First you cry and then your nose runs and runs
Or was it the nose first followed by those tears
It’s impossible to tell when you can’t even know
If you had that virus or that other so viral one
But the one thing you know for sure it’s changing
So fast that never ever will it never be the same
Even though when you do look at the contending
Factions of the duopoly so many are tempted again
To say they are the same because see All One Thing
They are the interlocking parts of one big system
Everyone’s worst nightmare of an abusive relation
Sociopathic pair together doing exactly what neither
Would do alone one acting out person the other
Audience and accomplice in this dysfunctional family
Dance of the Big daddy and mate who just takes it
Time after time endless absent out to lunch concern
That never manages to mount that real resistance
Because resistance will be seen as slit eye retaliation
And the retaliation to any even faint halting symbol
Of deviation will lead automatically, demonic quick
To alienation, evisceration, annihilation on and on
On the spot right there where lives sign of weakness
All whole waiting right there just for that single tear
(much less that running, dripping clear snot unblown


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.