Photo of Mel Waldman, Ph.D.

(Photo of Mel Waldman, Ph.D.)

 

 

ON

 

THE VERGE

 

 (upon viewing John MarinÕs exhibit

On the Verge of Wilderness

at

the Ogunquit Museum of American Art

OMAA

&

reading

his

1914

letter

to

Alfred Stieglitz)

 

 

 

On the verge

of

 

something real

 

like

the efflorescence of ethereal love

 

in

the everflowing landscape

 

& the eerie sea

 

& the ephemeral sky

 

swirling

through a turquoise veil

 

diaphanous & divine

 

invisible

spheres of holy light

 

blossoming & burgeoning

 

glowing gloriously

within

 

the multicolored flowers

& fruits

 

&

flowing majestically

 

within

the sprawling solitude

 

of

the numinous moment

 

always

becoming & seeking

 

visibility

 

love seeking love

 

On the verge

of

 

something beautiful

 

like

spirals of light

 

sailing

upward

 

shooting stars

Heaven-bound

 

blooming

within wild blueberries

 

&

strawberries

 

&

dancing with seagulls

 

on

the rocks

 

outside

JackieÕs Too

 

in

Perkins Cove

 

&

darting & flitting

 

along

the Marginal Way

 

on

celestial cliffs

 

adorned

with wild roses

 

red, pink, & white

Rosa rugosa

 

blessing

earthly travelers

 

with

otherworldly visions

 

soothing

swirls & spirals

 

bathed

in opalescence

 

pirouetting

across the vastness

 

of

the sea

 

&

sensuous hypnotic sounds

 

rolling

rushing waves

 

crashing

into bestial rocks sacred cliffs

 

crushing

the chaos-serenity of ineffable beauty

 

beatific panorama

 

whirling seascape

in luscious luminescence

 

unbearable holy light

soaring in the kaleidoscopic sky

 

wild waves

dancing within a delirious dreamscape

 

whorling

into the red sun

 

&

galloping into the gorgeous sunset

 

intoxicating

hallucinatory vista

 

On the verge

of

 

haunting transcendence

 

in

search of the Source

 

On the verge

of

 

miracles everywhere

 

 

merging

with the Universal Mind

 

On the Verge of Wilderness

 

&

love seeking love

 

On the verge

of

 

Creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

COME

 

FROM

 

A STRANGE UNKNOWABLE PLACE

 

 

I

come from a strange unknowable place

 

a

selcouth Un-Being

 

the

land of no-land

 

the

sea of no-sea

 

the

sky of no-sky

 

I

come from the unfathomable nothingness

 

the

no-place of no-time

 

creation ex nihilo

 

&

I am

 

the

beautiful image of the Ultimate Nothingness

 

&

still, I wear the mask of grotesquerie

 

&

the everlasting imprint of trauma

 

for

I am

 

the

savage image of my trauma

 

I am

 

I

wear the shroud of suffering

 

the

shock & upheaval of my battered being

 

I am

my trauma that sleeps in the bestial Abyss & awakens as my Identity

 

I am Trauma

 

&

yet, an otherworldly voice within-a turquoise gem-

 

sits

in a circle of celestial opalescence & sings of transcendence

 

for

I am also the Transcendence of Trauma

 

I

come from a strange unknowable place

 

creation ex nihilo

 

&

I am

 

the

beautiful image of the Ultimate Nothingness

 

 

 

INSIDE

 

THE PSYCHOTIC HOUR

 

 

Swirling

around the rim of madness

 

inside

the psychotic hour

 

I

sail across your sacred center

 

an

oval omphalos into your mind

 

passing

through the membrane of your unfathomable universe

 

joining you

in the convex mirror of your being

 

 

&

inside the psychotic hour

 

I

rush slowly through phantasmagoria

 

the

whirling wilderness of your bestial brain

 

merciless

to your mutilated self

 

&

listen to your ethereal visions  of eerie anguish

in

the harrowing Hieronymus Bosch landscape adorned with Dali heavens

 

above

the deep delirious earth & DanteÕs demonic House of Fire

 

 

&

inside the psychotic hour

 

I

witness the cacophonous music of trauma

 

a

cornucopia of  graveyard colors shrieking chaos

 

4

apocalyptic horses otherworldly stallions colored white, red, black, & pale

 

galloping

into the Stygian crypt the black night of the broken battered brain

 

plummeting

into the obsidian abyss of obliteration

 

 

&

inside the psychotic hour

 

I

am one with you in the seething summer of molten sorrow/madness

 

therapist

& patient swirling/whirling in the cauldron of August agony

 

waiting

for the end of summer/suffering

 

looking

through the convex mirror of your being in the Healing Room

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIRD WOMAN

 

OF

 

57TH STREET

 

(on reading Nikki GiovanniÕs poem The New Yorkers)

 

 

 

In

the winter of despair,

 

I

retreat into the raw womb of the city circa 1969

 

&

gaze at a distant dark Manhattan of unfathomable bestial beauty

 

&

I see you again-

 

the old lady on 57th Street

sitting on a cold milk box selling papers,

 

you-

a grotesque beautiful Bird-Woman, the name I christened you,

 

rocking back & forth

staring out at us-the passers-by, with hallucinatory hypnotic eyes

 

invading

our psyches & shrieking the otherworldly sounds of an exotic bird.

 

You, the Owl-Lady too, the 2nd name I christened you,

own your little space-universe

 

&

wear colossal eyes black and eerie on a heart-shaped face that bore into my soul.

 

What do you see when you look inside me?

 

&

where do you go when you vanish suddenly in the swirl of the night?

 

Now,

when I see the night people, I remember you & the young man I was

 

&

the thoughts & dreams that possessed me when I passed by your eerie spot

 

or

stopped to buy your papers,

 

                    you-perched on a preternatural milk box.

 

For a few seconds, did you possess me?

Did we possess each other in the evanescence of our shared dream

 

before

vanishing into the fluid night flowing into 1st light?

 

In

the winter of despair,

 

when

I return, what do we see?

 

 

 

 

 

NIGHT PEOPLE

 

OF

 

NEW YORK

 

(on reading Nikki GiovanniÕs poem The New Yorkers)

 

 

 

Come forth,

old children of  the night,

 

Come forth,

beautiful freaks freaking out  in the bestial light,

 

Come now,

into the cold night,

 

I

beckon you, the damned, drifting in the seething circles of darkness.

 

I

see only hellfire shooting out of the Shadows like the cannonballs of oblivion

 

blasting

through invisibility after a red sunset.

 

Night people of New York,

come forth

 

&

reveal your unfathomable selves buried in broken-down soul cases.

 

Come forth

& reveal the ineffable sins we conceal beneath our diaphanous skins.

 

Come now,

into the crimson night.

I

see you in the corner of my 3rd Eye clutching a cornucopia of non-existence

 

yellow-orange swirls

peering through the oval mirror of twilight & into the deep of the night

 

glazed eyes

rolling around in phantasmagorical spheres

 

glittering ghosts

slithering & slinking along the opalescent streets of Manhattan

 

&

now I feel you

 

creeping & crawling

across the olive skin of my trauma-covered face

 

seeking

the bleak landscape of the bereft

 

the graveyard

of my barren burnt-out brain cells

 

I feel the fire of your anguish,

you-

 

the homeless

huddled in nowhere

 

battered bag people

carrying death in a bag mixed with vanishing life-vestiges

 

you-

the swirling spirits frozen in unreality touch me & set me on fire

 

&

I feel you-

 

Come forth,

Come out,

 

I feel you

&

 

we are one

tethered to the night

 

 

 

 

THE DAMNED

 

BLESS US

 

WITH

 

THEIR PRESENCE

 

(on reading Muriel RukeyserÕs poem-Seventh Avenue)

 

 

 

After dark,

the damned bless us with their presence.

 

The city

opens up like the maw of the fire-breathing Chimera

 

&

they come forth

 

frozen freaks thawing in the sizzling night.

 

They come forth

fallen creatures of obscurity

 

&

roam freely through our streets, the dazzling dreamy

 

labyrinths

of New York City,

 

illuminating

our glittering avenues with their bestial darkness.

.

After

shedding the skin of invisibility,

 

they come forth & bless us with their presence.

 

Yet

we rush away from the damned

 

until

they dissolve & vanish in the shadows.

 

On sultry summer nights in the cauldron of the seething city,

I catch a glimpse of the damned in the corner of my left eye

 

&

in a furious flash, the pariah-beasts of New York force-feed me

 

apocalyptic news

of sin & suffering     

 

                             in the city that shrieks the crimson blues

 

&

gazing into & through their bruised barren eyes,

 

wounded windows

of Hell-on-earth,

 

I

see the ominous everlasting wasteland they see

 

&

ineffable evil

 

slices

my thick swirl of boyish innocence

 

&

my everflowing river of faith

 

with

a chasm of doubt

 

&

a heavy shroud of anguish covers me crushes my spirit

 

&

I too vanish in the shadows until a beautiful alchemy transforms me

 

if it does

&

my trinity of-

                     knowledge pain & will

 

becomes

the light buried in the pitch-black abyss

 

if I accept the Holy 3

 

&

I grow into a transcendence

 

if I grow

&

 

this is the blessing bestowed by the damned

if I receive it

 

WHO ARE WE

but fugitives from the silent blessings & secret divinity of the damned?

 

WHO ARE WE

if we donÕt face the evil we see?

 

WHO ARE WE

if we do not receive the blessings of the damned?

 

WHO ARE WE

if we donÕt ask why?

 

© Dr. Mel Waldman

 

Bio:  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, BLACK PETALS, 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 BITCHINÕ 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.