Valery Oisteanu

Poisoned New York in the Year of Pandemic

Lying on a bed of corona virus
Atop discarded gloves and masks
Watching pedestrians avoid each other
A sophisticated dance on the sidewalks of NY
Standing in line six feet apart at Trader Joe's
In yellow squares on the ground of the green market
The rest of the victims under house arrest
Domestic tranquility disrupted by cabin fever
Radiators play symphonies of infested quarantine
Convalescent plasma, receptor-antibody treatment
Hope for liberation from social isolation
Going on prison walk in the empty city
Muted sobbing from behind facial masks
Air-mail love letters full of bones
Refrigerator trucks parked beside hospitals for the overflow
300 dead but only 299 incinerated
One escaped, no one could capture him
In a wasteland of abandoned protection gear
Disinfecting cash, food, lovers...
Empty streets asking painful questions
How long will the terror for the living last
How many will recover???
How many will not get infected??
This is just an intermission; will see you soon

Doomsday Epitaph

Zero o'clock, on my way to Dye-way
End-game scenarios pop up into my mind
Death needs no marketing whatsoever
Nonchalant, everyone is buying it
Someone is singing from the grave
The Angel of the Underworld du jour
Has a new final-edition podcast
www.Thanatos Disturbance
The real value of indiscriminate death
How much for two fatwas?
The goddess Nyx, breathless Night
Dead moon with eyelids shut
Woke up dead, waking/running dead
The ingenious secret suicide society
Holds its meeting at a crowded intersection
Euthanasia sister’s ghosts sob uncontrollably
On the glowing Styx ferry to Purgatory
At the dead end of mossy memory
Deposit your last will and testament
Welcome to the rest of your reincarnation
Where oracles remove their brains
Twisted poltergeists beyond recognition
Fatality cocktails for the silent casual casualties

Waxing Moonscape

Invisible skulls hang in dark windows
Under a quiet wounded moon of starlight pain
Forbidden sex among older folks
Finally authorized for inmates
Only with masks and gloves in sterile rooms
They say Viagra cures COVID-19
The smell of old bones covered in medical gowns
The smell of drinks and urine in a mattress factory
A scar across the wall of memory
The empty city echoes with ambulances
A long worm crosses the computer screen
A steam hammer strikes outside the fourth dimension
Rethinking intimacy in the time of quarantine
Agoraphobic, germ phobic, horny society
No human touch just virtual sexuality
There is no rubbing, no penetration
An overwhelming afterthought of frustration
Lonesome, sexless, desolated marginality
Addicts isolated in an attic, cockles
Perverts without a permit
Abandoned genitals waiting to be loved again
A dead moon hidden in the lost bowels of the sky

Valery Oisteanu is a poet, writer, and artist of the avant-garde. Born in USSR (1943) and educated in Romania. He debuted as a poet with the collection PROSTHESIS in 1970 (Litera Press, Bucharest). At the age of 20, he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life and a few years later English as his primary language. Immigrating to New York City in 1972 he has been writing in English for the past 47 years. He is the author of 15 books of poetry, a book of short fiction, The King of Penguins (Linear Art Press, 2000) and a book of essays (in progress), The AVANT-GODS. A new book of poetry, short fiction & collages: In a Blink of the Third Eye is being prepared by Spuyten Duyvil press.

Several awards for poetry are:
1.“It’s the end of the World as we know it” Award (Vault Literary Society) 2000; award for exceptional cutting edge artists who constantly take risks with their art)
2.Awarded Chivot order of the Chevalier of the Castel for the dissemination of Romanian Avant-Garde in Diaspora, 2010, Dublin
3.Recipient of the Kathy Acker Award, NYC, 2013, for contribution to the American avant-garde in Poetry Performance.
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