Anarchy for a Rainy Day
by Valery Oisteanu
review by Ilka Scobie
Anarchy for a Rainy Day
by Valery Oisteanu (Author)
Spuyten Duyvil (29 Jul 2015)
$15.00 US pbk | $20.27 CDN pbk | £9.65 UK pbk
104 pages, 5″ x 8″, Poetry
Avant-gardist, art critic, hedonist, World traveler, Valery Oisteanu’s Anarchy for a Rainy Day is a poetic celebration of bohemian life. The reader joins the poet as he journeys through Europe, Nepal, South America, consorts with sex workers, activists, memorializes artists, and enjoys a long, loving and lustful marriage to his muse.
Some of these poems seduce with their sly wit and wordplay.
“So please advise before it’s too late/How can I gauge my mental state? Also imperative that I can self medicate/” from “Letter to My Shrink”. Addressed to Sigmund Freud, who Oisteanu beautifully played in an off Broadway play, the poem resounds with a charming and urbane urgency.
A long time proponent of surrealism, the poet is also an accomplished art critic, and his language is infused with rich and unexpected resonance. “Take it from this poet in Absurdistan, New York/who wants to exchange a poem for a vagina/” from “Smoke of Radical Aggression”.
Whether he is ranting about travels in Sicily, or reminiscing about a Katmandu sexworker, Oisteanu‘s quest for liberation unifies the dozens of knock out poems that comprise the handsome volume. His own collages add a poignant visual punch to accompanying text. This is the sagacious voice of a seasoned poet, one who mourns his lost friends while keeping an eye on the chaotic and ever changing New York City that is his home.
A true romantic sentimentalist, Oisteanu memorializes cultural icons like Louise Bourgeois, Allen Ginsberg, Judith Malina, Robert Creeley, Ted Joans, my own beloved friend Janine Pomy Vega, Barney Rossett, and other creative luminaries. His haunting lines, “A sunflower blossomed and began bleeding petals” from the “Forest of Blue Glass Peter Orlovsky” are perfect homages.
I especially loved the gorgeous love poems addressed to his wife. “I have shamelessly robbed the Garden of Eden/ Stolen a goddess for special sacrifice…” from “The Wilderness of Her Lips” to “A Miracle in Manhattan” ending with “A dream within a dream within a dream.”
This is a book to savor, to read randomly, to remind yourself of how magnified moments enrich and embroider our world. Valery Oisteanu’s voice is that of a true cosmopolitan, his unique sensuality seeping into essential words and images.
Ilka Scobie is a native New Yorker and long time downtown resident. She teaches poetry in the public schools and writes about contemporary art for London’s Artlyst. She is co-curating a show “ART AM 3” in Soncino, Italy, with her husband, Luigi Cazzaniga, featuring artists including John Giorno, Ugo Rondinone, Alex Katz, Mario Schifano, Martha Diamond, Lola Schnabel and Rene Ricard. She is currently Associate Editor of LiVE MAG!