Circle Game

We’re in instantaneous pop! flash! bingo!
now! like we’re back in cathedral radio days
of depression and enveloping conflagration
war spreading region to region out of control
cascade one way ride of the four horsemen
galloping right at us charge of the light brigades
into canyon of three sided crossfire now become
ever so much more like 1930’s colonial powers
global empire built for decades before WW I
really culmination of many centuries of series
of world wars and here we are eyeball to eyeball
again in Ukraine really East and West Ukraine
while in Taiwan the two Chinas of the past loom
again this place the Chinese always have claimed
but not controlled since last 19th century Empress
could do nothing as Japan took it setting up that
eventual Manchurian attack in 1931 became that
mass murder in Nanking 1938 except now those
sinking tankers of WW II are now the existential
imperative of globally warmed ecological collapse
all round winged being insects and birds and bats
that carry an almost unimaginable loads of viruses
like virus of racism, sexism class and of brutal caste
is shoved front and center standing there these wraiths
in pandemic apparitions amid mass shooting and this
root-a-toot-tooting system melt down reactors
code red ughga-ughga dive, dive, dive diving
down into our ancient secret code box culture


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.