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At the Altar of the Lord Virus

An exploration in dynamics of a dislocated soul

March 2021

Melbourne, Australia - What would have happened if man faced the Covid-19 virus 2000 years ago? Would he immediately idolize it as a God? This was among the ideas that passed through Salim's mind while walking in deserted streets in locked down Melbourne CBD.

Salim Ghazi Saeedi, wrote the poetry collection At the Altar of the Lord Virus between Mar 2020 and Mar 2021 after moving to Melbourne from Brisbane. "Suddenly I found myself in a severe lockdown. Barely knowing anyone and deprived from all attractions of a big city". He turned to writing poetry as an old habit he pursued "at the moments of extreme despair." At the Altar of the Lord Virus explores the dynamics of a dislocated soul and powerlessness before an unrecognisable supreme force, an unknown God or as the book puts it, the Lord Virus. "I feel there is a hidden thread among these poems, and that is dislocation. " Salim continues, "Being a migrant in Australia, doing an interstate move to Melbourne as another mini-migration, working from home and walking in the ghost town CBD during severe lockdown all scream dislocation to me."

Covid-19 has had considerable immediate impact on society, but Salim points out the long-term impact it can have on the integration process of a migrant: "In your hometown, you never come across the concept of settlement the way you experience it in migration. It takes years to settle the job and living conditions, and I would say after that, you arrive at point zero." Salim continues: "If you have done your homework in the settlement years, it is the time to actually mingle in the society and be fully aware of your environment. This is where the disruption of pandemic becomes bold. Pandemic is a strong opposing force against integration. It disassembles the society. It tears it apart."

At the time of the books publication (Apr 2021), the pandemic situation in Australia was more under control, but Salim points out the feeling of dislocation: "[It is like] feeling lost in space and time in an extreme way... Even when the pandemic became more under control, feeling safe in the island of Australia, while watching the rest of the world decay, did not help that much. Maybe it made me feel dislocated even more."

At the Altar of the Lord Virus is the second poetry book published by Salim. It ranges from philosophical Nietzsche like poetry to sarcastic musings on "lord like" influence of the virus upon the world. Salim published another poetry book, The Book of Unsay in 2017. In his repertoire there are also 6 instrumental progressive rock albums in the avant-prog rock genre.

Salim Ghazi Saeedi currently lives in Melbourne, Australia www.salim.world

The book is available to order at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/salim-ghazi-saeedi/the-book-of-unsay/ebook/product-23127684.html

Excerpt from the book:


Lord O Lord

O Lord my Lord Virus! Thy name resonates in my head
With awe and with majesty

Let me confess courageously
As I went all my life astray
To false gods
And to false martyrs

Let me sit with you and ask about the ecstasy
The ecstasy you make in transferring genes
I do not know much about the ways
The ways of evolution I mean

But I'm happy to help with much zest
Oh did I mention I've got feet and hands?
Let me serve thee by moving some genes
I've got feet and hands and also learn fast


Salim Ghazi Saeedi, is a progressive rock composer and experimental writer. He published 6 instrumental albums between 2006 and 2017 and critics classified them in Avant Prog and Rock in Opposition genres. Two poetry collections, The Book of Unsay and At the Altar of the Lord Virus are among his book publications. www.salim.world 

(C) Salim Ghazi Saeedi 2010-2011