Dispatch #033

3 Poems

By Paul Corman-Roberts


When the plague came,  
the ruling party  
sent out 
their square jawed mouth 
to inform us  
a prevailing mortality rate 
of two to three percent  
among children 
would be "appetizing."  
the cost of reopening the markets 
they said 
with a bible in one hand 
and a crumpled dollar in the other 
appetites whet for something more 
than something less  
than a two to three percent mortality rate among children 
who were sure not to be the ruling parties' children. 


Collateral Progression

Once we normalize fifty thousand deaths due to a virus in two and a half months it will only be a very small step toward normalizing one hundred thousand deaths in a five-month period and from there it will be merely a few informal steps toward normalizing anything under two hundred and fifty thousand deaths in less than a year and with a mere two to three percent mortality rate among children, we are only a few steps away from normalizing a two to three percent mortality rate among other populations, such as workers or indigents who cannot be rehabilitated or all potential foreign nationals, and once a two to three percent mortality rate among those populations is normalized we are right back to those easy flight up a small set of steps to normalizing an acceptable mortality rate of five to seven percent among these populations, and in the spirit of the ever enthusiastic stock market, there is no reason we can’t edge ever closer to an acceptable number of somewhere around ten percent until the acceptable national mortality rate becomes aligned as yet another supporting indicator of the Dow Jones Industrial Average where more is always better don’t you think?

In the Sanitorium

everything is made out of lies. 
The sheets, the wallpaper, the counters, the desks  
the wall clocks, the beds, the trays, the vital monitors,  
the ventilators, the food, the clothing, the floors 
all the words on all the forms and brochures 
all the words that come out of the mouths 
of the doctors and attendants and administrators 
and yes, even the patients 
no one lies more 
than the patients. 
Even the devices  
that manufacture the lies 
are made out of lies. 
in here lies make up the fabric of reality 
so that in the Sanitorium 
the truth is a hidden and mysterious thing 
so rare and precious 
that it is the most beautiful and dangerous thing 
anyone can imagine possessing. 
even as I write this  
the Nazis and the Neolibs 
the Axis and the Allies 
the Confederacy and the Union 
even are in a desperate race 
against each other and the clock 
not only to possess this truth 
but more critically 
to prove to the rest of the world 
that they really do possess it 
so rest assured 
we’re going to be here awhile. 

Categories: Poetry, Reopening

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