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

Via Negativa Daily Digest

Gardens aren’t for ornament

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Sep 28, 2019 11:13 pm
We're told a privacy fence is fine
enclosing three sides of the backyard;

but it's hinted that a metal or
picket border in front would seem

a bit in the neighbors' faces, a kind
of message that might smack of disinterest

in mingling. The strip of grass along
our sidewalks is public space— planted

with aging pines that shed their needles
and dead branches everywhere. Back

in my childhood, the women in every house-
hold had charge of burning dead leaves

at sundown; we could pick plants
and herbs for healing, and straighten

runners of beans and sweet potato
when we passed. But we were taught

everything else in nature knows its time
and place, in spite of our forced calendars.

Funicular + summer videohaiku collection is complete!

Written by Dave Bonta on Sep 28, 2019 08:35 pm

Watch on Vimeo.

I wasn’t going to use this footage of The Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, lovely as it is, but then I got the idea for a videohaiku, and some six hours later (five of them on the text, believe it or not), voila. That turned out to be the final piece in my third seasonal collection, Summer in the UK. To reproduce what I just blogged on my author site:

Much as I love my Pennsylvania mountaintop, I’m not as fond of our humid and increasingly hot summers; the cooler and drier maritime climate of the UK, where my partner lives, is far more to my liking. Regardless, summer is my least favorite season, and I often find it difficult to get in the mood for creative work. For most of July I fell off the videopoetry wagon altogether. But with a rush of catch-up videopoeming and a generous definition of summer (early June to the autumn equinox), I think I now have just enough to make a satisfying collection of haiku videos, if not quite as coherent a sequence as I put together for winter or spring. The high point, I think, is a nine-verse renku (linked verse) sequence called “Sea Levels” based on a low-tide visit to the submerged forest off the Welsh coast at Borth. Other locations in the collection include Aberystwyth, Hebden Bridge, Brill in Buckinghamshire, and various places in London, including Kew Gardens and the British Museum. To preserve a sense of seasonal progression, the videos are presented in the order in which the footage was shot rather than the order of composition.

As before, I’ve given the collection its own permanent page at (linked in the drop-down menu under Videopoetry if you’re viewing it on a proper computer), in addition to a showcase on Vimeo and a playlist on YouTube. The individual videos have also been shared on my Instagram and Twitter accounts (but not Facebook, because I have no truck with that hell site). If anyone would like to share this collection, first of all, thank you! And I think that YouTube will actually give you embed code. I’m happy to share the Vimeo embed code on request. Or of course you could simply share the link to my page.


Written by Dave Bonta on Sep 28, 2019 05:59 pm

Up, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to St. James’s, and there did our usual business before the Duke of Yorke; which signified little, our business being only complaints of lack of money. Here I saw a bastard of the late King of Sweden’s come to kiss his hands; a mighty modish French-like gentleman. Thence to White Hall, with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen, to Wilkes’s; and there did hear the many profane stories of Sir Henry Wood damning the parsons for so much spending the wine at the sacrament, cursing that ever they took the cup to themselves, and then another story that he valued not all the world’s curses, for two pence he shall get at any time the prayers of some poor body that is worth a 1000 of all their curses; Lord Norwich drawing a tooth at a health. Another time, he and Pinchbacke and Dr. Goffe, now a religious man, Pinchbacke did begin a frolick to drink out of a glass with a toad in it that he had taken up going out to shit, he did it without harm. Goffe, who knew sacke would kill the toad, called for sacke; and when he saw it dead, says he, “I will have a quick toad, and will not drink from a dead toad.” By that means, no other being to be found, he escaped the health. Thence home, and dined, and to Deptford and got all my pictures put into wherries, and my other fine things, and landed them all very well, and brought them home, and got Sympson to set them all up to-night; and he gone, I and the boy to finish and set up my books, and everything else in my house, till two o’clock in the morning, and then to bed; but mightily troubled, and even in my sleep, at my missing four or five of my biggest books. Speed’s Chronicle and Maps, and the two parts of Waggoner, and a book of cards, which I suppose I have put up with too much care, that I have forgot where they are; for sure they are not stole. Two little pictures of sea and ships and a little gilt frame belonging to my plate of the River, I want; but my books do heartily trouble me. Most of my gilt frames are hurt, which also troubles me, but most my books. This day I put on two shirts, the first time this year, and do grow well upon it; so that my disease is nothing but wind.

to kiss to curse to lick a toad
to kill everything in my sleep

missing my cards
I forgot where I belong

but my shirts grow well
on nothing but wind

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 19 September 1666.

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