after they’ve tried everything else

On The Day the Earth Stood Still the stranger from beyond
said this “the universe grows ever smaller” when really before
globalization ever was articulated as possible we were already
talking about a dwindling Earth ground slipping out from under
our very feet great loops of mechanized air hops whirling propellers
chewing space contrails spider filaments caught against a torrential sun
beating us down into a retreating earth until we all became characters
cartoons tiny little things in panels frames that kaleidoscopically
waft away in a mandelbrot self-similarity ever receding you
would think we would just disappear and then vanish
and, indeed, we actually said that and it was
the ultimate rendition of the ultimate sin
of bad writing and you could just see
the red pen note on the term
insurance class paper
redundant, redundant
and here we are
you’d think that
we’ve vanished
but you know
we’re still here
on our little planet


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.