There I would be trying to draw a labyrinth
(from memory) while being accosted verbally
with all the imposed top down development
I’d spent a lifetime attempting to escape so, so
many years of identical ticky-tacky cul de sac
houses appearing like toadstools over night
with their strip malls and vast indoor malls
and surrounded by asphalt moats of parking lots
overflowing into mega highways that somehow
could never keep up with all that fleet traffic
instantaneously jammed with infernally combusted
super-chargers blowing me away from the centers
of industry (already then dying) like the furnaces
that once forged miles of rail now gone cold, cold
as my old Buddy, old pal all gone now and buried
below the Pine Groove high enough now on the hill
to be safe from all the glacial melt so for weeks
I watch Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger re-runs
re-enacting the civic cult of my post war childhood
and re-member what has gone and what has come
missing that is, you know my big buddy, old pal
as I hear his voice in all the chatter about the system
that stopped working when I was just a young man
that can’t stop pretending it’s still has it all in control.


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.