This day I put on my half cloth black stockings and my new coat of the fashion, which pleases me well, and with my beaver I was (after office was done) ready to go to my Lord Mayor’s feast, as we are all invited; but the Sir Williams were both loth to go, because of the crowd, and so none of us went, and I staid and dined with them, and so home, and in evening, by consent, we met at the Dolphin, where other company came to us, and should have been merry, but their wine was so naught, and all other things out of order, that we were not so, but staid long at night, and so home and to bed. My mind not pleased with the spending of this day, because I had proposed a great deal of pleasure to myself this day at Guildhall.
This Lord Mayor, it seems, brings up again the Custom of Lord Mayors going the day of their installment to Paul’s, and walking round about the Cross, and offering something at the altar.
Kings of ash, we are
an evening company
and should have been merry
but the wine and all
other things stayed
on the altar.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 29 October 1661.
In those early years, before there was a garden,
we rented rooms to 2 college girls from Thailand.
They had first names with only one syllable,
which they taught me to write in their script.
Back then, perhaps our city was a destination:
little strip of airport in the hills, the sudden drop
at the end of the tarmac. Breathtaking view of one
road snaking up from the coast. Fog near noon, rain
half the year; postcards framed with pine
and sunflowers. They ate meals with us, dated
local boys. I watched them work on their hair
with rollers, play vinyl records on the turntable,
do their own manicures. Modern in miniskirts,
yet they creased in perfect folds the pleats
of silk-threaded costumes, adjusted gold
headdresses and ten curved brass points
over their fingers. What made me think
of them today, as I pulled sweaters
out of the dryer, picking off the little
balls of lint with my thumb and forefinger?
Inside an envelope of rain, a city sleeps
or stirs, making labyrinths, going about its
business. Has it known another fate than to be
a city teeming inside an envelope of rain?
An envelope of rain is still an enclosure,
whether it is mist that barely falls or a torrent.
Living inside, you cultivate belief in color:
saffron and juniper, even the drab of olive—
And even surrounded by dry dust, groves of olives flourish;
stands of cypress establish hardscrabble existence, root
footholds in landscapes of rock. You don’t see the enclosure:
where I’ve dug in my heels, cultivating this thing I love.
At the office all the morning, and dined at home, and so to Paul’s Churchyard to Hunt’s, and there found my Theorbo done, which pleases me very well, and costs me 26s. to the altering. But now he tells me it is as good a lute as any is in England, and is worth well 10l. Hither I sent for Captain Ferrers to me, who comes with a friend of his, and they and I to the Theatre, and there saw “Argalus and Parthenia,” where a woman acted Parthenia, and came afterwards on the stage in men’s clothes, and had the best legs that ever I saw, and I was very well pleased with it. Thence to the Ringo alehouse, and thither sent for a belt-maker, and bought of him a handsome belt for second mourning, which cost me 24s., and is very neat.
is as good as
a captain of
a woman in
the best legs,
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 28 October 1661.
(Lord’s day). At church in the morning; where in the pew both Sir Williams and I had much talk about the death of Sir Robert, which troubles me much; and them in appearance, though I do not believe it; because I know that he was a cheque to their engrossing the whole trade of the Navy office. Home to dinner, and in the afternoon to church again, my wife with me, whose mourning is now grown so old that I am ashamed to go to church with her. And after church to see my uncle and aunt Wight, and there stayed and talked and supped with them, and were merry as we could be in their company. Among other things going up into their chamber to see their two pictures, which I am forced to commend against my judgment, and also she showed us her cabinet, where she had very pretty medals and good jewels. So home and to prayers and to bed.
A morning where
I talk about death
though I do not believe
in mourning, grown
so old that I am ashamed
to be in the picture.
And she showed us
her cabinet where she had
very pretty prayers.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 27 October 1661.
The sorcerer’s voice calls out in darkness:
Hold your head steady, as if the apple were not
about to fall in clean halves to the ground, as if
its shine and crimson were not once again the target
for arrows and knives aimed from a distance— as if
their whistling, as they ribbon the air, were done
in good sport, not from deliberation. You don’t
always see who it is that raises an arm, the moment
the string draws back, taut to its full extension.
Behind you, the plank of painted wood is nicked
with a tally of misses, a history of lucky evasions.
A monkey on a leash claps brass cymbals and cycles
in its rhinestone tutu. For authentic spectacle,
the audience has paid. And from watching and waiting,
you know how to spring the blade loose
from its cage, how to send dark warnings
with only your eyes; how it takes one flick
of the wrist to release its lethal intention.
—Luisa A. Igloria
10 28 2014
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
The first thing to know about Berlin is that it has many walls — and there is graffiti on almost all of them. (more…)
This morning Sir W. Pen and I should have gone out of town with my Lady Batten, to have met Sir William coming back from Portsmouth; at Kingston, but could not, by reason that my Lord of Peterborough (who is to go Governor of Tangier) came this morning, with Sir G. Carteret, to advise with us about completing of the affairs and preparacions for that place. So at the office all the morning, and in the afternoon Sir W. Pen, my wife and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Country Captain,” the first time it hath been acted this twenty-five years, a play of my Lord Newcastle’s, but so silly a play as in all my life I never saw, and the first that ever I was weary of in my life. So home again, and in the evening news was brought that Sir R. Slingsby, our Comptroller (who hath this day been sick a week), is dead; which put me into so great a trouble of mind, that all the night I could not sleep, he being a man that loved me, and had many qualitys that made me to love him above all the officers and commissioners in the Navy. Coming home we called at Dan Rawlinson’s; and there drank good sack, and so home.
My mouth is
a theater, the first
play I never saw,
the first I was
weary of—so dead
that I could
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 26 October 1661.
To Whitehall, and so to dinner at the Wardrobe, where my wife met me, and there we met with a venison pasty, and my Lady very merry and very handsome, methought. After dinner my wife and I to the Opera, and there saw again “Love and Honour,” a play so good that it has been acted but three times and I have seen them all, and all in this week; which is too much, and more than I will do again a good while. Coming out of the house we met Mrs. Pierce and her comrade Mrs. Clifford, and I seeming willing to stay with them to talk my wife grew angry, and whether she be jealous or no I know, not, but she loves not that I should speak of Mrs. Pierce. Home on foot very discontented, in my way I calling at the Instrument maker, Hunt’s, and there saw my lute, which is now almost done, it being to have a new neck to it and to be made to double strings. So home and to bed. This day I did give my man Will a sound lesson about his forbearing to give us the respect due to a master and mistress.
to play. Three times
this week we speak,
my instrument and I, neck
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 25 October 1661.
Alembic: an apparatus used in distillation;
something that refines or transmutes as if by distillation
Time’s a flask, narrow at the waist or neck
depending on who swings the apparatus— Who gives
the order to intercept the ordinary citizen
on his way to or from work, salvage the journalist
called to witness; open fire on the NGO convoy
in pickup trucks loaded with rice, canned goods,
medical supplies, used clothing? In hamlets live
the poor and dispossessed, the ones whose farms
swelled, flooded; and drowning, made way for dams
in the government’s new hydroelectric project.
Their votes don’t count. Or do they? Their number
slight, equivalent to the powdered ash that falls
from wings of bodies that nightly hurl themselves
into the lantern’s crucible of trembled light.
—Luisa A. Igloria
10 27 2014
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.