Issue a5 · 2012



Ira Cohen–In Memoriam


by Valery Oisteanu





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 Mella traveler overran by sadhus

Blowing a dijiridou, 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!














Valery Oisteanu, New York poet/artist with 12 published poetry books illustrated by his collages.