Public Relations

This entry is part 10 of 40 in the series Pandemic Year


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I dreamed we were in a pandemic, but nobody knew what to do because the official pronouncements were too verbose and contradictory. I discovered that if they were re-written as ultra-short haiku, everyone grasped them at once. This became my new job.

the and
in pandemic

Then I was in the lounge of a nearly deserted hotel, trying to buy a Belgian lambic with some form of local, antisanal currency. It didn’t add up. All the billboards were in Japanese. My phone dropped a call from my wife on the other side of the city, which had engulfed the earth.

your O face
a grounded


Process notes

The prose portion in this describes two related dreams I had the night before last, remembered because each time I awoke immediately afterwards. I hasten to add however that the haiku did not come to me in the dream (I wish!) and as usual were the hardest part of all this to get right.

It’s always harder to start with a text and find images to match, rather than work ekphrastically, but I realized I still have a lot of unused footage from last spring and summer when I was in London, and I thought some of that might work. At the end, I thought I’d better add a shot of an American grounded outlet so international viewers with different electrics would get the haiku — a rare instance of me using a baldly illustrative approach in a videopoem.

As for the music, I wasn’t actually searching for music at all, just something suitably atmospheric for the soundtrack, but the search terms I was using on freesound were sufficiently vague to turn up a goofy, glitchy track that really tied it all together for me — and licensed Creative Commons 0, i.e. public domain, to boot! Which means of course that I wouldn’t have had to attribute it in the credits, but on the other hand I don’t want to leave people with the impression that I’ve developed electronic composer skills.

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