Cover to Cover with Jack Foley

Cover to Cover with Jack Foley – June 5, 2013

May 31 is the birth date of both Al Young and Walt Whitman. On today’s show Jack celebrates those significant births by interviewing Al and encouraging him to read some of his terrific poetry. Al and Jack cover the waterfront about this brilliant Mississippi-born, Detroit-raised California poet laureate. Al reveals how he can’t get started—and clues us into the identity of the elusive O.O. Gabugah. Listen to Al as he uncovers “dreams so long deferred / that laser-lined Thought Police 100 years from now / still can’t decrypt the meaning of their blood; / their blues.” Hear Al’s response (it includes agreement) to Jack’s remark, “There is no Al Young.” Part one of two.




Consider them both in paradise,

discussing one another—

the one a poet, the other an actor;

interchangeable performers

who finally slipped backstage

of a play whose cast favored lovers.


“You executed some brilliant lines,

Mr. Auden, & doubtless engaged our

innermost emotions & informed imagination,

for I pondered your Age of Anxiety

diligently over a juicy order of ribs.”


“No sh-t!” groans Auden, mopping his brow.

“I checked out all your Charlie Chan

flicks & flipped when you turned up again

in Watermelon Man & that gas commercial

over TV. Like, where was you all that

time in between? I thought you’d done

died & gone back to England or somethin.”


“Wystan, pray tell, why did you ever eliminate

that final line from ‘September 1, 1939’?—

We must all love one another or die.


“That was easy. We gon die anyway no matter

how much we love, but the best thing I like

that you done was the way you buck them eyes

& make out like you runnin sked all the time.

Now, that’s the bottom line of the black

experience where you be in charge of the scene.

For the same reason you probly stopped shufflin.”


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