LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Eighth Week

Look, I get it,
my tastes are somewhat odd
I prefer
music that sounds terrible
foods that are too spicy
movies that have vampires
and not catching viruses
though I will admit
I had not realized until recently
that a preference
for not catching viruses
had become a bizarre taste.

*

Based on the pictures
from weekend gatherings
it seems that many people
are quite happy
to wear masks
of monsters and killers
though much less eager
to wear masks
for protection from
this monstrous killer of a virus.

*

It never huts to know
that a drooping in the face
numbness, slurring, confusion,
severe headache of unknown origin
difficulty seeing, difficulty walking
and weakness in an arm
may be warnings of a stroke
but I wish the virus
had not given me a reason
to watch for those signs.

*

The most disturbing costume
I have not seen this Halloween
is also the popular:
person
who believes the pandemic is over.

I fear
tomorrow I shall find
that for many people
this was not simply
a Halloween costume.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between October 29, 2022 and November 4, 2022.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems, on Mastodon at @plaguepoems@mastodon.social, and on Instagram at @plague_poems.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at the above mentioned accounts, they will then be collected and reposted here as weekly compendiums.

*

As we leave
our respective homes
my neighbor is coughing
his posture is bent
out of concern I inquire
if he has been to a doctor
and between coughs he asks
how he is supposed
to pay for that
and I don’t know how to reply.

*

My cousin has been failed
by elected officials
and by institutions
by her employer
and by her neighbors
by media coverage
and by her university
but I shall keep taking
all of these precautions
so that at the very least
I do not fail her.

*

The new normal
is just like
the old normal
except in the new normal
everyone you know
gets mysteriously sick
every other month.

*

I have been told
that I must make peace
with chance
stop worrying so much
“if you catch it you catch it”
just go ahead and roll the dice.

But please understand
I’ve spent years playing games
with all manner of dice
and so I know
that rolling them
can often go very very poorly.

*

I am not surprised
by the virus’s lack
of humanity
after all, I never imagined
that it would have any
but frankly
I had expected better
from my fellow humans.

*

They choose their words
carefully
which is why they do not ask
if there will be
a winter surge
but if we will see
a winter surge
for there is a distinction
between what the virus is doing
and whether or not
we are willing to look at it.

*

After asking me
what I was so afraid of
the man in the shop
yelled a line from a book
(or the movie of the book) at me:
“fear is the mind killer”
he bellowed,
and that may be
but in my fearful defense
this wretched virus
can truly kill your mind
and possibly the rest of you.

*

In truth
not all of my fears
are completely rational
I have no good explanation
as to why I am afraid
of spiders and of heights
and of leaving the cooking gas on
but I feel justified
in maintaining an appropriate fear
of this virus
that has injured and killed millions.

*

Between coughs
she assures me
that whatever it she has
is not covid
and though she says this to me
I can’t help but think
that the person
she is trying to convince
is herself.

*

I know this may
sound insensitive
but COVID-19
is really quite good
at being a virus
for a virus measures
its success
by its capacity to infect
to spread and keep spreading
yes, it is tragically good
at being a virus
whereas it turns out
that we
are quite bad
at being a society.

*

I do not mean to suggest
that this is all your fault
but if you are the person
who keeps saying
“it can’t get any worse”
please for all of our sake
keep your opinion to yourself.

*

I know better
than to trust to anecdotal reports,
in uncertain times I seek out
reputable data
disinterested sources
and sober analysis
but reliable information
is becoming so difficult to find
and though I know
not to trust anecdotal reports
all my friends are currently ill.

*

You are better off
spending eight dollars a month
on masks
than you are
giving eight dollars a month
to Musk.

*

After calling out sick
yesterday and the day before
today my colleague
was back in the office
from a cautious distance I asked
if she was feeling better
and between coughs she replied
that she had run out of sick days.

*

Now more than ever
you must listen
to the people
sounding the alarm.

The people sounding the alarm say:
we are tired
we are very tired
of having to keep sounding the alarm.

*

While it may seem
that a stubborn few
remain obsessed
with the pandemic
if you listen closely
to what they are saying
you will quickly discover
that really
they are just trying
to stay alive.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

Advertisement

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

One comment on “Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Eighth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Seventh Week | LibrarianShipwreck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ne'er do wells

Archive

Categories

Creative Commons License

libshipwreck

%d bloggers like this: