Cover to Cover with Jack Foley

Cover to Cover with Jack Foley – January 1, 2020

The year ends, the year begins as we cycle from light to light, darkness to darkness, from time to time. We’ll keep an eye out for whatever awaits us in 2020. One friend made a calendar of 2020. He took many famous paintings and gave their inhabitants eyeglasses. Vision. Insight. Old friends Nina Serrano and Jack Foley, KPFA’s interwoven pair, welcome the new year with one of their special radioromps. Listen as these elderyoung’uns give you the news–about themselves, about the world, about (yccch) what is the name of that presquedent? “King Liar lives in a house of White.” A special feature of today’s program will be songs by Tony Perez.

Here is a poem by Nina:




We brought folding chairs and blankets

to the grassy cliff top

surrounded on three sides

by the Sacramento River

to listen to John on his indigenous flute

accompany the sun as it set

slipping behind the Carquinez Straights

into the glowing horizon


And yet it has been happening every night of my life

unwatched and unappreciated

by me

So many moments of note going unnoted

by me

Me is missing

the planets’ major daily events

They happen without my awareness

My awareness is unaware

My awareness is unaware


Missing Mother Earth’s glories

Missing Mother Earth’s glories

only an eyeful away


And here is Jack on the great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats (1856-1939):




Gone at 73,

Poet of Ireland

Poet of the Other World

Looking for its traces

In the Wind

Among the Reeds

None like him

For the passion

Of renunciation

“O what a sweetness strayed

To barren Thebaid”

“The foul rag and bone shop

Of the heart”–

Three books

Quote that line

And leave “foul” out–

None like him

For the continual


That language

Always goes beyond itself–


Haunted by the words

Of a 3rd-century Neo Platonist–

The immense distance between

This world

And that other

From which

The “voices” came.

Love of the woman

Love of the woman as symbol

The tragedy

That spirit

Lodges itself

In the mire

Of flesh

And that a woman

Must grow old–

Not “unity”

But the fierce knowledge

That all we have

Is the power to know

What we cannot be or emulate.

The swans

Leap up in the pool

And descend again, and leap again.

I love him for the clarity of his monumental, daring, unerring vision.




I have lived with him throughout my life

Lived with the symbols

The magic that leapt about his table

Lived not where he walked

But where he thought

In that sky to which Helena Blavatsky brought him

Demon Est Deus Inversus




In the dark you entered in 1939,

Did Plato and Plotinus welcome you?


Did your soul rise, a falcon in the air

Ignoring cries to bring it back to earth?


Did Cúchulainn honor you, show you the sword

That killed in battle frenzy the hound of Culain?


Did Emer soothe the wounds that ended you

And bind them deeply with a purple cloak?


Did honeybees ignore you in that dark

Where wild swans flew and fire sweetly burned?


Did all the gyres end, did darkness sing?

Did you become a consecrated bone?




Nothing is true, dear love, nothing is true.



[for Robert Sward]

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