Valery Oisteanu


Beat Angel Blues
to Harold Norse

The cosmic hustler is now a pure spirit
And so are the masters of the Dream-machine
Norse continues to whisper from the great beyond
Howling, and writing the story of his crazy karma
O! Hollow America! Hollow America
The harder one hits, the deeper the sound
In the passage underground
The virtual museum of the Beats
They who have forgotten you so soon
Omission accomplished
Tears drop as red petals off a rose
All roses cry: I wanna die! I wanna die!
The Beat Hotel in Paris is haunted
There are no degrees of separation
No reservation no confrontation
Between him and Ira Cohen
Between him and Lenard Cohen
Between Corso and Of course sir!
His ghost still haunts the island of Hydra
Sex and Marijuana evenings with Zina
Her spirit reincarnated in Harold
Where he performs in the Café Purgatory
For the hip elite of the Generation Beat.

Ira Cohen-In Memoriam

What's next? whispers Ira and becomes invisible
Scream no more, from unquenched fate
We'll see you on the other side
A Jewish Shaman walks away 
While the big flutes are silent,
 The extinct cactus remains still
 The bells are thunderstruck 
Our holy man of the straw mats 
Melts benignly into the molecular earth
After an endless battle with himself 
A distorted shadow in search of Ganesh Baba
From Chelsea all the way to Kathmandu 
 365 steps up to the Temple Swayambhu 
 Kumbha Mela traveler overrun by sadhus
Blowing a didgeridoo, jazz convulsions 
With potent magic mushrooms
 Psychedelic carnal lovers evaporating 
Disappearing on the magic carpet to the Kasbah 
Lamenting in the sub-ground Ethiopian churches 
Following the holy wind into the dessert 
Eating majoon, riding the sunset
 Tormented musicians of Joujouka
Helter-skelter from Tangier to Crete
What's next boychick? What's hip? 
Poetry shrunk down to tiny crumbs
Farfetched nightmares no more! 
An avalanche of absurd nothingness
Yisgadal v'yiskadash sh'may rabo
Sufi in Ira's coffee, Shiva in Ira's tea
Buddha in his wine, Yahweh in his tap water!
Last chillum for trans-hypnosis
The king of Thunderbolt goes to sleep!

The Drum Circle for Janine Pommy Vega

Beat the drums slowly, like a wave of pebbles
For the Bearsville medicine woman of Willow 
Beat the drums quietly, for the beat poetess of Woodstock
Beat the drums, till the snakes gather round the fire
The witches' brew fills the air with vapors of lizards
As the guitars play for the freedom of memory
In a trance, shaking shakers, improvising, reading
From Europe to Naropa, from Colorado to El Dorado
The woman-warrior of the Beats, from Napoli to Tripoli
Radical, instinctual, climbing the highest mountains
A Wind has blown out her candles 
Disappearing deep in the dark forest 
The blossoms remain floating in your garden, 
Down the steep slopes into your creek
Sleep Janine, with all the birds exulting at your window
They cannot wake you up anymore, only your memory
Beat the drums till we are out of breath
 Janine walks freely through the Eternal city

Ted Joans-The Priest of Jazz

Motto: No Bred no Ted!

He was ready to play anytime
He was able to take on anyone
In Paris, Berlin or "Tombouctou"
Jazz was his religion till the end 
Traveling Surrealist-Shaman
With a hammock and Beatsí book 
Under his horny arms
Bird's music in his heart 
Preaching for Charlie Parker
Langston Hughes, the Beat poets
Jazzoetry, mouth and teeth
Triple-trouble-Ted flutters by 
Available for an impromptu lecture
Or a tumble in a crumpled bed
Surreal dreams of Afrodisia 
And instant mirrors for Rhinos 
He kissed an unpardonable Pussy
He liberated the sexually oppressed 
Fomented, berated & poeticized
Ted Joans "Nomadic Consciousness"

(Note: Timbuktu and Aphrodisia misspelled by Ted Joans)

The Poet Writes no Matter What

A poet in the eye of a super-storm 
In total darkness, reading by candle light
Writing near the edge of the roof 
With a miners head-light on his forehead
On the side of a boat, with a gas-lamp
 Beneath a bridge, next to a bonfire
He makes peace with the hurricanes 
He calms the storms in the sea
Seeking the transparence of tigers at midnight 
Making mushrooms grow under his pillow
While fungus creeps up and around the wall
A tsunami of meteorite showers in his heart 
Clearly confused, with poems in his soul
Even when the sun bites and the cold hurts
When petrified clouds bend the light
Free of words, but a slave to feelings
Setting night birds and lovers on fire
Self-punishment, self-deprecation 
The poetry's brew is poisonous at times
Sleep-deprivation, speech-depravation
Can kill with irrational melancholia
Erecting temples of repressed memory
In the solitude, alone in front of death 
Torn inside, scribbling imaginary sex
 Stenciling slogans on a protester's tent
He remembers verses in the back of an ambulance car 
 Recording it as if in solitary confinement
Suicide's final draft, in total silence
To die alone and stay immortal
The poet must write no matter what,
Even in death....

In search of the radical time past
to Tuli Kupferberg

I do vividly remember, Tuli
Selling books and cartoons on Spring street 
Tuli getting naked on rooftops
Reading with Tuli, my Soho-boho guru
Tuli, turning poems into revolution songs
Sarcastic-anarchic, pacifist poet on the spot
Full time beatnik, stand-up hobo-bohemian, 
Tuli knew how to kiss the radical mind
How to fuck with the rebellious kind
"Teach Yourself Fucking" his latest book
Tuli turned absurd clichés into lotuses
He taught his Russian slippers rhythmical dance
We all crashed with him, that gravitational twirl
Jumping secretly off the Manhattan Bridge
Tuli scribbling and drawing anarchy cartoons
 While The Fugs were spreading the virus of freedom
For more than half a century
Tuli singing, Tuli vocalizing, Tuli chanting
Tuli asking questions on cable TV
Tuli writing 53 poetry books 
"The world's oldest rock star" has gone
Tuli omnipresent in my memory
At last Tuli has kissed the hippy sky.