Postcards from Malthusia DAY SIXTY-SEVEN: Sarah-Clare Conlon

Guidance Avoidance

Smuggle in the old normal, under cover of darkness
Stash the bygone ways in a shoebox beneath your bed.
Show don’t tell is provincial; wrap carefully and
Stow. Report your neighbours, or don’t. The choice is yours.
Nosiness is normalised, yet subterfuge subtleties
vary according to personal preference.
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer – still,
of course, obeying the social distancing advice.
House parties, street parties, second homes, holiday homes,
Gatherings, congregations; countryside carparks, open spaces.
Copters buzzing dizzying doughnuts overheard overhead,
Sharpie smudges on the free-to-download flight radar app.
Please complete this survey; note: you are being surveilled.
Please don’t worry as we exploit the data you provide,
thank you. Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.



Sarah-Clare Conlon is an editor, and Writer-in-Residence at Manchester’s Victoria Baths. A Salt Prize winner, her work has appeared in Flash, Lighthouse, Mid Life Crisis, Stand, and recent anthologies Love Bites (Dostoyevsky Wannabe) and Port (Dunlin). She performs widely, including European Poetry Festival, Peter Barlow’s Cigarette and The Other Room.


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