I first met Jack Powers, founder of Stone Soup Poetry
in his book store art gallery community corner institute
in the store front first floor of one of the last three story
walk ups left by urban renewal razing the old West End

It was his version of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights
which Jack had visited while still just a kid, a teenager
in the early 1950’s when he fled Boston for California
only to eventually return to the city with cradled vision

And even after Jack lost the store front Stone Soup version
up in his place on Joy Street there was a Ferlinghetti poster
of Jack of Hearts around that led us on to a round of events
Jack Kerouac Birthday Parties which also had life that led

All the way up to Lowell and the old mill complex renovated
as Stone Soup migrated through existence of diverse venues
from Peter Piper Restaurant in Boston and then so far beyond
to Green Street Tavern and T.T. the Bear’s Bar in Cambridge

All the while in all those permutations more that I could list
right through Jack’s illness and death there was Ferlinghetti
my parent’s generation, a World War II navy vet, yet one of us
who saw Nagasaki a few days after the BOMB and still there
          he was always still there I could just see him


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.