"How can we live without the unknown before us?" (Rene Char)

Via Negativa Daily Digest


Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 01, 2019 10:06 pm
Every morning the woman bathes 
in the river encircling the garden. 
She tries to remember the spot where

she'd fallen from heaven, where she’d
folded her wings and carefully hidden them
from the damp and heat of this uncertain

place. She supposes that what they call
body in this world is a way to give 
the untethered a home, a sheath 

like that worn by jellyfish pulsing
across the channel, their insides
a generous peep show for which

you don’t have to pay the price
of a ticket. Come one, come all.
What you see is what you get.

Woman with mermaid tail, woman
with bearded arms and graceful legs.
The fruitful have daughters swinging

in bowers under the trees, hair
honeyed sunrise, cheeks red with
promise. In the fields, farmer’s

daughters weave a garland of snails
between the horns of a water buffalo.
Daily they plead with the gods

to look the other way, to take no more
interest in them than a tadpole writing
its small hieroglyphic in shallow

water. This is how it is
when your life feels sometimes
of no larger consequence than a window.

Vicarious atonement

Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 01, 2019 06:09 pm

To my closet, and had it new washed, and now my house is so clean as I never saw it, or any other house in my life, and every thing in as good condition as ever before the fire; but with, I believe, about 20l. cost one way or other besides about 20l. charge in removing my goods, and do not find that I have lost any thing but two little pictures of ship and sea, and a little gold frame for one of my sea-cards. My glazier, indeed, is so full of worke that I cannot get him to come to perfect my house. To the office, and there busy now for good and all about my accounts. My Lord Brunck come thither, thinking to find an office, but we have not yet met. He do now give me a watch, a plain one, in the roome of my former watch with many motions which I did give him. If it goes well, I care not for the difference in worth, though believe there is above 5l.. He and I to Sir G. Carteret to discourse about his account, but Mr. Waith not being there nothing could be done, and therefore I home again, and busy all day. In the afternoon comes Anthony Joyce to see me, and with tears told me his losse, but yet that he had something left that he can live well upon, and I doubt it not. But he would buy some place that he could have and yet keepe his trade where he is settled in St. Jones’s. He gone, I to the office again, and then to Sir G. Carteret, and there found Mr. Wayth, but, Lord! how fretfully Sir G. Carteret do discourse with Mr. Wayth about his accounts, like a man that understands them not one word. I held my tongue and let him go on like a passionate foole. In the afternoon I paid for the two lighters that carried my goods to Deptford, and they cost me 8l.. Till past midnight at our accounts, and have brought them to a good issue, so as to be ready to meet Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry to-morrow, but must work to-morrow, which Mr. T. Hater had no mind to, it being the Lord’s day, but, being told the necessity, submitted, poor man! This night writ for brother John to come to towne. Among other reasons, my estate lying in money, I am afeard of any sudden miscarriage. So to bed mightily contented in dispatching so much business, and find my house in the best condition that ever I knew it. Home to bed.

is any other life as good
as the fire that I have lost

a sea for my sea
a watch in my watch

give me a loss I can live on
like a man that understands one word

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 22 September 1666.

Share this digest with your friends, but please forward responsibly.


Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp