They’re all up there on those screens flickering, talking, talking not walking
about all those problematic personalities the Kims, the Vladimirs, the Saddams
the Mummars and those goose stepping impossibly bad problematic persons
when it’s the institutions (as when they say we’re so institutionally strong) and
“it’s always been this way” oh, walk this way, walk this way we’ve been walking
this way so long why? we’d fall over without that wind ever in our face, why,
we’d fall flat without that horizontal rain, we’d fall over flat on fallen flat faces
because we’re so institutionally strong that we don’t even have to think about how,
how it could be that these jokers, these clowns can go around for decades of serial
abuse with battalions of lawyers and plenteous PR public relations firms so infirm
in all their amoral manipulation machinations that they’ve had us in their silk silo
for a century so there’s no way out of ubiquitous crisis of strait jacket constitution
we’re so institutionally strong we can never get away from the men in bath tubs
and the guys who expose them selves and the demands for just be calm why get
so excited about it, you know exactly what they mean and you’ll be the one who
will never work again, and you’ll be the one nobody will believe and they will be
the one with the shark tooth lawyers and you will pay and pay and pay and they
will still be in charge of everything and there will never be a way much less, oh,
oh, so much less justice much less peace because you know we’re so institutionally


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.