The axis of the world is a forgotten weathervane
and the Tree of Life belongs to Harvard.
They keep it in the arboretum.
Jesus got lost in the fundamentals.
the Buddha is a tiger
and who thought they’d win a pennant.
But anything is possible when you can buy prepackaged enlightenment
and ecstasy in pill form.
The cards are bet to the limit and the banks like it that way.
The insurance companies don’t mind either.
They just pass a law enabling the suit and start a whole new territory.
Business can just ship the job overseas, eliminate the union,
and lend the money to build the new plant.
The rest of us can wait table or become entertainers
in the endless nightly conventions of video, arcade, commercial, enterprisals,
oriented, topsy-turvy, confused, retention, of airbrushed parts, bodies,
phantasmagoria of pornographic, control, radioactive, material
handling, not letting go, blues, suffering, succotash, and eternal griping,
carping, at the throats of the oppressed, the beaten, the forgotten, the hidden
until it ulcerates, becomes a terrible sore, a dreadful spot, a low intensity war,
terrorist machination, convulsion of the natives wilder and wilder and not a bit
outrageous, but quite hopeless, Apocalyptic and the only way it could happen.


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.