All of my mime teachers studied with Etienne DeCroux
the creator of Modern Mime this elegant articulated art
form geometrically describing the aneles, bodily curves
in an exhaustive analytical study of our so human body
in all its possible 3 dimensional inclinations and rhythms.
The Great enemy of this system of individual elements
pantomime was a left over set of street tricks going back,
back to the perennial philosophy of the old indigenous
cultures everywhere we developed the tri-partite vision
of this beauty Earth and its underground and its heavens
the long quest of above and below for mind full meaning
right here on this banal everyday Earthly ethereal plane …
The 20th century gave us a pinnacle of the voice of the body
in silent film only to dissolve under the pressurized stream
of sound, the spoken word become a murmuring prophecy
of the final culmination of the electric on flowing revolution
started, of course, by our Boston native Benjamin Franklin
in, perhaps, the first crash research project (ever?) in Philly.
So that now as we live our driven lives with our computers
constantly collecting and mirroring every tiny movement
so we are stricken by our own diverse reverse digital images
and stagger down an endless hall of clicking sticking mirrors.
Good acting is equated with miniscule facial jerks and tics
and mime is seen as the ultimate faux pas AKA over acting
just as fact is now ever so much more compelling than fiction
because no one can ever imagine our present predicament
and its outrageously mind numbing, ever present actuality.
That is if you’re not afraid then you’re not paying attention.
No wonder so many preferred a Pantomime ham President,
this huge gesture of nasty hate, arrogance and obvious lies,
to what 50 years of finely calculated political opportunism
threw up on the econometric shore of legalized corruption.
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.