Cover to Cover with Jack Foley

Cover to Cover with Nina Serrano and Jack Foley – April 3, 2019

COVER TO COVER with Nina Serrano and Jack Foley
Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., KPFA 94.1 FM
(available at the KPFA website)


If the Mueller report has you down, if the internet keeps quitting on you, if the skies in sunny California are gray gray gray, try pepping up and having a cup o’ cheer with Nina Serrano and Jack Foley, KPFA’s interwoven pair.

Today’s show will feature a short segment featuring Thomas Stanton, Poet Laureate # 7 of Benicia. Mr. Stanton is, says Nina, famous locally for being “not understandable.” Stanton himself remarks that “Clarity is not my strong point.”

Another segment will be a tribute to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who turned one hundred years old on March 24, 2019. Jack will play a very rare recording of Lawrence reading “The Billy Clinton Blues” to Jack’s guitar accompaniment. Jack will also present his own musical setting of Ferlinghetti’s “Dove Sta Amore,” performed by himself and his late wife, Adelle. Jack’s present partner, in life and in work, Sangye Land, will also join him in a duet.


Here is a new poem by Nina:


Winter Song


The new year begins in gray rain and cold

Vallejo’s weeds erupting

sweater and scarves emerge

boots stomping towards

the waters of Benicia

the waters of Benicia

churning wavelets swallow the docked red rowboat

sinking into the Sacramento River

slanting nose down and tilted tail sticking up

in waters reaching out to the sea

Flowing through the straits of Carquinez

Flowing through the straits of Carquinez

It’s all water under the bridge

pulling the tides ever onward

as these days dissolve into each other

threatening not to stop

this repetitious parade of incidents and faces

each revealing the lessons I must learn

again and again never mastered

always eluding me

in the search for God

in the search for God

Questions and stories to reveal eternal mysteries

refusing to be known

except in glimpses of light and connection

sparking flashes of knowing understanding

consciousness not bothered by logic

or organized by the order of desire or the moon

Always the moon

Always the moon

calling the current away

Letting the clouds drift gently

caressing the curves of its moon face without hurry

accompanied by dots of stars

grouped in familiar patterns in the moving night sky

whether watched or just felt or assumed

While blankets and pillows cushion the fortunate

every night and every morning

some to misery are born

some to misery are born

And even all rich as kings suffer

flood, fire earthquake hurricane volcano and freeze

when hailstones drop from the sky without notice

sudden as rainbows and silent symphonies

of celestial song enrapturing and signaling dolphins and whiles

And the elusive birds of magnificent feathers

And the elusive birds of magnificent feathers

The giant stuffed bears in Port Acosta

hint at fierce struggles

while flaunting the triumph of the hunter

who does not eat his prey

I fear their glassy eyes

mammoth heads and powerful claws

The same fear as my ancestors

the hunters and the hunted in and out of caves

Oh ancestors and descendants

Oh ancestors and descendants

you journey with me through these days

You are here as I am

Each in our own reiteration of matter in our own time and dimension

The stardust in each of us is still here

Never leaves

We remain by our Mother Earth

never leaving her side

The DNA clings to the soil mixing with wishes and aspirations

of earlier and later iterations of matter

Each in our own time and dimension

And now the future sings a siren song

the future sings a siren song

that I dance to limping and halting, unsteady, unbalanced

dancing and stumbling through this new year

that begins in gray rain cold and weeds

feeling my way to spring


And this is Jack’s portrait of the great French poet/dramatist, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948):




Before speaking further about culture, I must remark that the world is hungry and not concerned with culture, and that the attempt to orient toward culture thoughts turned only toward hunger is a purely artificial expedient.

What is most important, it seems to me, is not so much to defend a culture whose existence has never kept a man from going hungry, as to extract, from what is called culture, ideas whose compelling force is identical with that of hunger.

We need to live first of all; to believe in what makes us live and that something makes us live – to believe that whatever is produced from the mysterious depths of ourselves need not forever haunt us as an exclusively digestive concern.

I mean that if it is important for us to eat first of all, it is even more important for us not to waste in the sole concern for eating our simple power of being hungry.

If confusion is the sign of the times, I see at the root of this confusion a rupture between things and words, between things and the ideas and signs that are their representation.

Not, of course, for lack of philosophical systems; their number and contradictions characterize our old French and European culture: but where can it be shown that life, our life, has ever been affected by these systems? I will not say that philosophical systems must be applied directly and immediately: but of the following alternatives, one must be true:

Either these systems are within us and permeate our being to the point of supporting life itself (and if this is the case, what use are books?), or they do not permeate us and therefore do not have the capacity to support life (and in this case what does their disappearance matter?).

He walks in the spectacle

He was so handsome, très beau, vous savez

that is everything around him

And then  …et puis après…maigre…misère

Madly insisting on his

sanity and insanity

SCREAMING and insistent

that he is right

while knowing that he is in excess

and comic and wrong

ironic, sincere,

and vastly accusatory

At once frail and full of authority

“Le mômo” qui joue le mômo pour ses amis artistiques de Paris








J’ai appris hier

(il faut croire que je retarde, ou peut-être n’est-ce qu’un faux bruit, l’un de ces sales ragots comme il s’en colporte entre évier et latrines à l’heure de la mise aux baquets des repas une fois de plus ingurgités),

j’ai appris hier

l’une des pratiques officielles les plus sensationnelles des écoles publiques américaines

et qui font sans doute que ce pays se croit à la tête du progrès.

Il paraît que parmi les examens ou épreuves que l’on fait subir à un enfant qui entre pour la première fois dans une école publique, aurait lieu l’épreuve dite de la liqueur séminale ou du SPERME….

mo to ho he ah

mem zi ag oh toog



mômo mômo mômo

et moi…toothless…addicted…mem zi ag oh toog

zi   zi

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