All these thoughts streaming through our heads
bodies of building blocks from giant exploded stars
breathing ever such a earthy world that birthed us
in and out, out and in, our ribs these heaving bars,

Corporeal prisons just waiting, wanting to breathe free
whole forest lungs grow from the lattice of roots of trees
fungi signaling globally saying, oh, how “we must be”
in this privatized, commercial consuming human sea

Where there we are in spite of so many, diverse selves
gremlins, trolls, huckster grinning evil operant elves
all the adman consumer algorithmic polls that delve
down through our evolutionary common living selves

To find the precise unconscious trick sends us into that
overwhelmed brain misfiring overloaded neurons high hat
just to spite all class distinctions, is this poor cornered rat
addicted to food itself: sugar, salt and gobs of animal fat,

So they worship on the altar of ancient human sacrifice
and take the innovations to turn into mysterious device,
they use up everything we need when less would suffice
even a pandemic only increases the rising market price.


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.