Page 28 - Jack Foley | The true litterateur
P. 28

"The light comes slowly"

                  My  depression  vanished.  The  poem
                  suddenly  came  alive,  "the  urge  to  kill"

                  becoming  "the  urge  to  killowatts,"  to
                  energy. Its seemingly obvious discovery
                  that  literature  was  made  out  of  letters
                  was  extraordinarily  liberating,  and  its
                  concluding  lines,  only  half-understood
                  when I wrote them, "the page is not the /
                  natural dividing point," thrust me into an
                  entirely  new  direction.  A  sequence  of
                  such poems followed.

                  Such     poems       were      tremendously
                  exciting, but, apart from Adelle, I had no
                  audience  and  no  idea  where  to  present
                  my work.

                  Meeting  poet  Ivan  Argüelles  in  1985
                  changed almost everything.

                  I had known Ivan's wife, Marilla, because
                  she taught at Sean's elementary school,
                  Park Day School in Oakland. I also knew
                  that  Ivan  was  a  widely-published  poet,
                  but  I  hadn't  read  much  of  his  poetry.  I
                  ran into Marilla at a party given by an old
                  friend of Adelle's mother. I had recently
                  gotten  to  know  Ishmael  Reed,  whose
                  daughter,  Tennessee,  was  attending
                  Park Day. I mentioned Ishmael to Marilla,
                  who  told  me  that  Ivan  might  be
                                                                        Jack Foley hosting “The Performance
                  interested in meeting him. I said, "Maybe            Poetry Bash,” National Poetry Week, Fort
                  I can arrange that," and was introduced               Mason, San Francisco. 1988. Photo by
                                                                                   Jenny Chu.
                  to Ivan, who gave me two of his books
                  to read.

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