Jack Foley

Painting of Jack Foley by Leonard Breger,
a San Francisco artist

Copyright  © 2009 Jack Foley


Dear Moon,
Wubba wubba
what I love about you is your
I’m a luvah
Woo de doodle
sudden as
you’re a poodle
how’s about babe
or my mother’s
a night out, babe
wanna use it
what I love about you is the fact
not abuse it
that I know nothing about you
wanna dangle
and can
wanna wrangle
know nothing about you
wan some POONTANG
wanna moon bang
for the light you cast
wanna croon wang
what I love about you is
your lagoon bang
not even remotely connected to
wanna woo woo
in your woo hoo
but to the fierceness
want that sweet stuff
you exhibit
in your sweet dust
and to your
oooooooo sweet mutha
wubba wubba

for L.Z.

conscious longing joint weed polygonaceous
jonquil fragrant yellow or white flowers
showing up in our yard as if by magic
joy stick juba lectionary
musaceous murther murre myrrh
Muss-o-lini (the plumber named “Muss-o-lini Miles”:
Just call me ‘Moose’”)
(O Princess Flower, most beautiful of)
Glory Bush
“I love your cock” absolute magnitude
Magnitogorsk desoxyribonucleic acid
desoxyribose Deo gratias coral Mayweed
jigger mortmain Morocco
otalgia O tempora! Papilionaceous
(O Princess Flower, most beautiful of)
press-room prest
And the golden Calif. Poppy
(anthology: a gathering of flowers)
papyrus hemidemisemiquaver
lemon balm

This poem is as close as I’ve come this year to writing a birthday poem. A little bush of lemon balm magically showed up in our yard one day. I’m diabetic and take a long walk daily to deal with the disease. I see a lot of flowers as I walk, and it struck me that the flowers were something like the words I discover when I “wander” in the dictionary.

for Dave Mason after his “Fathers and Sons”

Dylan Thomas: “And you, my father, there on the sad height”
Fathers & songs.

My own: a song and dance man. “By the light…

Do you remember,
The songs you sang me
When I was a child
(I am nearly the age you were
When you died!)
The songs that gave me
Delight in sound (son)
Sonny Boy
Pygmalion Roses
All By Myself in the Morning
Fathers & songs
They opened me
To a world that led
Beyond themselves
Into an Infinity
Which is there
Whether or not I see it or hear it
(Doesn’t matter
Whether I see it or hear it)
Baby It’s Cold Outside
Chickashay Gal
La Divina Commedia
The Song of Songs
Is what you do
With your langue
Rumors Are Flying
Ode to the West Wind
I Put My Left Foot In I Take My Left Foot Out
In Your Easter Bonnet
White Christmas

Fathering songs
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

I listen
Though you
And they


Song: Nightfall

well the night comes
the night comes well
night’s well comes
well comes the night
nigh it comes
well to the wall
to the wall of night
(& fright)
the well

well nigh the night / comes

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