Day 28 – a few things you may not know about the 1918 pandemic 

Spanish-Flu-2-885x620.jpg

I swear I’m going to have twenty incomplete/half-edited poems because after working for several hours on a poem about new research suggests COVID-19 seems to be affecting more than just lungs, including attacking the heart; I suddenly started spewing forth ideas from a couple of articles I’d read about the flu pandemic of 1918-19 (often erroneously or unfairly called Spanish flu). It’s almost like I’ve got to write for a while on one topic before I can let the right one out.

Anyway, he’s a wee trip back in time that might shed some light on both the present & the future …

*****

H1N1

humanity has been learning
to live with a new disease — new to us
which in itself is nothing new

the one everyone keeps
harping on about is the H1N1
influenza outbreak of 1918–19

three waves washed round
the world infecting 500 million
then killing between a tenth & a fifth

the end arrived only when immunity
was conferred — transforming
H1N1 from pandemic to endemic

then it hung round for 40 —
— more — years — as a seasonal virus
though at much less severe levels

despite all our efforts
it didn’t disappear till 1957
when a new pandemic H2N2

eradicated almost the entire
H1N1 — one flu virus strain
somehow supplanting another

& the scariest part?
— scientists  don’t  really
know  how  it  did  it

Day 22 — how to conduct a successful social interaction in the age of forgetting what people are

22 awkward dawgs

Worked on two more “serious” poems for much of the afternoon/evening … then this little masterpiece of “how to conduct a successful social interaction” muscled its way in & took over. Probably for the best, there’s too much serious shit going on anyways.

*****

face to, er …

while out : on my legally sanctioned : essential activities today : yet another blood test : if you must know : mr secret policeman : i observe : a friend : not seen, y’know, in the flesh : for forever : foolishly : inundated by hormones : or oxygen overload : or something : i call out : then immediately : regret : as it means : bursting the digital bubble : we have existed in : quite pleasantly for/

/fuck they’re here : now i need to talk small : & when you’ve been doing : the exact same thing : every : day : since : the Ides : trying to spice up : your exceedingly monotone : discomplishments : all while : trying to remember : that normal people : tend to make eye contact : then worrying : that normal people : shouldn’t be standing round : reminding themselves : that normal people : need to make eye contact — & all that while : making (it’s to be hoped) : non-threatening : non-psychotic : eye contact : it’s also considered : quite polite : to listen to whatever : mundanity they’ve been up to : too

disturbingly : there are times : when the  words   :   just    :    end

& i’m not sure : what to do : ordinarily : (ie, for the past 6 weeks) : you just stop typing : have a little think : maybe make a cup of tea : or go pee : or both : then return : rejuvenated : & fill in that obscene : j’accuse! : rectangular window : with something devastating & witty : & one’s reputation : as raconteur : & all round good egg : is maintained

finally : blessedly : the words : eventually : completely : dry up : & we are able : after a couple of : false starter’s pistols : dash off : in our separate : lanes

quick drive home : then the first thing i do? : msg them to say : it was good seeing you in the flesh … even if I did realise halfway through I has forgetted how to person it up

their swift reply : you were never that good at it to begin with : while technically correct : hurts : more than it should