Tuesday, June 29, 1982


      —for Marty Goldstein
         Oct 14, 1949 - Jan 15, 1983

The sound of whistling
escapes from the lips of a solitary walker.
Down the empty corridor
a ringing sound echoes
from an empty can rolling across the cold cement
An escapee from the junk piled in the corner.

The corridor with its empty straight
lines and right angles leading no where. 
No one standing in the closed doors
and darkened windows.

The whistling sound—
a forced breath escapes 
from a friend 
who lies waiting
in a hospital bed.

His hand, a fragile lotus curled
on the white sheet can't stop the darkness
from creeping out of its lair
and spreading its viscous fingers of cancerous ink
across the soft grey carpet of his brain.

A song without words echoes through
the corridors of the brain.
The sentinel note sounds.
But there's no one there 
to open the closed doors
and the windows are locked shut.

We are all walking.
We take turns walking.
We all walk unannounced 
on that long, dark road.


A poem for Marty Goldstein, the first of my SSU classmates to die, of brain cancer. He was such a brilliant man, one of my close compadres in the Senior Seminar Literature survey class, and in the MA program. He died too soon, probably why this poem never made it to the electronic realm. Too sad. I still miss him. He died Jan 15, 1983, he was 33 years old. There wasn't a memorial, or if there was, we didn't know about it. So we never got closure. Next to go was Jim Montrose. We thought we were immortal. Here's lookin', at you, Kid.

Added 10/16


Karen said...

I just started writing about my brother in law this morning at 11:45, November 22, 2016. At 500 words I thought I would google him. Surprise and wonderment, Maureen Hurley had posted a memorial 10/16, which I take to mean last month. I would like to share what I am writing. What is your email. Thanks
Oliver B. Pollak

Karen said...

Please email us. I am Marty's sister, he past away on January 15 and there was a beautiful memorial in Santa Rosa before we all went south to Burbank where he is buried. There was another beautiful tribute to Marty held at the cemetery.

Maureen Hurley said...

Hi Oliver,

I had written that poem to Marty in 1983, after he died. I have a vague memory of meeting some of his family, were you there? I added the post on 10/16, as I've been going through, and culling old files, and resurrecting old work. Please feel free to share. Easiest way is to click on it, and copy the link. I don't want to publish my email, but what you can do is send me yours, here, it comes to my email, and I won't publish it, of course, and then I'll email you from there. Do you have a photo of him, by chance?


Maureen Hurley said...

Hi Karen,

Since I screen your posts before I publish them, you can send me your email, and I won't publish it! But I'll email you right back. Sounds like I need to change the date to Jan 15.