Coincidence crops up everywhere and names and numbers make patterns
everything I’ve ever done coalesces in old age
all the things of the All One Thing
photos and books and memories
and the four corners of the North East
where I’ve lived a whole life
and watched whole industries
grow and develop and die
or be moved elsewhere
all the places
we came from
and went to
tracing
back
the web
of relations
the cause
of it
all:
the pictures I choose to draw in the 7th grade
the teacher I turned them into and her son who I would meet again
the 50th reunion I did not want to attend and the compulsion which drew me there
the way you knew what you could not have known the intuitive trajectory of thought
the meme of riding a star beam the way a photonic wave curls around a mass
the path of light seen only in an eclipse and the ancestors who are always with us
their world so far gone but won’t go away all the dark faces visible only through their shadows
the vision of what pulls everything together and the vortices of the at least seven seas
the plastic remnants of our so called civilization all swirled together all swirled together
All One Thing the Blob the Thing That Came from Outer Space that thing that threatens the whole place
the life bursting from everywhere that lets you know you’re still there, the planets rising one by one so early in the
          morning sky
the old pencil lines of my seventh grade drawings and the crimped script of my mechanical drawing hand
the tween-age vanishing point perspective down the street and the illusion of three dimensions on flat white page
the Plantation that has a Show Down on the back of it and the American sniper going for a head shot right there
in the crotch of a tree with a long rifle and a scope and it’s the Civil War and Football Practice and they fit, they fit
they all fit together this duel that defends personhood and honor when liberty is more important than death when
we’re all enslaved by the way we live and what’s conservative about an order that turns the river to blood
and leaves the whole world, the whole world with no choice, no choice at all but revolt and all just coincidence
                            all just a little coincky-dinky, that’s right just a little coincidence.

 

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.