Isolation Order
Emma Jones


from the author: “ Earlier this year, I dealt with a false positive of COVID-19. Thankfully, I was not sick, but it forced me to reckon with wondering if I was. I grappled with the existentialism of being inside my home for two weeks and having to tell everyone I know that I could have infected them. I felt profound isolation, but “isolation” was the right thing to do. I am living an experience where positive emotion must be stamped out, the desire to hug, kiss, or see a friend must be squashed, and in order to keep myself in line I have to force myself into a cocoon of unhappiness and isolation.
In this project, I have taken language from the isolation order sent to me by the government, the CDC guidelines for isolation, and the psychological diagnosis of “crisis fatigue” to examine how COVID-19 has pathologized our emotional lives into clinical language.  Documentary poetry feels like the only way to process something which is made up of new forms of trauma.
I have used my own writing in the poems “Wishing I Were Home At Home,” and “Convince Yourself” to intertwine my own voice with the clinical language of the state. I was inspired by Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely to use images, text, and found language.”

Emma Jones is a multimedia writer and lifelong New Yorker. She is a 2021 graduate of The New School and her work has appeared in Rainy Day, The New Absurdist, Eleven and a Half, and Freshwater Literary Journal. Her creative practice often features her fascination with New York public transit and the metaphors in everything from geography to anatomy. She is primarily a novelist but believes in the malleability of fiction to create experimental works.    @emmawithglasses