Another Why I Hate Cars Poem

There are always those born in between. Two crises are a little bit much for one life
but there are always those who manage to straddle all the borders we create. I mean
what’s the matter with this one car? the ultimate wing nut reduction of everything
to one unit , individualism taken to its most ridiculous logical extreme, just the one
modern, catalytic converted, hyper efficient, internal combusted car and here we go
down I-94 at (as my wife will later protest) 75-80mph along this often six and eight lane
behemoth of concrete that allows us to transverse the peninsula from Kalamazoo onto
Detroit in less than a couple hours we find ourselves after dinner at a Middle-eastern
restaurant on one of Michigan’s famous clover-leafs, the Midwest’s answer to those old
world New England rotaries where it turns out to have been the best all along there we are
riding through this ginormous concrete island that finally encircles itself leaving us surrounded
in a corner of the cloverleaf with a parking lot on the other side over which planes steadfastly land
as I watch from the motel’s second story balcony with Venus and Jupiter and then Saturn
from the West to the South West to the South East revealing the plane of the solar system
the ancient of days circling the sun whirling in one of the lesser arms around the black hole
at the center of the Milky Way our own galaxy dancing with Andromeda both with their consorts
and so on into Laniakea the super-cluster mega- space of us all moving out and away from everything else
faster and faster and fastest of all sling shot stars spun faster and ever faster by their cannibal captor
their omnivorous mates their conditions of creation finally swung out by chance out of the pattern
out of the great curl at terrific speed, ya, just can’t keep a secret anymore, it just will come out,
the e-mails exist, the calls have been cached, somebody knows, somebody always knows, eventually
somebody tells, somebody always tells, somebody has to tell, I am, I AM no better myself, myself
they are having probably the last WW II war crimes trial in Germany now, he was a record keeper
in one of the camps and it makes me think of Adolf Eichmann and Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil”
one of the guys at the weekly demonstration said “deflate-gate there was only Watergate” all the rest
of the gates are phony diversions, misdirections looking forward never back I am every abusive thing
I’ve ever done and the assassination of Osama bin Laden almost 14 years after Sept. 11, 2001 comes back
to haunt us once again, the supreme court selection of 2000, the Patriot Act, suspension of how quaint
the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan, then the phony WMD and invasion of Iraq and by then they had
the torture memos, the C.I.A. and the contractors and the Federalist Society lawyers were collaborating
nicely and they were all involved at Abu Ghraib but how much easier to only prosecute those so foolish
as to take or be in pictures, and, of course, if it’s supervised and then actually done by the professionals
it’s got to be legal to set up platforms of torture and sectarian mass murder all around Baghdad’s Sunni/
Shia divides so they tell us it was torture that got Osama bin Laden for us, they even make a movie of their
phony lie, yet better they get Hollywood to do it for them, WOW! Hollywood — It Self—what a story 9/11,
Osama bin laden, Torture, Lies just like we’ve been spinning all over the world for 70 years, my entire life,
it’s all one thing come back home and I’m just as bad as the worst of them watching the stars surrounded
by concrete and asphalt just one car on the highway, just one man’s path through the woods, behind the
cemetery a couple times a week a little short cut to avoid the cars whooshing along beside just one, just
one car just one path through a corner copse changes everything I read in science section or someplace
about all the seeds and bacteria I’m carrying around unbeknownst my one man’s path like an ecological
disaster bamboozle and all and, yes, that’s it, that’s the problem with just one car, just one path, just one
                                                       ALL ONE THING.


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. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.