Collective poem from the Zoem online Poetry Reading group, July 31, 2020

The Five Stages of Grief re: Covid-19

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance


  1. Are you fucking kidding me?
  2. What the fuck have they done?
  3. Maybe we’ll have a fucking vaccine by November.
  4. We’re all fucking doomed.
  5. Maybe this will go away.

What are a poet’s stages of grief?

No fucking way.
Please could I just get fucking flu.
I am going to shoot that fucker not wearing a mask.

Today I couldn’t fucking think, except to want a drink.

Everything is ending, so fuck it.

Stage #65:
at this st(age) our ears start to fail. The bullshit too heartbreaking
for our gentle ambles.

COoperative VIDeos – echoing life
In surreal timestep …
Past, present, future collide
Crisis and victory
Victory and crisis
Syllables and sounds upended
In transformation beyond conception

No grief can defeat the relief of your presence
A shine that enshrines all loss and embosses
the feelings that rise
with the times and then line the grave of the state with
a fertilized dream that fractures all fictions…

The 6th stage of grief
is poets writing our way through it all,
so that others may follow our paths
as we cut our way through the jungle of pain.

The five stages of grief: March, April, May, June, July.

At this August stage of grief I’m just grateful to land
in the arms of my Zoem tribe, the ones who speak true, listen deep,
and hold the doors wide
as we breathe with and for each other.

We grieve places—
coffee shops, restaurants,
poetry slams and theaters,
work and school and everything in between.

We grieve things—
Starbucks coffee cups,
tables we can bang to clap for a live poet,
squeaky fabric seats we sit in to watch a show.

We grieve people—
poets, friends, family, teachers,
students, colleagues, coworkers, baristas, emcees, and store clerks and waitstaff.

In short, we grieve nouns.

by the Zoem Poets