The Minotaur is everywhere.
At work it comes out of the nurse manager’s office
and sits glowering and growling about restraint procedures in milieu meeting.
There’s so much we must do about the dead patient now that he’s dead.
At home he must be hiding somewhere in that Labyrinth of books, magazines and tapes.
If we keep looking long enough we’ll discover the answer.

Over in Iraq the attack continues. Bombs blow up the U.N. and the great cleric
and then the Lone Ranger president goes to the Security Council for help.
Give him a chance he’ll tell you another one. Heh, heh, heh. He’s a hilarious monster.
He’ll laugh you to death. No wonder our heart is karate strike in the sternum
and we’re always hacking and coughing like rodents under the stairs.

Yet there are a few heroes and heroines who follow the arterial path to seek
the vein that is the antidote to anxiety. Flight fight can take us ever so far from
where we’re really going that there’s nothing left to do but hunker down
on the basement floor , stop all movement and in the silence that’s never really silent
we find that our own veins open like warm hoses and heart rate sinks
to hardly palpable pulse and our faces tingle with relaxation and our hands
sink into our thighs and we are finally in the one safe place.


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.