April 2020

a newcomer showers us
with syllables

wherever it falls
a word
without a voice

wet market
a pangolin's distress
goes viral

Palm Sunday
the resounding hosannas
sounding less hollow

how Love
in the Time of Cholera
plays out

Palm Sunday
the debt collectors
wring their hands

black as death
crow's song of itself
goes viral

at seventy
my breath becomes

within my bubble
sealing the isolation
sound of water

first born cull
behind blood-stained doors
we eat lamb

not to be sneezed at
a dead end
made out of mist

viral news—
it's the little things
that matter

event horizon
he is the pupil
of his eye

flattening curve—
if you almost see the ground,
shed the parachute

full dress rehearsal
for an extinction event—
this masquerade ball

with a trip
of the tongue
new leaves

from The Diary of Let's Be Frank

Dearest Kitty,
An earlier diarist wrote this entry to you
"A bundle of contradictions was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what a bundle of contradictions is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within. The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret."

She then ended her final diary entry with "I [...] keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if... if only there were no other people in the world."

Here we are now on Easter Saturday in quarantined lockdown (offered in sacrifice) as a final stand against the coronavirus infecting an unresisting world. Each person I hear from is a bundle of contradictions craving social interaction while practising physical distancing at one and the same instant.

a space to dwell in
the gloom of isolation
entombing silence