(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with my wife, then Mr. Holliard came to me and let me blood, about sixteen ounces, I being exceedingly full of blood and very good. I begun to be sick; but lying upon my back I was presently well again, and did give him 5s. for his pains, and so we parted, and I, to my chamber to write down my journall from the beginning of my late journey to this house.
Dined well, and after dinner, my arm tied up with a black ribbon, I walked with my wife to my brother Tom’s; our boy waiting on us with his sword, which this day he begins to wear, to outdo Sir W. Pen’s boy, who this day, and Sir W. Batten’s too, begin to wear new livery; but I do take mine to be the neatest of them all.
I led my wife to Mrs. Turner’s pew, and the church being full, it being to hear a Doctor who is to preach a probacion sermon, I went out to the Temple and there walked, and so when church was done went to Mrs. Turner’s, and after a stay there, my wife and I walked to Grays Inn, to observe fashions of the ladies, because of my wife’s making some clothes. Thence homewards, and called in at Antony Joyce’s, where we found his wife brought home sick from church, and was in a convulsion fit. So home and to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, and so to prayers at home and to bed.
long in my blood
full of blood sick
lying on my back
in pain my arm tied up
my waiting word
and I hear a doctor
reach out and turn
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 May 1662.
I imagine you
at the end of the line, your ear
cupped close to the receiver, a bud
on the cusp of bursting from sound.
And sounds skitter like birds
tumbled from a high wire, like spiders
shaken from slumber with the sudden
snap-open of umbrellas.
The syllables I form with my mouth,
you send back as slightly misshapen
echoes— as if a child tried to turn
a page with sticky fingers.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
In an effort to make things tidier for people reading Via Negativa on mobile devices, I’ve combined two navigation bars into one. (It’s way up there at the top on the present theme, which may change soon.) The links to The Morning Porch, Moving Poems, DaveBonta.com and LuisaIgloria.com are all still there, but they’re subsidiary to (logically enough) the Links tab, so mouse-over that for the drop-down list on larger screens. I assume that people who habitually browse the web on their mobiles will by now recognize the three-line icon for expandable menus.
Sir W. Pen and I by coach to St. James’s, and there to the Duke’s Chamber, who had been a-hunting this morning and is come back again. Thence to Westminster, where I met Mr. Moore, and hear that Mr. Watkins is suddenly dead since my going. To dinner to my Lady Sandwich, and Sir Thomas Crew’s children coming thither, I took them and all my Ladys to the Tower and showed them the lions and all that was to be shown, and so took them to my house, and there made much of them, and so saw them back to my Lady’s. Sir Thomas Crew’s children being as pretty and the best behaved that ever I saw of their age.
Thence, at the goldsmith’s, took my picture in little, which is now done, home with me, and pleases me exceedingly and my wife. So to supper and to bed, it being exceeding hot.
I am he who had
been hunting and
is come back dead
to all I own,
to my house made
of children and gold,
to my picture
which is now
done with me.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 3 May 1662.
“after foolish talk
of rain” – D. Bonta
Earthquakes do not clamor for attention:
you could say they trump all versions of Cartesian proof.
Every time the odds are stacked,
the only ensuing discussion is what history tends to favor.
So much for talk of loss and triumph, for the length
of his reach compared to his opponent’s; his weight and class.
How fast is a punch delivered? It’s hard to determine if sounds
welling up in the amphitheater are from pain or jubilation.
Those who work a hotline know which exchanges are code for help.
I forget when presidentiable became a word.
In response to Via Negativa: Cowboy haiku.
The box held pellets
of compacted soil,
a growing medium
where I could sow
in each compartment
seed after seed as if
I could fashion an ark
out of the promise
of their green.
Early to coach again and to Kingston, where we baited a little, and presently to coach again and got early to London, and I found all well at home, and Mr. Hunt and his wife had dined with my wife to-day, and been very kind to my wife in my absence. After I had washed myself, it having been the hottest day that has been this year, I took them all by coach to Mrs. Hunt’s, and I to Dr. Clerke’s lady, and gave her her letter and token. She is a very fine woman, and what with her person and the number of fine ladies that were with her, I was much out of countenance, and could hardly carry myself like a man among them; but however, I staid till my courage was up again, and talked to them, and viewed her house, which is most pleasant, and so drank and good-night. And so to my Lord’s lodgings, where by chance I spied my Lady’s coach, and found her and my Lady Wright there, and so I spoke to them, and they being gone went to Mr. Hunt’s for my wife, and so home and to bed.
If my absence were
I could carry my age.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 2 May 1662.
Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen, and myself, with our clerks, set out this morning from Portsmouth very early, and got by noon to Petersfield; several officers of the Yard accompanying us so far. Here we dined and were merry.
At dinner comes my Lord Carlingford from London, going to Portsmouth: tells us that the Duchess of York is brought to bed of a girl, at which I find nobody pleased; and that Prince Rupert and the Duke of Buckingham are sworn of the Privy Councell.
He himself made a dish with eggs of the butter of the Sparagus, which is very fine meat, which I will practise hereafter.
To horse again after dinner, and got to Gilford, where after supper I to bed, having this day been offended by Sir W. Pen’s foolish talk, and I offending him with my answers. Among others he in discourse complaining of want of confidence, did ask me to lend him a grain or two, which I told him I thought he was better stored with than myself, before Sir George. So that I see I must keep a greater distance than I have done, and I hope I may do it because of the interest which I am making with Sir George.
To bed all alone, and my Will in the truckle bed.
I find nobody
and a horse
after foolish talk
a great distance
in my truck
Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 May 1662.
Here more than anywhere else,
the need for scale and introspection.
But I cannot stress how important it is
not to think we are dealing with fake interiors.
That is not craft-store bought plush, that
is a base of real and permeable material.
A sponge is a living thing and has heard symphonies
punctuated by the mating call of whales.
Sediment is not one thing but a plurality;
think of it as a constellation of the once-felt.
I need only a small indentation, a hill loved
by a small red plastic trowel; in this circle
ringed by clear acrylic, droplets of fern hear
what I cannot say. Everything else condenses.
No one makes
house calls anymore,
for elegy is the order
of the day.
In response to Via Negativa: Missed appointment.