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Dr. Mel Waldman
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THE GIRL FROM PLANET XES

 

 

By Dr. Mel Waldman

 

 

The pencil-thin girl from Planet XES came into my office six months ago for an emergency session. With protruding bones and dark brown eyes, the ghostly little thing stood about five feet tall.

 

“Dr. Jacob Weiss referred me to you.”

 

“How is my former colleague?”

 

The girl stared blankly at me.

 

“Did he give you a referral letter?”

 

“No.”

 

“Well, what seems to be the problem?”

 

“I just returned from Planet XES.”

 

“Planet XES?”

 

“Yeah. The motherfuckers kidnapped and transported me there. They XESED my brain, body, and soul.”

 

It took her forever to tell me she had discovered a glowing object in a corner of her bedroom. When she gazed at the minuscule thing, she blanked out and woke up on Planet XES.

 

“After they XESED me, they left me alone in a glittering white sphere. The burning light blinded me. And suddenly I was home again.”

 

I made a couple calls yesterday. Found out Dr. Weiss vanished a year ago.

 

Now, I sit with the girl. Her freaky eyes glow fiercely. They XES me, take me there, enslave me. Planet XES is real.

 

“Who are you, MOTHER-XESER?”

 

 

I look into her hellfire eyes and burn.

 

 

 

REVOLUTION IN THE MADHOUSE

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman

 

 

 

In a jabberwocky universe, you can pull it off, switch places or sneak in and hang out, on the inside. Why not?

 

Indeed, in antediluvian Shrink-land, other explorers conducted secret experiments on psyche wards, tricked the staff, and discovered weird truths, the color of gunmetal, which blew the minds of the uptight status quo bureaucrats.

 

Now, I’m intoxicated with this thrilling notion of a one-day or one-week revolution in the madhouse, more breathtaking and exciting than a pulchritudinous femme fatale.

 

My revolution isn’t crimson or bloody red; it’s the color of creamy white gardenias or pale pink azaleas, or perhaps, yellow or white daffodils; my revolution is not a bomb or volcanic explosion; it’s not about deadly force or any other kind of power; my revolution is soft and curious, and sweet as an old-fashioned vanilla malted and a slice of creamy cheesecake with whipped cream; and in a jabberwocky universe, it’s about empathy, compassion, and love—the ultimate inner space exploration.

 

But here, in the rational universe, I need the approval of the Committee (that’s a bummer), and an experimental design (perhaps, you could help me work out the kinks).

 

And, if all goes well (and I drill a hole through the brick-red wall of resistance and cut the thick red tape), I will feast on infinite out-of-the-box ideas, high on knowledge; but if not, in a jabberwocky universe, I can pull it off, alone.

 

 

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

 

The end was the beginning, and it arrived in the summer of ’65, for time is a cannibal that devoured Mother, a tiny woman clutching a small ration of life that remained in the quiet ruins of that seething apocalyptic day.

 

Her gold eyes perched on olive skin gazed at us as she lay in bed. She held a fake plastic cigarette in her minuscule hand, I imagine. Or was she caressing Father’s trembling hands?

 

An oxygen tank stood tall on the night table, like a centurion guarding a moribund prisoner. Outside our home, a womb of death, Brooklyn overflowed with Eros, the life force.

 

We watched her gasp for air, black out, wake up, open her celestial eyes, and whisper, “I thought I was dying.” And then she passed away, quietly, and forever.

 

In that cutting moment, I, too, crossed an invisible boundary, and began a long, unfathomable journey.






VANISHING MAN

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman 

 

 

 

I watched the old man vanish, when he came to stay with me after his third wife kicked him out. He flew in from Florida.

 

Sometimes he disappeared in the middle of a conversation, or when he was mute and meandered around my small apartment, naked and confused.

 

On occasion, he lost control and suddenly, like a Hemingway bull, he looked ready to charge. But he didn’t.

 

His dark brown eyes glared at me. He roared and shrieked and when his body shook, I hugged his fragile torso and whispered, “Dad, I love you.”

 

The little man grew a big fat smile and proudly displayed his glittering gold tooth.

 

I remember our time together. He often vanished, but always reappeared, until he left for Florida, and his wife, and destiny.

 

She shipped him off to a nursing home where his merciless disease ate his mutilated brain. And when I spoke to him long distance, he whispered, “Yes, no, yes, no,” until he vanished forever.

 

On empty nights, I sometimes gaze into my meandrous mind, a broken road with scattered potholes of forgetfulness, and mutter,

 

“Will I vanish too?”


 

 

 

AN UNHOLY VISION:

 

THE TRANSVERBERATION OF THE INVISIBLE MAN

 

 

By Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

After midnight, the invisible man saunters along Ocean Parkway in sidereal time, the empty wasteland of his barren pitted face pointing upward, his dead eyes whirling around the Heavens & back to Earth, & drilling through the darkness as he slowly approaches Coney Island, a distant dream & a vanishing point in his moribund mind;

 

& when he arrives at the swirling center of the unholy night, he drifts toward the Coney Island Boardwalk & slithers beneath its low ceiling, lies in the seething swirling sand of the sultry August night, a sweet phantasmagoria, & falls into a deep abysmal sleep;

 

& suddenly, an unholy vision sweeps across his dissolving brain cells, & trapped in inner space, he witnesses the transverberation of the invisible man—the piercing stabbing death of his fragile diaphanous flesh;

 

& perched on the phantom stars of his multilayered nightmare, he shrieks hellfire as a frozen icicle burns & slashes his heart until he is still forever in an unfathomable landscape beyond Space & Time;

 

& tomorrow, after the tempest, his mutilated corpse lies buried in the deep snow of winter in the sweeping whiteness of Coney Island beneath the cold barren boardwalk for the invisible man has passed through the labyrinth of final dreams & discovered the soothing heat of summer in sweet phantasmagoria, an eerie place & last exit before a chilling unreality of unending stillness





LADY XES


by Dr. Mel Waldman   


She struts across Mallory Square like a glamorous Hollywood movie star, a deliciously divine diva walking the red carpet.


Yet she does not wear high heels, no stilettos tonight, in Key West, no see-through gown, diaphanous and devastating, with long slits revealing lovely legs.


Her sensuous buttocks swing and sway and sashay in tight and torn blue jeans, and her tiny feet move inside soothing soft-blue slip-ons, Proenza Schouler espadrilles.


& now, in a low-cut red T-shirt that purrs, XES ROCKS, she enters the dock, mystical and magical, and watches weird performers, freaky and fantastic.


& all wandering eyes find her, for she is Lady XES, femme fatale of the 21st century, Lady XES from Planet XES-XESY, XESUAL, and mother XESer of the unfathomable universe, here on earth to be with us,


& vanish every night with the sinking red sun into the eerie sea and the distant horizon, dying in the Gulf of Mexico, resurrected in the darkness, and returning tomorrow, perhaps, to XES us for eternity



THE METAMORPHOSIS OF MY IMAGINARY COFFIN

by Dr. Mel Waldman   

 

Come

with me

into my coffin,

my imaginary coffin,

a voice within a dream whispers,

then swirls into a sphere of turquoise light

&

vanishes.

&

after, I awaken,

inside a wooden coffin,

ensconced in a whirling dream, a frostbitten

dream of winter, within an ocean of dreams;

&

looking up,

at the cold wood covered with the flowing chill

of darkness, my frozen eyes observe the metamorphosis

of my imaginary coffin, nestled in a fierce phantasmagoria,

where I am empty inside this eerie emptiness, & still, like the

silenced dead;

&

through the blinding black hole I watch a frightening alchemy—

wooden coffin becoming gold & glowing in the House of Non-Existence,

then flowing into a turquoise light & vanishing, becoming raw dust, but resurrected

in the bowels of the earth, & soon, a nameless weapon of glory, drills through the foul

earth, rises furiously toward the snow-covered Heavens, explodes & obliterates the cosmos,

&

inside this supernatural coffin, my Post-Apocalyptic home,

I lie,

alone,

for eternity,

in a locked box,

nothing

above,

or

beyond,

only

the

monstrous

Void




A DEATH BEFORE DEATH

 

IN

 

THE DEEP SNOW OF ALZHEIMER’S

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman

 

 

My father passed through a black hole and disappeared. I waited for his return.

 

When the mind dies, it sleeps in a frozen coffin.

 

Buried in the deep snow, and tasting flakes of non-existence, as real as the wet, whirling beasts in his vanishing brain cells, he suffered a death before death.

 

Strangers gazed at him and saw a peek-a-boo man, clothed in a shroud of non-identity, a ghostly veil of human emptiness.

 

I saw a man named Father.

 

I watched him vanish into a shattered time capsule of random, remote yesterdays, swaddled in a strait jacket of unbearable restraint.

 

I witnessed his death before death.

 

When the mind dies, it hides in the deep snow.

 

He disappeared in front of me, his dark, vacant eyes far away, perched in nowhere.

 

My soul-severed eyes darted and flitted back and forth, between the mutilated spaces that connected us. I reached out to his moribund mind-spirit.

 

I could not save him.

 

When the mind dies, it dangles between nowhere and nowhere.

 

Before his final death, a private snowstorm swept mercilessly across the wasteland of his mind. The blizzard covered his battered brain, almost obliterated it.

 

Yet sometimes, he was reborn for a few seconds or minutes, resurrected by chance neural connections.

 

We’d say hello.  Instinctively, he grew a big fat smile, revealing his precious gold teeth.  His eyes were real until they became vacant again.

 

I discovered death in his dark brown eyes.

 

In his heyday, he was a fierce, ferocious man who did not know how to love or be loved.  We raged against each other.  But at the end of his fragile life, I loved him fully, forgave his flaws and sins, and forgave my own.

 

I witnessed his horrific death before death.

 

Strangers saw a peek-a-boo man. I saw a man called Father.



A DEATH IN OLD BROOKLYN

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

Old Brooklyn is dead,

drifting

in

inner space,

lost

&

lingering

in

antediluvian

brain cells

&

dangling

between

shattered

synapses

too,

 

Old Brooklyn is dead,

&

I

mourn

for

the

soothing snow

of

my

mythological childhood,

a

celestial landscape

in

constant flux

&

recreation;

 

I

mourn

interminably

for

the

boy-dreamer

I

once

was,

covered

in

dead time

in

the

coffin of the past;

 

I

mourn

for

him

&

this

lost spirit-love

inside

me,

&

the

dream-shards

dangling

in

still life

&

the

scattered sparks

of

divinity

frozen

in

the

seething fires-

the porphyry

of

burning time,

&

merciful

angels

suspended

in

mid-air

before

the

unending

freedom journey;

 

&

I

mourn incessantly

for

eleemosynary

thoughts

merging

with

celestial visions

of

the

child;

 

Yes,

I

mourn

for

so much-

too much

of

my

life

used

&

spent

&

buried

in

the

death-box

behind

me,

a

tomb

of

everlasting vastness

&

longing,

the

transverberation

of

my

shrinking spirit;

 

I

mourn

unendurably,

&

sometimes,

after

a

preternatural sunset,

in

sidereal

time,

beneath

the

mystical stars,

I

gaze

backwards

into

the

reconstructed landscape

&

resurrect

the boy

&

the

soothing snow

&

my

mythic childhood

within

a

holy

ring

of

purple-red stones,

a

prophetic

porphyry

of

fugitive dreams,

 

&

a death in Old Brooklyn

rushing

away

from

me

in

frozen

time,

here

&

now,

everywhere

&

nowhere,

never

touching

tomorrow



BLESSINGS BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman 

 

 

The snow falls interminably.

 

“Come now with me, into the holy house. It is time to receive the blessings before the Apocalypse.”

 

But the others rush off, vanishing in the rolling hills. & so, I enter, alone, and when the holy man speaks, his sweet voice is a zephyr brushing against my olive skin, and his words are a river of revelations, holy susurrations that flow into me and soothe my shattered spirit, a kaleidoscope of crippled butterflies.

 

“Welcome, fellow travelers of the unfathomable universe, and bless you.”

 

He speaks to a chimerical throng of believers, for I am alone, with him, and a sphere of holy light encircles me.

 

“After life flows into death . . . and death feeds the earth . . . beyond the ruins . . . is the ferocious mystery . . . the ineffable miracle of resurrection and . . .”

 

My gold eyes rush to the mammoth window to my left, swallow the deep snow that covers the moribund earth and I say goodbye to my life and all that I have loved and the world outside. It is time to pray and hide beneath the canopy of the prophet’s visions.

 

Ensconced in the vastness of his words, and this holy place & time, nestled in a cocoon of revelations & silence, I close my eyes and wait for the Apocalypse, and after, a swarm of monarchs and mourning cloaks may rise from the ruins and soar, or perhaps, nothing, not even traces of our dreams, shall exist to reveal who and what we were or why we did not hear or heed, in time, the deafening words of the prophecy



 

 

 






crimsonface.jpg
Art by Mike Kerins 2016

CRIMSON FACE

 

 

Dr. Mel Waldman

 

Look closely at my sweet-smelling face. Come close now. Stop! And smell the roses.

 

What cologne am I wearing? Can you guess? I am the Garden of Eden. Take a deep breath and inhale the seductive scent I wear. Does it belong to Adam, Eve, or the snake? Is it Eternity, or Eros, or the foul suffocative smell of Thanatos?

 

Come close now. Beneath the sundry masks I wear, do you see the real me?

 

Touch my face—the soft, smooth skin. Remove my masks. Peel them off, if you dare, and discover the crimson face—the bloody cauldron of rage.

 

Now, do you know who I am? Or are you confused by my disarming smile, my gentle demeanor, and my melodious voice?

 

Come closer into my arms, look up—into my cannibalistic eyes and see who I really am and let your mind and heart dissolve in a long eternal kiss while the killer inside me, the beast with the crimson face, caresses and strangles you to death.

 

 

 

MY POEM,

 

MY PRAYER

 

 

By Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

 (on reading Jack Kerouac’s poem-Hymn)

 

 

After dark,

in the deep of the night

 

I

drink the stars outside my Brooklyn home

 

&

gazing upward at the glorious unfathomable creations,

 

I

turn inward,

 

look into the mirror of my meandering mind

&

 

rushing slowly

into inner space,

 

I

pray to our unknowable Source,

 

bathe

in the beautiful darkness & the omniscient silence,

 

enter

the Oneness,

 

&

I pray until my prayer blesses me with creation

 

&

a turquoise butterfly appears & swirls around my brainwaves

&

in a poignant moment, perhaps, in the everflowing circle of the night

 

or

in the deep silence of the dawn, when crepuscular insects awaken with me,

 

I

write my poem, my prayer

 

&

on the blank page of metaphysical creation, in my minuscule blank book,

 

I

scribble my holy creation—my hymn to Brooklyn & to the majestic universe

 

of

celestial conundrums that surround it

 

&

my words weep the sadness & joy of prayer

 

&

sing a cornucopia of sweeping emotions

 

in

the vastness where I shed the skin of loss

 

as

I create

 

&

remember the Coney Island of my youth,

 

the whirling wonderland by the sea,

where we gathered—

 

&

Mother, Father, Sister, & I

 

devoured

Nathan’s frankfurters & French fries & the soothing innocence of our time

 

&

we believed in something beautiful transcendent & real

 

 

as

lovely as this poem, this prayer

 

&

as real as the invisible landscape of boundless love

 

where

Mother& Father live now ensconced in my beauty

 

in

the mansion of my mind on the Coney Island pier of Yesterday,

 

gazing

at the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean & the swirling rhapsody

 

of

the Coney Island rides,

 

&

smiling majestically at me in their Seats to Heaven

 

while

I stroll along the wooden Boardwalk & sing songs of love

 

&

scribble words of glory in the deep silence of creation

 

until

my poem, my prayer comes forth,

 

out

of nothingness,

 

the omnipotent music

of

 

the Source

 

 

 

SILENCE,

 

DEEP SILENCE

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

(on reading Stefan Brecht’s poem “Silence”)

 

 

Silence,

deep silence

 

inside

the swirl

 

&

falling into a fallen divinity

 

&

the stone speaks silence

 

&

I listen

 

&

drift into visions of

 

an old man with a Charlie Chaplin moustache

dives into the river of silence

 

caresses

a little lady glowing with the opalescent light of love

 

&

lovelier than Greta Garbo

 

&

I weep silence

 

swallow

phantom voices

Mother’s

otherworldly whispers celestial softness brushing against my olive skin

 

&

Father’s

 

ferocious gorgeous grin gold tooth glittering after dark

rushes across the ruins of silence reaches me growls love

 

&

gallops off through inner space

 

AWAY                                                                                  FAR  AWAY

 

&

I drink the river of despair

 

&

drown in the deep silence of the apocalypse

 

&

vanish in the mournful flood of loss

 

as

I kiss & taste the succulent lips of silence

 

&

long for redemption,

 

perhaps,

the Queen of Rebirth,

 

a fallen divinity

asleep in the vastness where the stone speaks silence

 

waiting

for me to awaken her

 

waiting

for us to save each other

 

in

the deep silence



THE SUDDEN DEATH

 

OF

 

MY UNKNOWABLE FATHER

 

LONG AGO

 

IN

 

LOST TIME,

 

A

 

STRANGER

 

IN

 

THE HOUSE OF MY SOUL

 

 

by Dr. Mel Waldman  

 

 

(on reading Joanne Kyger’s poem “My Father Died This Spring”)

 

 

Long ago,

inside the labyrinth of lost time, my unknowable father, a faraway man, distant in life

 

&

shrouded in secrets, died suddenly in a Florida nursing home, a ghost of a vanishing man,

 

shriveled up & emptied of thought, gazing mindlessly at a moribund TV & a soporific soap opera in the sultry dayroom decades ago, his dark brown eyes fixed on random

 

images

floating in raw nothingness on a Spring day

 

until

the old phantom, having suffered the 1st Death of No-Mind, brainwaves dissolving

 

inside

the wasteland of the Deep Snow,

 

slumped over in his rickety chair & slipped off into the otherworldly Void that swallows all life-the nowhere-hole of oblivion for those forever bereft of the cosmic breath of life

 

&

banished from earth & our human flow—the furious beautiful rivers & oceans of Eros.

 

Looking back

through a swirling oval darkness, my weary eyes locked shut,

 

I

sit within a circle of silence & plummet into my private space & a mournful past;

 

but

soon, I hear the cutting voice of an interloper, the hallucinatory soliloquy of the Beat Poet

 

Joanne Kyger

slicing the seething silence, speaking of her dead father,

 

confessing,

“You can’t say he wasn’t strange and difficult.”

 

I

listen to her poignant words again & again, orange-red flames of mournful music that fill

 

my emptiness until her haunting voice melts in the merciless fire, becoming a murmur-whisper-susurration, & vanishing in the abyss.

 

After,

I am alone, once more—terribly alone.

 

Father,

my unknowable father, you’ve passed through the sacred wormhole into the beyond

 

&

the lost landscape of eternity.

 

Now,

tell me who you are & I shall discover who I am.

 

Father,

you are a stranger in the House of My Soul. Yet I welcome you in. Come now, come into

 

my home. Father, my unknowable father, you are undecipherable & unfathomable like the universe & the Source of all life. I am too. So come now, from far away, come into

 

my home, & let us search together for our truth & let us love

 

 

 

Dr. Mel Waldman, Ph.D., a psychologist, is also a poet, writer, and artist. His stories have appeared in dozens of magazines including Hardboiled Detective, Hardboiled, Detective Story Magazine, Pulp Metal Magazine, Yellow Mama, Inner Sins, Espionage, The Saint, Down in the Dirt, CC&D, and Audience.  His poems have been widely published in magazines and books including Liquid Imagination, The Brooklyn Literary Review, Brickplight, Skive Magazine, Oddball Magazine, 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 will be published by Postscripts, a British magazine and international anthology, in October/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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