In my Link T.V. cloth bag I carry around many heavy, heavy tomes of Late Victorian
Holocaust I never how bad it was in those colonial times maybe just because I was
always against it when right next to all that horror and death there are the Rituals and
Myths of Christianity which I also thought I knew something about but now discover
they’ve been hiding the most important legends and it seems that it all started in a
cave with characters who had always existed already anyway then seeming by chance
I find The End of Oil and Common Life and Capitalism (1500-1800)in ye olde continent
of Europe which I sense somehow is the link that binds the Holocausts and the Myth
and Ritual there must be an answer in there somewhere to why all this weight dangles
from my aging shoulder while I hypothesize that it is this great load which is the magic counterweight to my almost broken neck so far back I no longer want to think about
my first marriage even as I still have to deal with my first wife if only through my son
and his pain and that, of course, has everything to do with the gran kids all of them
but especially the three newest who have not yet gone out to the world, wondering
what it all might mean the so dear little souls with their big hearts just starting out so
that every time I’m with them I see all these long past generations in their faces I am
meeting for the first time so it’s all so interesting when I’m with these young folks
whose very presence alone always pleases no matter what they do and without them
having to do anything in fact except just be there and be themselves until I’m there
just seeing this All One Thing this global economic abysmal famine machine this vast
living universe the cosmos the world made of emptiness this thing that is everywhere
around me this thing that never ever seems to end in death in another hemisphere on
the other side of the globe half the population of this earth who have less than the 80
richest people and why wouldn’t they since they have nothing and I have nothing too
we all have nothing —nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing— we all have nothing that
is this Void, the Great Void, The Great Living Void we call God (if nothing else,
ever else) All One Thing, All One Nothing Thing, All One Nothing Thing, All One Wondrous
Heavy Nothing 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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.