It’s all out there happening —booze burns the gullets, dope veins the brains
we’ve got bottles in the toilet and blades all around hear the song of the siren
whack of the old blackjack, this is where they say man M-A-N
blackcat howling in the night time, wild man jumping the park
bullyboy dealing the best, devil’s toys got the rest
the faces beam out spotlights
this is the night the full moon moans
this is the payday of the dead
skeletons dance on telephone lines
the gates are shut but the demons slip through
they creep up the man hole
and slither from under the covers

This is America in the last hour
the stone rolls from the door
it’s the final watch
and Mickey Mouse would be shocked
to find the war lords exposing themselves
we could all lose our shirts and what a revolting revelation
anthrapoids pounding their chests in a tympany beat that echoes
passing vehicles and the life of the street hung above and below
by an arterial electric network and walls of light and darkness
slick with the humidity and pressure of the coming storm.
It’s a storm. It’s a storm. It’s a stormmmmmmm!


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.