for Stone Soup Poetry and Chad Parenteau

Here I am riding through Fields Corner with a notebook in my bag that I wrote when
I lived here almost 40 years ago on my way to Stone Soup still there waiting on Monday
night as I think of event ASSAULT ON AMNESIA Jack and I put together of Retread
Troopers and Civilian Casualties about Vietnam that’s what we need now that’s what
everyone says over and over People Need to Wake Up and look at that Sleeping Giant
America most of the young people are way too young to remember Vietnam or Jim Morrison’s
the Doors singing We Want the World and We Want It Now .… Nowwwww!!! all they
know is “Come on Baby Light My Fire” tell it to Donald Trump and there it is again like
the Wake Up the Earth Festival out in Jamaica Plain at the Urban Gardening Project there
that Jack Powers and (more probably) Julie worked on like the first Charles River Regatta
still going still flow row(ing) down a much cleaner Charles, muddy, muddy Charles down
where we went to read a few poems and say a few words for the two guys I knew from Pine
Street Inn who both drowned in one night so they found their bodies floating by the Sailboat
Club and one was in the poetry group at St. Francis House Jack started and Jack was livid
that the two human deaths were in the inside pages of the Metro Section while the murder
of a swan from the Public Garden was front page news in the Boston Globule and so I say
Thank God for Jack Powers! Thank God for Stone Soup Poetry!
Here I come across from Dorchester to Cambridge, Ashmont Station to Central Square again
how many times I have ridden those rails across the two towns screeching and screaming so
deep under doesn’t seem aging infrastructure is any kinder or the wind anymore embracing
as we walk out the doors and into the wind down the stairwells and up those stairs into the
world of the square only to arrive at Out of the Blue (art gallery as ersatz as the original store
front of Stone Soup on (get this) Cambridge St. to hear Neil Young singing “I Believe” I believe
that’s how it happens just like that Synchronicity Strikes Again, Urban Wild Life all around got
us so Lucky, Lucky Me America needs to wake up Sleeping Giant America, Assault on Amnesia
save the Civilian Casualties, retread again the Retread Troopers Assault on Amnesia for that
Assault On ALL ONE THING America Amnesia Now More Than Ever All One Thing Irony
All the Time Lucky, Lucky Me, Lucky Be
Stone Soup still here even though Jack is such a gone dude, Lucky Me.


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. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.