrad, January 1943
by Peri Lyons, c 2012 all rights reserved

(In 1976, a mailbag came to light in the archives of the US Army. It was filled with letters.
These letters were written by German soldiers. In 1943, the German army abandoned the soldiers it had left in Stalingrad, leaving them to die of exposure and starvation.. These letters were written by the men, when they knew no one was coming back for them.
I found these letters in a book, and, although of Austrian Jewish descent, I was moved by the words of men I grew up thinking of as enemies.
.This is a reworking of one of those letters.Who this man was, and why was he was "avoided by men", I will never know.-PL))

Last Letter From Stalingrad

Dear Monica
There are four of us here
For the first time I have friends
other than my friends, the stars.
(I couldn't look up from my telescope, Monica.
Not then. You know why. I was avoided by men.
So I looked at the sky.)

This letter will take two weeks to reach you
It will all be over by then
Do not believe what you read in the papers
of what they say has happened here:
What are the judgments of others, to you and me?
Monica, the time is too serious now to joke:
You were always my best friend.

I have always thought in lightyears
But I felt in seconds.
On this beautiful night
Andromeda and Pegasus are right above my head
I have looked at them for a long time
I shall be very close to them soon
My peace I owe to the stars, Monica
Of which you are the most beautiful to me.

Around me everything is collapsing
An army is dying
Day and night are on fire
And four men busy themselves with their job
We measure temperatures
And report on cloud ceilings
Here too. I have much to do with the weather.

No one, no one will come for us, Monica
There is no one to come
The clouds are rather low this evening
They make a pattern I have not seen before

I want you to know my secret, Monica
No human being has ever died by my hand
I have never loaded my pistol
With live ammunition.
I should like to have counted stars
For another few decades
But I suppose nothing will come of that now.

I have always thought in lightyears
But I felt in seconds
On this beautiful night
Andromeda and Pegasus are right above my head
I have looked at them for a long time
I shall be very close to them soon
My peace I owe to the stars, Monica
Of which you are the most beautiful to me.