Joan Mazza

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Delusions du Jour

If only they could hear me out, the creationists
would understand the facts of evolution, displayed
in the evidence of drug resistance, moths’ camouflage.
If I could get right-wingers to see this list of deceptions,
how as individuals they’re harmed by tax breaks

for the ultra-rich and their loss of medical care,
they would surely vote Democratic, and kick that fake
out of office. Maybe they don’t recognize corruption
or know what foreign emoluments are. If I could just
explain, if only I could get the words and examples

right, and in the right order, they would thank me
for my clarity, say, I’m glad I have this information!
At 2 AM, I’m out of bed and making coffee, as if
I needed a stimulant to make me more alert and better
equipped for a debate with anyone who dares

to trespass across my consciousness. Today
I want to correct mistranslations. Black Lives Matter
doesn’t mean, Kill all cops, or Support the homeless;
let them move in with you. This morning, I’m still
arguing with the dead. After thirty years I’ve

composed an articulate reply, can say no, refuse
to be discounted. I recognize the tricksters, cheaters,
and manipulators, who ignore the pointed question,
gaslighters repeating lies they tutor you to parrot. Look
how far I’ve come. I’m so near to enlightenment!

What’s Real?

Believers in conspiracies call this virus a hoax,
a fake, an engineered bio-weapon. They blame
Bill Gates, who warned about a coming pandemic
before the word was on everyone’s lips,
proclaimed we had to be prepared.

We carried on with work and lives, in crowded
clusters squeezed into rooms for classes
and into even smaller vehicles where we breathed
each other’s breaths, never thought how quickly
we might call a halt. Ebola was a warning,

not spread by aerosols created by speaking,
singing, breathing hard during exercise.
The world held its breath and contained
the spread. Those who so easily believe
in ghosts and aliens, in God and angels,

who pay for astrology readings and psychics
are quick to say FAKE NEWS! when evidence
and information point to what’s unsettling
or terrifies. Scare tactics to control the sheep!
What might be a reasonable reply

to those who are sure the government wants
to disarm them, make them stay at home
in fear so the economy will crash and no one
will get an education or a paycheck. Toward
what end? Who would gain? Are the doctors

and nurses who are dying hidden away
with the children of Sandy Hook who didn’t
really die? Do the preppers believe the libtards
don’t get sick with viruses and worry? Each day
I wake and remember this isn’t another bad

dream that will burn off with the sun. Bad news
doesn’t vanish when I close my eyes.


Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist and psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.