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.