Valery Oisteanu


Alfama, Alfama of the very narrow streets of Lisbon

Where tiled dreams are sprayed with glue

Where the birds with cork beaks fight for the ledges

Where ghosts are deep fried and sold to tourists

There the sun shines only for half a minute

Broken cobblestones crying under the feet of Fado singers at night

Broken dreams of a homeless woman with young Mozambique eyes

Stay calm and enjoy the cork, everything is made of cork

Even Marilyn Monroe is a pocketbook of cork

Black student robes fly off the clotheslines

Alfama center of reverse gravity, of surreal graffiti

The Monastery looms large and chimes incessantly 

The Queen and King of Portugal enjoy a noisy afternoon

Tuk-tuk drivers equipped with abrasive shouts

Smashing the tower of Belem-Babel cacophony

Pessoa’s absinthe not sold here, muscatel, gingia & Porto

Two fat chefs cook pork fat and chicken gizzards

Paving a path to Multiple Personality Disorder

Alvaro de Campos’ blessings, Ricardo de Reis disquietude

The road to Coimbra is paved with jagged lives 

I regress slowly into Pessoa smoking a long pipe
Words flow, a spell to enter seven gates of Fado-dada


Issue 3 Table of Contents