Valery Oisteanu


Valery Oisteanu






Reflection on “Dada-100”


The history of Dada as an anti-war, anti-establishment and an artistic revolution, then as a movement that upended bourgeoisie sensibilities is still raging today.

Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich, 1916) vas named after French writer and his novel “Candide” which mocked the idiocies of Voltaire’s society.

Tristan Tzara (poet, performer Romanian/French) insisted it was an international affair encompassing the globe.

In 1920 Dada moves to Paris where many of the artists and poets started their apprenticeship in the movement, that later they would leave for Surrealism introduced by Andre Breton.

Unfortunately The Dada-Centennial created a fever in some of the quarters of corporate cultural institutions, local and international, in an effort to monetize Dada, finding a way to capitalize on Dada-100, citing a long cultural investment in Zurich, Bucharest, and Paris etc.

The difference between the historical Dada, surrealism and the counterculture that followed and the present conspicuous consumerism of avant-garde bears the question: actually where is the authentic dada?




Valery Oisteanu2



The Advantage of Exhaling Blue-helium


My poetry talks as if has had many lifetimes

Of wisdom, healing and magic

In tongues of sages schooled in many things

Of course I am not that arrogant, it’s my alter ego

Today is my dad’s yuhrzeit #13

Suppressing the banality of death

100 years since my dad was born

The healing wind travels fast

Teleporting through time and space

Open your nostrils, your ears and throat

Let the wind inside, inside of the inside

Lost steps not recovered

An anxious silhouette falling down

A woman’s hell gate smashed

A post-apocalyptic forecast

A warning from a suicide survivor

All is illusory, ill-conceived, ill-handled

Protoplasmic anarchy, a reversal of affinities

Thirsty for noise, for the sound of levitations

Against a fragile spiral of voracious silence

Against a big-brother-effect on self-censorship

The self of the self exhaling blue helium.




The Blood Poem


Sensual noises erupt from the canyons of the spirits

The surly madman is selling sunglasses on Mario Cesariny Street

As portals open into a swimming pool filled with mermaids

Bleeding on Monday not good for ones health

The vampires are awakened by the blue smell

The bats are hidden among the golden bookcases

Gold stolen from far off Brazil then molded onto the walls

The giant moth eats the ancient books

While the bats devour the sticky larvae

The king’s portrait uncomfortable guards an empty jail

Professor Andreas walks the haunted PhD halls

The courtyards stampede, the Library of the University

Victor e Sa sings ballades at Chappell acapella,

Red wine and a charred chorizos ala Coimbra

The Museum of science mysteriously abandoned and shuttered

Up and down the medieval steps, the spirit keeps climbing

Torre d’Almadin the goddess of pigeons sends

A red flock of birds to the lunar eclipse

Street of steps, houses of steps, the rhythm of steps

The houses appear as steps climbing on each other’s shoulders

Blue Blood splattered and mixed with the red blood of the prophet

The world is hungry like the dark ages, like cat-astrophic

Red flags, red t-shirts red bandanas all alluding to blood

The wind, the rain, the snow also red by so many dead

The clocks and bells are chiming, in-consolable silence




Valery Oisteanu3



Andre Breton in Babylon

(50th anniversary of eternity)


From Amazon to Oregon,

Ceylon to Saskatchewan

The ghosts of surrealism die none

Abandoned beyond abandon

By Crevel, Dali and Aragon

Nadja clone hides withdrawn

Run left or the other left on

Lost forever in stereopticon

Andre Breton-sine qua non

Iguanodon long field on

Dada-Surrealism marathon

Sade, Freud, Jung all with a hard on

Looking through a key hole, put upon

Crippled metronome hangs on

Assisted by trombone and saxophone

Breton’s shadow on the throne

Imposing alchemical lexicon

Crocked yawn, sprit gone, outshone

Surreal experiments outgrown

Uber-baron Breton, tiranic-on

Consensus has to be postponed…









Valery Oisteanu is a writer and artist with international flavor. Born in Russia and educated in Romania. Immigrating to New York City in 1973, he has been writing in English for the past 40 years.


He is the author of 11 books of poetry, a book of short fiction and a book of essays: ”The AVANT-GODS”(in progress). A new collection of poetry with collage illustrations titled   “Perks in Purgatory” appeared in” Fly by Night Press” New York, 2010.


For the past 10 years he is a columnist at New York Arts Magazine and art critic for Brooklyn Rail.


He is also a contributing writer for French, Spanish & Romanian art and literary magazines (La Page Blanche,, Viata Romaneasca, Observatorul Cultural etc.)


As an artist he exhibits collages and assemblages on a regular basses at the galleries in New York and also creates collages as covers and illustrations for books and magazines.


As a performer he does theater plays and musical collaborations with jazz musicians, sessions known as Jazzoetry!




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