Upgivenhetsyndrome

by Janet Joyner Issue: Fall 2017 Special Issue on Extinction
Thirteen-year- old Georgi,
in his boxers and athletic
socks, lies mute and senseless
on his bed in Garpenberg,
one hundred and twenty miles
northwest of Stockholm.
Like Snow White, Georgi
has fallen away from this world.
The condition he now exhibits
is showing up in emergency rooms
filled with teen-age, Syrian refugees
whose asylum status has expired.
Georgi, for his part, would rather
lie down and die. The Swedes
now even have
a word
for it.


Janet Joyner

Janet Joyner was a Professor of French Language and Literature at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts until her retirement in 1994. She is a winner of the Poetry Society of South Carolina’s Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Poetry Prize. Her poems have been published in numerous journals, winning distinctions in Bay Leaves of the Poetry Council of North Carolina, in local anthologies, Flying South and Second Spring, as well as finalist and semi-finalist distinctions for the Poet’s Billow 2016 Prize, and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Bridport Prize. Her “Cicadas Thrumming” was anthologized in the North Carolina volume of The Southern Poetry Anthology. Her short stories have appeared in The Crescent Review and Flying South. She is the translator of Le Dieu désarmé by Luc-François Dumas. Waterborne, Joyner’s first collection of poems and winner of the 2016 Holland Prize, reflects her native, low-country South Carolina, its rivers and peoples. She currently has two poetry manuscripts circulating in hopes of finding a home.