The whoosh of nylon on concrete slowly rising
to oppressive roar from the trench along the coast
wakes me almost every morning gradually over-
whelming my dreams so they are often lost forever.

It’s worse, of course, in Summer when we leave
the window open but the accelerating frequency
of the commuters is loud enough to accomplish
this disturbing mission even thru the storm windows
                                                                of winter.

One by one each individual unit joins its slamming
slip thru the tattered and torn air and the sound pours
up out of the concrete walls like a banshee wail
in a tired dawn issuing from a crowding throat.

The ever growing, ominous drone having left me
desperately thinking of lost nocturnal collective consciousness
like some great pressure overwhelmed by its own intensity will
gradually subside as the traffic chokes on its own flow:

And slowly turns from early morning charge into a moaning,
groaning full body gridlock of bumper to bumper morning
to evening day with cars waiting on the line just to get exactly
where they want to go exactly when they want to get there

Without having to ever consider for a moment
what anyone else could possibly want or what
it could possibly mean to anyone else as they flew
through space at 70mph in 2 ton egos of plastic and steel.


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.