The Pied Piper has come to town
to put his finger wherever he wants
and kiss and kiss like a babe magnet
and hiss and hiss that she’s a witch
(like a b*tch) the way he gets his way
and all the little children flock to him
and follow him wherever he goes
song of celebrity and fame halo frame
so he had his competitors 17, 18 strong
but no one played the flute quite the way
as the one who knows the only way
to mountain vastness of burying bowels
that can hold all the innocents of children’s
crusades and human trafficking and when
the witch who summoned these pipers
strolls through the old town of Angle Saxony
and hears the cat calls of “lock her up”
she won’t have to show her birth certificate
like her be-nighted predecessor, not her
she’ll curtsey like prim iron maiden
and off to the war to save the children who
come out of Earth covered with concrete dust.


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.