My whole three score and almost ten life has been a vast revelation of myth. We have sought
and found and published myths from both ancient and aboriginal peoples from all over the world:
trained observers, paleontologists and anthropologists sought and studied, catalogued and compared,
the stories people told each other over campfires and hearths for long before history itself much less
D.N.A. and genetics and a whole biological technological revolution now just starting to cause new horrors.
In the process we find out the complete total intergenerational recall of which our species is capable
repeating, even preserving small tonal deviations for centuries if not millennia tongue to ear, ear to mouth.
Yet in the popular parlance a myth most often means still what it meant in my youth: a lie, some thing
so archaic and so ancient addled, the printed page horror of the unwritten ridiculous old superstition, old
wives tales, fairy tales, things that go bump in the night, God save us from the beserker men of the North.
Indeed, a large portion of the population considers science itself to be a myth: again small wonder when
their story is random selection (like random attack), incomprehensible aeons, unfathomable distances,
light both particle and wave, God playing dice with the universe which may really be a multi-verse where
anything is possible either for good or for evil all is possible: beset by tectonic shit drift, in midst eruption,
besieged by electro-magnetic magna flare, comet and meteor strike, waves of intense, cosmic radiation,
novas, super-novas and quasar blasts, ice ball Earth, global warmed Earth, mass extinction and evolution.
My son tells me the science of my lifetime is a myth. I tell him that what ours did to theirs it really doesn’t
make a difference. No, there’s no difference at all. We’re still here together on this one and only our Earth.
How we treat each and every other is the only thing that really makes a difference. Small wonder, small wonder
indeed, how those superstitions haunt us all the more we call them myths that no longer matter. They crop
up in every little thing we do. They blaze away in mass murders, take whole territories and declare their
new theocracy but even more they put the gun to their own head and kill and kill them selves or get the police
to do it for them and who knows who else they kill in the process. We’re all so afraid. We’re all so afraid of change
when all the time we live in the change machine. “We’re the first culture in the history of the world that ever
regarded innovation as a friendly act (Marshall Mcluhan 1971).” Where are the poor hopeless Luddites when
we really need them I hear them ask. Every cliché has become a myth. If you listen closely you will know it, too.
Yes, every cliché has become a myth. If you listen closely you will hear it, too. They all have to wear ear phones
so the competing myths will not ever under any circumstances go from one ear to the other wrong ear.
Who would tote a boom box in the age of the I-tones? Keep your free speech between your own ear phones.
You got a myth
I got a myth
you know all us children got a myth
when we get to heaven going to put on that myth
going to zoom all over that heaven.
And you know
heaven is not at the far edge of a universe where time splashes on the beach of space itself in a seething singularity,
no, heaven is not only right here next to us but so deep inside like those again ancient caves we once painted
with the story of creation where we dance with our ancestors and spiral down the deep dark center from which we came
and where we still are. Still are.
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.