Posted on Leave a comment

Bamboozled No More! 9/11, God and Time


It was the longest day in history.
Time stopped.
We wandered among televised carnage
As our minds and souls went numb.
What had just happened?
Without warning our emotional screens
Went blank.
We saw what we could not believe.
The images didn’t change.
they were rebroadcast, repeated everywhere.
Switching TV and radio stations
Was not an option.
The war had arrived here.
The place we considered sacred ground.
our homeland.

But God would not stop time.
We thought the images imprinted
Upon our memories
Would remain as we saw them,
That all the horror would be saved,
Unchanged, locked away in a collective memory.

We thought time stopped, but it did not.
That day turned into night,
Became an imperfect collective nightmare.
Because we were all in different places
When the planes fell from the sky
And the buildings collapsed.

God did not stop time.
God would not leave us
To relive hell over and over.
God being God, moved the hands of the clock
Forward slowly, ever so slowly.
God would not stop time.
Because to stop time would be a true end,
The place where the exact same event
Would be repeated.

And hate would be the only thing we would have.
So God being God let time pass slowly.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.


Posted on 4 Comments

Remembering 9/11- Remembering Jimmy Cherry

This is a memorial post dedicated to the late Jimmy Cherry who my family lost on 9/11/04. A different tragedy, for a different reason. I published this in 2009 in the first years of Oddball Magazine. Thank You for allowing me the space to remember Jim while we also remember everyone who was lost on 9/11/01.



We Miss You Jimmy 

September 11, 2001, our nation suffered as a country, we suffered as people. We watched powerless as the buildings fell, and soon we were at war.

The next year on 9/11, I was in Salem Hospital. Soon I had the strongest manic episode I ever had and walked thirty six miles. I wrote a book about it.

I remember that day in Salem Hospital. Hearing the lists of people being remembered depressed me. I was angry at our president. I was paranoid. I thought something was going to happen again. I spent most of the time that day away from the television in my cage. Outside at Salem Hospital, in the psyche unit, there is a place, a cage like place to smoke cigarettes. While I was smoking, I could hear in the air, the sounds of jet planes. I knew they were fighter jets, surveying the land. It was really cloudy that day and cold. There was a beautiful girl there with me, we smoked cigarettes and began a conversation. She was manic, she was my manic girlfriend, while I was there.

September 11, 2003, I don’t remember. September 11th of the next year, I will never forget. That was the day my brother in law Jimmy died. He died of cancer. My sister has never been the same since he died. With my family being so distant, we all came together through Jimmy. I can never forget that day.

What happened the day Jimmy died, was called a living wake. I was there when he died. I watched my nephew then 15, holding his father’s hand, while my sister stroked the hair on Jimmy’s head, as we watched Jimmy die. I had never seen someone die before. My family has never been the same since. Yet, every september 11th, my family gets together, or if we can’t… we call one another, and remember.

Today is September 11th, 2009. It’s raining today. It always seems to rain on September 11th. On 9/11/01, it rained sulfur and burning ash from 84 floors up. Smoke and fire, as two towers crashed to the ground. On September 11th, 2004 when Jimmy died, it didn’t rain. But for my sister, I think it has never stopped raining.

God Bless All those who were lost on September 11th, all those who lost on September 11th, and all those still lost because of September 11th

Love you Andrea.

Posted on Leave a comment

It’s All One Thing #266: Labyrinth as Servo-Mechanism


The electric network is not the same
as increasingly automated industrial grid
but somehow we cannot separate them
(or ourselves) from this 21st Century hubris
we see as the 1960’s establishment morphs
into full blown corporate cat person-hood
and Agent Orange head (in the White House)
goes full bore with the New Jim Crow
which looks more and more like the old Jim Crow
all the time the Federalist Society attempts
to pretend we’re all so post-racial any mention
of race is racist in country that has apportioned
slavery and freedom, and , yes, life and death
on racial basis for about 400 hundred years
now still ongoing the Supreme Court that had
decided black people had no rights that need be
respected by any white men uses now the 14th
amendment to gift free speech to corporate persons
(already equated with money, money, money)
and there we all there watching the cover up
(in plain sight) in the form of prep school jock
hard drinking bully angry hurt privilege face
contorted in injured Mr. Sir male wounded rage
the face they showed us over and over since
9/11 revealed all our helpless vulnerability and
the Nation jumped the shark in less than a decade
and half of torture , assassination, dirty forever wars
free market fundamentalist occupations and all
funded by the most high-handed of fishy finances
of real estate speculators, and hedge fund manipulators
of micro-second transactions front running institutional
investors so that there we are watching slow motion
judicial coup each its final crystal state of ruling class
hubris in that face that one true entitlement macho male
face of all the bully baddy boys jumping on the backs
of little girls just trying to go to school, to survive
with all these goony testosterone brain stem men
whining and crying and in this self-righteous fit
right there before us in that one creepy screen face.


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.


Posted on Leave a comment

It’s All One Thing #204: A New Labyrinth All One Thing


I learn a new labyrinth called Shepard’s Race
and for the first time I vision a rainbow of 6 colors
going around the design in pie slice sections
rather than inside out growing concentric circles
just as I feel the Empire quivering under my feet
a million year rainfall in Houston floods the Gulf Coast,
the air quality in Boston clogs up our lungs for a week
my friend John (as in John and James sons of Zebedee)
has been saying it’s because N. Yukon way on the other side
of Canada is having a giant forest conflagration
maybe because of drought , maybe because of tree boring insects
killing so many trees because the winters in the mountains
don’t get cold enough to kill off the destructive critters
anymore we never really know anymore because
they’re not keeping records anymore these times
when the record keeping agencies themselves
are being defunded and closed down
and the privatizations made to escape
accountability indeed the rule of law it self
and the national security blanket on top that
and the refusal to investigate even torture and murder
glomming up the whole bleeding, deleting works
so the F.B.I. director cum Special Prosecutor
who presided over the mass round up after 9/11
and carried forward many entrapment cases
of poor soul perpetrators to justify the Terror War
of by and for Terror, is now investigating Agent Orange Head
in the White House over “the Russians Hacked the Election”
or Russia-gate AKA The Cold War Is Back or Cold War II
strikes again and again and again we re-up for Afghanistan
while I know that the infrastructure all around way down
amid the ground of my labyrinth entrails is not going to get it
no, it’s like Houston overwhelmed the way you’re overwhelmed
and look out the window of the moving train to realize
there’s a 30 car derailment lying jumbled on its side there
LIQUIFIED GAS cars and SULFUR closed gondolas lying there
right next to each other and not a thing about it on the NEWS
the fake news that never says the flood in Houston
and the wild fires in N. Yukon are all-one-Thing
All One Thing, ALL ONE THING,
Shepard’s Race radiating ALL ONE THING


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.


Posted on Leave a comment

It’s All One Thing #202: 9/11(Like Synchronicity) Strikes Again


As I flip channels to escape ads (or try to) I keep seeing the image
of the Falling Man who the History Channel claims has been identified
by his family and they are African American and they say he was one
of those whose love of life lifted everyone but cannot keep him crashing
to Earth to escape the flames that turned the towers to plumes of dust.

Interspersed with the image of this young man are shots of first the one
struck sky-scraper and then the second plane crashing again and again
into the second tower and then one and then the other tower collapsing
over and over as the spreading cloud of dust then rushes right at all of us.

Meanwhile 16 years later it is almost 16 years since the U.S. (that is us)
invaded Afghanistan and more than 14 years since the U.S. (that is us)
invaded Iraq and the U.S. just doubled down with a new Afghan surge
(as it did at the time of Obama’s first year) and still has thousands of troops
in Iraq after a series of battles in cities taken in the original invasion 2003-04
in Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul where tens of thousands more Iraqis were killed
caught between U.S. bombs and artillery and (ISIS) Islamic State snipers.

Civilian casualties increased in Afghanistan every year since Obama’s surge
there (which, of course, really began under the Bush regime in ’08) so the “U.S.
bombed Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia in 2016”.*

So over and over I see the upside down fleeting image of the falling man hurtling
to Earth head first as we all went to endless war as the bipartisan war parties
signed off on the Patriot Act, and total surveillance, and the funding for the wars
actually a giant, indeed unbounded slush fund for the privatized occupations
created specifically so corporations like Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) and Blackwater
could operate outside accountability, beyond any rule of law, outsourcing torture,
outsourcing assassination, paying bribes to and arming the very forces we were fighting
and created the Islamic State in Syria in Iraq in the Iraqi detention camps set up by the U.S.
from those who rose to power as the U.S. systematically assassinated the Al Qaeda leaders
above them. And the most horrible part of the whole bleeding ulcer mess thing is to see
that poor soul young African American beloved man still hurtling head first to Earth. Again.

*NBC News headline in Glenn Greenwald Intercept piece on how Hillary’s war-mongering effected the 2016 election.


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.


Posted on Leave a comment

The E.A.R.: Home Grown

On 9/11/2001 I was introduced to the concept of terrorism. On 4/15/2013 it kicked down the front door and screamed, “LOCK AND LOAD!!!!!!!”

This Saturday marks the four year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, an act of terror I remember like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my man cave watching an age old Boston tradition with wine at hand while browsing Facebook on my iPad. My mother had called me upstairs to grab something for her and I got caught up in a long conversation. I got back about 20 minutes later, looked at the TV and thought I was dreaming when I saw the news headline but,unfortunately it was VERY real.

“Two explosions at the marathon finish line,” it read. At first it seemed like a horrific accident but the more the story unfolded the more it became clear, this was an act of terror. At first I refused to believe it. “Who would do something so disgusting on a day like this?” That was the question that kept running in my head.

Within minutes the explosion was the trending topic on every social media outlet you could think of. Within minutes my Facebook and Twitter inboxes and even my text message inbox were flooded with messages from those who knew I lived in Boston.

To this very day I am still overwhelmed by the support of people who knew me from afar. I take night walks on Boylston Street every now and then and those walks haven’t been the same ever since. Though the incidents haven’t stopped me from taking those walks but, they won’t ever be without the thought that blood was shed in that very area.

I’ve truly appreciated the support from everyone and our ability to band together and get through tough times. Those two chose the wrong city to bomb.

Bostonians are way too stubborn to let two lowlifes get away with something so heinous. Though wounds will eventually close up, they will leave a scar that will be visible for years to come. No matter how visible the scar, let it be a reminder not of the pain we endured but rather the strength we all have to get through it.

Stay classy Boston…

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.