Dave Bonta

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).

My wife not being well, waked in the night, and strange to see how dead sleep our people sleep that she was fain to ring an hour before any body would wake. At last one rose and helped my wife, and so to sleep again.
Up and to my business, and then to White Hall, there to attend the Lords Commissioners, and so directly home and dined with Sir W. Batten and my Lady, and after dinner had much discourse tending to profit with Sir W. Batten, how to get ourselves into the prize office or some other fair way of obliging the King to consider us in our extraordinary pains.
Then to the office, and there all the afternoon very busy, and so till past 12 at night, and so home to bed.
This day my wife went to the burial of a little boy of W. Joyce’s.

a dead rose is tending
some other air

the ordinary pains us
at the burial of a little boy


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 November 1664.

That I might not be too fine for the business I intend this day, I did leave off my fine new cloth suit lined with plush and put on my poor black suit, and after office done (where much business, but little done), I to the ‘Change, and thence Bagwell’s wife with much ado followed me through Moorfields to a blind alehouse, and there I did caress her and eat and drink, and many hard looks and sithes the poor wretch did give me, and I think verily was troubled at what I did, but at last after many protestings by degrees I did arrive at what I would, with great pleasure, and then in the evening, it raining, walked into town to where she knew where she was, and then I took coach and to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where, and every where else, I thank God, I find myself growing in repute; and so home, and late, very late, at business, nobody minding it but myself, and so home to bed, weary and full of thoughts. Businesses grow high between the Dutch and us on every side.

I leave my change with a blind man
testing the rain

everywhere a wing
and nobody minding it but me
weary and high


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 15 November 1664.

Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, to the Lords of the Admiralty, and there did our business betimes. Thence to Sir Philip Warwicke about Navy business: and my Lord Ashly; and afterwards to my Lord Chancellor, who is very well pleased with me, and my carrying of his business. And so to the ‘Change, where mighty busy; and so home to dinner, where Mr. Creed and Moore: and after dinner I to my Lord Treasurer’s, to Sir Philip Warwicke there, and then to White Hall, to the Duke of Albemarle, about Tangier; and then homeward to the Coffee-house to hear newes. And it seems the Dutch, as I afterwards found by Mr. Coventry’s letters, have stopped a ship of masts of Sir W. Warren’s, coming for us in a Swede’s ship, which they will not release upon Sir G. Downing’s claiming her: which appears as the first act of hostility; and is looked upon as so by Mr. Coventry.
The Elias, coming from New England (Captain Hill, commander), is sunk; only the captain and a few men saved. She foundered in the sea.
So home, where infinite busy till 12 at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

who is carrying us to war

to ward off news
I have stopped up ears
as the first act of hostility

the land is sunk
only the captain found a finite bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 November 1664.

(Lord’s day). This morning to church, where mighty sport, to hear our clerke sing out of tune, though his master sits by him that begins and keeps the tune aloud for the parish.
Dined at home very well, and spent all the afternoon with my wife within doors, and getting a speech out of Hamlett, “To bee or not to bee,” without book.
In the evening to sing psalms, and in come Mr. Hill to see me, and then he and I and the boy finely to sing, and so anon broke up after much pleasure, he gone I to supper, and so prayers and to bed.

where to keep the tune indoors
getting a bee to sing psalms


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 November 1664.

Up, being frighted that Mr. Coventry was come to towne and now at the office, so I run down without eating or drinking or washing to the office and it proved my Lord Berkeley.
There all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner, Mr. Wayth with me, and then to the office, where mighty busy till very late, but I bless God I go through with it very well and hope I shall.

in a town
run-down with drink
ashing the ice


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 November 1664.

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to the Council Chamber at White Hall, to the Committee of the Lords for the Navy, where we were made to wait an houre or two before called in. In that time looking upon some books of heraldry of Sir Edward Walker’s making, which are very fine, there I observed the Duke of Monmouth’s armes are neatly done, and his title, “The most noble and high-born Prince, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, &c.;” nor could Sir J. Minnes, nor any body there, tell whence he should take the name of Scott? And then I found my Lord Sandwich, his title under his armes is, “The most noble and mighty Lord, Edward, Earl of Sandwich, &c.”Sir Edward Walker afterwards coming in, in discourse did say that there was none of the families of princes in Christendom that do derive themselves so high as Julius Caesar, nor so far by 1000 years, that can directly prove their rise; only some in Germany do derive themselves from the patrician familys of Rome, but that uncertainly; and, among other things, did much inveigh against the writing of romances, that 500 years hence being wrote of matters in general, true as the romance of Cleopatra, the world will not know which is the true and which the false. Here was a gentleman attending here that told us he saw the other day (and did bring the draught of it to Sir Francis Prigeon) of a monster born of an hostler’s wife at Salisbury, two women children perfectly made, joyned at the lower part of their bellies, and every part perfect as two bodies, and only one payre of legs coming forth on one side from the middle where they were joined. It was alive 24 hours, and cried and did as all hopefull children do; but, being showed too much to people, was killed. By and by we were called in, where a great many lords: Annesly in the chair. But, Lord! to see what work they will make us, and what trouble we shall have to inform men in a business they are to begin to know, when the greatest of our hurry is, is a thing to be lamented; and I fear the consequence will be bad to us. Thence I by coach to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, my head akeing mightily with much business. Our little girl better than she was yesterday. After dinner out again by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, but could not speak with him, then up and down to seek Sir Ph. Warwicke, Sir G. Carteret, and my Lord Berkely, but failed in all, and so home and there late at business. Among other things Mr. Turner making his complaint to me how my clerks do all the worke and get all the profit, and he hath no comfort, nor cannot subsist, I did make him apprehend how he is beholding to me more than to any body for my suffering him to act as Pourveyour of petty provisions, and told him so largely my little value of any body’s favour, that I believe he will make no complaints again a good while. So home to supper and to bed, after prayers, and having my boy and Mercer give me some, each of them some, musique.

in the book of the body
is there no other writing true as romance

which is true and which false
of two children perfectly made
joined at their bellies
and only one pair of legs

what work will make us fear
the consequence of it

how is holding you
so large a music


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 November 1664.

It’s a two-video day! Both of these began as photo-and-poetry posts at Woodrat photoblog and Instagram. Both were shot on my aging iPhone.

As the green drains from the leaves, why doesn’t it pool underground like a reservoir of eternal summer?

Why don’t the green, leaf-shaped katydids turn brilliant colors before they die?

When lovers intertwine, why don’t they fuse like roots from adjacent trees?

If a human falls in a city and there are no trees around, does it leave a hole?

An early snow prompts memories of last year at this time: three haiku-like things.

the sky is falling:
autumn leaves turning
white with snow

*

November surprise:
white supremacists elect
an orange leader

*

it’s not winter
it’s white springtime
#fakenews

Up, and not finding my things ready, I was so angry with Besse as to bid my wife for good and all to bid her provide herself a place, for though she be very good-natured, she hath no care nor memory of her business at all.
So to the office, where vexed at the malice of Sir W. Batten and folly of Sir J. Minnes against Sir W. Warren, but I prevented, and shall do, though to my own disquiet and trouble.
At noon dined with Sir W. Batten and the Auditors of the Exchequer at the Dolphin by Mr. Wayth’s desire, and after dinner fell to business relating to Sir G. Carteret’s account, and so home to the office, where Sir W. Batten begins, too fast, to shew his knavish tricks in giving what price he pleases for commodities.
So abroad, intending to have spoke with my Lord Chancellor about the old business of his wood at Clarendon, but could not, and so home again, and late at my office, and then home to supper and bed.
My little girle Susan is fallen sicke of the meazles, we fear, or, at least, of a scarlett feavour.

no place or nature at all
prevented disquiet
or the count of commodities

so spoke the old wood
in my fallen ear


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 November 1664.

Called up, as I had appointed, by H. Russell, between two and three o’clock, and I and my boy Tom by water with a gally down to the Hope, it being a fine starry night. Got thither by eight o’clock, and there, as expected, found the Charles, her mainmast setting. Commissioner Pett aboard. I up and down to see the ship I was so well acquainted with, and a great worke it is, the setting so great a mast. Thence the Commissioner and I on board Sir G. Ascue, in the Henery, who lacks men mightily, which makes me think that there is more believed to be in a man that hath heretofore been employed than truly there is; for one would never have thought, a month ago, that he would have wanted 1000 men at his heels. Nor do I think he hath much of a seaman in him: for he told me, says he, “Heretofore, we used to find our ships clear and ready, everything to our hands in the Downes. Now I come, and must look to see things done like a slave, things that I never minded, nor cannot look after.” And by his discourse I find that he hath not minded anything in her at all.
Thence not staying, the wind blowing hard, I made use of the Jemmy yacht and returned to the Tower in her, my boy being a very droll boy and good company. Home and eat something, and then shifted myself, and to White Hall, and there the King being in his Cabinet Council (I desiring to speak with Sir G. Carteret), I was called in, and demanded by the King himself many questions, to which I did give him full answers. There were at this Council my Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Treasurer, the two Secretarys, and Sir G. Carteret.
Not a little contented at this chance of being made known to these persons, and called often by my name by the King, I to Mr. Pierces to take leave of him, but he not within, but saw her and made very little stay, but straight home to my office, where I did business, and then to supper and to bed.
The Duke of York is this day gone away to Portsmouth.

a star is more believed in than the sea
like a slave that cannot answer

we bury it in a known name
made of ice in the mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 November 1664.

Up and to the office, where by and by Mr. Coventry come, and after doing a little business, took his leave of us, being to go to sea with the Duke to-morrow.
At noon, I and Sir J. Minnes and Lord Barkeley (who with Sir J. Duncum, and Mr. Chichly, are made Masters of the Ordnance), to the office of the Ordnance, to discourse about wadding for guns. Thence to dinner, all of us to the Lieutenant’s of the Tower; where a good dinner, but disturbed in the middle of it by the King’s coming into the Tower: and so we broke up, and to him, and went up and down the store-houses and magazines; which are, with the addition of the new great store-house, a noble sight.
He gone, I to my office, where Bagwell’s wife staid for me, and together with her a good while, to meet again shortly. So all the afternoon at my office till late, and then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business.
This day, Mr. Lever sent my wife a pair of silver candlesticks, very pretty ones. The first man that ever presented me, to whom I have not only done little service, but apparently did him the greatest disservice in his business of accounts, as Purser-Generall, of any man at the board.

come and go to sea
with the bark of our guns

all of us disturbed
by the new use of sticks

pretty ones that have only done
business as a board


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 November 1664.