Sunny's bookshelf
Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

The Light of Evening, A Brief Life of Jack Foley

Sign up to receive our latest reviews by email

The Light of Evening

The Light of Evening, A Brief Life of Jack Foley – to be read nonstop, to cheat evening of its sleep, to learn the breadth of a brief life.


In reading The Light of Evening
I cheated the evening of sleep.

I forgot how brief one life can be
if you forget about the birthing,
the dying, the learning and relearning
even the stuff forgotten for at least a brief while
while nothingelse lived briefly or not.

His words, funny and wise make his story
a story before it was ever a poem or even that life
he briefly explores.

He brings vaudeville, Grey’s churchyard, favorite teachers,
family, friends gained and lost, and newer ones to fill in
a silence that speaks to readers who have forgotten
the word that follows the word after. And what
is that? EVERYTHING, including music, film, Savio,
and now the readers of a brief life.

He is the teacher to remind the reader
(readers learn best when reminded) of Stein, Spicer,
Williams, and Berkeley’s best. Mostly his “BRIEF
LIFE” reminds me to buy a copy for a young High Desert
Poet who does not know Foley’s Telegraph Avenue or
the Berkeley he built.

He reminds us again of colors, notes, even or uneven syllables
remembered or not, that make up our lives.
In a file marked Misc. I keep the postcard he sent with
words encouraging my own words. The kindness to offer
to read and reply and now, the kindness to share
a brief telling of a very necessary life.

I recommend The Light of Evening to anyone who
takes pen in hand, can sing, act, tap, or draw a breath.

–  Sunny Solomon

Also available by Jack Foley: Letters/Lights; Gershwin; Adrift; Exiles; Dead/Requiem (with Ivan Arguelles); Saint James; Foley’s Books, California Rebels, Beats & Radicals; O Powerful Western Star; Some Songs by Georges Brassens; The “Fallen Western Star” Wars; Greatest Hits; Fennel in the Rain with Adelle Foley; The Dancer & the Dance; Visions & Affiliations; Sketches Poetical; Eyes, Selected Poems; A California Beat Literary Timeline; RIVERRUN; The Tiger and Other Tales; Grief Songs; When Sleep Comes: Shillelagh Songs.

Bookin’ with Sunny enthusiastically supports Independent Bookstores and Public Libraries.

The Light of Evening

4 Responses

  1. I have greatly enjoyed reading Light of Evening and its companion work A Backward Glance.O’er Traveled Roads. I will be adding my own words of praise and gratitude but these are a hard act to follow. Well done!

    1. Hi, Jack, thanks for your enthusiastic words about my review of Foley’s book. I’m still basking in “The Light of Evening” and it will be a while before I tackle the companion book, but I am certainly looking forward to it. Since setting up the book review site, my poetry has fallen through the cracks, but when I read Foley’s poems it’s darned hard not to reach through the cracks and pull out a poem. His prose has the same effect. Please let me know when you write your own review. I hope you come back to BWS again.

Add your thoughts and comments...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this Review

Related Reviews

Billy Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space

Billy Blaster

BILLY BLASTER AND THE ROBOT ARMY FROM OUTER SPACE – not necessarily a graphic novel only for the younger reader. No matter how old you

Read More »

About the Reviewer

Sign up for reviews by email

You’ll get email updates from Bookin’ with Sunny when we add a new review or blog post, and we never share your email with anyone else.

Shopping in-store Fun!

Support your local community’s economic growth by shopping for books at your independent bookstore in person, online at their website, or by phone.