The Lee Granite Story or Small World Isn’t It
                                                                          for Norma

While we were in the Green Lobby
(actually the renovated old women’s unit entry area)
casting the final deciding vote to unbar Lee for having stolen
a bottle of rubbing alcohol from the clinic and refused to give it up
until the detail officer held him down while the nurses cut it out of
                                                                                                              his pocket
which all admit was really the clinic’s fault for leaving the bottle unlocked
                                                                                                        and unsupervised
(since what would any alcoholic do if you leave him/her access to ETOH?)
while still the argument at shift change meeting revolved around whether
Lee did better elsewhere when Lee was lying on Causeway St. with active
soaked with his own urine and covered with his own vomit
from a McD’s hamburger he couldn’t keep down
waiting for my wife, the intrepid psych. Nurse, to come by and discover his
and call the police to help him only to have them break his crutches
in disgust at seeing him again before they finally transport him to the Inn
where he arrived on the actual night of his unbarring demanding
vociferously a new set off crutches, he calls sticks,
“where are my sticks?” he inquisitorally keens “where are my sticks?”


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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.