In elongated endless adolescence I would pray for release from thoughts
I found ever more persistent the harder I attempted to banish them away.

Now I find myself arguing on church steps the hopelessness I myself struggle
with in flitting old age tired days happy just to prop my feet on couch top
and meditate to T.V. talking heads there must be some thing I can do now
that the information bubbles bounce reckless 50’s conformity gone info-war.

It infuriates me to feel myself sucked down into this quagmire quick sand
(already I now see) there as I watched the Army-McCarthy hearings after school
(on our first T.V.) oh, Ike, Eisenhower defeated the wing nuts but the real radicals
were being purged from the unions and the think tanks were going intercontinental
a huge spreading ballistic umbrella always careful to keep all options on the table.

How was I to know the wars would never stop
and Austerity would be institutionalized by graduation?

The miracle is that we’re still here and the warmonger parties are so busy fighting
with each other they can’t finally, ever so finally, manage to solidify the new wars
they are both so intent to start.

There they are caught in the middle of the Middle-east where they wanted to be
right after the invasion of Iraq, surrounded like the Kurds by all these hostile states
(Turkey, Assad’s Syria, Iraq and Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon) what a mess simultaneous
play of nuclear fantasy games, apocalypse in a duck and cover instant old fashion pinball
then video games all gone virtual viral like a 1950’s map superimposed with Google
site search Plessy vs. Ferguson played out in neighborhood covenants that can still
be seen in negative image of inner cities of our repressed thoughts and submerged
desires for what could be, might have been like the belief in all that “foreign aid”
they get over there when over here went without and they’ve just done it again and
cut the taxes of the richest and raised the military budget and turned to us to say
now we have to do something about the terrible deficit (they just made) and sure enough
                                     we all know what that means.


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.