Valery Oisteanu was born in Russia in 1943 and educated in Romania. He adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life. Immigrating to New York City in 1972, he has been writing in English for the past 28 years. He is the author of 10 books of poetry, a book of short fiction and a book of essays in progress. Oisteanu appears regularly at poetry readings in various New York venues, where he presents original performances of Zen/Dada "jazzoetry."

[ Path 3 ] [ poem 1 ] [ poem 2 ] [ poem 3 ] [ poem 4 ]

Report from Absurdistan

13 surreal days and nights
In apartment number 13
Living with 2 women (no sex)
On the street with the unpronounceable name of an aviator
Overlooking an artificial lake
Once there was a garbage dump
And gypsies used to grow flowers there
The hole of the flower girl
We have arrived via Air Absurdistania
Flight 1313, six hours late and all luggage promptly lost
We exchange some of our meager money for millions of theirs
We are wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row
The video crew gets drunk and the TV interview is canceled
The Secret Police pull the plug as the poet reads his plea
He is on a suicide mission
He is trying to heal anti-Semitism
The little popcorn machine from America needs an industrial-sized transformer
Fax machines are wired to be bugged my the ministry
Most don't work at all
Eugene Ionesco, the father of Absurd
Is printed in a popular edition that is partly illegible
Tristan Tzara is the name of a street in Moinesti, Romania
Gellu Naum, the son of Absurd, receives the Eminescu prize in Bucharest and one in Senegal
Toilets broken, water scarce Neighbors are enlisted members of the secret police (Securitate)
Coca Cola tastles different
The Ecology magazine has a naked woman on the cover
Monarchy Absurdistan style.
The King is in exhile
Fish uncooked
Lamb uncooked
Taxi with no working meter
Printers with no paper
Cars with no gas
The reporter has no batteries for his tape recorder
Welcome to Apathyland, the domain of lasa ma sa te las
Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone
Empty freedom of egoism versus old communial Communism
So be happy with unhappiness
I'm not kidding, just like that Report from Absurdistan

Third Hand

Incredible things I find in my pants pocket with my third hand
I've been stashing away candies like a squirrel
Here at the center of volcanic activity
Here at the center of disorder
I stick my third hand into my third pocket
I touch the nucleus of my possessions
A guide for operating a mermaid
A bunch of deranged neurons
An old girlfriend
It's getting crowded in there
In the right pocket there is an empty beach with fires set by my desires
And bottles of blue wine
Let's drink the glowing grapes
And dance while sprayed by waves
Then let's make love on a motorcycle going 80 MPH
Before we turn into a stream of air

Shrine to the Unstoppable

On the narrow streets of the East Village
Lusty girls approaching playfully
They open their chalk-white legs
And cherries roll down their smooth thighs
They open their blouses and oranges fall out
They open their teeth
And lips roll out
They open their eyes
And the city is flooded with sensual energy
The flying glass covers the avenues
We are ready, it's just love-food for poetry
Tonight we put on our best perfumes
Tonight we read at Galleria La Mama
We are dancing in a mirror
Tulips dying in a vase
Wine spilling on the floor
We are collaged in a weaving of picto-poetry
Trapped inside ourselves Shrine to the Unstoppable

The Rules of the Game

Friend please don't court my girlfriend
But you can flirt with my wifeWhile traveling, don't ask for money
But you can ask for friendship and love Un general
don't ask too many questions
But be sure to get a few answers
Never wear white at night
Never don a black tux on the beach
Don't enter temples with negitive vibes
Don't scream too loud while having sex
Otherwise you may wake the devils
Don't trust Indians teaching tantric love
Don't go skinny-dipping on the coral reef
Don't kiss a horse on the mouth
Don't wear shorts to a cermony
Don't travel around the world with a mute
Don't play golf in the crater of a volcano
Don't fall asleep next to an enraged wife with a knife
She may chopp off your jewels
And finally,Don't write new rules
Because they will become the old rules.

[ Path 3 ]