Metal detector wand in hand
I was working the shelter door
when young Billy finally came in
so that I could tell him the news
that he made the Bay City Times
my home town newspaper and
that my Mom sent me his picture,
asking, “is this one of yours?”

He was so wrapped in blankets
and swaddled in stocking caps
on some hot air grate it took me
quite a while to recognize he was
in fact one of mine at least as much
as anyone can belong to anyone else
lighting a cigarette for gnome-like consort
so withered in her gnarled face that I thought
he was a she.

So now in deference to his new found fame
I say “nice going Bill, that must be one minute
of the fteen minutes of fame promised to us all
by Andy Warhol. Keep it up and you’ll get another fourteen.”


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.