dVerse — Meet the Bar — Unmasked

A ventilator tube attached to a dummy at the Vivantes Humboldt Hospital in Berlin, Germany. Photo: EPA

Unmasked

It began with a sneeze
clenched into a wheeze.
Squeak-rolled
by breezy hazmat suit
clad orderlies to
the ordered chaos of
the vent.

No, wait – it began with a date,
obstinately maskless
face; my smile always wins;
not undotted eyes nor pate.

I lied, I lie shunned in
bright but unsunned
pincushioned, bruised
intubated half-life.

Clueless, haunted, raging
the red-capped fam
views my half-corpse
via closed-circuit tv
fear-wracked and venging,
pledge revenge.

 

Peter Frankis is today’s host of dVerse. Peter says:
OK soundsters – tonight’s right to write a poem with a focus on sounds.

Image link here.

58 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    Oh, wow, this is incredibly surrounded with darkness plagued with our current reality that you capture in mesmerizing, haunting, and vivid descriptions. There’s such a brilliant use of figurative imagery, which I really love in all of your pieces I have read–how you use and create imagery that provides such visual sense in my mind’s eye.

    “I lied, I lie shunned in
    bright but unsunned
    pincushioned, bruised
    intubated half-life.”

    This is haunting especially. Amazing piece written with excellent rhythm and sound. I loved how you read it as well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You make me blush, Lucy. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved to hear you read… wonderful.. then the poem itself caught me that I can hear that eerie rhythm of the ventilator reflected in the text. I think that we need a lot of patience..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Many thanks, Bjorn. I think you’re right. I went to see my mom yesterday (who is a HUGE Trump fan) and she brought up she’d heard a bigwig in Grand Rapids (near where she lives) had just died from Covid-19. I said to her, “Mom, are you starting to believe that Covid-19 isn’t a hoax.” Amazingly she said, “I never thought it was.” where just a few weeks ago she was agreeing with my brother and his partner that it was. :::smh:::

      Like

  3. kim881 says:

    Thank you for the reading, Lisa. I was immediately hooked by the opening rhyming couplet. The second stanza was a surprise, and then you outdid that with the shock of the final stanzas. Covid 19 is a shocker.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks for your kind words, Kim. Yes it is a shocker in so many ways 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ingrid says:

    This is a dramatic poem and your reading really added to that drama. It brings to life the horror of the current situation and how severe it can become for some people. The image really fits as well. A raw and visceral sound-poem experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ingrid, thank you very much. It is a horrific situation we face, each one of us, either from long-term isolation or for risking our lives to go out and about. No happy endings in sight as far as the virus goes 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Francis says:

    Wonderfully creative and dystopian, some great, disturbing imagery. Very effective.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Francis, thank you and wish there was no need to rattle cages 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes. Like others, thanks for your wonderful reading – I so like how your words/sounds shift in this – ‘I lied, I lie’ becomes ‘half-life’ by the end of the stanza; ‘sneeze, wheeze’ becomes ‘breezy hazmat suit’. And that last stanza is an incantation for revenge…for this unjust tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Peter, thank you. I also tried to capture the irony of the family seeking revenge upon the innocent for the actions of who they see as the victim (their loved one) when she — and others who refuse to take safety precautions — is the one who brought it upon herself by her actions.

      Like

  7. Lisa, this is incredible. Your reading really drives home the state of our affairs.excellent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. sanaarizvi says:

    This is so powerful especially; “I lied, I lie shunned in bright but unsunned pincushioned, bruised intubated half-life.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sanaa, thank you very much.

      Like

  9. merrildsmith says:

    Scary and timely, and oh, those last lines! My mom died in a nursing home from Covid-related symptoms, so the I’m really angered by the people who refuse to wear masks or take precautions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      So horrific to know that each refusal has led to death for innocents. So helpless to do anything about it. The ex- I have written many poems at dVerse about is now in prison, trapped. Nursing homes and prisons are the hubs of the biggest outbreaks. I am not with my ex but am haunted by the idea of him trapped in prison where he’s helpless to fight against it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. merrildsmith says:

        That is sad and horrible. I’m so sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I have all five symptoms to be a Covid-19 victim. I am so paranoid, even when family comes to visit. So much so that for the holidays I will wear a mask for “all” company, and keep my distance. My doctor and my wife keeps me focused. Your dark and powerful poem shakes me to the core.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, you are doing the right thing by staying masked. It’s a short term inconvenience (if everyone takes it seriously instead of letting their loudmouth egos rule instead of common sense) for longer life. It’s not rocket science, which astounds me that some can’t/won’t listen to.

      Like

  11. calmkate says:

    haunting and timely reminder of what too many face Lisa … well expressed, your voice is not as I’d imagined 🙂 Sorry your ex is ‘trapped’ …

    Do appreciate that so many of you are tech savvy to share a recording, adds to the drama, makes it very real!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kate, you might search for “voice recorder” on your computer, record it, then upload to soundcloud (creating an account is easy.) Once uploaded you can share it (they generate a link to drop into your document.) I’m not tech savvy so if I can do it you can do it.

      I actually hired a voice actor to record for me, so no surprise it doesn’t sound like me. (j/k)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        lol how odd, but I do get a complete ‘picture’ of people I engage with and it didn’t fit … next time I hope to hear your voice Lisa 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Kate, you did see the (j/k) aka just kidding I hope.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. calmkate says:

            lol no idea what it meant Lisa 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  12. rothpoetry says:

    Very nicely done Lisa. I enjoyed hearing your reading. This verse is chillingly real….
    I lied, I lie shunned in
    bright but unsunned
    pincushioned, bruised
    intubated half-life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dwight, thank you. I wish it was only a bad dream.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dora says:

    Magnificent, Lisa, you took us through the persona’s agonizing, nightmarish condition with all our senses attuned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, many thanks. A painful story that’s fictional for some, not for too many.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. robtkistner says:

    This was dark and wonderful Lisa, so well written! Loved your reading, and a very warm and friendly voice… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob, many thanks. Glad to get positive feedback on my voice 🙂

      Like

  15. Sadje says:

    This is a reminder to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, Sadje. A hope that all abide by safety precautions until this mess is over with.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Chilling truth, masterly executed, Li! Enjoyed the recording too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Punam ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Love the read through Lisa…it brings it home more…I hate the subject but it is reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Max, thank you, yes exactly 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Oh…sorry….but any more writing contests coming up for you?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Max, the one I submitted to last year is here again. I’m thinking about giving it another shot. Thanks for asking.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

            I hope you do Lisa…keep going and it will pay off. You are a very good writer.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              ❤ 🙂 Thank you, Max.

              Liked by 1 person

  18. You gave a voice to a silent virus. And I liked hearing your voice. It has real gravitas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Jane. I had to look gravitas up.

      Like

  19. memadtwo says:

    Too many are discovering the truth of your words. And of course by then…
    If you’ve ever seen someone you care about on a ventilator for any reason you would not be so flippant about masks. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ron. says:

    I read this through before listening. It’s really fine work, and its greatness is only amplified by your fine read. Conga rats, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks for your nice comment and the Conga rats too 🙂

      Like

  21. Ouch. Fantastic and saddening that this needs to be written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your comment, yes it is 😦

      Like

  22. rivrvlogr says:

    I especially like this stanza (a potential for every chance encounter in these times):

    “I lied, I lie shunned in
    bright but unsunned
    pincushioned, bruised
    intubated half-life.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ken. Indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. The re-start with
    No, wait – it began with a date,
    Was such a clever piece of poetry, and such a truth laden line. Hopefully more people will realise that it does begin with such simple things, a date, a coffee, a walk – obstinately unmasked. Thank you for a brilliant, if sobering, read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks and glad you appreciate it for what it is.

      Like

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