vicious take no prisoners
putsch to keep Forever war forever
using ancient Hebrew scripture
in a lose-lose confection
of biblical gotcha game
this horrible cultural habit
of selecting particular verse
and their inevitable interpretation
in order to prove a pre-selected
they would say ordained
bottomless foundation point
of contention made into
injunction to do exactly
what they say
if only we all
do what no one
ever does
over and over


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.