by Dr. Mel Waldman
(on reading D.
Nurkse’s poem-The Dead Reveal Secrets of
floating above Brooklyn
resting secretly on the old roof
James Madison High
swirling & whirling beyond time,
perched on Pandora’s Box in a preternatural
sing revelations of the dead.
across Brooklyn on his 1955 Vincent Black
flying high from Coney Island to Midwood
northbound on Ocean Parkway
turning east on Kings Highway & south on
through the unreality of sweet phantasmagoria
within my whirling dreamscape
my private divinity
returns to James Madison High
I-to Yesterday-wearing the ethereal shroud of euphoria/dysphoria
rushing to his English class &The Poetry & Philosophy Club
I kiss Destiny, the strange seductive flower
growing in the Garden of the Past,
return to You
& caress my ferocious flower within my Dream-Mind
what shall I find when You
awaken within my dream?
Your rebirth, what shall
ghostly voices, light & mellifluous as the susurrations of zephyrs &
The dead never die.
an invisible orchestra plays Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
phantom voices sing
phantom voices sing
phantom voices sing revelations of the dead
death is the boy falling into the deep snow of
the very hot summer of despair as sweat falls
from his (my) brow
He . . . floats with phantom voices
I taste the eerie emptiness of mother’s lost
She lies beside her otherworldly oxygen tank, rises suddenly, &
“I thought I was dying,”
into the unfathomable black hole of everlasting stillness.
I plummet through the trapdoor of my
I die too.
my high school Hebrew teacher,
frees me, asks the dream-boy at James Madison
High to read again from Isaiah 2:3-4.
Why do I pass through this supernatural door?
Now, the boy sings poetic words,
revelations of the dead,
“. . . and they shall beat
their swords into
plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”
Then suddenly, Dr. Z & dream-boy
the harrowing hour, in a mournful, mutilated
room of black flowers,
one unfathomable day,
X, honor student, member of the rifle club, has taken his life!
as C, the robotic school official, tells us—the
senior class—this soul-cutting truth,
rushes off while we meditate on death.
phantom voices sing,
. . the evanescence of death is everlasting . . .
. . . everlasting
is the obscene evanescence . . .
the young Kafka of James Madison
I die while phantom voices floating above
Brooklyn sing revelations of the dead
within the swirling dream-flower of my life
die too forever,
again & again
Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer whose stories have appeared in
numerous magazines including HARDBOILED DETECTIVE, ESPIONAGE, THE SAINT, PULP
METAL MAGAZINE, and AUDIENCE. His poems have been widely published in magazines
and books including A NEW ULSTER, CLOCKWISE CAT, CRAB FAT LITERARY MAGAZINE,
ESKIMO PIE, INDIANA VOICE JOURNAL, LIQUID IMAGINATION, THE BROOKLYN LITERARY
REVIEW, BRICKPLIGHT, SKIVE MAGAZINE, ODDBALL MAGAZINE, PABLO LENNIS, 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, YELLOW MAMA, THE BITCHIN’
KITSCH, SOUL-LIT, TWO DROPS OF INK, 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.