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

Via Negativa Daily Digest

Portrait in Stained Glass of Persephone Engineering Her Own Escape

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 13, 2019 12:00 am
- after “Persephone” (2015) by Judith Schaecter

Here, it isn’t winter yet, though the spiked
leaf of the holly is its herald. Among the dry

rattle-pods and hairless weeds, a single
blood-red stem sends its network of roots

into the earth, a system interrupted
by cells of dormant seeds: crimson

and indigo, ending in the hollow where
she is trapped or where, depending on how

you’d like to retell her story, she prepares
to break through that ceiling. She’s not

too far away from the surface: it looks
as though she only needs to give one last

firm push with her left foot against a ledge
of rock in her enclosure, and she might stand,

clearing the blurry border between above
and below with a shower of soil and loamy

gravel. Except now she must do it alone:
the mother is nowhere in the picture, and

neither is the infamous lord of her abduction.
Only one insistent flower tethers her to

this world, and neither of them lets go.


Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 12, 2019 01:56 pm

Waked betimes, mightily troubled in mind, and in the most true trouble that I ever was in my life, saving in the business last year of the East India prizes. So up, and with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer and Griffin to consider of our business, and books and papers necessary for this examination; and by and by, by eight o’clock, comes Birch, the first, with the lists and books of accounts delivered in. He calls me to work, and there he and I begun, when, by and by, comes Garraway, the first time I ever saw him, and Sir W. Thompson and Mr. Boscawen. They to it, and I did make shift to answer them better than I expected. Sir W. Batten, Lord Bruncker, W. Pen, come in, but presently went out; and J. Minnes come in, and said two or three words from the purpose, but to do hurt; and so away he went also, and left me all the morning with them alone to stand or fall. At noon Sir W. Batten comes to them to invite them (though fast day) to dinner, which they did, and good company they were, but especially Garraway. Here I have news brought me of my father’s coming to town, and I presently to him, glad to see him, poor man, he being come to town unexpectedly to see us and the city. I could not stay with him, but after dinner to work again, only the Committee and I, till dark night, and by that time they cast up all the lists, and found out what the medium of men was borne all the war, of all sorts, and ended with good peace, and much seeming satisfaction; but I find them wise and reserved, and instructed to hit all our blots, as among others, that we reckon the ships full manned from the beginning. They gone, and my heart eased of a great deale of fear and pain, and reckoning myself to come off with victory, because not overcome in anything or much foiled, I away to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, but he not within, then to White Hall, and there among the ladies, and saw my Lady Castlemaine never looked so ill, nor Mrs. Stewart neither, as in this plain, natural dress. I was not pleased with either of them. Away, not finding W. Coventry, and so home, and there find my father and my brother come to towne — my father without my expectation; but glad I am to see him. And so to supper with him, and to work again at the office; then home, to set up all my folio books, which are come home gilt on the backs, very handsome to the eye, and then at midnight to bed. This night W. Pen told me W. Batten swears he will have nothing to do with the Privateer if his son do not go Lieutenant, which angers me and him; but we will be even with him, one way or other.

in my hate

when I answer
the expected words
to unexpected hands

the eye will have nothing
to do with it

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 October 1666.

In wild

Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 12, 2019 01:13 pm

Watch on Vimeo.

The latest videohaiku. The London Borough of Brent put in “wildflower” beds in several of its parks this spring, part of an effort to stave off population crashes of wild bees and other insects in the UK, where the farming lobby is out of control. Unfortunately, the seed mix they used seems to be weighted more toward showy flowers than to UK natives, but it’s a start.

Not Everything is Disaster

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 12, 2019 12:58 pm
That spring, when I shared space
in a cramped AirBnB RV trailer
with one of my daughters,

I couldn't remember taking off
the intricate beaded necklace
I'd brought to wear

at a conference, though I remember
putting it on that last morning.
But when we went our separate

ways, she flying off to North
Carolina and me back to Virginia,
I couldn't find any trace of it

in my purse or in my luggage.
For a moment, but only just,
I thought about e-mailing

the owner to ask her
to help me look for it. But
if I couldn't remember if I

still had it on when we returned,
then couldn't it be anywhere?
I could sigh about how much

it had cost, how women in South
Africa threaded each bead to make
such striking geometric shapes.

But I thought of Bishop's door
keys, her mother's watch, her
rivers, homes, and continents;

a quake, a storm swirling its spiked
coronet over the Pacific. There's
disaster, then there is disaster.

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


Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp