In the earliest days of the pandemic as I went around
trying to tell everyone that basic public health testing
and tracking was not in place everywhere I was greet-
ed with blank faces and the announcement so prime
of a variety of conspiracy theories all somehow pointing
the great fickle finger of blame over there, somewhere
else the New World Order Chinese Communist biological
warfare cum 9/11 repeat we’ve been sneak attacked Pearl
Harbor when all the fault lines of prejudice and systematic
class and racism 50 years of shoveling to the top on the
theory some of it, that is the shit of commercial consumer
consumption (of the people) will somehow (again) miracle
filter down through the sorting system to the ever growing
body of the poor in their (yes) far ghettos of disinvestment
where they been cutting services & privatizing institutions
forever for half a century of policy political parties duopoly
the ye olde one two left then right double cross that leaves
’em reeling all the people just individuals trying to find some
security enveloped in the security state oh, such insecurity
oh, we all want to take care of our selves stripped to alone-
ness all by our selves there must be the alternative prophy-
lactic the magic elixir the secret herb a one true incantation
trick and treat and there they all are in the same boiling pot
kettle planet of stewing hot pot and it is us, it is all of them
us Covid like some dark line skin trace drug showing us the
diseased structure that is all of us there right where we lived
in nation of crackpot president never elected, just selected so
broken devastated neo-liberal America when Libertarian is just
another word for racism (and the great yawning, ever growing
                     CLASS DIVIDE)


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.