Even if you can’t remember
you still always know
even if you can’t find the words
the feeling is always there
even if the images go dark
the forms move in the shadows
squirming entrails, exploding heart
clammy clutch, creepy touch
flight, fight, freeze fast
corporeal imprint scar
that resonates to any abuse
victim, survivor, soldier’s heart
shell shock, combat battle-fatigue
post traumatic shock disorder
Stockholm syndrome war weary
Vietnam syndrome, forever war
chaos of the endlessly Long War
bully, mass murder molester land
dis-function city America USA USA
even if you can’t re-member
still you always all ways know
each time they’ve got you again,
again even if you can’t remember


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.