It’s All One Thing #61: Jacob’s Ladder

What can you do but whistle
“we are climbing Jacob’s ladder”
as you are borne automatically up
from the urine and feces smell alcove
of the Park Street subway,
the long clanky tube of steel and tile
part of the innards of the Boston labyrinth
being borne up, carried up into the fierce wind
being sucked down to the urbane Earth’s intestines
but still rising, still born up to the tiny patch of crystal blue
sky too far above and yet so near that nothing more could exist

an there, yes there it is
the electric smooth flow
the concentrated energy
directed power, focused attention
the shamanic trance, journey within,
that lets it all hang out, wrestling with angels
going up and down the rounds of the sky ladder
straight up to heaven from the underground below
every round goes higher, higher
every round goes higher now.

What can you do but whistle
“we are climbing Jacob’s ladder”
as you are borne automatically up
from the urine and feces smell alcove
of the Park Street subway,
the long clanky tube of steel and tile
part of the innards of the Boston labyrinth
being borne up, carried up into the fierce wind
being sucked down to the urbane Earth’s intestines
but still rising, still born up to the tiny patch of crystal blue
sky too far above and yet so near that nothing more could exist

an there, yes there it is
the electric smooth flow
the concentrated energy
directed power, focused attention
the shamanic trance, journey within,
that lets it all hang out, wrestling with angels
going up and down the rounds of the sky ladder
straight up to heaven from the underground below
every round goes higher, higher
every round goes higher now.

 

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. Today marks his one year anniversary as a poet columnist for Oddball Magazine.

 

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