People in Labyrinths

“A maze” or “A-mazing” they often inadvertently say
(before they sometimes actually jump into the design)
And then as they suddenly realize it goes on and on
Twisting and turning without leaving any choice at all
They stop almost as suddenly just like that as if burned
Because it must be another trick sucking up the time
Of our time deficient times, these Current Age Blues
Of enveloping, overwhelming ALL ONE THING crisis
That bludgeon keeps building with the rumble of great
Herd of stampeding incidents, cascade events, happening
Happenings far too many to know and ever too so huge
To comprehend until we see whole trampled populations
Standing there pole struck concussion brained over run
Shock! Or have fled desperately on pilgrimage looking out
For what is not there to take all that has happened away
Which is already much too concrete and completely real
So that all the right on moth eaten ancient old prophecies
Redound against the walls only so recently hastily set up
To contain them and then the magnificent criss-crossing
Waves of oncoming over-topping misinformation create
Super waves that leap together in these stupendous crests
That at once overflow and then undermine trembling dikes
And levies meant to contain such wayward, unleashed truth
So long ignored, so long openly sore mocked and humiliated
Truth what is that? The people who are they? This army under
The bridge to the future torturing us with centrally distributed
Talking points of combat arts throwing stars of calumny and
Hate actually the secrets of predestined doomed damned fate
When we all want to live before we must die when the Labyrinth
Of birth and death twists and turns into then out of the center
Where we can see it all spread out there and that all around us
In or out we can never hold all that it is to be human in a moment
And all the more true in this great gathering moment of crisis.


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.