A dismal dark night of passing young girls talking about
“like Hiroshima Boston could just be gone” and hard to imagine
I can’t understand that man where the businessmen are in a rush
and looking for a bouquets of competence no one has time to talk
and three Puritan security guards won’t allow rowdy kids to smoke joint
while no one stops to talk and even the taxi driver gets into stalking
the rats in the sub shop garbage across the street across the mind
people come into the store like garbled phantoms who all know the boss
and expect things in return I cannot possibly know what they could be
or why they feel so mean when I’m depressed from lack of sleep
and wish they’d leave and leave me to my activities and I need a nap
before I can do anything thinking these devils are my enemies
the enemy army of the night, the deep dark death creature
of the fantabulous black hole of day where everything has gone
wrong is going wrong at each instant and I want to take it all in
like a cancer in my body to soak it all in and kiss it with the
very center of my being, my softest inside totally exposed
to this terrible grimace all this complete outsides
which is so desperately waiting for a holiday
worshipfully praying for a miracle
so biding on a number
and doting on a son
that it, they, we are this consumed and consuming consumption
waiting, biding, bidding, doting, toting, gloating
with that devil grin of time and accountant of soul self.


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.