Things are seldom what they seem to be
skim milk masquerades as ice cream
“Little Buttercup” of Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company
she weighed over 4 or 5 hundred pounds

But the best dancer I ever saw was a boy
who made up moves to song played at a institution
for the “retarded” right here in Massachusetts

But then there was the lady in her late 80’s
who had a daughter who was a contortionist
who decided to become a contortionist, too,
and was able to lie on her stomach and
walk all around her head in full circle.


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.