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

Via Negativa Daily Digest

Traveler’s Song

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 03, 2019 10:03 pm
Find me between
and underneath the syntax

of words I say in my head,
in consonants that move

like first-time skaters
on unfamiliar ice but grit

their teeth and never
fall down— Find me

in the starch that stiffens
the clothes and the bleach

that blues the whites
we wear closest to our skin

then peel off before going
to bed at night. Find me

in a nest of mosquito
netting, in the dark

where my body is perfect
as it is and my tongue

clicks to the tune of geckos
fastened to the ceiling.

The world is a ship I climbed
into, once long ago. It called

me both child and orphan;
it pinned to my breast a star-

gazer lily adorned with gold
dust and hawk bells.

Second hand

Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 03, 2019 01:16 pm

Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to St. James’s, and there with Sir W. Coventry read and all approved of my letter, and then home, and after dinner, Mr. Hater and Gibson dining with me, to the office, and there very late new moulding my accounts and writing fair my letter, which I did against the evening, and then by coach left my wife at her brother’s, and I to St. James’s, and up and down to look [for] Sir W. Coventry; and at last found him and Sir G. Carteret with the Lord Treasurer at White Hall, consulting how to make up my Lord Treasurer’s general account, as well as that of the Navy particularly. Here brought the letter, but found that Sir G. Carteret had altered his account since he did give me the abstract of it: so all my letter must be writ over again, to put in his last abstract. So to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, to speak a little about the alteration; and there looking over the book that Sir G. Carteret intends to deliver to the Parliament of his payments since September 1st, 1664, and there I find my name the very second for flags, which I had bought for the Navy, of calico; once, about 500 and odd pounds, which vexed me mightily. At last, I concluded of scraping out my name and putting in Mr. Tooker’s, which eased me; though the price was such as I should have had glory by. Here I saw my Lady Carteret lately come to towne, who, good lady! is mighty kind, and I must make much of her, for she is a most excellent woman. So took up my wife and away home, and there to bed, and…

mould writing an abstract letter o
over the book

I am scraping out
such glory

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 24 September 1666.

Peace garden

Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 03, 2019 08:54 am

A videohaiku filmed at the Maygrove Peace Park, one of at least six gardens or parks in London dedicated to world peace – but the only one with an Antony Gormley sculpture, untitled (listening). Also featured in the video is Hamish Black’s Peace Crane. This park is just down the road from us in Kilburn, but few people outside the immediate neighborhood seem to be aware of it. For more on the park, see the friends group website.

On Inventory

Written by Luisa A. Igloria on Oct 02, 2019 11:34 pm
"Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate..."
~ "Dido's Lament: When I Am Laid in Earth"

I look around and there's still so much I need
to put in garbage bags, sort for the thrift
shop, fold for another season beyond

this one. And at the tail end of summer,
one length of fence began to sag, as things
will do after many years, waterlogged.

I think about the times I feel like giving
up, giving in: just like the shore's ragged hem
to the sea's steady encroaching. But then I come

for instance upon a book of tickets or an old
silk dress, its print of ferns and split leaf
philodendra now muted green and yellow—

I think I wore it last walking around
Philadelphia in the heat, going from museum
to museum, then sitting under the shade

while someone snapped a picture. There
in the backdrop, a mural on a trattoria wall:
its giant scale making small impressions

of our figures. Years later, always
years later— wonder of wonders, this
register: the pulse that beats

its undertone of regret, meaning
there's something yet, apparently,
that it desires. And so on, down

the changing inventory of days:
we count and carry, buy or trade, set
aside what we imagine others might want

after we've passed on, or just gone past
the need for more possessions. Sometimes,
too, they've not even once been used.


Written by Dave Bonta on Oct 02, 2019 11:14 am

(Lord’s day). Up, and after being trimmed, all the morning at the office with my people about me till about one o’clock, and then home, and my people with me, and Mr. Wayth and I eat a bit of victuals in my old closet, now my little dining-room, which makes a pretty room, and my house being so clean makes me mightily pleased, but only I do lacke Mercer or somebody in the house to sing with. Soon as eat a bit Mr. Wayth and I by water to White Hall, and there at Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings Sir W. Coventry met, and we did debate the whole business of our accounts to the Parliament; where it appears to us that the charge of the war from September 1st, 1664, to this Michaelmas, will have been but 3,200,000l., and we have paid in that time somewhat about 2,200,000l.; so that we owe above 900,000l.: but our method of accounting, though it cannot, I believe, be far wide from the mark, yet will not abide a strict examination if the Parliament should be troublesome. Here happened a pretty question of Sir W. Coventry, whether this account of ours will not put my Lord Treasurer to a difficulty to tell what is become of all the money the Parliament have ‘give’ in this time for the war, which hath amounted to about 4,000,000l., which nobody there could answer; but I perceive they did doubt what his answer could be. Having done, and taken from Sir W. Coventry the minutes of a letter to my Lord Treasurer, Wayth and I back again to the office, and thence back down to the water with my wife and landed him in Southwarke, and my wife and I for pleasure to Fox-hall, and there eat and drank, and so back home, and I to the office till midnight drawing the letter we are to send with our accounts to my Lord Treasurer, and that being done to my mind, I home to bed.

my people with me
and my house so clean

only I lack
somebody to sing with

and war cannot be
far off

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 23 September 1666.

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


Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp