A poem by Caspar Eric (Denmark)

Caspar Eric is an award winning Danish poet who has published four works of poetry at the Danish publishing house Gyldendal besides his work as a play write, translator and as front man of the Danish poetic pop duo Intet Altid (No Forever)

to Arbeit an Europa

DAY TWO

We woke up in bed
a day like any other
I went to the store
to get some milk
there was plenty of milk
but no toilet paper
or sanitaries
all together
the vitamin pills were gone
the vegetables were gone
online people urged
each other not to hoard
and others still
wrote not to judge
the ones who gathered
in massive lines
in front of the counters
families with children
anxious and afraid
I’m so fucking tired
of this standard exculpation
of neoliberal impulses
surging unhindered
throughout the stores
and straight to the brains
of everyone thinking
I gotta get mine
here’s how it goes
first we find
something we want
and then a reason
as to why it’s okay
for us not to mind
the vulnerable and fragile
but we’re not the same
some of you have houses
with massive gardens
spaces to flee to
from arguments with loved ones
and some have legs
and resilient immune systems
it’s a common glitch
in the healthy and abled
always to extend
this dusty solidarity
towards usual bodies
and then getting pissed
when you point that out
that sometimes we need
moral judgement
in order to transfigure
the collective body
in stead of just complaining
about stupid shit
like my friends and I
just days ago
we hated on people
who talk on the phone
while on the bus
back when people
were still on the bus
before the virus
this virus may change
everything we know
or thought we knew
it’s a tragic hope
at an unfathomable cost
today they expanded
the emergency fundings
to also include
cooperate businesses
capitalism is fragile
as our bodies are fragile
this morning we had sex
more fiery than usual
and then we made juice
and worked from home
L and I
our stiff bodies
doing flexible jobs
precarious jobs
suddenly a privilege
to have always just
barely managed
our way through the world
the borders are slowly
closing around us
closing inside us
in a Facebook update
S wrote that maybe
this would end
the era of globalization
but something is spreading
among us on the corners
in front of the stores
mouths and strangers
suddenly allies
suddenly connected
trying to move
in different rhythms
there is hope in our talking
there is love
in our distancing
this feeling of shared
interdependency
an overdue exercise
for the able bodied
that our freedom limits
the movement of others
others in camps
who still have to wait
for a single word
from our chosen leaders
a popular meme now
is that climate change
should hire the agent
of Corona virus
and that’s close to the truth
and it fills me with sorrow
that our woods probably
stood a better chance
that our lungs probably
stood a better chance
if only we felt the ground
burning beneath us

The English version of this poem is written by the author and first appeared in an unedited version at https://covid19digte.tumblr.com/ where Caspar Eric writes a daily poem during the Covid-19 lockdown under the title “Diary from days with Covid-19”.

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