I’m writing this on June 16th 2020 on the southern coast of the UK. This means that my lover and I have been in various forms of lockdown for almost the last three months. Normally, as something progresses my views on that thing become clearer and more coherent. In this instance all of my views on the virus and our response to it have become increasingly vague and harder to get hold of.
So, what is attached is a hopefully creative means of trying to live with the lack of definition in a world that appears to have gone seriously awry. At the end of April and early May I recorded interviews via social media with a number of friends about their experiences and views of what was going on. I’ve then added the words and phrases that we were being bombarded with as a separate track so that the listener hears both the interview extracts and my voice at the same time.
The other motivation has to be record these experiences whilst we are experiencing the pandemic and its consequent bewilderments so that I and others will at least have a slurred but contemporary impression of the reaction to these events.
I’m also a major fan of documentary poetry, the work of Charles Reznikoff and Vanessa Place strikes me to be vital to our culture and sense of ourselves. I therefore insist that this piece is a poem even though it doesn’t use any of the standard lyric tropes and is based on fact.
I’m placing it here because I’d like to know what readers make of it and whether people think I should make a second part bringing us up to date with more recent events.