I ride my long lost Volks Wagon chariot
down the great suburban highway to nowhere
with my old dream buddy past the Marriott
Motor Lodge. Youth again in the enemies’ lair,

We’re on the spy for the answer to eternal need
and turn in at the oval of a rest stop haven
where a tiny clapboard cottage goes to seed
looking out over the vista of skyscraper heaven.

As we dismount our vehicle’s double doors wide
the Old Colony Complex blocks our view to the ocean.
I don’t know how people can be carried by the tide
To live in such square dwellings stripped of emotion.

We’ve come to steal a few nubile plant cuttings
that we can use to enliven my bare city walls
and rip them from garden and flowerbox jutting
out from the cottage face as neighbors make calls

To tell the State Police of our evil outsider theft
but by the time they arrive we have already left.


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. Today marks his one year anniversary as a poet columnist for Oddball Magazine.