In Memory

Marc Hofstadter

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06/29/21 10:10 PM #1    

Mark Sherkow

My Friend Marc Hofstadter, by Mark Sherkow

Marc and I were close friends for many years up until the end of his life.  We corresponded in writing and over the phone regularly, and my husband Bob and I visited Marc and his partner David in Walnut Creek, near San Francisco, about 10 years ago.  The last 2-3 years he was on kidney dialysis.  In April, he had a stroke.  He spent the last week or so of his life in hospice care and died peacefully with a very close friend at his side.  Marc loved classical music and literature, and spent much of his time listening to his wonderful collection of music and reading through his collection of books--collections which grew continuously.  He was a poet who wrote 9 books of poetry as well as a book of essays.  Marc would often spend part of his day at a tea house drinking tea, watching and conversing with people, and writing poetry.  He tried to produce a poem a day.  I personally found his poetry very present and accesible, often beautiful, and full of feeling.  Here is one of his poems that I like a lot, from his third book, Shark's Tooth:


Azure and hazel gazes glimmer gem-like

as I sroll through delectable morning

Blouses balloon in ragged breeze while

Christmas lights scintillate in sycamores

In a tea bar Darjeeling flowers on my tongue

while my words bounce and rattle like pebbles

down the river of this day

which seems inexhaustible

which carries along

baby carriages, glances, mustaches, hats,

salutations, and movie marquees

Afternoon arrives like a woman in a boa

trailing astonished onlookers

We dally touching the fringes of her skirt

Eventually cities, steeples, and broad plains form

in the underbellies of clouds

Though you may allow rain soon oh day

your subsequent chapters are unknown

and therefore magical to me 

You surge like the Pacific in a cove

Ring the air like a carillon

I'm going to stick with you faithfullly

Allow me to place my coat

so you may pass gracefully over the gutter

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