Postcards from Malthusia DAY FIFTY-SEVEN: Magi Gibson



In the pandemic, poems escape

in droplets from the mouths


of panicked poets, congregate

in midge swarms, hatch


from cracked stanzas, multiply

in fevered metaphors, proliferate


in the brains of the afflicted,

buzz onto our laptop screens


in zillions, worm into our ears,

explode like a rash from trillions


of poetry pod casts.  Even the news

gets in on the act; a poem to help


you through. Too few precautions

are taken too late. Sufferers report


metaphor overload; asphyxiation

by alliteration; pun poisoning.


Stricken, they cough up rhyming couplets.

Gasp out ghazals. Vomit villanelles.


Listen, people! Death and suffering

by pandemic poem are avoidable!


Try earplugs. Blindfolds. Shoving

your head in a plain brown bag.


Or stand outside each night at eight

shout  STOP! No more! No more!


Or isolate, all media off. And… wait.

The market says that soon enough       


this rush to poetry will dissipate.

There is no profit in it.



Magi Gibson has had five full-length poetry collections published. The sixth, I Like Your Hat, will be out in November 2020 with Luath Press.  She won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Competition. She hass been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow and was Writer in Residence with Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art.


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