Poem by Mel Waldman

 

Why do I sit with the corpse in the Garden of Nowhere

Why do I sit with the corpse in the Garden of Nowhere?
Why am I here?

Will the dead leaves dance at night after a secret resurrection?
How will I witness life after death if I stare endlessly at the nonbeing?

Why do I watch myself in the oval mirror of my mind, in the Garden of Nowhere, inside the circle of death, where I sit with the corpse, which lies in the open coffin, a bare wooden casket for a phantom?

Does the thing object to my presence and my preternatural gaze into its nonbeing?
Is it aware of dead leaves dancing at night after a secret resurrection?

Does it wear a bestial mask or a pulchritudinous face that peels off, revealing a grotesquerie?

What do I see when I gaze into the vacant eyes of the corpse in the Garden of Nowhere?
Do I see the reflection of my unbearable emptiness-the void in the oval mirror of my mind?

Why do I sit with the corpse in the Garden of Nowhere?
Am I still here?
At what hour of eternity do I look up and see the corpse sitting in the hidden garden, gazing at me in the open coffin where I lie?

Is this harrowing death-box my everlasting home now, or shall I dance at night after a secret resurrection?

Whose voice do I hear singing “Shall We Dance?” as the corpse and I whirl and swirl and waltz around the secret garden?

Am I the observer, the companion, or the corpse itself?
Why do I sit with the corpse in the Garden of Nowhere?

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

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 Skive Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Poetica, The Jewish Press, The Jerusalem Post, Hotmetal Press, 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. He recently completed an experimental mystery novel inspired by one of Freud’s case studies.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

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