Rage Virus

Shirt-fronters face off, munters thump and run,
can’t remember landing the king hit.
Craptastic jocks troll the small hours,
spew bile, pour acid, crack the shits.
Red mist filling broken Google Glasses,
living the thug life, living knife crime strife.
Wound tighter than rubber bands,
commuters go ape in five way snarl ups.
Triggered vigilantes snap under stress,
ex-employees plot zero sum vengeance,
flame wars smoulder in icy bedrooms.
Angst in their pants sick dicks throw dick fits
over contested pre-nups in courtroom dramas,
sour pusses get their tits in a tangle,
suck the lemon, get hissy, spit tacks
at the salty, the hangry, the permanently butt hurt.
Teen gamers rage quit Zombie Wars,
reality TV marriages on the rocks,
love nests reimagined as hate fests.
Killer robots, blue meanies, lone shooters,
face biters getting their mongrel on,
craycray, in a tizzy, pushed over the edge,
mad as cut snakes drinking the hate shake.
He resents her hostile intentions,
she takes offence at his aggressive passivity.
Splenetic, choleric, cold and nasty,
this is how the world ends –
not with a bang, but in a huff.

Victor Billot was born in Dunedin in 1972. He has worked in communications, publishing and the maritime industry. In 2020 he was commissioned by the Newsroom website to write a series of political satires in verse. His poems have been displayed in the Reykjavik City Hall and in Antarctica. His poetry collection The Sets was published by Otago University Press in February 2021.

Billot comments: '"Rage Virus" was inspired by the following Washington Post news item from 2019 - "22 percent of respondents across 142 countries polled by Gallup globally said they felt angry, which was two percentage points higher than in 2017 and set a new record since the first such survey was conducted in 2006."'

​Poem source details >


Victor Billot's website

Otago University Press author page

Washington Post: 'Nope, it’s not just you: The world around you really is getting angrier' (April 2019)

Photographer credit: Susie Ripley