The gutters are always there just waiting
For black balls that rumble torqued by spin
Down the broad alley of daily intercourse
That so quickly disappears at vanishing point
Where it seems nothing ever, ever changes
But will stand proud pins forever and ever
Again just waiting for the hard thrown special
Technique to come curve ball careening pinball
Machine of flipper flipping bumper bouncing
Off the rails thunderbolt roller coaster plunging
We see them shaking at the apex as they sudden
Whole nation lunge into the abyss bouncing down
Through global system which turns out to more
Cracks than steps in the system’s fraying safety net
While all the roles we need to believe cover their
Nakedness with fake news and alternate facts
That threaten to call a Constitutional Convention
Right in the middle of just the last of a series
Of recurring, growing worse than the last crisis
Building on each other who turns out to be all
(Of us) not just a collection of individual craziness.


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.