Mel Waldman

My Name’s Not Kafka No one notices my passage into invisibility. It happens, like death and taxes and getting old. I dissolve and melt in the heat of the dog days, sit on a jetty, talk to chimerical peacocks and butterflies and seagulls, throw rocks in the ocean, and drift off. (It’s winter and my olive skin’s frozen; forgot my gloves; my brittle fingers could suffer frostbite. Yet I’m far away, in a seething time container, a young dreamer, 50 years ago.) No one notices. It happens in the real world. Someone always cocks the hammer and pulls the trigger. Still, it’s a weird journey, a phantasmagoria, the color of gunmetal or perhaps, ebony, and the foul smothering odor of a rotting corpse. My name’s not Kafka, but the cabal speaks to me, hisses and hints; condemns, banishes, and ostracizes me without overtly accusing or finding me guilty of an unknown crime. “We’ve got to let you go.”“Why?”“We don’t know.” And so it goes and my unreal life flows into an ocean of phantom days and years while I pass into invisibility and joblessness, sentenced to a labyrinth of prison time; no exit, perhaps, only solitary confinement in the tiny cell of my battered brain in need of fixing, before the House of Glass shatters and falls. I drift off, sit on a jetty, and listen to the haunting music of ancient waves, the hypnotic pounding and percussion of the omnipotent waves of yesterday, and I’m one with the oceanic beats, the jazzy beats of resurrection. But a real fine job would fix me too, yeah. 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 THE BROOKLYN LITERARY REVIEW, SKIVE MAGAZINE, POETRY PACIFIC, POETICA, SQUAWK BACK, SWEET ANNIE & SWEET PEA REVIEW, 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. A dreamer, he has been inspired for decades by his patients and their heroic stories of trauma and survival. His life has been enriched by his work in ghetto areas. His literary fantasy is to move and touch the souls of millions of people with his writings. As a therapist, he is aware that changing even one life can affect the spiritual flow of the universe.