It seems the squares have taken over but then
they have always pretended to be in control
when really that was the actual reason why
they went around in rusty rigid ancient armor

As they shook inside erupting fiery volcanoes
at our really innocent evocations of what
was just a wink of life sexual hop step skip
natural as dilly-dally, loll- gag resistance

To the long, long days from the wait for the bus
and the stand with stacked books between feet
and the doomed walk in the Central High “C”
and the files passing in the endless dark halls
and the rows upon rows of padlocked lockers
and hours in one window rooms of one armed chairs

And it took centuries of struggle to make them
provide even that much and the entire county
was organized around keeping the “coloreds” out.
It literally used to make me sick just to see it.

Sometimes I’d play sick so I could get out of it.
I knew there had to be somewhere else to go.
and there was and there is and it will still be
even now that it seems the squares have taken over.


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.