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Volume 22, Number 12—December 2016
Another Dimension

Flu Days

Peter Makuck

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Shivering, you drag yourself,
as if gun-shot, to the living room,

to the old movie channel,

to a Bogart festival,

your mind fogged over

(like the street on the screen)

edging toward feverish sleep

when Bogey snarls

at Ida Lupino:

“Of all the 14-carat saps…”

Hours later when you wake,

he’s smacking Peter Lorre:

“When you’re slapped,

you’ll take it and like it!”

And as if cuffed, you black out,

head pounding, and come to

upon Ingrid Bergman

and “You must remember this,”

before fading again, then back

to Bogey hacked to death

by Bedoya’s machete,
all that gold dust blown away

with the whole bloody day,

everything gone—gone black

as your living room windows—

those previews of The Big Sleep.

Peter Makuck is a writer, essayist, and poet and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina; email:



Poem reprinted from Mandatory Evacuation, ©2016, by Peter Makuck, by courtesy of BOA Editions, Ltd., Rochester, NY, USA;


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DOI: 10.3201/eid2212.ad2212

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Table of Contents – Volume 22, Number 12—December 2016

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Page created: October 13, 2016
Page updated: October 13, 2016
Page reviewed: October 13, 2016
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.