I guess you could say it all started in Sarajevo
but it’s taken a quarter century to make it
to the trench warfare of the western front
although Mosul and Rakka look like Stalingrad
while we’ve already had the Great Recession
and the markets bubbled and burst twice
and the Forever War eats up youth populations
in country after country where revolutions
like 1848 boil over but are absorbed
phantom-like flashing across borders swift
refugee waves as if we’d already reached
the nuclear end of the second epic half
of the last great crisis except everyone
is so busy pretending and still pretending
it’s all normal and racism is just a word
and white supremacist is not a real problem
even though somehow in world of black
and brown people living in “shitholes”
where they flush all the toxic deadly shit
it turns out the white supremacist homeland
is the biggest “shithole” in the industrial
world of 19th century industry practiced
on 21ST century scale, yet still
neocolonial, neoliberal, neoconservative
and classic, classic, classist


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.