I learn a new labyrinth called Shepard’s Race
and for the first time I vision a rainbow of 6 colors
going around the design in pie slice sections
rather than inside out growing concentric circles
just as I feel the Empire quivering under my feet
a million year rainfall in Houston floods the Gulf Coast,
the air quality in Boston clogs up our lungs for a week
my friend John (as in John and James sons of Zebedee)
has been saying it’s because N. Yukon way on the other side
of Canada is having a giant forest conflagration
maybe because of drought , maybe because of tree boring insects
killing so many trees because the winters in the mountains
don’t get cold enough to kill off the destructive critters
anymore we never really know anymore because
they’re not keeping records anymore these times
when the record keeping agencies themselves
are being defunded and closed down
and the privatizations made to escape
accountability indeed the rule of law it self
and the national security blanket on top that
and the refusal to investigate even torture and murder
glomming up the whole bleeding, deleting works
so the F.B.I. director cum Special Prosecutor
who presided over the mass round up after 9/11
and carried forward many entrapment cases
of poor soul perpetrators to justify the Terror War
of by and for Terror, is now investigating Agent Orange Head
in the White House over “the Russians Hacked the Election”
or Russia-gate AKA The Cold War Is Back or Cold War II
strikes again and again and again we re-up for Afghanistan
while I know that the infrastructure all around way down
amid the ground of my labyrinth entrails is not going to get it
no, it’s like Houston overwhelmed the way you’re overwhelmed
and look out the window of the moving train to realize
there’s a 30 car derailment lying jumbled on its side there
LIQUIFIED GAS cars and SULFUR closed gondolas lying there
right next to each other and not a thing about it on the NEWS
the fake news that never says the flood in Houston
and the wild fires in N. Yukon are all-one-Thing
All One Thing, ALL ONE THING,
Shepard’s Race radiating ALL ONE 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. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.