The calmest time is that endless moment
when as you wait to see what they will do
if your breath sinks slow you end the torment
of wondering why this always happens to you

And it becomes possible to glance right in
the thin eyes of hate, the hard face of fate
the knot of the waiting clique so tight in
the one place to go barred by bullying mates

You have to go, you really have to stay
you never can be as they standing there
above it all demanding the whole day
bend round their form and stop right where

They say “don’t look at me, don’t you see”
who we’ve become before we’ve even begun
supporting minions whirling eddy ever be
logo imprimatur so softly cheekily spun

All that begins in high school can’t be undone
we’re trapped in those psycho-drama roles
that seem in swarm to darken our very sun
but however high the gang nauseous rolls

They’re still just a bothersome obstruction
waiting inert, ultimately totally impotent
a gaggle of arrogant lame stream reduction
that will make way for peace omnipotent.


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.