Mice suggest HIV, hep C and coronaviruses discriminate
by sex, like a gale chooses an empty bag or a man too thin
for some women fears the force of sickness, and sunshine
doesn’t stop the shiver of his lips nor does the low voice

of bachelor Bunty McFarlane, headmaster and failed
priest. Men are inclined to ignore public health advice,
seek medical help, use soap and wash their hands less,
hunt for penetration soon after their mother’s death.

But females are just as prone as males to poppers, to
the amyl perfume of cock and cum, arousal of blood
to he and she nakedness, to thin wrists, the loose anus
of shaking hands with callousness and psychedelics.

Hormones play a role and lifestyle can be a tease,
but sex is speaking out, yes, men are more viral.

Picture: Steve Karn (England)

Music: Karin Blüml (Germany)

Poem: Kevin Reid (Scotland)

Karin writes about her music

I play ‘Dialogue between Hermes and Aphrodite’ on my Hermes Lyre replica, which I got from Greece (ordered online from the workshop/maker – Lutherios), and a Kalimba which I ordered from a Music store in Germany, during lockdown.

Both are talking about what is going on down there in the realm of humans and us humans are secretly listening to their conversation. Hermes has the last word.

Steve writes about his picture

Although FEAR was composed as a response to genuine concern about our individual and collective health and wellbeing, I also wanted to convey a sense of melodramatic dread. Mainstream and social media coverage has ranged from rational, scientific observation and understanding to hysterical narratives describing an invisible, unknowable, and deadly invader/enemy. I wanted the image to be lurid (all those psychedelic graphic depictions of the virus!) to reflect the latter, with something of a B-movie poster feel to it. Perhaps I was suggesting that, with a little subversion, you can acknowledge the gravity of a situation without being overwhelmed by it.


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