There was the proverbial man who awoke
still watching the TEST SCREEN PATTERN
in the dark still cocoon of middle night:

The test screen that came for CONELRAD*
with this piercing whine of sound effect
when they ran their drill of emergency broadcast system

which we all knew was really just in case
they finally, fatally dropped the big one
and blew us all as they used to say to Kingdom Come

and Kingdom Come was where God was
and from the intensity with which we watched
our screens must be in there somewhere

perhaps way, way far behind the test screen
God’s heavy hand was cradling us in a blinking
web flashing on our phosphor screen.


*CONELRAD: Control of Electro-Magnetic Radiation


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.