To Barney Rosset




Spill green beer onto the ground

From a glass with a clover on it

Talking to Astrid about your Irish mother

Happy St Patrick’s Day Barney!

I cannot believe you are gone

Gone but not forgotten

The phosphorescence of your voice

On the corner of Grove Street

Where Grove Press started

The shadows of Miller and Becket

They come to me in a dream

Barney in his couch, in his chair at Veselka

Lost in the maze of books at the Strand

Books that created resistance in Bucharest

Ionesco, in the Evergreen review, devoured by the underground

Translating Gregory Corso into Romanian

I cannot believe Barney is gone

Astrid replies, “neither can I, only at night…”

A giant painting on the wall with assemblages

Sits lonely in the darkness waiting for you

Your spirit is all around us nocturnally, eternally.





Valery Oisteanu was born in Russia (1943) and educated in Romania and France. He is the author of 10 books of poetry, a book of short fiction and a book of essays. For the past 11 years he has been a columnist for NY Arts Magazine and an art critic for Brooklyn Rail and Artnet. He is also a contributing writer for French, Spanish, Canadian & Romanian art and literary magazines: La Page Blanche, Dart International, Art, Viata Romaneasca, Romania Literara, Altitudini, et al.