swifts & slows: a quarterly of crisscrossings

Arteidolia, June 2021

Destiny stacked beyond the clouds
Valery Oisteanu & Ruth Oisteanu
Poetry by Valery Oisteanu
Collages by Ruth Oisteanu
The New New York
The New New York

The Subway in the Sky

Dreaming in the afternoon, waking on the uptown local,
I go up to the street where a tablecloth of air unfolds
Colored shades of blue, between emaciated buildings
Smothered in red, swaying rhythmically from left to deep left
A cruise ship moored on the rocks drops dripping humans
Water cascades out of churches, revealing tiled swans
Pain killed in play, sardonic nostrils of the eardrums vibrate
To the accelerated staccato of a frolicking Betty Boop
Crashed birds land in the assigned tragedy of a three-headed snake
Vertical balconies of destiny stacked beyond the clouds
Guitar riffs encircling the Lychee gardens
Sunken enigmas glide, anguished dreams in slanted skyscrapers
Angular crystal decanters house red cardinals
A cluttered subway car passes without a motorman
Driving us all past the repetitious destinations
Next stop at shamanic desperado amnesia
At the side of rivers in silent confluence
Where transient sadness barely recognized
Is exchanged for ephemeral erotic insanity
Possessed in a city that is not even there.

Gotham City
Gotham City

Gotham City Tour Guide

A Native American woman watches in disbelief
A sleepless Purgatory is waiting to be loved
The flying tailor takes measurements
An East Village style with pierogis on the side
Sleeping angels of Pepsi Cola lie nestled among buzzing chains
As pierced nipples rust inside a saxophone
The Ramones’ three-legged cat sleeps in the ghost of CBGBs
Wired people, tagged, tracked by society
Brains cleansed by a new religion
The Invisible Underwater Umbrellas Club
Blood drips over a graffiti of fingernails
Loud singing from the broken windows
Of an abandoned rainy building
Our disassociation meets every Tuesday
Where the Boredom Club of Laughing Dentists
Serves as an isolation station for grieving families
With aborted routes to nowhere
Anticipation blues spins along the web
Bones rattle the music of Gotham
Chaotic matter infests the forest of metal
Our kinetic city changes the allegory of wisdom.

Poetry: Valery Oisteanu.  Collages: Ruth Oisteanu.

Ruth Oisteanu, an artist living in the East Village (NYC), has been doing original hand cut collages for 45 years. She has completed more than 30 collaged art books, and has been in various group shows, including at Thompkins Square library and Theater for the New City. Her work has appeared in Maintenant magazine (issues 12,13,14,15), as book covers, and she also frequently displays her collages on Instagram. Her book cover design was recently honored with Best Poetry book of 2020 (Privileges in Purgatory by VO) from Ithaca press in Dublin, Ireland. She also sends mail-art cards to all her family and friends around the world, participating in mail-art shows as well. Currently Ruth Oisteanu is showing 3 collages at an exhibit called Surviving Covid at TNC 6/30 2021-09/30 2021.

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 45 years. He is the author of 18 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”. Two new books are: In the Blink of a Third Eye (Spuyten Duyvil Press NYC, 2020) and Perks in Purgatory (translated in Romanian) Itaca Publishing Dublin 2020 & was chosen best poetry book of the year in diaspora. Recipient of the Kathy Acker Award, NYC, 2013, for contribution to the American avant-garde in Poetry Performance, he is known as: The Voice of East Village.

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