light candles for video conference
if none, the aurora borealis (where’s the ouroboros?) zoom background will do
put on your finest silk underclothes
given you aren’t going to change from them
open the china cabinets and silver
set the dining room table-desk with all the linens you can finally get around to iron
plate your takeout, soup or frozen veggies lunch
taking those oft-neglected extra steps to wipe rims & read a grace poem
use crystal stemware for all your virtual networking toasts
pic & post for other lonely loves, likes, and comments
avoid another didactic rant to the social mob
act vulnerable, you know, like there's a global pandemic
when your virtual boss asks you to do something inane
admit the best we can isn’t really necessary
(doctors, nurses, healthcare officials, and emergency responders excluded)
bring your children in as meeting opening acts
new magic tricks, dances—a world-wild variety show
going grocery shopping together online
becomes a family outing, a borrel on Bol!
(corrugated cardboard souvenirs for everyone)
instead message your oldest friends
search the farthest corners of your contact clouds
(worst comes to worst just call your best friend you haven’t talked to in months)
the plague is a good time
to talk about the past
recount the sacraments of reconciliation and confirmation for your soulmate
to further edify your personal escape from organized religion
read books round robin in rocking chairs
compare conventions like characterization, themes, symbols to the current crisis
(mostly what education is anyway)
take sunshine hikes or strolls in the park (depending on the size of your city)
you can still greet people as you dodge them
compliment the scarf wrapped over their face
(not the mask but the eyes behind the mask…)
Corona Theory Litany
suggested supplication--no matter the degree of intention--is: “spare us.”
Insider trading on the Hill at bright dawn of plague.
Bio weapon released from Wuhan, senicide, or at very least, a dietary anomaly spread by people that eat bats.
Throat-constricting consequence of the iniquity of carnival.
As puny as the flu and withers in temperatures above 80 degrees.
Supply chains will collapse literally right out under your unwiped ass.
Seniors exposing themselves at every store in town searching for elderberry syrup.
Can’t catch with vinegar, lemons, gargling every day.
Before eating, bathe all groceries, fruit, and veggies with Lysol or bleach—after leaving them to air out a few days.
A government test for state control and military police tactics.
A crisis to introduce legislation to disarm America.
The rich created a pandemic for worldwide recession, in order to get rich.
The puppeteers of Big Pharma and Bill Gates’ profit off vaccines.
U.S. and the entire West dismantling the Chinese economy.
A plague to discredit and/or opportunity for world leaders to turn dictators.
Secret cures in foreign countries: Israel, China, Germany...
A global cellular cover up as we erect the tainted radiation towers of 5G.
Group prayer, religious exemptions, and the cover of Jesus’ blood.
to escape eternity for a spell
for Rodger Kamenetz, ever the teacher
like dante coughing up a lung
staring back at the maze of waves
he was spit from
dripping rags on sand
confronting this overwhelming eternity
who will look back on this plague
as an astronaut escapes space
back into her shuttle
inhaling as she removes her helmet
no longer habitable
out of the corner of
what becomes if eternity
needs an exit strategy?
if like earth, the heavens
host just a vast shell
of some promised land
then take exception
even to heaven
follow the spells back to mortal
follow them back to me
Vincent A. Cellucci wrote Absence Like Sun (Lavender Ink, 2019) and An Easy Place / To Die (CityLit Press, 2011). He edited Fuck Poemsan exceptional anthology (Lavender Ink, 2012). He also has two collaborative titles: come back river (Finishing Line Press, 2014) and _a ship on the line (Unlikely Books, 2014), which was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Vincent performed Diamonds in Dystopia, an interactive poetry web app at SXSW in 2017, and the poem was anthologized in Best American Experimental Writing 2018. After writing and living it up in Louisiana for 18 carnivals, he moved to the Netherlands to experience sinking some place new.