Sonnet with Double Reed Pipe

Double-piped aulos, reed in the mouth
of the goddess— when music fails her
and wrath instead spills out, someone is bound 
to be punished. Isn't that the way those on the lower 
rungs  have always been betrayed by the reach of some 
bloated or corporate power? As if it were transgression 
or sin to sit at the same table, drink from the same water 
fountain; learn the language of your colonizer, take back 
harvest and fruit, lands they claimed in the name of nothing 
but their own unfettered hunger. Streams wind 
through the fields, gurgling in protest and witness: 
how bodies made a dark undercurrent of music still 
audible to every attentive ear; how skins were flayed 
from rebellious bodies, how bodies belled from the trees.  

Night light

Up, and to the office all the morning, and then home to dinner, having this day a new girl come to us in the room of Nell, who is lately, about four days since, gone away, being grown lazy and proud. This girl to stay only till we have a boy, which I intend to keep when I have a coach, which I am now about. At this time my wife and I mighty busy laying out money in dressing up our best chamber, and thinking of a coach and coachman and horses, &c.; and the more because of Creed’s being now married to Mrs. Pickering; a thing I could never have expected, but it is done about seven or ten days since, as I hear out of the country. At noon home to dinner, and my wife and Harman and girl abroad to buy things, and I walked out to several places to pay debts, and among other things to look out for a coach, and saw many; and did light on one for which I bid 50l., which do please me mightily, and I believe I shall have it. So to my tailor’s, and the New Exchange, and so by coach home, and there, having this day bought “The Queene of Arragon” play, I did get my wife and W. Batelier to read it over this night by 11 o’clock, and so to bed.

a new room
grown in the light
of my clock

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 20 October 1668.


Up, and to my office to set down my Journall for some days past, and so to other business. At the office all the morning upon some business of Sir W. Warren’s, and at noon home to dinner, and thence out by coach with my wife and Deb. and Mr. Harman, the upholster, and carried them to take measure of Mr. Wren’s bed at St. James’s, I being resolved to have just such another made me, and thence set him down in the Strand, and my wife and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there saw, the first time acted, “The Queene of Arragon,” an old Blackfriars play, but an admirable one, so good that I am astonished at it, and wonder where it hath lain asleep all this while, that I have never heard of it before. Here met W. Batelier and Mrs. Hunt, Deb.’s aunt; and saw her home — a very witty woman, and one that knows this play, and understands a play mighty well. Left her at home in Jewen Street, and we home, and to supper, and my wife to read to me, and so to bed.

for some past sin
I have no one
a shed where I sleep
a never-heard wit and now
this street

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 19 October 1668.

Poem with a Line from Lorca

Do not carry your remembrance. 
Instead, cut it into pieces for the wind,
or surrender it to the crepe myrtle tree.
Give it to the poets stenciling their words
onto sidewalk squares, then return to see 
what paint colors they've used. Do you 
wonder how the sky's chalkboard bears  
all manner of  equations? There are rumors 
some of them have been solved. Take 
pleasure in the idea that an asterisk might stand 
for a shelf or a footnote in which a memory 
could live. Your hands are free now. No one
questions your loyalty or your doubt, 
the distances you covered like a snail.

from "Gacela of the Remembrance of Love," Federico Garcia Lorca