Jacqueline M. Pérez

The Comet (an erasure)

All Comets heretofore,
the world is busily sometimes
A Comet in 442 &c.
In 361 talking about the Comet
betokening ushered in a severe Olympiad
which Comet ; all the mischief, and winter.
in 443, sometimes the snow fell
engaged with it, and mischief betokening depth
and continued all the astronomers the Comet.
I have so long in Illyricum appeared a Comet.
Whether the gazing at it and the destruction
The year Antioch was in 458
wonderful from the works of the Huns or 464,
and Thrace, Hellespont they know,
rain betokens great heat, he is not all calamities.
“In 418 irruption of the sea appeared a Comet,
in North and South Wales,
441, Bithvnia, overturned by an Comet,
In 480. highly extolled eruption of famine
and another Comet was in our Etna.
There was pestilence distressed visible,
also an inundation Constantinople,
In who intimates that of the sea in pestilence
a drought in all parts of the terrible and of a certain Comet,
England in 419. world. In 446, Sept. distressing ––
olive “ladies loved their pestilence lords”
A great storm of demolished pale and hail
under the year 418 walls of sun assumed a deep snow.
Constantinople with melancholy face. A more prolific.”
That great period of fifty-seven towers.
Comet is general pestilence. The shocks 502, and severe
have some idea commenced in the continued winter in 507,
but what extraordinary reign of Theodosius unremittingly
and any public calamity connected with the year 445
or extended to great Baronius gives a Comet;
where the Comet a pestilence among this famine
an inundation, from men and cattle perhaps, more deluges of rain,
afterwards came Scotland in 502.
In philosophical and overspread Rome, terrible effects,
518 a Comet deserves notice.
He covering the walls which then were Dardania––
a series says the crops of the city, and easily traced
our earthquakes failed, for ripened lodging
their source ; just as four castles, divided thin;
in some serpents on the certain Medical mountains,
In 872 a gentleman harvested that Comet
trace the yellow fissure of excessive heart and fever
to certain deficient drought which cut diseases as signs
twelve in breadth. In nourishment. – short the grain.
In 874 appeared another Comet, and subsisted upon France
myriads of famine now became pale, and grass-hoppers
or appearances raged afflicted with locusts,
of a latter before they horror. It is recorded bile.
The body lost remarkable size, venture to foretell
that many persons its heat and vigeur, with six feet
and the certain fed on human flesh. the skin was dried,
two teeth harder consequences of the bodies
of the countenance than stone.
In 1240 as long famished people stupid, distorted
and a Comet appeared as they became ghastly,
the liver February was pale and the skin turned black.
Method was hardened and perished by hunger;
Mortal diseases predicting what is dry like leather
and many clave to the bones; themselves the authors
already the flesh assumed to feed on the English,
it is safe dark appearance like vegetables,
being too feeble to see senseless and stern, gnawed,
the bile redundant.
off with their teeth.
fish were slain and notwithstanding
Among these In 520 a Comet cast ashore.
In their assurances ; frightful effects appeared,
sever September 1686 hunger, no winter
followed and was seen a Comet.
pestilence appears universal plague,
At Lille ––a circumstance fell a storm of hail,
to that philosopher Constantinople, the stones
of which predict the event should not pass
where the living weighed before it happens. unnoticed.


[Seed text: Article concerning Halley’s Comet reprinted from the New York Herald in The Republican Farmer, Volume 4, Number 8, 25 October 1811 under the heading: “The Comet”, Staunton, Virginia, USA https://virginiachronicle.com/cgi-bin/virginia?a=d&d=RF18111025.1.2&e=——-en-20–1–txt-txIN——-%5D



That shock in 1909: Reggio di Calabria

still exists but in a different location
Professor Seuss, the Austrian Zeologist
tells everyone who will listen after the fact
they are witness to the collapse of
the terrestrial globe that began long ago
and he adds a strange bit about how
the shortness of human life allows us to be of good cheer
(a zealous geologist who has lost his grasp)
but Mr. Ogston, the British Consul, relates
that he, his wife, and their little daughter
escaped (as the Consulate walls lost their footing)
by leaping through a window but dramatically
as the balcony fell it crushed his wife
few escaped from this theatre of catastrophe
this spot where earth sinks, shrinks, and surges
Monteleone, Catanzaro, Messina, Polistena
a low, grating, heavy, sighing rush,
of 20 to 60 seconds’ duration
Naples, Florence, Stromboli, Castellamare
Syracuse, Piscopia, Roggiano Gavina, Santa Agata
Palermo (and Ekaterinburg, Russia, coincidentally)
Professor Seuss, the Austrian Zeologist
envisions the hills below water
only fragments like fingers of drowning swimmers
projecting from the sea one two three
the wonder, the wonder


[Seed text: “The Messina Earthquake”, The Bathurst Daily Argus, January 1, 1909, New South Wales, Australia https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/130891853?browse=ndp%3Abrowse%2Ftitle%2FB%2Ftitle%2F674%2F1909%2F01%2F01%2Fpage%2F14780288%2Farticle%2F130891853%5D




Jacqueline M. Pérez bides her time. How words fit together, how trees stand silently, and how water looks like glass on breezeless days seem to be some of the most important things. She has a husband, a cat, and chickens.