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

Via Negativa Daily Digest

Bandera Española

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 04, 2019 11:50 pm
Tell a story, says the writer giving
a lecture, about the first time you think

you might be falling in love. Remember
the smallest details: the waft of tobacco

from the neighbor's porch where he sits
and reads all afternoon through evening,

hidden behind a waterfall of pothos
spilling from a hanging pot. Ceylon

creeper, silver vine, also called
devil's ivy because it is almost

impossible to kill and it stays green
even when kept in the dark. Remember

this and the rusted green of the garden
gate, the way your hand hesitated

before you rang the doorbell, waiting
to see if the boy that walked you home

would do something: push a strand
of hair away from your cheek, move

closer to brush his lips against it...
But nothing will happen here because you

already know this is a town where
everything gets broadcast to the four

winds before it has even happened,
a town where behind every window drape

there is at least one pair of eyes
surveilling the immediate landscape.

Perhaps it is the way imminent action
gets suspended; perhaps it is because all

stories of beginning are full of awkward
silences and hesitation. More than the color

of his eyes or hair or the texture of his
smile, you'll recall more clearly the dark

red spears of bandera española by the gate,
its flowers thrust open in fulfillment.

Humpty Dumpster

Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 04, 2019 05:53 pm

…up betimes, with all my people to get the letter writ over, and other things done, which I did, and by coach to Lord Bruncker’s, and got his hand to it; and then to the Parliament House and got it signed by the rest, and then delivered it at the House-door to Sir Philip Warwicke; Sir G. Carteret being gone into the House with his book of accounts under his arme, to present to the House. I had brought my wife to White Hall, and leaving her with Mrs. Michell, where she sat in her shop and had burnt wine sent for her, I walked in the Hall, and among others with Ned Pickering, who continues still a lying, bragging coxcombe, telling me that my Lord Sandwich may thank himself for all his misfortune; for not suffering him and two or three good honest fellows more to take them by the throats that spoke ill of him, and told me how basely Lionell Walden hath carried himself towards my Lord; by speaking slightly of him, which I shall remember. Thence took my wife home to dinner, and then to the office, where Mr. Hater all the day putting in order and entering in a book all the measures that this account of the Navy hath been made up by, and late at night to Mrs. Turner’s, where she had got my wife and Lady Pen and Pegg, and supped, and after, supper and the rest of the company by design gone, Mrs. Turner and her husband did lay their case to me about their lodgings, Sir J. Minnes being now gone wholly to his owne, and now, they being empty, they doubt Sir T. Harvy or Lord Bruncker may look after the lodgings. I did give them the best advice, poor people, that I could, and would do them any kindnesse, though it is strange that now they should have ne’er a friend of Sir W. Batten or Sir W. Pen to trust to but me, that they have disobliged. So home to bed, and all night still mightily troubled in my sleepe, with fire and houses pulling down.

a lying bragging fellow
speaking lightly of hate

anyone who is empty
may sleep with fire

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 25 September 1666.

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