LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Eleventh Week

That we cannot
personal responsibility
our way out
of this pandemic
does not mean
that you are relieved of all
personal responsibility
during this pandemic.

*

For quite some time
we have known
why we cannot have
nice things
but how galling it is
to slowly realize
that we cannot even have
mediocre things.

*

And on Sunday nights
I am a healer
no wounds too severe
no diseases too dangerous
even death can be remedied
all I need to do is roll a few dice
and my friends will be healed
and my friends will be protected
but by Monday morning
I am powerless again.

*

Keep your expectations low
stop hoping
that the situation will improve
(you will just be disappointed)
lower your expectations
learn to be satisfied
by the situation not getting worse
though there too
you will likely just be disappointed.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between April 23, 2022 and April 28, 2022.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems and Instagram at @plague_poems.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at that Twitter account, they will then be collected and reposted here in weekly increments.

*

The masks come down
the cases go up
perhaps the two
are somehow connected.

*

If you tell me
to take off my mask
so that you can see
my pretty smile
please just know
that I am not smiling.

*

By now you have heard
(for everyone has heard)
that the pandemic is over
it is in the past
it is behind us
it is done with
it is over it is over it is over
we all have heard this
though it seems
that the virus isn’t listening.

*

My friend the professor
called me to say
that in honor
of the last day of classes
her students gave her a gift
unfortunately the present
was the virus.

She should have told them
not to give her anything.

*

I have heard
that this is a pandemic
of the unvaccinated
which will come as a surprise
to my vaccinated friends
who have recently tested positive.

*

Prolonged exposure
to the virus
may offer limited immunity
against infection
though it also seems
prolonged exposure
to the virus
has caused lasting immunity
against empathy.

*

We need to update
our idioms
for our present moment
retire the old phrase
“keep your shirt on”
as a way of encouraging patience
and instead adopt the phrase
“keep your mask on.”

*

It is said
that the only trip
you will regret
is the one
that you do not take
though my friend
who contracted the virus
on a recent trip
certainly seems to regret
having gone.

*

You have collected them
but please understand
those test-kits are not collectibles
you do not need to keep them in the box
untouched in mint condition
they will be worth more to you
in the long run
if you actually use them.

*

Especially now
you must remember to stop
and smell the flowers
they are in bloom
this is the moment to do it
yes, you must remember to stop
and smell the flowers
and if your nose
cannot detect any scent
you should probably go get tested.

*

According to the scale
in my bathroom
I have gained weight
since the pandemic began
and though this explains
why my pants are tight
I do not feel heavy
but hollow.

*

Though I did not enjoy
the era of the pandemic
when impacts
were described as mild
I admit that I preferred it
to this era of the pandemic
when impacts
are described as mysterious.

*

These have been difficult times
for musicians
the venues that survived
have lowered their max occupancy
and streaming platforms barely pay
so buy a ticket
for that band’s upcoming show
the musicians will appreciate it
and after buying the ticket
you can still just stay at home.

*

It is not so much
that we were
happy
before the plague
but that we were
happier
than we were
during the plague.

*

Forgive yourself
for losing track
of the daily deaths
that information
is not as readily available
or as frequently discussed
as it once was
so forgive yourself
for losing track
of those horrid numbers
but do not be so quick
to forgive your society
for no longer tracking.

*

They say that
to our government
we owe taxes
to our landlords
we owe rent
to our loan providers
we owe repayment
to our insurers
we owe premiums
they say that
we owe so much
to so many
but to each other
they say that
we owe nothing.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

About Z.M.L

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com @libshipwreck

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