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Royal Curse-Fiction by Donald D. Shore
Order Up. One Alibi to Go-Fiction by M. A. De Neve
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Spiral Face-Fiction by Willie Smith
Stegmann's Basement_Flash Fiction by Peter DiChellis
It's Just Me-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Kid's Games-Flash Fiction by Tim Frank
Converse Canvas Tennis Shoe Lying on the Road-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Solution #1-Poem by Abe Nore
boo!-Poem by Meg Baird
Childhood Effigies-Poem by Ron Torrence
Nocturne-Poem by Melissa Dobson
The Name-Poem by Melissa Dobson
Direction-Poem by Jonathan Butcher
The Escape-Poem by Jonathan Butcher
Rolly Pollies-Poem by Alex Salinas
Smoke Dream-Poem by Alex Salinas
Son of a Gun-Poem by Christopher Kenneth Hanson
Stand-Up-Poem by Christopher Kenneth Hanson
The Artificial Lighting-Poem by John D. Robinson
Free Doses-Poem by John D. Robinson
Here We Are, You & I-Poem by John D. Robinson
Wanderer-Poem by David Spicer
Raconteur-Poem by David Spicer
Desperado-Poem by David Spicer
Strange Days at Cafe Bizarro-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Night Revelations in Bizarro Country-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Room with a No-Exit Sign-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Nameless-Poem by John Grey
The Time of the Spider-Poem by John Grey
Good Luck to Whoever Finds My Body-Poem by John Grey
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

ym_76_oct19_roomnoexitsign.jpg
Art by W. Jack Savage 2019

THE ROOM

 

WITH

 

A

 

NO EXIT SIGN

 

A.K.A.

 

THE PRISON CELL

 

OF

 

THE SELF

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

(on reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem—

As in a Play by Jean-Paul Sartre)

 

 

 

It

always happens

 

in

the room

 

with

a no exit sign

 

dangling

from the low ceiling

 

an

antediluvian room

 

in

the primal swirl of nowhere

 

 

 

&

the glittering thing

 

crackling

light bulb

 

is

scarier than the Mysterium Tremendum

 

the

terrible mystery engulfing us

 

&

an ominous omen

 

in

a tiny cell

 

a

tomb

 

perhaps

in the no-place of sin

 

with

vanishing visions of Heaven

 

 

 

&

a flood of red wine

 

pours

out of a no exit sign

 

&

crimson & black walls too

 

from

west to east

 

&

north to south

 

into

the claustrophobic space & you

          the

          one buried in the deep snow

 

encircling

&

 

enclosing

the cold mask

 

          of

          an other-ness face

 

          without

          a trace of truth

 

          or

          soothing fire

 

&

into the phantom mouth of the beast

 

a

monstrous maw of demonic invisibility

 

&

power

 

that

swallows

 

the

pariah

 

in

the harrowing hour

 

 

 

&

once again

 

the

past comes forth

 

&

in a waterfall of blood

 

&

a phantasmagoria

 

of

unspeakable visions

 

cascades

over the room

 

for

the past is here forever

 

possessing

its prey

 

&

in this private cell

 

the

prisoner travels across the dreamscape

 

no exit

no

 

escape

on the way to destiny

 

crossing

a cornucopia of boulevards & avenues

 

across

the earth & beyond

 

bizarro

journeys

 

into

multiple galaxies & the multiverse

 

&

always the same news

 

the

eerie birth of the same past

 

the

same outcomes

 

around

the bend

 

a

fatalistic end

 

a

frightful manifestation

 

of

the Freudian repetition compulsion

 

until

the Deus ex machina arrives

 

or

Freud’s heir

 

&

the false self-dies

 

here

in the room with a no exit sign

 

a.k.a.

the prison cell of the self

 

where

the lost other

 

lets

go

 

expels

despair/uncages love

 

&

gives birth to the real self—rising from the deep snow

 

 

 

 

Dr. 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.


W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of eight books including Imagination: The Art of W. Jack Savage (wjacksavage.com).  To date, more than fifty of Jack’s short stories and over a thousand of his paintings and drawings have been published worldwide. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, California.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2019