Postcards from Malthusia DAY FIFTY-SEVEN: Magi Gibson

Pandemonious

 

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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