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.