- Life During Pandemic
Month three in lockdown
and it’s time for another
Justin Trudeau Moment,
as he steps out like Evil Spock
in a dark blue overcoat, doing his best
President in the Rose Garden act.
Fitting that the symbol
of the Mirror Universe is a sword,
“Divide and conquer” its method.
Not rocket science at all. Meanwhile,
people you’ve known for years
become distant or aggressive
or simply burrow in as deep
as they can go, heads well below
the parapet. “It’s lonely at the tip
of the spear,” said my brother.
Streets heavy as decades-old
silence, a soundless string about
to snap. The conformity
most terrifying of all. Thinning
membrane of community
at the tip of a needle, delicate
threads pulled apart by coarse,
greedy hands with machine minds.
Eliot’s Waste Land an eerie dream
of the future already here—
a civilization gone vacant
of soul. Contact, people.
We live or die by it.
©2020 Sean Arthur Joyce
 A take-off on the Talking Heads song “Life During Wartime,” released 1979, which includes the lyrics: “My chest is aching, burns like a furnace / The burning keeps me alive / Try to stay healthy, physical fitness / Don’t want to catch no disease / Try to be careful, don’t take no chances / You better watch what you say…”
 “Evil Spock” is a reference to Star Trek, the original series, specifically the episode “Mirror, Mirror,” in which Spock, Captain Kirk, and the rest of the Enterprise crew meet their doppelgangers in an alternate or parallel universe. Instead of the benign exploration mission of the original Enterprise, however, the alternate Federation is an intergalactic army of brutal conquest.