I was trying to find a way to tell him about this truly great storm, Sandy
as the ancient mansion in which we were spending our last night after 18 years
flapped around us shuddering walls and leaking roof deluging boxes in the hall
packed to be moved the very next day as long as they didn’t fall apart all wet
while I can just see him sitting in the old Beacon Hill Chambers eight stories
of brick and mortar where I lived across the street back in the 70’s as I yell,
“it’s blowing up pretty good” the tree out the window by which I stand just blows
apart and collapses huge branches cascade into the circular drive in front of the
house, “the tree just blew apart, Bill”, I yell again and then repeat, “the tree
in the front yard just blew apart, Bill”. “What, what?” he said. So I had to say it
again as if he could not so much hear me as believe me when I couldn’t believe it


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.