Tag Archives: nyc

the poet PD Lyons reading

the poet PD Lyons reading from the book. Winner of the erbacce-prize for poetry 2019.

today’s menu

Grandview Ave.

Morning Piece

Jack, Who No One Reads

~ Themes: cities, love, coffee, crushing, Waterbury ct. New haven ct. NYC.NY.

PD Lyons reading the first three from As If The Rain Fell In Ordinary Time


As the events of 2020 put paid to my intention to promote this book via live readings etc. I have decided to simply read the book in order on short videos. I believe the work should be heard and hope to make that happen here. Thank you if you have for listening. cheers pdlyonspoet@yahoo.co.uk. These first tree are based on my urban youth. Waltzing the Night, Promised Land, Today You Want to See Priscilla ~ c2019 pd lyons


  • Waltzing the Night


holding ourselves like prayers between each other
all summer sway cool tall screened windows
bright sound crickets fireflies glimmer
bare feet, beating hearts
soft by each other’s breath
accented full moon kisses
beyond any daytime horizon…


it was one o’clock this morning.
woke up no reason
kitchen floor so cold I hurt for shoes
stood there adjusting to Frigidaire light
three bottles of beer on the second shelf
opened one by the window
chugged away to those long
hard rain halos


it’s not the city I used to know with you


maybe I go for another
maybe it’ll help me sleep
probably not
these days once I’m up
even beer can’t touch me
deserted by even the small comfort of your ghost
still I sway as if somehow
we’re dancing


  • Promised Land                                                                                       


14 stories up

Sometime after all the twilight zones had ended

Crane my head twin tower view.

 Count all the windows I could see that held a light


Another smoke

Watch across the west side highway for freighters

Illumination not of a land locked sort proving an Island after all.


I could not help the way we burned through our time together

 How hungry I was

How urgent that you be hungrier.

We left it spinning, the world we knew

Our ragged selves

Cities of our hearts

Wilderness of our bodies

Ghosts of unborn children

Smoke cross the promised land –

What could we give that had not passed?


There was that old Pontiac

 Yellow primer Firebird.

 Day into the drink already.

Gonna drive to the city.

You said you had to pee first.

  1. Parked at the mall.

You kicked open the door, got out

Instead of going in squatted right there.

Deluge beats over the black top.


 Got in a row over that.

For some reason it really pissed me off.

Then in ever escalation you said something.

Whatever it was it made me so sorry for yelling.

I hugged you, cried all over you.


We got better after that.

Dried off, had a smoke.

Then I drove.


  • Today You Want to See Priscilla


She lives two blocks up

from where you have to live with your father

because Priscilla is crazy, and you couldn’t

stay with her.


Priscilla makes her money from the cards. But

whenever you ask her to read yours, she always says

she knows you too well and that knowledge

clouds her wisdom.


You want to go up to her today, watching from

her cool back room through a crack in the door –

Priscilla, her rich fingers fat with bands of gold and sparkling stones

spreading cards by candlelight

speaking to some stranger in that different kind of voice even you would hardly know.


You’re on your way but then Carey has himself a dollar

So, the afternoon gets spent at Daz’s where pin ball’s still a dime

and sometimes you play good enough to pop for extra games


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Promised Land from As If The rain Fell In Ordinary Time ~ read by the Poet






Maiden Lane, poetry by pd lyons

Back in the early eighties I was living in Manhattan. Studio apartment on Maiden Lane 14th floor – in love wth the city and in love with the girl i was living with. I was working in Queens – took the E train. Was due to start school at the School for Human Services. The towers still stood and I’d cut through the financial center to get across the highway and go grocery shopping. The Batter Park was fairly desolate in those days, especially in winter, but i could wander, any time day or night always something worth doing always even going no where was an adventure….

Maiden Lane

spoon-fed in the dark room

draped by butterfly hands

angels tiptoe all around

curling quiet across the bed

behind sunglasses and cups of old coffee

home to lands edge from the sea

the city stirs a brown wrapped overcoat

with room for damp cigarettes

and no place else to go

among the 4 A.M.’s.


down the block of slow return lean

one last quarter into the viewer

and there as far away as

possible, the rusted Dutch

freighter makes its way through

another sleepless night

like rain.




titanic dry dock Belfast



Morning Piece, by pd lyons

Morning PieceCSC_1181

This morning
Wrap myself
In a one of a kind memory
Close my eyes
Slip into my hands,
Cock my head back
Lean into a Manhattan Sunday
Just before summer
On the luxury side
Of uptown
Slightly smiling.




as published by Galway arts centre

http://www.galwayartscentre.ie/events/view-event/75.html 2013

joel /Feb. 19. 1986. NYC – by pd lyons (still rough after all this time)

JOEL / feb. 19.86. NYC

what is there to say?
now  I’ll never see your face
among a subway crowd
or look up from the Sunday Times
as I walk into the Borgia.
what is there to say?
now that your smile,
your ways, all the things that made you, you
are gone?
I remember you.
how I  loved you.
and hated you.
you broke my heart.
sometimes you weren’t even my friend.
but I was there for you. brought flowers
  smuggled in your favourite
foods . you hardly ever ate but sometimes seemed  grateful for none the less.
 you’d  speak to me then ,
fears , regrets, hate for what you called “that terrorist of love”.
finally letting me in.
and now, today?
 I try to bargain,
saying  “but I was there ” over and over
as if some magic incantation
but somehow all that happens is I cry.



Maiden Lane, poetry by pd lyons


Maiden Lane

spoon-fed in the dark room

draped by butterfly hands

angels tiptoe all around

curling quiet across the bed

behind sunglasses and cups of old coffee

home to lands edge from the sea

the city stirs a brown wrapped overcoat

with room for damp cigarettes

and no place else to go

among the 4 A.M.’s.


down the block of slow return lean

one last quarter into the viewer

and there as far away as

possible, the rusted Dutch

freighter makes its way through

another sleepless night

like rain.


Marina Abramović/ women we should know




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Marina Abramović/ women we should know



Marina Abramović

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marina Abramović

Abramović performing The Artist is Present, MoMA, May 2010
Born November 30, 1946 (age 66)
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
Field Performance Art
Training Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade
Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb
Movement Conceptual art
Works Rhythm Series (1973–1974)
Works with Ulay (1976–1988)
Balkan Baroque (1997)
The Artist is Present (2010)

Marina Abramović (Serbian Cyrillic: Марина Абрамовић), Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [marǐːna abrǎːmoʋitɕ]; born November 30, 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia is a New York-based Serbian[1] performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over three decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the “grandmother of performance art.” Abramović’s work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.


Early life

Marina Abramović’s great uncle was Patriarch Varnava of the Serbian Orthodox Church.[2] Both of her parents were Partisans[3] during the Second World War: her father Vojo was a commander who was acclaimed as a national hero after the War; her mother Danica was a major in the army, and in the mid-sixties was Director of the Museum of the Revolution and Art in Belgrade.
Abramović’s father left the family in 1964. In an interview published in 1998, she described how her “mother took complete military-style control of me and my brother. I was not allowed to leave the house after 10 o’clock at night till I was 29 years old. … [A]ll the performances in Yugoslavia I did before 10 o’clock in the evening because I had to be home then. It’s completely insane, but all of my cutting myself, whipping myself, burning myself, almost losing my life in the firestar, everything was done before 10 in the evening.”[4]
Abramović was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade from 1965–70. She completed her post-graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, SR Croatia in 1972. From 1973 to 1975, she taught at the Academy of Fine Arts at Novi Sad, while implementing her first solo performances.
From 1971 to 1976, she was married to Neša Paripović. In 1976, Abramović left Yugoslavia and moved to Amsterdam.

Selected early works

Rhythm 10, 1973

In her first performance Abramović explored elements of ritual and gesture. Making use of twenty knives and two tape recorders, the artist played the Russian game in which rhythmic knife jabs are aimed between the splayed fingers of her hand. Each time she cut herself, she would pick up a new knife from the row of twenty she had set up, and record the operation.
After cutting herself twenty times, she replayed the tape, listened to the sounds, and tried to repeat the same movements, attempting to replicate the mistakes, merging past and present. She set out to explore the physical and mental limitations of the body – the pain and the sounds of the stabbing, the double sounds from the history and from the replication. With this piece, Abramović began to consider the state of consciousness of the performer. “Once you enter into the performance state you can push your body to do things you absolutely could never normally do.”[5]

Rhythm 5, 1974

Abramović sought to re-evoke the energy of extreme body pain, in this case using a large petroleum-drenched star, which the artist lit on fire at the start of the performance. Standing outside the star, Abramović cut her nails, toenails, and hair. When finished with each, she threw the clippings into the flames, creating a burst of light each time. Burning the communist five-pointed star represented a physical and mental purification, while addressing the political traditions of her past.
In the final act of purification, Abramović leapt across the flames, propelling herself into the center of the large star. Due to the light and smoke given off by the fire, the observing audience didn’t realize that, once inside the star, the artist had lost consciousness from lack of oxygen. Some members of the audience realized what had occurred only when the flames came very near to her body and she remained inert. A doctor and several members of the audience intervened and extricated her from the star.
Abramović later commented upon this experience: “I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit: when you lose consciousness you can’t be present; you can’t perform.”[6]

Rhythm 2, 1974

As an experiment testing whether a state of unconsciousness could be incorporated into a performance, Abramović devised a performance in two parts.
In the first part, she took a pill prescribed for catatonia, a condition in which a person’s muscles are immobilized and remain in a single position for hours at a time. Being completely healthy, Abramović’s body reacted violently to the drug, experiencing seizures and uncontrollable movements for the first half of the performance. While lacking any control over her body movements, her mind was lucid, and she observed what was occurring.
Ten minutes after the effects of that drug had worn off, Abramović ingested another pill – this time one prescribed for aggressive and depressed people – which resulted in general immobility. Bodily she was present, yet mentally she was completely removed. (In fact, she has no memory of the lapsed time.) This project was an early component of her explorations of the connections between body and mind, which later took her to Tibet and the Australian desert. Following Rhythm 2, she set to develop the rest of the series of rhythm projects, continually testing her endurance.

Rhythm 0, 1974

To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.
Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.
Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed (and the artist remained impassive) people began to act more aggressively. As Abramović described it later:
“What I learned was that… if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you.” … “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.”[7]

Works with Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen)

In 1976, after moving to Amsterdam, Abramović met the West German performance artist Uwe Laysiepen, who went by the single name Ulay. They have the same birthday, in different years.
When Abramović and Ulay began their collaboration, the main concepts they explored were the ego and artistic identity. This was the beginning of a decade of influential collaborative work. Each performer was interested in the traditions of their cultural heritages and the individual’s desire for ritual. Consequently, they decided to form a collective being called “the other”, and spoke of themselves as parts of a “two-headed body”.[8] They dressed and behaved like twins, and created a relationship of complete trust. As they defined this phantom identity, their individual identities became less accessible. In an analysis of phantom artistic identities, Charles Green has noted that this allowed a deeper understanding of the artist as performer, for it revealed a way of “having the artistic self made available for self-scrutiny.”[9]
While some critics have explored the idea of a hermaphroditic state of being as a feminist statement, Abramović herself denies considering this as a conscious concept. Her body studies, she insists, have always been concerned primarily with the body as the unit of an individual, a tendency she traces to her parents’ military pasts. Rather than concern themselves with gender ideologies, Abramović/Ulay explored extreme states of consciousness and their relationship to architectural space. They devised a series of works in which their bodies created additional spaces for audience interaction. In “Relation in Space” (1976) they ran around the room – two bodies like two planets, mixing male and female energy into a third component called “that self.” “Relation in Movement” had the pair drive their car inside of a museum for 365 laps; a black liquid oozed from the car, forming a kind of sculpture, each lap representing a year. (After 365 laps they entered the New Millennium.)
In discussing this phase of her performance history, Abramović has said: “The main problem in this relationship was what to do with the two artists’ egos. I had to find out how to put my ego down, as did he, to create something like a hermaphroditic state of being that we called the death self.”[10]
To create Breathing In/Breathing Out the two artists devised a piece in which they connected their mouths and took in each other’s exhaled breaths until they had used up all of the available oxygen. Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual’s ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it.
In Imponderabilia (1977, reenacted in 2010) two performers, both completely nude, stand in a doorway. The public must squeeze between them in order to pass, and in doing so choose which one of them to face.
In 1988, after several years of tense relations, Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual journey which would end their relationship. Each of them walked the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. As Abramović described it: “That walk became a complete personal drama. Ulay started from the Gobi Desert and I from the Yellow Sea. After each of us walked 2500 km, we met in the middle and said good-bye.”[11]
Abramović conceived this walk in a dream, and it provided what she thought was an appropriate, romantic ending to a relationship full of mysticism, energy and attraction. She later described the process: “We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending … Because in the end you are really alone, whatever you do.”[11]
Abramović reported that during her walk she was reinterpreting her connection to the physical world and to nature. She felt that the metals in the ground influenced her mood and state of being; she also pondered the Chinese myths in which the great wall has been described as a “dragon of energy.”

Seven Easy Pieces, November 2005

Main article: Seven Easy Pieces

Abramović performing Bruce Nauman‘s “Body Pressure.” Guggenheim Museum, November 2005.

Beginning on November 9, 2005, Abramović presented Seven Easy Pieces at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. On seven consecutive nights for seven hours she recreated the works of five artists first performed in the 60s and 70s, in addition to re-performing her own “Lips of Thomas” and introducing a new performance on the last night. The performances were arduous, requiring both the physical and the mental concentration of the artist. Included in Abramović’s performances were recreations of Gina Pane‘s Self-Portraits, which required lying on a bed frame suspended over a grid of lit candles, and of Vito Acconci‘s 1972 performance in which the artist masturbated under the floorboards of a gallery as visitors walked overhead. It is argued that Abramović re-performed these works as a series of homages to the past, though many of the performances were altered from their originals.[12]
Here is a full list of the works performed:

The Artist Is Present, March–May 2010

Abramović performing in “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art, March 2010.

From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović’s work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA’s history.[13] During the run of the exhibition, Abramović performed “The Artist is Present,” a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium, while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her.[14] A support group for the “sitters”, “Sitting with Marina”, was established on Facebook[15] as was the blog “Marina Abramović made me cry”.[16] In September 2011, a video game version of Abramović’s performance was released by Pippin Barr.[17] She said the show changed her life “completely” and claimed that the fact that Lady Gaga came to see it helped boost her popularity among a younger generation: “The public who normally don’t go to the museum, who don’t give a shit about performance art or don’t even know what it is, started coming because of Lady Gaga.” [18]

Later life

Marina Abramović purchased a theater two hours north of Manhattan in Hudson, NY, intending to establish a nonprofit organization, Marina Abramović Foundation for the Preservation of Performance Art. She will use the space to work and develop ideas with video and post-production equipment and there will be a second property to house resident artists.[19]
In 2009, Abramović was featured in Chiara Clemente’s documentary Our City Dreams and a book of the same name. The five featured artists – also including Swoon, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, and Nancy Spero – “each possess a passion for making work that is inseparable from their devotion to New York,” according to the publisher.[20]
Abramović is also the subject of an independent feature documentary movie entitled “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” that is based on her life and performance at her retrospective “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010. The film was broadcast in the United States on HBO.[21]
In January 2011, Abramović was on the cover of Serbian ELLE, photographed by Dushan Reljin.
Abramović is a Patron of the London based Live Art Development Agency.[22]
Abramović maintains a friendship with actor James Franco, who interviewed her for the Wall Street Journal in 2009.[23] Franco visited Abramović during “The Artist is Present” in 2010.[24] The two also attended the 2012 Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala together.[25]
Kim Stanley Robinson‘s science fiction novel 2312 mentions a style of performance art pieces known as “abramovics”.



final edit


newest manuscript final. 186 pages of poetry, retrospective of work from 70’s to last month.  still not sure of title. now to choose a publisher. who will the lucky one be?

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