Jack Foley



Jack Foley responds to Wesli Court's epitaph "R.I.P. Jack Foley"
Click here to read the epitaph in question

R.I.P. Lewis Turco
May 2, 1934-
Here lies the Turk
A piece of work
He hoped for inaugural
But arrived at doggerel

A thief or thieves have stolen the heart of Saint Laurence O'Toole, which had been kept, since the 13th century, in a preserved state, in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

They've stolen it, my heart,
a burglar or burglars
have made off with it--
taken what remained
through the centuries
preserved, a relic,
to show the endurance
of the True Faith
through persecution—
now this great limb of the Church
(Christ Church Cathedral)
is on the lam
handled by the criminal element
for what dark purpose I cannot
say, my heart, my heart implores the Lamb:
may my moving heart
cause as much good in the world as when it beat
warm in my bosom;
may whoever performed the foul deed
embrace the Faith
and goodness—

for the thief has stolen my heart

and I must love
the taker



difficult to write & not write
             “Good” in the sense of “holy”—“goodness”—
             day of death & “agony” (in Greek the word
so many dead
             is “struggle,” “contest,” but
all symbolized by this one
man’s death
             take it to mean “great pain”)
“the time of weeping that lasts for the night
             This is the day
while awaiting the joy that comes in the morning”
             of Crucifixion—“nailed
why weep if joy is coming & you know it?
             to the cross”
“he is dead he lays in the tomb
             and of uproar in the earth and heavens
while we eagerly await”—
             and the tearing of the veil of the temple.
but what if that part of the story is false?
             Today tells us
what if the tomb is never opened—or his body remains there?
             that even the Innocent die,
what if the Resurrection never comes?
             the lamb is slaughtered.
Then all we have is
             But it is all “fixed”—by Sunday
Holy Saturday, this day
             death is reversed—magnacrucifixion
April 7, 2012
             turned to triumph.
We must think of a man’s death
and of his life
only as what precedes his death,
not what follows it.
What if (Lord!) Spring (in this respect) is a lie?

Copyright © 2012 Jack Foley

Jack Foley is a widely-published San Francisco poet known for his "spoken-word performances" which involve choruses. His Cover to Cover radio show, can be heard online at Berkley Radio KPFA www.kpfa.org
"Jack Dancing"
by Leonard Breger