That is days as in “days of our lives”
(and daze as in he was in a daze)
and he went back to whence he came
and we are all in this together
(no matter how many times they tell us society does not exist)
we can see the devices change consciousness
we are trapped behind them as we watch our train’s doors close
or dodge them as they weave around looking down at the thing in their hand
or lost in the sound between their ears.

I feel so grateful I’m old.
I don’t have to do it.
I’m used to be being alone.
I believe in spending time alone.
I need to be alone. A lot. A whole lot.
Even as I know that increasingly I’m isolated.

And I’m changing, too.
I’ve even finally used my son’s cell phone.
As I did I thought ‘the microwaves don’t have much time to bake the brains of an old fart like me’.
It is amazing my body still works as well as it does.
Here I am still writing with a ball point pen that came in
when I was a kid learning to write with cartridge ink pens
back in grade school in Essexville, Michigan.
And I’ve still got calligraphy cartridge pens I use all the time.

Analogue me at each stage. Stacks of notebooks. Mime figures. Karate Kata. Juggling columns.
Slinky helix. Spinning yo-yo. Material magic


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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.