Just after a Maniac Killed five People on the Bridge to Westminster

Of course we start sleep deprived and arrive early
at the Tate Museum of Modern Art to be engulfed in fog
(London Fog as performance art) the man who comes from mist
Slo-mo approaching the edge of the world of modern art
That is on display as abstract expression of the 70 year old
Hippie a modern mime in post-modern world deconstructed
The human body at the center of it all Jackson Pollack
Action painting Jacob’s Pillow modern dance moves
And skeleton crawling around in anatomic uni-tards
And the Black Mountain Poets of Bohemian experiment
And the body of cities cut up by expressways and the people
Marching in their many corporeal costumes right through
The center of it all this development inflicted as inevitable
Until we can’t stand anymore and make it up to the top floor
To find the homeless conference with the stories of the veterans
Written on target forms in fatigue uniforms, helmets and flak jackets
And the young woman with the Cockney accent is telling us
She can’t afford to live in London where she grew up and
Spent her whole life but is actually luckier than many just to get
To get to move her whole life to Edinburgh and the activists
Have been working for decades here too so we go Westminster
For Matin Service and we’ve already prayed the night before at St. Bride’s
For all the dead journalists so we all pray for peace (and the dead)
And soon enough Jesus appears on the steps of St. Paul’s (cathedral)
In the form of an Amnesty International statue with crown of thorns
And hands tied behind him and I think he’s a real person and am
Offended at girl patting the statue on the head until I realize
It’s only a statue of imaginary Jesus not a living breathing
Performance artist 70 year old Hippie soon to be lost in space
Of British Museum where they keep all the loot from Egypt
From Assyria, from Crete, from Minoa, Greece, and Mycenae
The runner on the vase the very ones you remember and never
Thought you would ever see them all right there before you
Until suddenly it’s Palm Sunday and the palms are folded
Into perfect crosses and real foal of an ass parades into cathedral
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, sah! And tears appear at corner of eye.



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.