Wild life

Up by times; and not daring to go by land, did (Griffin going along with me for fear), slip to White Hall by water; where to Mr. Coventry, and, as we used to do, to the Duke; the other of my fellows being come. But we said nothing of our business, the Duke being sent for to the King, that he could not stay to speak with us. This morning came my Lord Windsor to kiss the Duke’s hand, being returned from Jamaica. He tells the Duke, that from such a degree of latitude going thither he begun to be sick, and was never well till his coming so far back again, and then presently begun to be well. He told the Duke of their taking the fort of St. Jago, upon Cuba, by his men; but, upon the whole, I believe that he did matters like a young lord, and was weary of being upon service out of his own country, where he might have pleasure. For methought it was a shame to see him this very afternoon, being the first day of his coming to town, to be at a playhouse.
Thence to my Lord Sandwich, who though he has been abroad again two or three days is falling ill again, and is let blood this morning, though I hope it is only a great cold that he has got.
It was a great trouble to me (and I had great apprehensions of it) that my Lord desired me to go to Westminster Hall, to the Parliament-house door, about business; and to Sir Wm. Wheeler, which I told him I would do, but durst not go for fear of being taken by these rogues; but was forced to go to White Hall and take boat, and so land below the Tower at the Iron-gate; and so the back way over Little Tower Hill; and with my cloak over my face, took one of the watermen along with me, and staid behind a wall in the New-buildings behind our garden, while he went to see whether any body stood within the Merchants’ Gate, under which we pass to go into our garden, and there standing but a little dirty boy before the gate, did make me quake and sweat to think he might be a Trepan. But there was nobody, and so I got safe into the garden, and coming to open my office door, something behind it fell in the opening, which made me start. So that God knows in what a sad condition I should be in if I were truly in the condition that many a poor man is for debt: and therefore ought to bless God that I have no such reall reason, and to endeavour to keep myself, by my good deportment and good husbandry, out of any such condition.
At home I found Mr. Creed with my wife, and so he dined with us, I finding by a note that Mr. Clerke in my absence hath left here, that I am free; and that he hath stopped all matters in Court; I was very glad of it, and immediately had a light thought of taking pleasure to rejoice my heart, and so resolved to take my wife to a play at Court to-night, and the rather because it is my birthday, being this day thirty years old, for which let me praise God.
While my wife dressed herself, Creed and I walked out to see what play was acted to-day, and we find it “The Slighted Mayde.” But, Lord! to see that though I did know myself to be out of danger, yet I durst not go through the street, but round by the garden into Tower Street.
By and by took coach, and to the Duke’s house, where we saw it well acted, though the play hath little good in it, being most pleased to see the little girl dance in boy’s apparel, she having very fine legs, only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do. The play being done, we took coach and to Court, and there got good places, and saw “The Wilde Gallant,” performed by the King’s house, but it was ill acted, and the play so poor a thing as I never saw in my life almost, and so little answering the name, that from beginning to end, I could not, nor can at this time, tell certainly which was the Wild Gallant. The King did not seem pleased at all, all the whole play, nor any body else, though Mr. Clerke whom we met here did commend it to us. My Lady Castlemaine was all worth seeing tonight, and little Steward. Mrs. Wells do appear at Court again, and looks well; so that, it may be, the late report of laying the dropped child to her was not true.
It being done, we got a coach and got well home about 12 at night. Now as my mind was but very ill satisfied with these two plays themselves, so was I in the midst of them sad to think of the spending so much money and venturing upon the breach of my vow, which I found myself sorry for, I bless God, though my nature would well be contented to follow the pleasure still. But I did make payment of my forfeiture presently, though I hope to save it back again by forbearing two plays at Court for this one at the Theatre, or else to forbear that to the Theatre which I am to have at Easter. But it being my birthday and my day of liberty regained to me, and lastly, the last play that is likely to be acted at Court before Easter, because of the Lent coming in, I was the easier content to fling away so much money.
So to bed.
This day I was told that my Lady Castlemaine hath all the King’s Christmas presents, made him by the peers, given to her, which is a most abominable thing; and that at the great ball she was much richer in jewells than the Queen and Duchess put both together.

like blood in the body
I have no real birthday

I see light go through the street
and dance as all men do

a wild life is whole
and wells up

like a Lent fling
abominable and rich


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 February 1662/63.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Idle

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed and went not out all day; but after dinner to Sir W. Batten’s and Sir W. Pen’s, where discoursing much of yesterday’s trouble and scandal; but that which troubled me most was Sir J. Minnes coming from Court at night, and instead of bringing great comfort from thence (but I expected no better from him), he tells me that the Duke and Mr. Coventry make no great matter of it. So at night discontented to prayers, and to bed.

all day in a scandal of comfort
I make no great matter

at night
discontented prayers


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 February 1662/63.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Seaside holiday

Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes (most of the rest being at the Parliament-house), all the morning answering petitions and other business. Towards noon there comes a man in as if upon ordinary business, and shows me a writ from the Exchequer, called a Commission of Rebellion, and tells me that I am his prisoner in Field’s business; which methought did strike me to the heart, to think that we could not sit in the middle of the King’s business. I told him how and where we were employed, and bid him have a care; and perceiving that we were busy, he said he would, and did withdraw for an hour: in which time Sir J. Minnes took coach and to Court, to see what he could do from thence; and our solicitor against Field came by chance and told me that he would go and satisfy the fees of the Court, and would end the business. So he went away about that, and I staid in my closett, till by and by the man and four more of his fellows came to know what I would do; I told them stay till I heard from the King or my Lord Chief Baron, to both whom I had now sent. With that they consulted, and told me that if I would promise to stay in the house they would go and refresh themselves, and come again, and know what answer I had: so they away, and I home to dinner, whither by chance comes Mr. Hawley and dined with me.
Before I had dined, the bayleys come back again with the constable, and at the office knock for me, but found me not there; and I hearing in what manner they were come, did forbear letting them know where I was; so they stood knocking and enquiring for me.
By and by at my parler-window comes Sir W. Batten’s Mungo, to tell me that his master and lady would have me come to their house through Sir J. Minnes’s lodgings, which I could not do; but, however, by ladders, did get over the pale between our yards, and so to their house, where I found them (as they have reason) to be much concerned for me, my lady especially.
The fellows staid in the yard swearing with one or two constables, and some time we locked them into the yard, and by and by let them out again, and so kept them all the afternoon, not letting them see me, or know where I was. One time I went up to the top of Sir W. Batten’s house, and out of one of their windows spoke to my wife out of one of ours; which methought, though I did it in mirth, yet I was sad to think what a sad thing it would be for me to be really in that condition. By and by comes Sir J. Minnes, who (like himself and all that he do) tells us that he can do no good, but that my Lord Chancellor wonders that we did not cause the seamen to fall about their ears: which we wished we could have done without our being seen in it; and Captain Grove being there, he did give them some affront, and would have got some seamen to have drubbed them, but he had not time, nor did we think it fit to have done it, they having executed their commission; but there was occasion given that he did draw upon one of them and he did complain that Grove had pricked him in the breast, but no hurt done; but I see that Grove would have done our business to them if we had bid him. By and by comes Mr. Clerke, our solicitor, who brings us a release from our adverse atturney, we paying the fees of the commission, which comes to five marks, and pay the charges of these fellows, which are called the commissioners, but are the most rake-shamed rogues that ever I saw in my life; so he showed them this release, and they seemed satisfied, and went away with him to their atturney to be paid by him. But before they went, Sir W. Batten and my lady did begin to taunt them, but the rogues answered them as high as themselves, and swore they would come again, and called me rogue and rebel, and they would bring the sheriff and untile his house, before he should harbour a rebel in his house, and that they would be here again shortly.
Well, at last they went away, and I by advice took occasion to go abroad, and walked through the street to show myself among the neighbours, that they might not think worse than the business is. Being met by Captn. Taylor and Bowry, whose ship we have hired for Tangier, they walked along with me to Cornhill talking about their business, and after some difference about their prices we agreed, and so they would have me to a tavern, and there I drank one glass of wine and discoursed of something about freight of a ship that may bring me a little money, and so broke up, and I home to Sir W. Batten’s again, where Sir J. Lawson, Captain Allen, Spragg, and several others, and all our discourse about the disgrace done to our office to be liable to this trouble, which we must get removed.
Hither comes Mr. Clerke by and by, and tells me that he hath paid the fees of the Court for the commission; but the men are not contented with under 5l. for their charges, which he will not give them, and therefore advises me not to stir abroad till Monday that he comes or sends to me again, whereby I shall not be able to go to White Hall to the Duke of York, as I ought.
Here I staid vexing, and yet pleased to see every body, man and woman, my Lady and Mrs. Turner especially, for me, till 10 at night; and so home, where my people are mightily surprized to see this business, but it troubles me not very much, it being nothing touching my particular person or estate.
Being in talk to-day with Sir W. Batten he tells me that little is done yet in the Parliament-house, but only this day it was moved and ordered that all the members of the House do subscribe to the renouncing of the Covenant, which is thought will try some of them.
There is also a bill brought in for the wearing of nothing but cloth or stuffs of our own manufacture, and is likely to be passed.
Among other talk this evening, my lady did speak concerning Commissioner Pett’s calling the present King bastard, and other high words heretofore; and Sir W. Batten did tell us, that he did give the Duke or Mr. Coventry an account of that and other like matters in writing under oath, of which I was ashamed, and for which I was sorry, but I see there is an absolute hatred never to be altered there, and Sir J. Minnes, the old coxcomb, has got it by the end, which troubles me for the sake of the King’s service, though I do truly hate the expressions laid to him. To my office and set down this day’s journall, and so home with my mind out of order, though not very sad with it, but ashamed for myself something, and for the honour of the office much more. So home and to bed.

the office is a prison
we promise to go to

but I do not know
where I am with the sea

I walk the street to show myself
among neighbors

discourse of something
that may bring a little money

touch nothing but stuff
of our own manufacture

like writing in a journal
with no self


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 February 1662/63.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

1986

1

Baguio— In Malcolm Square that January we stood
among others dressed in bright (not sickly) yellow:

yellow t-shirts, bandannas, visors; and waited
in the streets for the slain senator’s widow

and her retinue. Nervously we scanned the faces
in the crowd— who was friend? informer? potential

traitor?— so previously unaccustomed to being
this publicly exposed. But here among soldiers in drab

and camouflage, police on foot with megaphones, light
rain starting to fall— none among those gathered

thought to leave. Evening had fallen when a wave of sound
came down the avenue— her name a chant on everyone’s lips,

her sign raised in the chilled air by five thousand hands: L
for Laban (Fight). The future a rift, a hope that suddenly electrified.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Repressed memory syndrome.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Repurpose

I listened to the reporter on the radio
interviewing volunteers who’d gone to towns
devastated by super typhoon Haiyan—
how the grim business of rebuilding
has to do with lives, not just infrastructure
even if across the channel there might be
churches open again, schools, shops, clinics.
Like nothing they ever saw, is all they can say.
Every form blown open, every home turned
inside out. A young soldier remembers
how a woman and her two children
climbed into an empty refrigerator
and paddled with their hands
through a river of debris.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Mapping

This blue
is the sea we crossed

This depth
the ground we thought

we covered
Each day the sounds

of heat
from an unseen hive

The industry
of water on slate

Everything repeats
as we have come

to know—
As if there are

things that can
be done over

 

In response to Via Negativa: Sea dream.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Sea dream

We two are travellers
in a single dream.
Face up we float
together on a painted sea.
If we close our eyes,
we can drink the scent
of lilies, sense the touch
of angels’ wings.

We are bathing
in impastoed depths.
We are summoned
by siren songs of blue.
If we swim to shore,
escape the frame,
we shall not meet again.


Travellers in a Single Dream, a painting by Victoria Crowe

Jean Morris lives in London, translates from French and Spanish, and thanks the Internet for a latish-life discovery of creative interests. Her recent online work includes an article on Reading in Translation, book reviews at Shiny New Books, translation at the Asymptote blog, photos and poems at Gnarled Oak and poems in Otata.

Unfinished

Half of my life
passing behind me—

Late night,
still drawn

to the light’s
blinking cursor—

I drink from the cup
more slowly.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Perspective.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Perspective

Up and by water with Commissioner Pett to Deptford, and there looked over the yard, and had a call, wherein I am very highly pleased with our new manner of call-books, being my invention. Thence thinking to have gone down to Woolwich in the Charles pleasure boat, but she run aground, it being almost low water, and so by oars to the town, and there dined, and then to the yard at Mr. Ackworth’s, discoursing with the officers of the yard about their stores of masts, which was our chief business, and having done something therein, took boat and to the pleasure boat, which was come down to fetch us back, and I could have been sick if I would in going, the wind being very fresh, but very pleasant it was, and the first time I have sailed in any one of them. It carried us to Cuckold’s Point, and so by oars to the Temple, it raining hard, where missed speaking with my cosen Roger, and so walked home and to my office; there spent the night till bed time, and so home to supper and to bed.

water or ground
which was our sure boat

the wind in a sail
one of them is speaking


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 February 1662/63.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Lovebirds

In those days we kept
a wire cage full of them

on the porch— paired,
the grey-headed and black-

collared ones; the females
mostly green, flushed beaks,

white eye-rings. Their feathers
filtered morning light a second

time that passed through leaves
of the guava tree, the redolence

of ginger flowers; at night
they made their own susurrus

behind the tarp we lowered
to shelter them from cold.

What perversity of human
nature made us want

to read in them analogy
after analogy? —The year

we fought so bitterly
over every little thing,

the year we found body
after body fallen

into viral lethargy
and stasis. Then every

last bird took its leave
and none would fledge again.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Blinded.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.