Dean Goldberg

Two Poems – Dean Goldberg

“the tighter the knot, the stronger the hold”

I know a painter who’s an expert in knots
She throws them on to the canvas
steps back for a moment,
breathing in their color and shape.

Defying her work,
she stares into the center,
and paints, wet, smear, thrust
mixing her own personal battle
with the struggle
that is her life.

The smell of her paints
surrounds the two
inebriates the space
untying one more puzzle
that might never be solved.
once invisible
she’s forced it to emerge
both artist and painting
making their declarations.
Unafraid to see
and be seen
by those of us still lost,
still struggling with our own demons
still trying to untie our own knots.


Night in America, Summer 1972

The fog was so thick
that he could see bits of brownish oil
hanging in the pre-dawn mist,
The mercury vapor lights casting a
yellow stain against the blackened night.
As they pulled into the station giant grim
fluorescents bent over the gas pumps
lighting the oily concrete.
The silent passenger watched the
young, pocked marked kid working
and sweating under those ghastly lights,
hypnotized by this boy covered in grease and gas fumes,
a brother from a distant universe.


Professor Dean Goldberg is the Director of the Communication, Art, and Digital Media program at Mount Saint Mary College, a private liberal arts college in upstate New York. He spent more than half of his adult life as a film editor, writer, and director for film and television and has written articles and reviews on film production and film theory. His article ‘More Than a Touch of Madness’ on Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s film Performance (1970) appeared in issue 15.3 of Film International. His review of ‘Show Trial’ appeared in issue 16.4. He also is a contributor to FilmINT online.