The lightning beetles down by the Neponset
are back for over two weeks already & now
winking to me on my nightly walks while on
days even the continental center still suffers
from droughts intermixed with the torrential
rains that fall as gentle almost tropical mists
on our rocky northeastern coasts that blend
with the smoke from so far Canada hundreds
of forest fires and half of them totally out of
control even as we all somehow know but no
one will say how much big time trouble we’ve
really done it now another war is still going
on in that long litany of endless forever wars
after everything that happened for 3 decades
since that End of History how can they play at
pretend back to those good old happy nappy
days automatons on parade the firecrackers
and rockets red glare it’s scary how the bangs
could be just another mass shooting in Texas
or mass shooting in Baltimore or in Philly or
in Chicago another block party dissolves into
more horror a man in body armor carrying a
military grade rifle & with hundreds of rounds
of ammo & a side arm active shooter who shot
anything so foolish as to move as if that so old
Vietnam Kill Anything That Moves admonition
to the troops had come home and home what
a strange place home becomes on this July 4th.


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.