Three Poems by Mitchell Waldman
"Streets", "A Great Big Texas Welcome", "Journey"

© 2009 Moronic Ox Literary Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books
Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books                Advertise your book, CD, or cause in the 'Ox'
Novel Excerpts, Short Stories, Poetry, Multimedia, Current Affairs, Book Reviews, Photo Essays, Visual Arts                Submissions
Critic Patricia Ann Jones:
"A Face in the Moon  is a Shakespearean-like tale
with a twist. Waldman’s deft narration and rich characterizations make
him an author to watch."

Decadence left on the doorstep
it's a bundle of trouble
wrapped in the flames
of a burning world
burning youth
elements in the streets
innocents on their own
cleave to form a unifying mist
the little girls dressed in black
and blue
leaning to the most recent extremes
their stockings seamed
their leather clings
eyes losing focus
I can't see the reason
can't find the feeling
the bodies bouncing to the beat
carefree kids on angels' wings
their beer-stained dreams
their ratted mattresses
they've caught life quick between the sheets
roaches and butts patrol the sink
looking for some action
"Get the rent or get out!"
the onion-skinned walls peel scream
bug-eyed looking past them
looking out
watch the pretties file
so young so slim so clean
the vacant lots vacant smiles
parade the streets at night
lined with colorful drunks
and junk
the bars
the come ons
the walls move in tight
the nostrils the legs the rumors spread
the pigs are out
this joint's gone out
gotta get out before the freeze
cruising bars: got a light?
let's go to my place
crank it snort it eat it
s'il vous plait?
it's cool and sticky
runs down your leg in dreams
the quick chill at the tip of your spine
can't sleep
awake in a daze
caught in the flow
a room
some room
a shower of eyes
arms and knees and scattered sheets
bits of thigh bottles lipsticks clips and ashtrays lie
and strolling the Army's racks
fifty cent hats and nickel bags
the black sheep flock
booze in bags grizzled chins
eyes yellow watery gray
mumbling: hey man need a quarter for an arrow--
gonna shoot me a sparrow
pulling loose some change
he's on his way
immortal phrases hung on porcelain walls
in a musty pub stuck
as he pulls the urinal chain
needing air the beach to dry out
the waves needling green suds
the alewives floating home
the bodies broil between hamburger wrappers
the sun trapped in a bubble
the sand a collage of butts and beer cans
radios dueling with the wind
comparing newest waves
unemployment check
shades in hand
checking out the scene
then packing up pulling blistered body out
humping down the street
potato skin moccasins stumbling
hey man you gotta fag?
back in bed and the night's arise
sticks his face back in the glass
smiling pretty green and popping ludes
back on the streets
lying in his suit
feet dangling off the bed
streets tangling in his head
gonna escape this mess some day
fill the void the time
go straight get a job
a pair of shoes
hitch out West
to Frisco
you know, the Coast
do it tomorrow
back under covers rolling numbers
and overnight it finally happens:
the walls sweat crack
the roof caves
the roaches plan their attack
standing on the ledge
gotta fly before I fall.

"A Great Big Texas Welcome"

A man with a grizzled chin
and grease on his fingers
and in his eyes
wanted five fifty
just to take a look.

A pimply-faced blonde
trying to look smooth
from behind her rickety desk
wanted fifty in advance
to find me a place to live.

I turned my back on them both
left the car in the alley
and looked for a bus back
to my flea bag motel
but they wouldn’t let me on
I didn’t have the change.

I stuck up my thumb
and the cars whizzed by.
I sat on the curb
and finally one stopped
they yelled:
“Hey, Man, you got some weed?”
I slowly shook my head
and they left me sitting in the dust.
I bowed my head for an instant
to wipe my eyes
and lights flashed beside me:
“Hey Buddy, get moving along
or we’ll put you in the pen,
gitalong now,” he roared
from behind his mirrored shields
and I pushed myself up to my feet.

Walking along the road
fumbling with my map
I came across a coffee shop
hunger in my belly
a big black man shaking a can
in front of the door
for this cause or that
another pleading for fifty cents
for food.
I walked past them both
into the shop
and sipped my coffee
a piece of pie on the side
and it was good—apple.
I fed my starving soul
drank my coffee
as if it were in a silver cup
and rested
pleased that a dollar twenty five
could buy me all I wanted.
I wiped the napkin across my face
pulled a bill from my billfold
pulled a quarter from my pocket
tossed them both on the table
and turned with courage toward the door
the panhandler, the charity man
a woman or two down the street
selling their plastic wares
when a voice screeched out
from behind:
“Whassamatter, big spender,
can’t afford a tip?”


Trudging through the desert
he came upon
a tiny pool of water
after hundreds of years
and he drank from it
saw himself in its surface
and slept beside it.
When he awoke
the sun had done its work--
the pool was gone.
And what could he do
thirsting for more
a further glimpse of himself
the memory left on his tongue;
he could not drink his own tears
could do little but stand
and continue on
for another hundred
sun burnt years.

About the author:
Mitchell Waldman, the author of A Face in the Moon, has had short stories, poetry, and essays published in numerous magazines and other publications.

Some of his work has appeared in such publications as Poetpourri, Wind Magazine, Five Fishes Journal, Poetry Motel, Delirium, CWG Newsletter, Poetalk, Poet's Page, Poetic Hours, The Poetry Peddler, Poetry Forum, The Advocate,  Desperate Act, The Hazmat Literary Review, Mobius, Innisfree, The Parnassus Literary Journal, Verbal Expression, Bold Print, Woven Worlds, Long Story Short, 13th Story, The Poet's Haven, Unknowns, Rochester Shorts, The Rochester Times-Union, and  the anthologies, Beyond Lament: Poets of the World Bearing Witness to the Holocaust (Northwestern University Press, 1998), and Messages from the Universe (iUniverse, 2002).

He was also co-editor (with Diana L. May) of the book, Wounds of War: Poets for Peace (PublishAmerica, 2006).

Mitchell also writes book reviews for Midwest Book Review.

A Face in the Moon is his first novel.
A FACE IN THE MOON, the debut novel by Mitchell Waldman,  has been receiving praise from critics and readers alike, such as Critic's Cornerreviewer, Patricia Ann Jones, who has called the story "a Shakespearean-like tale with a twist," has praised the author's "rich characterizations and deft narration," and has called Waldman "an author to watch." Harriet Klausner, the # 1-rated reviewer for Amazon.com, has called A FACE IN THE MOON a "very sweet tale" and "an emotionally deep story that takes the reader so deep inside a lonely, sad young man readers will hold their breath knowing that they cannot escape until the book is finished...." Ms. Klausner further said that "with more novels like his debut tale that demonstrates Mitchell Waldman's tremendous talent for genuine characters in real life settings, the author will not remain faceless for very long."
Other readers and reviewers have called the author "a talented writer with a keen sense of modern conflicts and a real talent for developing believable, sympathetic characters," and Waldman has been lauded for his "smooth narrative flow," "supple prose style" and his "adept psychological portraits of the main characters in the novel and others populating their world."