Valery Oisteanu

At night on a steep downhill street in Lisbon
Tall man with a cane looking just like Ricardo Reis
Daytime a bronze statue on a street corner
Fernando Pessoa sitting with a book in his hand at the centennial
Dead in 1934 unknown and neglected Portuguese genius
Casa Pessoa site of his home for 15 years before his untimely death
Renovated and turned into a museum
Meanwhile downtown Lisbon
A grand fire in 1988 burned the Chado district-now restored
A photo-op at Chado museum with followers of Alvaro de Campo
Portuguese Surrealists 1934-1952 generation, some still alive
At the bookstore special section for Pessoa books
Restaurant Pessoa with his image and his own drink
Futurist-cocktail: equal parts Vodka and Absinth
Bernando Soarez coffee and cognac
Pessoa is everywhere in Lisboa
In the abandoned trunks spilling with diaries
Four ghost appearances in one night
Walking alone in the futurist darkness
Cigarette holder and tiny notebook
His free-poetry frightened the fascist
Enlightened the avant-gardes
A tourist attraction today
Still misunderstood


Valerie Oisteanu
Valery Oisteanu is a writer, artist and art-critic with international flavor. Born in Russia (1943) and educated in Romania. He adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life. Immigrating to New York City in 1972, he has been writing in English for the past 38 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, 2009. For the past 15 years he is a columnist at New York Arts Magazine and art critic for Brooklyn Rail and