Poems are bloodsucking parasites. There are many
species in Australia, including several that target humans.
Poems have four distinct stages of development:
bothersome thought; lost napkin jotting; failed first draft;
final copy. They must have a blood meal from a host
between each stage of development.
After the blood meal they drop off the host and rest
while redrafting into the next stage. The whole cycle
usually takes one grant round.
While most poem bites cause few symptoms, they are
occasionally a threat to human health. Poetic paralysis is
caused by a toxin contained in the poem’s saliva.
Symptoms include existential angst, grandiose delusions,
and a general inability to deal with the real world.
On return from a known poetry-infested area, you should
carefully check all members of your party. To avoid
bringing poetry into the house, you should remove all
items of clothing before re-entering your dwelling and
burn them on a pyre in your backyard, built specifically
for this purpose (refer FactSheet No.67(b)). Ceremonial
chanting may expedite the process.
Despite their limited mobility, poems are remarkably
persistent. If you are reading this FactSheet in a group
right now, stop, look around. By nightfall, statistically
speaking, at least twenty percent of you will be carriers.