They hold the door open and delay the train
so they can get on together and proceed to yell
in my ear saying things like
“Hey, like you know
you don’t know nothing nigger”
or like “like, fuck you, too”
before we race through the tunnel
with bodies flapping from poles
and thrown from side to side
a fever dream of corporeal gravity
accelerating and de-accelerating
with each bend in the tracks
and the monster Minotaur
rams his horns into the ceiling
and stamps his hoofed feet into the floor
while the heroes tremble
on their plastic seats
and the string to lead us
from this abyss is tangled
around all our feet
and the weapon that might
kill the beast is stuck with gum
under the seat and we
well, we are in the lightless womb
of the Creatrix but birth
is a very, very painful process
and the form of the Labyrinth
is a very, very long birth canal.


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.