Lay long in bed, and then up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and among other things my Lord Barkely called in question his clerk Mr. Davy for something which Sir W. Batten and I did tell him yesterday, but I endeavoured to make the least of it, and so all was put up.
At noon to the ‘Change, and among other businesses did discourse with Captain Taylor, and I think I shall safely get 20l. by his ship’s freight at present, besides what it may be I may get hereafter.
So home to dinner, and thence by coach to White Hall, where a great while walked with my Lord Tiviott, whom I find a most carefull, thoughtfull, and cunning man, as I also ever took him to be. He is this day bringing in an account where he makes the King debtor to him 10,000l. already on the garrison of Tangier account; but yet demands not ready money to pay it, but offers such ways of paying it out of the sale of old decayed provisions as will enrich him finely.
Anon came my Lord Sandwich, and then we fell to our business at the Committee about my Lord Tiviott’s accounts, wherein I took occasion to speak now and then, so as my Lord Sandwich did well seem to like of it, and after we were up did bid me good night in a tone that, methinks, he is not so displeased with me as I did doubt he is; however, I will take a course to know whether he be or no.
The Committee done, I took coach and home to my office, and there late, and so to supper at home, and to bed, being doubtful of my pain through the very cold weather which we have, but I will take all the care I can to prevent it.

we question the least change
careful as a king to a garrison

the sale of decayed visions
will enrich us

like ink leased
to the committee on the weather

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 December 1663.

One after another
they go quietly under:
the little-stemmed,
tender-skinned, the soft
blue and broad-leaved
remainders of summer.
I walk past each plot,
dig my hands deep
into my pockets.
In the river’s folds,
the fish burrow deeper.

Up betimes, and, it being a frosty morning, walked on foot to White Hall, but not without some fear of my pain coming. At White Hall I hear and find that there was the last night the greatest tide that ever was remembered in England to have been in this river: all White Hall having been drowned, of which there was great discourse.
Anon we all met, and up with the Duke and did our business, and by and by my Lord of Sandwich came in, but whether it be my doubt or no I cannot tell, but I do not find that he made any sign of kindnesse or respect to me, which troubles me more than any thing in the world. After done there Sir W. Batten and Captain Allen and I by coach to the Temple, where I ‘light, they going home, and indeed it being my trouble of mind to try whether I could meet with my Lord Sandwich and try him to see how he will receive me. I took coach and back again to Whitehall, but there could not find him. But here I met Dr. Clerke, and did tell him my story of my health; how my pain comes to me now-a-days. He did write something for me which I shall take when there is occasion. I then fell to other discourse of Dr. Knapp, who tells me he is the King’s physician, and is become a solicitor for places for people, and I am mightily troubled with him. He tells me he is the most impudent fellow in the world, that gives himself out to be the King’s physician, but it is not so, but is cast out of the Court. From thence I may learn what impudence there is in the world, and how a man may be deceived in persons.
Anon the King and Duke and Duchesse came to dinner in the Vane-roome, where I never saw them before; but it seems since the tables are down, he dines there all together.

pain coming
a drowned light in the sand

white pain comes to me as lace
and I am itself

the cast of a person
I never saw before

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 December 1663.

Above the eastern ridge,
a hawk enters its one figure
of accomplishment for the day:
the widest circle, the biggest

zero darkly brushed against
an unmarked page. I can respect
its talons, the purity of its
mathematics; its indifference

even when, from hunger,
it snatches up a vole or snake
or other creature from the ground
—But never what underwrites

the growing tally of hapless
bodies fallen in the streets:
the poor, the young, every day
sheathed in blood and placards.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

When there was milk it was sweet
and poured from a punctured can.

It bubbled quietly in the pan
until a skin formed, which then

could be lifted out whole—
another sacrament to feed

the mouth if not the soul.
And when there was bread

it rose as the sun rose,
that clock more faithful

than the work time strapped
like punishment to our wrists.

And at night there was either
more time or no end in sight—

no peace to make except with our
pale ghosts, riding ahead of us

into the dark wood, through towns
just starting to gloss with light.


In response to Via Negativa: Day planner.

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then up and to church alone, which is the greatest trouble that I have by not having a man or, boy to wait on me, and so home to dinner, my wife, it being a cold day, and it begun to snow (the first snow we have seen this year) kept her bed till after dinner, and I below by myself looking over my arithmetique books and timber rule.
So my wife rose anon, and she and I all the afternoon at arithmetique, and she is come to do Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplicacion very well, and so I purpose not to trouble her yet with Division, but to begin with the Globes to her now.
At night came Captain Grove to discourse with me about Field’s business and of other matters, and so, he being gone, I to my office, and spent an houre or two reading Rushworth, and so to supper home, and to prayers and bed, finding myself by cold to have some pain begin with me, which God defend should increase.

a boy and a gun
his kept rose

the afternoon arithmetic
is subtraction and division

I pray to have
some pain begin with me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 December 1663.

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then with the whole board, viz., Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and myself along with Captain Allen home to dinner, where he lives hard by in Mark Lane, where we had a very good plain dinner and good welcome, in a pretty little house but so smoky that it was troublesome to us all till they put out the fire, and made one of charcoale.
I was much pleased with this dinner for the many excellent stories told by Mr. Coventry, which I have put down in my book of tales and so shall not mention them here.
We staid till night, and then Mr. Coventry away, and by and by I home to my office till 9 or 10 at night, and so home to supper and to bed after some talke and Arithmetique with my poor wife, with whom now-a-days I live with great content, out of all trouble of mind by jealousy (for which God forgive me), or any other distraction more than my fear of my Lord Sandwich’s displeasure.

I live hard in a little house
so smoky that it was troublesome
till they put out the fire

in my book of tales
the poor live with great content
out of mind

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 December 1663.

Up pretty betimes, that is about 7 o’clock, it being now dark then, and so got me ready, with my clothes, breeches and warm stockings, and by water with Henry Russell, cold and wet and windy to Woolwich, to a hempe ship there, and staid looking upon it and giving direction as to the getting it ashore, and so back again very cold, and at home without going on shore anywhere about 12 o’clock, being fearful of taking cold, and so dined at home and shifted myself, and so all the afternoon at my office till night, and then home to keep my poor wife company, and so to supper and to bed.

a clock dark with tocking
cold ash of an afternoon

I keep poor company

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 December 1663.

“…one more light, the bowl shall brim.” ~ Advent carol

Near winter break, my final year in Chicago
at the end of my fellowship, before I had to get back
on a plane to leave for our other country on the other
side of the world— After the first heavy snow,

you took me home to your family, more confident perhaps
than I about how they might take me in, someone I myself
had described as a woman with history. I think I baked
a chocolate cake— choosing three smooth-curved

bay leaves for improvised decoration atop the buttercream
icing. Did they sense how much I feared not ever again
being loved for who I was; not ever completely finished
or becoming? But after you told the gathering I was

the woman you wished to marry, your sisters
broke the ice: So where’s the ring, dude? Then
your mother, putting the kettle on the stove to boil
for tea, held out a box of matches and instructed:

Buhayin mo ang apoy, meaning Bring the flame to life.
Already I was in love but fell deeper in when your father,
rolling out dough on the table to make steamed buns, said
in response to my mumbled thanks for making room for me

over the holidays, Kasama ang lahat sa pag-alsa:
meaning The yeast makes all rise together. He stuffed
and shaped each disc, and after they were steamed it was true—
we held their heft and fragrance doubled, generous, in our hands.

~ in memoriam, Ruben B. Igloria Sr.