(in two halves)

by Jack Foley

Which half of the horse are you?
              The jockey
Front or back?
              Whose name was Little Johnny Jones
Do you stick to the past like glue
              Was accused of throwing the race
Or are you the leader of the pack?
               Of course this was untrue
Sometimes I ask, What’s new?
              He was a Yankee
As I step out of the sack
             And his blood was blue
Are you red? Are you blue?
            Father fought in the “Spanish War”
Are you whole or halfway through?
            Mother was a Yankee too
Are you stern or tempt-y?
             And his name was really
Half full? Half empty?
The year is halfway up the flue
            And he danced
           And he danced
Which half which half which half
          And he danced—
Which half of the horse are you?

The tigers of the sun are perched on their tails
dear one,
the tigers of the sun are perched on their tails
Time has passed,
the night clear,

a window opens on my head.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack Foley is a widely-published, innovative California poet. He has published 13 books of poetry, five books of criticism, and Visions and Affiliations, a chronoencyclopedia of California poetry from 1940 to 2005. His radio show, Cover to Cover, is heard on Berkeley, California radio station KPFA every Wednesday at 3; his column, “Foley’s Books,” appears in the online magazine Alsop Review. In 2010, Foley was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and June 5, 2010 was proclaimed “Jack Foley Day” in Berkeley. With poet Clara Hsu, Foley is co-publisher of Poetry Hotel Press. EYES, Foley’s Selected Poems, has appeared from Poetry Hotel Press and a chapbook, LIFE, has appeared from Word Palace Press. With his wife Adelle, Foley performs his work (often “multivoiced” pieces) frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their performances can be found on YouTube. Read more at and on his website.