Mango

This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2016

 

Who decided to name them after
champagne, these glowy yellow
golden hearts

syrupy with promise?
They are like moons ripening
over a dark river in summer,

when heat and ennui make
mirages of every longing.
Even after you’ve eaten

down to the pith, you want
to tip the boat farther
with your sticky fingers;

you want to step into that water,
clumsy, not knowing what to do,
carrying your big hunger.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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.

Solipsist

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed talking with my wife, and do plainly see that her distaste (which is beginning now in her again) against Ashwell arises from her jealousy of me and her, and my neglect of herself, which indeed is true, and I to blame; but for the time to come I will take care to remedy all.
So up and to church, where I think I did see Pembleton, whatever the reason is I did not perceive him to look up towards my wife, nor she much towards him; however, I could hardly keep myself from being troubled that he was there, which is a madness not to be excused now that his coming to my house is past, and I hope all likelyhood of her having occasion to converse with him again.
Home to dinner, and after dinner up and read part of the new play of “The Five Houres’ Adventures,” which though I have seen it twice; yet I never did admire or understand it enough, it being a play of the greatest plot that ever I expect to see, and of great vigour quite through the whole play, from beginning to the end.
To church again after dinner (my wife finding herself ill of her months did not go), and there the Scot preaching I slept most of the sermon.
This day Sir W. Batten’s son’s child is christened in the country, whither Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W. Batten, and Sir W. Pen are all gone. I wonder, and take it highly ill that I am not invited by the father, though I know his father and mother, with whom I am never likely to have much kindness, but rather I study the contrary, are the cause of it, and in that respect I am glad of it. Being come from church, I to make up my month’s accounts, and find myself clear worth 726l., for which God be praised, but yet I might have been better by 20l. almost had I forborne some layings out in dancing and other things upon my wife, and going to plays and other things merely to ease my mind as to the business of the dancing-master, which I bless God is now over and I falling to my quiet of mind and business again, which I have for a fortnight neglected too much.
This month the greatest news is, the height and heat that the Parliament is in, in enquiring into the revenue, which displeases the Court, and their backwardness to give the King any money. Their enquiring into the selling of places do trouble a great many among the chief, my Lord Chancellor (against whom particularly it is carried), and Mr. Coventry; for which I am sorry. The King of France was given out to be poisoned and dead; but it proves to be the measles: and he is well, or likely to be soon well again.
I find myself growing in the esteem and credit that I have in the office, and I hope falling to my business again will confirm me in it, and the saving of money which God grant!
So to supper, prayers, and bed.
My whole family lying longer this morning than was fit, and besides Will having neglected to brush my clothes, as he ought to do, till I was ready to go to church, and not then till I bade him, I was very angry, and seeing him make little matter of it, but seeming to make it a matter indifferent whether he did it or no, I did give him a box on the ear, and had it been another day should have done more. This is the second time I ever struck him.

my taste is for madness
like a verse I never understand enough

I expect to find each child
gone to be born

and I fall into neglect
ward of a poisoned well

all my prayers lying
in an indifferent box


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 31 May 1663.

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).

Nostalgia as the longing to be elsewhere

I know the kind of exhaustion
you spoke of at breakfast that morning,
as we passed plates of bread and cheese
and fruit around the table, and cup
after cup of strong black coffee.

The rain had not yet fallen hard,
though it was predicted. The salt
in the skin of cheese gave way
to the mellow note at its center,
and we married it with jam

and real sugar and cream
instead of milk because such things
when you can have them are precious
after all in this short lifetime.
And I wanted to say yes, I know,

I know that kind of loneliness,
the one that stays anyway, long
after the gleaming embrace of cities
turns to wreaths of dirt and smoke,
the way it is for immigrants

and dreamers when they first step
on land after having been at sea
for weeks or months; the way it is
when a dream has been held so long,
against the longer onslaughts of time.

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.

The Transports of History

But as always the taxicab
of history picks up its passengers, takes them where
they think they want to go; then leaves them there.
Current Events” by Luisa A. Igloria

Some people take the taxicab of history,
dingy with worn seats
and a strange smell that no one can identify.

Our rulers travel in their own vehicles,
a glamorous car with a crew of soldiers
to protect them from the ones they serve
or an airplane high above the land.

Many will take the Greyhound bus of history,
if they’re lucky. It can be crowded,
with a restroom too dreadful to use,
but at least the progress is usually swift and steady.

Most of us have no vehicle.
We walk our shoes to shreds as we trudge
across deserts that were once ancient seabeds.
We take that last desperate swim
between continents, the savage
sea creatures surrounding us no more harmful
than the predators left behind.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott has published two chapbooks: Whistling Past the Graveyard (Pudding House Publications) and I Stand Here Shredding Documents (Finishing Line Press). She oversees the department of General Education at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and she teaches as an adjunct at both Broward College and City College. She writes regularly about books, creativity, poetry, and modern life at her creativity blog, and she explores a variety of spiritual issues at her theology blog. Her website gives more information about her writing and her academic career.

Anticreed

Up betimes, and Creed and I by water to Fleet Street, and my brother not being ready, he and I walked to the New Exchange, and there drank our morning draught of whay, the first I have done this year; but I perceive the lawyers come all in as they go to the Hall, and I believe it is very good.
So to my brother’s, and there I found my aunt James, a poor, religious, well-meaning, good soul, talking of nothing but God Almighty, and that with so much innocence that mightily pleased me. Here was a fellow that said grace so long like a prayer; I believe the fellow is a cunning fellow, and yet I by my brother’s desire did give him a crown, he being in great want, and, it seems, a parson among the fanatiques, and a cozen of my poor aunt’s, whose prayers she told me did do me good among the many good souls that did by my father’s desires pray for me when I was cut of the stone, and which God did hear, which I also in complaisance did own; but, God forgive me, my mind was otherwise. I had a couple of lobsters and some wine for her, and so, she going out of town to-day, and being not willing to come home with me to dinner, I parted and home, where we sat at the office all the morning, and after dinner all the afternoon till night, there at my office getting up the time that I have of late lost by not following my business, but I hope now to settle my mind again very well to my business.
So home, and after supper did wash my feet, and so to bed.

no change in the law
they believe is good

a soul with so much innocence
might pray to a stone

God is forgive me other-
wise

wine and night settle my mind
I wash my feet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 30 May 1663.

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).

Getting religion

This day is kept strictly as a holy-day, being the King’s Coronation. We lay long in bed, and it rained very hard, rain and hail, almost all the morning. By and by Creed and I abroad, and called at several churches; and it is a wonder to see, and by that to guess the ill temper of the City at this time, either to religion in general, or to the King, that in some churches there was hardly ten people in the whole church, and those poor people.
So to a coffee-house, and there in discourse hear the King of France is likely to be well again.
So home to dinner, and out by water to the Royall Theatre, but they not acting to-day, then to the Duke’s house, and there saw “The Slighted Mayde,” wherein Gosnell acted Pyramena, a great part, and did it very well, and I believe will do it better and better, and prove a good actor.
The play is not very excellent, but is well acted, and in general the actors, in all particulars, are better than at the other house.
Thence to the Cocke alehouse, and there having drunk, sent them with Creed to see the German Princess, at the Gatehouse, at Westminster, and I to my brother’s, and thence to my uncle Fenner’s to have seen my aunt James (who has been long in town and goes away to-morrow and I not seen her), but did find none of them within, which I was glad of, and so back to my brother’s to speak with him, and so home, and in my way did take two turns forwards and backwards through the Fleete Ally to see a couple of pretty whores that stood off the doors there, and God forgive me I could scarce stay myself from going into their houses with them, so apt is my nature to evil after once, as I have these two days, set upon pleasure again.
So home and to my office to put down these two days’ journalls, then home again and to supper, and then Creed and I to bed with good discourse, only my mind troubled about my spending my time so badly for these seven or eight days; but I must impute it to the disquiet that my mind has been in of late about my wife, and for my going these two days to plays, for which I have paid the due forfeit by money and abating the times of going to plays at Court, which I am now to remember that I have cleared all my times that I am to go to Court plays to the end of this month, and so June is the first time that I am to begin to reckon.

rain all morning
hardly ten people in church

coffee-house like a theater
where the play is not well acted

on my way back through the alley
a couple of pretty whores

I go into the house
as quiet as money


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 29 May 1663.

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).

Accidentals

Do you balance
the scales on a daily
basis, or do you leave
a little bit to chance?
Yesterday I pressed
a mint cutting into
a bowl of soil. I pulled
a leaf stalk out of a pot
of African violets, its pale
roots ready for transplanting.
In the shed near the watery
alley-way, a feral cat
turned up with its kitten
and all afternoon they lay
in a patch of sun
on damp grass.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Rites.

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.

Rites

Up this morning, and my wife, I know not for what cause, being against going to Chelsey to-day, it being a holy day (Ascension Day) and I at leisure, it being the first holy day almost that we have observed ever since we came to the office, we did give Ashwell leave to go by herself, and I out to several places about business. Among others to Dr. Williams, to reckon with him for physique that my wife has had for a year or two, coming to almost 4l. Then to the Exchange, where I hear that the King had letters yesterday from France that the King there is in a [way] of living again, which I am glad to hear.
At the coffee-house in Exchange Alley I bought a little book, “Counsell to Builders,” by Sir Balth. Gerbier. It is dedicated almost to all the men of any great condition in England, so that the Epistles are more than the book itself, and both it and them not worth a turd, that I am ashamed that I bought it.
Home and there found Creed, who dined with us, and after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre; but that was so full they told us we could have no room. And so to the Duke’s House; and there saw “Hamlett” done, giving us fresh reason never to think enough of Betterton.
Who should we see come upon the stage but Gosnell, my wife’s maid? but neither spoke, danced, nor sung; which I was sorry for. But she becomes the stage very well.
Thence by water home, after we had walked to and fro, backwards and forwards, six or seven times in the Temple walks, disputing whether to go by land or water. By land home, and thence by water to Halfway House, and there eat some supper we carried with us, and so walked home again, it being late we were forced to land at the dock, my wife and they, but I in a humour not willing to daub my shoes went round by the Custom House. So home, and by and by to bed, Creed lying with me in the red chamber all night.

today is the first holy day
we observe by living

almost any gland is worth a dinner
so full and so giving

who should we age into
if not a shoe


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 28 May 1663.

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).

labile

here
are some
words
I can’t
say
anymore:
uncle.
waistband.
fingers
under.
sewing
room.
afternoon
room.
sewing
under.
fingers
waistband.
uncle.
anymore
say:
I can’t.
words
are some
here.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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.

fugitive

the heart is the devil
i pray to, its changes

in weather the butter
i spread on my toast

it loves a standing
ovation, a rainfall

of roses no less
with disregard it calls

a factory strike—
my likeness goes on

wanted signs
throughout town

in the end
there’ll be

no place to hide
from myself
Continue reading “fugitive”

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.