Moonstone Press has just released Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s, Covid 19, 2020 – A Poetic Journal.
The Chapbook is available here: https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/sahms-guarnieri-diane-covid-19-2020-a-poetic-journal/294?cs=true&cst=custom
What Others Say:
As sobering as Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, when the Bubonic Plague devasted London, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s, Covid-19, 2020 is a grim recounting of the horrible year through which we have just lived.
Starting with the ironically named “March Madness” section, a term that usually refers to the annual NCAA basketball tournament but so succinctly captures the mass disorientation, like “a sci-fi movie, yet real,” as she notes on 3-23-2020, the journal proceeds through April, the cruelest month, mixing death and rebirth in its stew of life, into the horrific summer of 2020 –
185,000 dead in the United States by Labor Day – and into fall/winter with the mounting dead, the glimmer of hope that a vaccine may soon be available. The collection ends on New Year’s Eve, over 350,000 Americans dead under the chaotic leadership of the Trump administration, the most of any nation in the world. Along the way, as if the pandemic were not bad enough, Sahms-Guarnieri addresses the social turmoil that tore the country apart, the racial injustice that spawned BLM.
Sahms-Guarnieri captures the fear and loneliness so eloquently in the April poem, “Nature & Mothers Weeping,” which begins:
Horrific scene played on TV—
a mother weeping & wailing
for daughter, dead. COVID-19.
Last seen alive via FaceTime:
Mom, I can’t breathe.
I, with thoughts of my only
living daughter, weep
for those whom I don’t know
The July poem, “Untouchables, for daughter, Mary,” drives the point home :
We who always embrace every time
we meet & whenever we leave each other,
came no nearer than 6 feet.
An unmeasurably cruel calculation
for me & daughter, whose hazel irises,
as life protectors, gently glided into
mine: touching, without touching,