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It’s All One Thing #234: Synchronicity

 

Jacobus Van Looy Haarlem, Holland

You are waiting to jostle shoulders
just over the bridge of the old canal
Jans Weg becomes Jans Straat and
you can feel the gravity of de Grote Kerk.
In it the wraiths of calligraphic script
will lead me to remember your names.

How many generations have walked,
run and pedaled, pushed and pulled,
these same driven stone steps. How
can you know you’ve come to find more
than you ever imagined to be? That you
are passing what tomorrow always has been
and yet still seeks to be? Your namesake is
waiting in the old men’s alms house,
a memorial in the master’s museum,
where you were an orphan
when it was an orphanage.

I, too, have paid my dues to the poor house,
have leaned close to sad stories, cried out
for Mom who is gone and will not come back,
no, never, as never as all that is done, done, done.

Yet there on your post card the arrow points down
to your flat green land, flowers, plants and trees everywhere,
under the wide full moon of your parks, a face
and a long eared critter cradled in your great bright
circumference looping from the soft azure curve of sky.

I will find a bit of you at 40 Jan Straat that pops up
out of the North Archive from the municipal record book.
I’ll find a bit more when I look at your painting
Summer Beauty, where half the landscape , the whole fore ground
are these blue, blue, blue burst of blooms, oh, must be the very ones
Mom and I loved to love together, together again.

 

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.

 

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It’s All One Thing #189: A Spectre is Haunting America/The World

 

or Some Things Never Go Away

I come from almost 4 weeks outside the U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A. bubble
of corporate media spin, spin, spin and a Spectre is haunting the maze
of vinyl strips on waist high posts that makes us go back and forth
back and forth across the great room just to spread out our number
so we won’t stack up at the touch screens whose only real function
is to get us to commit again that we have no contraband food, plants
or animals and to record our pictures exhausted, sleep deprived, travel
blasted for the surveillance state and somehow already between it all
the vinyl stripping and the surveillance cameras there is a Spectre
haunting America, indeed the World right there in Logan Airport
Watergate is waiting, yes has been there all along waiting this third rate
burglary as they say a band aide on the cancer sore of the war crimes
of Vietnam, the assassination of the Diem brothers engineered by the C.I.A.
with Henry Cabot Lodge as U.S. ambassador so I remember the rhyme
                         (Boston land of beans and cod
                         Where the Lowells speak only to Cabots
                         And the Cabots speak only to God)
that is the “secret” bombing of Laos and Cambodia, agent orange chemical
warfare only you can end forests deforestation, the secret Phoenix Program
of torture and assassination, the Tiger Cage detentions, the sales of heroin
to finance militia allies, the genocidal war on “the little yellow people” and
my platoon on Okinawa actually provided the radio teletype operators for U.S.
secret operations in Laos so one day one guy just appeared on his once empty
forever bunk and the sergeants just left his sad PTSD ass alone in the morning
when the rest of us went out to formation for report and I came home knowing
Richard Millhouse Nixon’s “secret” plan to end the war would keep it going
for many more years and tens of thousands of U.S. deaths and millions more
dead little yellow people while Nixon would spy on everyone and use the war
to deploy the Internal Revenue Service and F.B.I. and C.I.A. against dissidents
who were locked up by the war on drugs and array of political dirty tricks
deployed against protesting veterans for peace and activists like Black Panther
Fred Hampton, author of the original Rainbow Coalition as he tried to ally
with Hispanic and other organizers for which they assassinated him as he slept
one night in Chicago and the U.S. Attorney there and the F.B.I. and Chicago
Police who shot Fred in his sleep all got away with it because Watergate, you
see, Watergate was just a third rate burglary (of the Democratic National Com.)
and the free fire zones and reconnaissance by fire and dropping a grenade in
the Hooch to make sure no one was left alive but the bodies never stay buried
and the blood keeps screaming deep from the Earth and Watergate won’t go
away even now as all the real crimes of Vietnam and its domestic suppression
of the anti-war movement are drone strikes in seven different countries and
Indonesian mass murderers business partners of agent (Russian?) orange head
in the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize winners’ war on whistle blowers
still ongoing and the woman who ran the torture site in Thailand is Deputy
Director of the C.I.A. and the Deputy Attorney General who presided over the
creation of the torture memos and deployment of the (un)Patriot Act is fired
as F.B.I. head for being too independent although initially they pretend it was
because he dropped the bomb on Hillary (Clinton) whose smithereens must be
there somewhere spectral adrift haunting the nether world between national
                                                                   borders.

 

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.

 

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It’s All One Thing #188: Labyrinthinitis

 

Another Synchronicity Strikes Again Poem

The Mass. Nursing Association Journal was open to the page when I came in for work.
I was immediately interested as the article was about the inner ear and cochlea which
I had been using for my Labyrinth Workshop as example of spiral form in human body:
the list of symptoms of the inner ear illness included loss of balance, nausea, anxiety and                                                                                                                                                vertigo-ooooh…
Next Sunday as coffee hour after church is winding down I make my way across, get this,
the labyrinth on the floor of the old cathedral crypt hall to the relatively new Canon Missoner
for Evangelism to see what he wants to tell me about the anti-violence work going on
at St. Mary’s the Episcopal church closest to where I live and when I reach the Canon
I see his color does not look too good. He’s kind of grey and green and he’s wobbling
on his folding chair so I ask how he’s doing and he admits he’s not doing very well at all.
I ask if he has chest pain, but, no, he says he has vertigo and soon is laying on the basement
floor as I cut through the Dean’s and the Deacon’s conversation to get them on their cell
phones in order to call the Evangelist’s wife. As we waited for her to come with the S.U.V.
I couldn’t help commenting “I just read about this the last time I was at work. Illnesses
of the inner ear. One is even called the Labyrinthinitis. It’s an infection of the part of the
inner ear the Labyrinth, a set of coiled acoustic chambers that sonically cushion the ear.”
The poor Canon could not see what good knowing that was but I explained Labyrinthinitis
could be treated while vertigo is all too often seen as an unnamed, untreatable emotion.
Anyway we helped the canon up the stairs with his eyes closed and put him in the van with
his wife for the Dean to drive him to the Emergency Room. I went on to work and when I
got home that night there was a message from the Dean speaking this voice of amazement
that the doctor at the hospital said it was you guessed it how about that, yes, Labyrinthinitis.

 

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.

 

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It’s All One Thing #187: Tai Chi on Tweedmouth

 

The seal on the rock
Before the tide uncovers it
Suns self above the waves

All the while a seal
Hunts the net as the fish men
Throw stones at the theft

 

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.

 

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It’s All One Thing #186: Haarlem Holland Garden Cottage Tour

 

After the Flower Festival floats blossomed everywhere
we followed the tiny map to this garden cottage site
after that garden cottage site all through Haarlem
Holland we look to find the green places provided
specifically for women since the map says that men
would never take care of such spaces like the elderly,
and disabled left behind women who live out their life
ends in flowers in those green gardens where we discover
at the last one a small court yard of glowing blossoms
and trellised arbor the memorial with all the hundreds
of names of the people who the Nazis took away to kill
during the occupation of 1940-45 and I look for the date
in date book (I don’t know why) and it turns out to be
Holocaust Day I see as the bells in the Grote Kerk ring
out 5 o’clock     Bong!     Bong!     Bong!     Bong!     Bong!

 

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.