Vernita Hall is the author of Where William Walked: Poems About Philadelphia and Its People of Color, winner of the Willow Books Grand Prize and of the Robert Creeley Prize from Marsh Hawk Press; and The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians, winner of the Moonstone Press Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals, including American Poetry Review, African American Review, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Mezzo Cammin, Solstice, and The Cortland Review. With fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and Ucross, Hall holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College and serves on the poetry review board of Philadelphia Stories.
To: George Carlin’s Fleas
“ This virus is an equal opportunity assailant. Age, gender, nationality, class, position, we’re all fair game. Reading about the many people falling victim is frightening—and humbling. Made me remember George Carlin (not) joking that once the planet got tired of us humans, it would just ‘shake us off like a bad case of fleas.’ Fleas put me in mind of Shakespeare’s dogs of war (in Julius Caesar). I’m wondering if, in response to all our nonsense, the Earth is finally starting to scratch. ”