Jeez! I can’t believe it’s come to this
Strapped to the hewn logs of failed policy
We all hurtle over the waterfall rapids
And land on the conveyor belt only to see
The buzz saw blade cutting its sharp way
Right through the dead wood between our legs.

There’s Agent Orange Head steering in the rear view
Mirror of a world which never really existed anyway
Negotiating, wheeler dealing, the paths pioneered by T.V.
By soap operas and horse operas and out on the range
With the Lone Ranger ( and Tonto) who have forgotten
1950’s civic life, union jobs and Mainline Christian Faith
That somehow still remembered what life was like then
Before there was even a glimmer of social security safety net.


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.