the pink frosting (with Jimmies) is so luscious
you know you’ll never be the one to burst from the flock
and finally be the one to get what everyone wants
but nobody is allowed to have because we all
have to keep following the lines in those long dark halls
where austerity started now so long ago and in reflex
to writing the editorial to explain the inexplicable
instead we become the rambling rat who knew
the student government was a hollow manipulation
set up to get us to do their work for them and never
ever to actually make anything real actually happen
so we lived our lives in shadows and stayed away
from the terrible danger of life, of sex, of death
waiting out in the dredge cuts of Munger and Hampton
in dashboard light glow of idling motors and still wheels
where the last street light is so far behind and the night
waits for this black and white scene to balance
the only color on the top of the last telephone pole
in a sky that was meant to be a background but now we see
is full of stars, more stars than we could ever see them all.


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.
This week’s poem was composed during a Stone Soup Poetry workshop at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery on September 28, 2015.