Black Petals Issue #75 Spring, 2016

August Nights
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
The Big Well-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Boxlike Object-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
The Enemy of My Enemy-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Virtuality-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Virtuous Reality-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
Walking to Class-Fiction by George Economou
Whispering Ghosts-Fiction by George Economou
Churchyard watcher-Two Poems by Chris Friend
August Nights-3 Poems by Dr. Mel Waldman


Dr. Mel Waldman



in the oval darkness 


the Glass House of my boiling brain cells


my melting mind hides in seething inner space


my scorched flesh burns in the cauldrons 


the Inferno.


August nights,



at my ghostly fašade


& slicing my olive skin


& raping my caged eyes


of the damned


the demonic visions

of Hieronymus Bosch

the private howling

of Edvard Munch’s screaming man


skull-shaped head

sinful mother

of horror

gives birth

to a child of suffering


the harrowing earth

& endless flow of THE SCREAM


a crimson sky


the bloody river hiding

in my dead eyes


the piercing & lacerations & transverberation

in my gold orbs the silent ululations of a lonely man



a scorching hole through my skull and brain and spirit


the Phantom Home of Consciousness


an obsolete identity

shattering this House of Glass

creating nothing


something ineffable—a revelation only for the dead



Inside the Labyrinth

Dr. Mel Waldman


Inside the Labyrinth, I taste human debris; my lacerated tongue licks the miasma, and I vomit evil every few seconds.

I trudge across the vastness & follow a sinuous swath through the deep snow. 

The River Styx flows through my swirling brain.

A voice, the color of the oval night vanishing into the Void, whispers, “Come with me on a journey to nowhere.”


Who am I? Am I Theseus, the mythological founder-king of Athens?

I’m not he. He does not exist.

Where am I? Is this the Labyrinth of Daedalus on Crete? It can’t be. I’m here

Yet I search for the Minotaur that lived in the center of the Labyrinth. Shall I kill the mythical monster that is half man and half bull?


I wander through the Labyrinth. Around and around I whirl on this existential merry-go-round. And I search for the center of this meandrous maze.

Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, King of Crete, did not give me a skein of thread to guide me to freedom. I have no supernatural tricks.

I’ve always been here, you see, trapped inside this chimerical space that swirls around my being like a dust devil. 

The tempest is coming.


Inside the Labyrinth, I taste human debris; my lacerated tongue licks the miasma, and I vomit evil every few seconds. 

Now, I smell the Minotaur. It is near, nestled in the center of my consciousness, buried in the deep snow of my shattered brain.

I gingerly approach the beast although my battered soul slinks away, vanishing in the shadows.

I trudge across the whirling wasteland of my private universe lost in a harrowing moment of eternal hell.


The Chaos of Invisibility

Dr. Mel Waldman



in the oval mirrors of your multicolored eyes,

swirling and swimming

in the seas of vision and vanishing suddenly—

swinging, perhaps,

from a Heaven-bound branch

on a Robert Frost birch tree,

or sleeping and dying 

on a dog-day afternoon in the Shakespeare Garden

among exotic flowers,

beneath a crabapple tree, 


I belonged inside your eyes and your universe

until you tossed my reflection back to me

with yellow cowslip, and scurried off.

Now, I live within the chaos of invisibility

& so, when you pass me on the Boulevard

of Nowhere, it’s No One you see,

nothing but swirling dust, the skin of nonexistence.

On mournful days of loveless longing and nostalgia,

I drift through the park,

meander the path around the Bethesda Fountain

& gaze at the Angel of the Waters.


Even she does not see me now—

an old man, ghost of a ghost, 

lost in the chaos of invisibility—

a tempest for the forgotten.


Dr. Mel Waldman,, of Brooklyn, NY, wrote BP #75’s “August Nights, Apocalyptic Eyes,” “Inside the Labyrinth,” and “The Chaos of Invisibility” (+ BP #74’s “Masks of Innocence” and BP #72’s 3-poem set, “Inside the Slaughterhouse,” “Scorpio,” & “Strange Highways”). He is a psychologist, poet, and writer whose stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including HARDBOILED DETECTIVE, HARDBOILED, DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, ESPIONAGE, THE SAINT, DOWN IN THE DIRT, CC&D, PULP METAL MAGAZINE, INNER SINS, YELLOW MAMA, and AUDIENCE. His poems have been widely published in magazines and books, including LIQUID IMAGINATION, A NEW ULSTER, THE BROOKLYN LITERARY REVIEW, THE BROOKLYN VOICE, BRICKPLIGHT, THE BITCHIN’ KITSCH, CLOCKWISE CAT, CRAB FAT MAGAZINE, SKIVE MAGAZINE, ODDBALL MAGAZINE,  ON THE RUSK, POETRY PACIFIC, POETICA, RED FEZ, SQUAWK BACK, SWEET ANNIE & SWEET PEA REVIEW, THE JEWISH LITERARY JOURNAL, THE JEWISH PRESS, THE JERUSALEM POST, HOTMETAL PRESS, MAD SWIRL, HAGGARD & HALLOO, ASCENT ASPIRATIONS, and NAMASTE FIJI: THE INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY. A past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis, he was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature and is the author of 11 books. Four of his mystery, fantasy, and horror stories were published by POSTSCRIPTS, a British magazine and international anthology, in November 2014. He recently completed an experimental mystery novel inspired by one of Freud’s case studies and is looking for an agent. He has been inspired for decades by his patients and their heroic stories of trauma and survival.

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