Once the head moves
without the neck
it all flows down the spine
electricity down the line
to the ground

Neck without bust
bust without waist
waist without pelvis
pelvis without legs
until the whole body
inclines against the ground

And transforms into 3 dimensions
lateral, depth, and rotation

And there stands the mobile statue
etched from the architectural space
but animated by dynamo-rhythms
still as stone, vaporous as the space
smoking up out of the Earth

Like the gooiest, cream of fondue
like the staccato wind tearing the fog
but always returning to stone
to long calm immobility
to stone to statue
that waits to come back to life

For whatever journeys there are
are made on the spot
in the field of gravity
down, down the roots
that grow down from the feet
of the ankles of the trunk
down the great hips, knees, arches
of the mighty giant
into depth and dreamtime
where the twisting tunnel
leads down to where
the bouncing boulders dare
the leap of faith
and the bridge of the bottomless abyss
narrows to the razors edge
tight rope walked by pointy-toed clowns
only to be caught by the bludgeoning blacksmith
who strips the flesh from the bones
boils the body until it falls in pieces
deep to the bottom of the pot

Waiting to be wired back together
waiting to be layered with sinew and tendon
so that it can seek out the hidden hurt
find the dark and dismal crime
see through the facades of the shades
deep in the heart of the matter
down in the bowels and intestines
past the throat right into the bellows
of what causes the illnesses
what is the matter

And climbing up the ladder
of the rounds of the great trunk
right up to the tip and into the sky

Where thought takes flight
and the creatures of the air
flock and sing, dive and soar
straight into the rising sun
straight down into the setting sun
right up into the burning orb
to find what is to be in what is
to make something of nothing
to fathom the great void
to lose his self in the arms of God
to inform the father through the mother
to lay down in the storm stories
and dream the dream
that will close the circle
from dreamtime to fantasy
from country to city, ghetto to suburb
from this place to that
spanning the curve of the earth
past the borders of the horizons
into the eye of the sky
that sees it all, says nothing
but shows what’s really there
brings back the visions
that nurture the past
that mediate the future
that are what we are
and what we’re meant to be
the body of time moving in space
and interacting in the community of souls.


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.