And what are any of us, finally, basically, structurally
but mouths that have grown eyes, noses, and ears
in order to better negotiate this labyrinth world
and find the many forms of sustenance to grow us?

We make ever more complex variations of mazes
and conundrums to stretch our intelligences
and teach our ever further delineated forms
to pull back from all the dead-ends of life.

We reach out for food, for fuel, for resource
and retract from emptiness, sterility, and cull de sac
but what happens when all the resource rich openings
open out into the entrances of each and every other?

Then our paradise of infinite growth and opportunity
becomes a war zone of competing amoebic sects
and the arithmetic growth of a culture of life
becomes the geometric death of survival of the fittest.


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.