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It’s All One Thing #240: Himmelhupfen

 

It‘s a real soap opera now as usual I deposit the 2 tax form containing
envelopes at the post office on the last possible day (and after realizing
before I left home that the lawyer (or fixer) of Agent Orange Head in the
White House was paying off not only Agent Orange Head’s female accusers
but a Repugnant Party official And a faux news star I get on the train and
write a letter under my most recent Sun Curls in Cloud Labyrinth I drew
last night during the Nor’easter feels like England all right in New England
so I tell my brother and his disabled wife I am going to the Black Seed Writers
a group so named for the Black Seed Restaurant next to the Cathedral where
a columnist from the Atlantic held meetings with the MANNA Community
and where I used to take my participants from the Labyrinth Creative Move-
ment to write poetry, too, and Bill Barnum diminutive Boston boho old timer
bought bagels with poppy-seeds and hence created a series of Black Seed
Poems about tiny black seeds on faux black marble table tops and so the
Egyptian owner changed the name from Bagel Plus to Black Seed and so
Himmelhupfen, Heaven Hopping I go on to the center carrying like a kid all
these labyrinth forms, all these nautilus spirals all these ALL ONE THING
                                                 things.

Himmelhupfen: a sort of German hopscotch played on a chalk drawn ammonite spiral form. (The u in huphen has an umlaut over it.)

 

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 #215: Contrarian Bill Barnum-Wondering Where His First Wife Is Now

 

Bill lived for two or three years with his first wife, Joyce
in New York City in the 1950’s in a house of female impersonators
and across the hall lived a prize-fighter who became a cross-dresser, too
who would go down to the waterfront and pick up sailors and beat the crap
out of them if they wouldn’t have sex with her.

And then there was:

Tom — internationally known fine artist,
work hanging in China who trapped in an alley
by a mugger told his attacker, “if you’re such a man
go over to the brick wall and punch a hole in it “ and,
of course, the guy did and broke his hand.

 

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 #178: Bill Barnum and the Riot

 

I was in a riot
Once.
I like the mix
Of mace and marijuana.
It was
Very
Zingy!

 

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 #133: The Lone Stranger Meets the Drone Ranger

 

or the 50 Year Cover Up in Plain Sight

When I grew up we watched Westerns on our new T.V. sets and it was so popular
that local stations had their own cowboy heroes to introduce the cowboy heroes
of the old 1930’s and 1940’s shoot em’ ups — brave riders who drew fast, shot straight
and were always good, selfless protectors who rode off into the sun after the showdown.
They had names like Hoot Gibson and Ken Maynard and The Three Mesquitos and
what a joy to see them loping into the camera toward us ten gallon hats tall in the saddle
who would hop from horseback to tree limb, from tree limb to float down near ground
dangling from perfectly thrown rope and ascending back again onto galloping horseback
they were so graceful in all they did skipping back and forth over whirling lariat only
to tip their big hats forward over their brows never looking for trouble, always first to find
a clever way out of confrontation available to another way so steadfast, humble and true
that each episode they show us that even the most draconian conspiracies always contain
the seeds of their own destruction and innocent unpretentiousness will always prevail
and away we will gallop on our great pony to cut them off at the pass and bring the word
that must be heard to all those who never know what’s really going on and only to stop
for a moment just in polite farewell to turn and doff those huge hats on their rearing steeds
and then shyly disappear in a cloud of dust out toward the brilliant sunrise of the future
where life is waiting not just for them but for all of us so that as we reveled in this simple
purity fads broke out for Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett and every kid had to want a real
genuine raccoon skin hat and before it was all over gambler and land speculator Jim Bowie
had his own show “Jim Bowie, Jim Bowie’ was a fiercely fighting man and Thunk! His massive
curved fighting knife blade sticks still quivering in a tree. I’ll never forget finally seeing the show
Gunsmoke for the first time at my cousins’ house in Detroit because back in those days of rabbit
ear antennas we only got 2 of the 3 networks and Gunsmoke turned out to be as grim as Wagon Train.
Something truly horrible was always about to happen out on the old frontier and yet the New Frontier
was endlessly empty space itself. We always seemed to be looking for another new frontier over & over.
Now I wake after watching a historian talk until midnight about our forever war that he says
began when cousin Jimmy Carter made his Carter Doctrine vow to defend American interests
in the Persian Gulf when the U.S. (us) was already supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan
to give Russia its very own Vietnam and Charlie’s War was arming Osama bin Laden and in fact
creating his base “Al Qaeda” so named after the C.I.A. data base kept at the C.I.A. training camp
in the tribal areas. Yes, we were helping those tribal people to kill the Russians then yet soon enough
there they were inexplicably, inexcusably flying planes into the World Trade Center Towers and
then their trainer from that (C.I.A.) training camp was being tortured in Thailand of all places, gee,
how did all those revolting developments happen? Heh? And how did we end up with a war on
whistleblowers waged by the president who had promised the most transparent administration ever.
Maybe if we had a draft we’d have some skin in the Terror War game? But it’s all so bucolic
as we all graze in those virtual fields forever in that Forever War of, by and for Terror. When, oh,
when did the Black Site Gang take over? When did the president become the Drone Ranger?
When did the president become Corporate Caesar? Who can say to Boudicca with her daughters
in scythed chariot that their children will become the head of a greater empire than the Romans?
How do we live with the Sixth Extinction in the eternal moment? Hi Ho Silver and away when
the U.S. never did buy silver and it was the great inter-war great depression and F.D.R. that finally
got rid of gold redemption and Nixon himself who of course got rid of the Gold Standard so those
banksters have been quantitative easing whether Keynesian or Monetarist for 40 years and it turns out
Watergate and Iran-contra were just way stations on the continental migration to the Current Age
State of lawlessness and total surveillance states and it seems the Lone Ranger has become the Lone
Stranger who is really the Drone Ranger and his theme song, the William Tell Overture that once
I used to put my grand babies to sleep with a gentle hand on their smooth backs bump per rump
per rump rump rump has turned into childish chant that in my head repeats over and over
                    Drone Ranger Drone Ranger let Precious Peace come over
                    Drone Ranger Drone let the Forever War be over
And where’s the Lone Ranger now? And when will we hear Happy Trails to you?
And never be heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day?
Oh, out on the interstices of cultural borders and out on the frontiers and the tribal areas:
                    Happy Trails to you until we meet again
                    Happy Trails to you keep smiling on ‘til then
                    Who cares about the stormy weather,
                    as long as we’re all here together
                    Happy Trails to you until we meet again x 2. (Thank You Dale Evans. Goodnight).

 

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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

 

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It’s All One Thing #132: Anecdotal Evidences of Life after 80 from Bill Barnum

 

Things are seldom what they seem to be
skim milk masquerades as ice cream
“Little Buttercup” of Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company
she weighed over 4 or 5 hundred pounds

But the best dancer I ever saw was a boy
who made up moves to song played at a institution
for the “retarded” right here in Massachusetts

But then there was the lady in her late 80’s
who had a daughter who was a contortionist
who decided to become a contortionist, too,
and was able to lie on her stomach and
walk all around her head in full circle.

 

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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

 

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It’s All One Thing #105: Talking to Bill Barnum on the Phone The Night Hurricane Sandy Came By (and Just Missed)

 

I was trying to find a way to tell him about this truly great storm, Sandy
as the ancient mansion in which we were spending our last night after 18 years
flapped around us shuddering walls and leaking roof deluging boxes in the hall
packed to be moved the very next day as long as they didn’t fall apart all wet
while I can just see him sitting in the old Beacon Hill Chambers eight stories
of brick and mortar where I lived across the street back in the 70’s as I yell,
“it’s blowing up pretty good” the tree out the window by which I stand just blows
apart and collapses huge branches cascade into the circular drive in front of the
house, “the tree just blew apart, Bill”, I yell again and then repeat, “the tree
in the front yard just blew apart, Bill”. “What, what?” he said. So I had to say it
again as if he could not so much hear me as believe me when I couldn’t believe it
                                              myself.

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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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.