The Alien Buddha Contracts Covid-19 Act 1: An Excellent Pestilence

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Panic, Don’t Panic! (pandemic) by LB Sedlacek

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LB Sedlacek is the author of the new short story collection “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories” published by ABZ.   Poetry books include “The Poet Next Door,” “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars” and “Words and Bones.”  She published the free Ezine for poets, “The Poetry Market Ezine.”   When she’s not writing she enjoys swimming, reading and playing the ukulele.  http://www.lbsedlacek.com

                            

How many times can you wash your hands

or dodge people too close way too close

move back forward stand to the side

stay away

stay six feet

6 feet!

apart

don’t touch metal, don’t touch cardboard

it lives for 3 days

it lives for 24 hours

don’t touch anything, glare at the kid in the

coffee shop coughing and coughing until

his mother removes him taking him hacking

out into the cold winter air

hats and scarves and coats are not enough

vitamin C

is not enough

elderberry won’t help you

how can you avoid

how can you not

be part of the movie the TV show the very

real reality show playing out worldwide

except in Africa except in warmer countries

maybe, maybe will it last will the heat

kill or protect or save

open grave pits are being dug in Iran

Italy is in quarantine

everyone is sick

inhaling the disease

everyone is dying

as it spreads

with no cure

and we are

testing testing testing

and even after testing negative and being

released from quarantine people are still

dying

because it lives

for 5 weeks in your

body

your weakened immune system

can’t fight it

how did we end up here

how did we get here

in this living nightmare

this walking dead

we are the walking dead

where are the zombies

is this the apocalypse

is this revelation

don’t act like you don’t notice

don’t act like we are overreacting

it’s real

it kills

a disease transmitted from animals but

there is no cure

the animals are safe

we are not

avoid each other

avoid crowds

stay 6 feet away

six feet!

eat with plastic toss away toss away

stay away stay away

pick up take out order in

delivery

don’t dwell inside with others

stay home stay alone

with your hand sanitizer

your gobs and gobs of toilet paper

avoid the airplanes

avoid the cruise ships

we think we have problems

we think we have solutions

but without each other

we have nothing

yet everything to

lose

we are the walking dead

but don’t panic

there’s hope in there

somewhere

six feet

6 feet!

away

it’s a pandemic of being by Mike Zone

002

Mike Zone resides beyond the pines…the author of Void Beneath the Skin and A Farewell to Big Ideas, a frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl, his work has been featured in: Horror Sleaze Trash, Piker Press, Synchronized Chaos and Cult Culture magazine.  He wears ridiculous sunglasses to hide his insomnia stricken eyes.

Capricorn working in the shadows

dug too far in the earth

grounded in mechanics of things

without transcendence

we love what we destroy

we push it way,

live as if we don’t regret only left with misery

spread it like a contagion a host for alienation

once upon a time the Ares said in the drunken nocturnal hour of despair  “Capricorn, you are the balance we all need, your purpose is to show us.”

What is to reap when they’ve already moved the harvest elsewhere?

Chaos brews inside us all

Even most well-ordered

trying to ignite the darkest of stars

consistently crashing further into Earth without ever really flying

Seeking shelter in the arms of those familiar with frenetic wanderings and random lusts

Capricorn “I accept chaos, I’m not sure chaos accepts me.”

Why can’t chaos balance me?

Let me transcend the bounds of dirt and sand, climb the mountains diving deep into atomic oceans breathing ever evolving star dust light into the cosmological argument for breathing and evolving beyond what there is in an ever-confining system?

A Gemini is love, two that are one with simultaneous journeys…embrace me

Erase me

I see your pain and joy reflection

one feeding the other

destructive symbiotic fashion

Indulge with me without aimless descent

let’s expand consciousness

staring deep into those oceanic blue eyes

hands entwined the scent of your skin

let the air lift the earth

the earth ground the air

I promise you an eternal key to what we’ve never had

pandemic hysteria, bitter reflection, hurt

the death of genuine intimacy

it doesn’t have to be

perhaps we’ve murdered our own emotions

long enough

take me and my unused chaos

don’t fret to unleash yours

the spirit of living unbound

a natural manifestation of being

share this world with me

so we can discard the rest

the real world is just starting to be born

from ashes yet to burn

We Could All Die by Robert J.W.

003

Robert J. W. is a poet, author, and digital artist from Morgantown, WV. He is the author of the poetry collection Dusty Video Game Cartridges and the haiku collection Mania and Black Holes

Mass hysteria is

airborne, infecting

grocery aisles and

binary code.

We could all

die but the

dog shall

eat the dog.

Capitalism is

sick and the main

symptom is

outdated Darwinism.

Our president doesn’t

give a damn.

He tightens his

dusty grip on

apocalyptic policies as

the sick beg for

a drop of compassion.

We could all

die and no

prayer will

save us.

God turns Her

back and

laughs at the

mess in which

She had no part.

Reason is our

only hope and it

gasps for air with

no cure.

We could all die.

Eternal silence blankets

the world.

An Excerpt from a work in progress by Red Focks

004

Red Focks is an American author, publisher, and folk artist. The 30-year-old lives in Phoenix Arizona with his wife, where he operates Alien Buddha Press. Red enjoys art with undertones of absurdism, cheerful nihilism, and rebellion. In addition to his contributions to Alien Buddha Press, Red has been featured by 17 Numa, Fishbowl Press, Ramingo’s Porch, Horror Sleaze Trash, Winedrunk Press, Transcendent Zero Press, Nixes Mate Pub, Rust Belt Press, Madness Muse Press, The Raw Art Review; his novel ‘Haight’ was published in 2018 by Cajun Mutt Press, and his short story collection ‘The Abandon’ was released in 2019 via Concrete Mist Press, whew his 2020 novella “The Bloody Waste” was also published. Red is one half of the art team ‘Pseudonym Lastname’ and is the head writer of the graphic novel ‘American Antihero”. Red’s other books include ‘Duffy Street & Other Dubious Incidents’, ‘The Philanthropist’s Suicide’, ’36 Haikus and a Horror Story’ and ‘Dead Celebrities’

“I don’t want to be in this group, Mrs. Sanchez are you trying to give me the Coronavirus or something?” the class clown joked. Most of the class laughed. The social studies teacher hushed the disruptive student. Young Corona even laughed a little bit as a defense mechanism. She didn’t want to seem bent about anything in front of her peers. Deep down she wished her parents were drinking hennesy the night she was conceived. “Hennesy is a pretty name, and there’s no virus named after it” she thought.

It was 4th period, the digital clock on the wall crossed 11:11:11. Principal Freeman stuck his head in through the door and called for Mrs. Sanchez into the hallway. While the teacher was gone the students chattered amongst each other. Every time Corona heard somebody talking about the Coronavirus she became anxious that people would stare at her or make a dumb joke about her name. Corona Catalina Carlyle used to detest the nickname C.C., but now she embraced the abbreviation. The fourteen year old wore thick lensed glasses over her eyes, and braces on her teeth. Her frizzy charcoal colored hair was done up in a messy ponytail. She wore her brother’s Mountain Goats band t shirt that he got at one of their concerts. The goat emblem was faded and the shirt sagged down past her knees.

The class clown was a boy named Kyle and he had a crush on Corona. “Do you think Mrs. S and Principal Freeman are talking about your virus?” Kyle asked Corona with an off-putting grin.

“Leave me alone Kyle. He’s probably trying to figure out who left a bunch of empty monster cans on the bathroom floor and punched holes through all of the stalls”. Corona’s counterjab was good for a laugh from her classmates. Kyle wore ultimate fighting shirts despite having no training in MMA, he we wore a ballcap on his head backwards, he called people bro, he did indeed drink monster, and yes, Kyle punched an occasional hole in his bedroom wall when life got challenging. Kyle was a total Kyle and everybody knew it. Corona on the other hand, while being far from the most popular girl in school, was generally liked by the students and teachers at ToCMS. She was a nice girl most of the time. She was friendly to Kyle when he moved to Truth or Consequence in fifth grade, which was when he developed his crush on her. He started picking on her in sixth grade, which was when she started to dislike him.

Mrs. Sanchez walked back in and addressed the classroom. “Kids; we are going to have an early dismissal today at noon, and school is going to be cancelled indefinitely. While we do not have an exact timeframe on when classes will resume, spring break was already set to start on the 20th and go until the beginning of April. It is probably a safe assumption that we will be closed at least until then due to concerns about the covid-19 virus. You will catch the busses home straight from this classroom, and I am sending you off with this packet of information for your parents. If anybody needs to call their parents or guardians to let them know about the early dismissal, you can use your cell phones now (we know you have them), or you can use the landline phone in the vice principal’s office. Does anybody have any questions?”

Kyle raised his hand and blurted out “I don’t want to take the same bus as her”. The pest pointed to Corona.

Sanchez shook her head and sighed. “Kyle, you’ve been making the same joke all week. Give it a rest. You can just ask her out so she can say no, which she will probably do, because unlike you she seems to have some good sense. Covid-19 is not a joke. Corona has nothing to do with beer, or Ms. Carlyle here. Remember to wash your hands, be considerate of what you breathe in and considerate of what you breathe out.”

Corona texted her mother who was at work along with her father; together they ran a floor at a casino just outside of town. The text read “I made the school close down. I’ll be home before you.”.

C.C’s mother texted back “I heard a rumor that they were going to close the whole casino too. I will see you this afternoon at the latest. There’s leftover roast and potatoes from last night in the fridge”.

Meanwhile

at the 7 Mountains Casino

          Diehard gamblers wore white masks, some of them cut little cigarette sized holes in the middle so they could smoke while they pulled their levers, threw their dice, and exchanged cards and chips. Austin and Marley Carlyle have been working at the 7 mountains since it opened, back during the Clinton administration. They both got hired on the spot as poker dealers. They found themselves in their late-forties, still fit and full of stamina. Considered by the young and impressionable of t or c as a silver fox, a cougar, or even a milf, and something about the latter title appalled Marley. Well-to-do white baby boomers with over a thousand people working under them.

Now the guys working above them is breathing fire down from the sky. The day to day managers of the establishment were failing to keep the casino stocked with hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Top health inspectors were on site. People coughed and sneezed into their masks. The toilets in the bathrooms overflowed after folks left their complementary buffet and ended up flushing their socks and underwear.

Austin was relieved when he got the official announcement declaring that the casino was going to close indefinitely. The Carlyle’s were under a lot of pressure, and frankly they were both paid salary which would be unaffected by a temporary closure. The casino’s patrons were not as happy. A sense of hostility filled the air as the lights flickered and everybody was instructed to evacuate.

An Alaskan man sneezed near a trump supporter. The trump supporter thought the Alaskan was Chinese and told his ‘Keep you fucking ching-chong-wu-flu germs off of me!’. The Alaskan was drunk and responded to the trumpster’s remark with a fist to the face that knocked the red hat off his skin head. A small gang of white men butted in and jumped the Alaskan, knocking him to the ground and giving him a rude boot-party. Marley Carlyle shouted for the men to stop, and she radioed security. One security guard showed up to raised his voice at the assailants who continued to kick the Alaskan gambler.

“Get in there and stop this!” Marley shouted at the big security guard.

“This is beyond my paygrade, Mrs. Carlyle. I’m going home and locking my ass inside” said the germophobic bouncer. Marley removed bear mace from her pocket and sprayed the racists faces with the nozzles strong stream and pinpoint accuracy. The blinded cursed Marley Carlyle and their more aggressive sympathizers advanced on her. Austin ran across the floor to have his wife’s back; but all the same she stood strong and raised her canister high, all the while asking the question “Anybody else?!” The four men who caught the spray directly cried, and leaked snot, and vomited. Everybody in the general vicinity’s eyes began to burn just from being near it. Nobody else wanted any of it. The attackers fled the scene. The gamblers dispersed and a more sympathetic security guard came in from another section to escort the victim of the attack outside to be picked up by an ambulance.

“That was badass” Austin said to his wife. “You’re going to do well against the covid-19 zombies we’re going to face in the impending apocalypse”.

A Corona Virus Poem by Jay Miner

people of

walmart fight

over tp

i stockpile

ammo, i’ll

take your

shit paper

by force

fucking corona

Worldwide Corona by Sophia Behal

005

sophia behal author of #Wuhan – empowering poema and pros-a about feelings and such. available at bit.ly/wuhanpoetry

Corona you are strong.

Person after person be strong.

An unknown substance with a crown is lethal.

It a bit of a surprise for us all.

World wide danger.

Corona you are wrong.

People we have to unite and be strong.

Corona unknown substance:

“You can’t have us all.”

It’ s like meeting a stranger.

Corona is so very strong.

Let’s pray to god, for our chance.

Humanity must be well.

Corona, deadening, one cant see ya.

Corona you are not acceptable.

Corona be ready we are strong.

Killing us all would be wrong.

Humanity needs to survive well. We have a greater mission.

Corona we promise we won’t have ya.

Corona you are an invisible danger.

Corona we, vaccines, and all will be stronger.

Oh, God let’s get together and pray for our chance.

Corona you are not getting us that’s all.

We will unite and fight ya!

I SURVIVED THE WALMART RIOT by Kevin Ridgeway

006

Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press) and nine chapbooks of poetry including Grandma Goes to Rehab (Analog Submission Press, UK). His work can recently be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Trailer Park Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Cultural Weekly and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.

People have clean assholes

due to all of the toilet paper

they have stocked up on

because they are not only

afraid of their own shadows,

they are terrified of their

own shit so it doesn’t stink

enough to remind them

to pull their heads from

out of their many asses.

Praying Doesn’t Help by Marcel Herms

007

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