for William Tyler Carter

My favorite uncle has left us and
who will give us a bright red fire truck
that can connect to a garden hose
so that water can course from the pumper
truck and put out the fire in the cardboard
box world stuffed with news print we
ignited with phosphorus headed combustion?

Who will know that we need to read
White Fang instead of Call of the Wild
in Jack London’s The Sea Wolf World?

Who will the brothers gather around to hear
the stories of an other time of the last great crisis
when they re-enacted the first battle of the Civil War
and after the war was over, almost over
it could still have ended with a gigantic flash?

Who will vision an interior design that builds
up the ecological environment so that Gandy Dancers
prance over the heads of consuming elites?

Oh, first the chaperones, Mom and Dad, departed
and now my favorite uncle, the kid brother, has left us, too,
who will lead us through a time of crisis, now?


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.