At the office this morning, Sir G. Carteret with us; and we agreed upon a letter to the Duke of York, to tell him the sad condition of this office for want of money; how men are not able to serve us more without some money; and that now the credit of the office is brought so low, that none will sell us any thing without our personal security given for the same.
All the afternoon abroad about several businesses, and at night home and to bed.

We tell money
how to serve us without money:
on any given road,
several businesses and a bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 11 June 1661.

Early to my Lord’s, who privately told me how the King had made him Embassador in the bringing over the Queen. That he is to go to Algier, &c., to settle the business, and to put the fleet in order there; and so to come back to Lisbone with three ships, and there to meet the fleet that is to follow him.
He sent for me, to tell me that he do intrust me with the seeing of all things done in his absence as to this great preparation, as I shall receive orders from my Lord Chancellor and Mr. Edward Montagu. At all which my heart is above measure glad; for my Lord’s honour, and some profit to myself, I hope.
By and by, out with Mr. Shepley, Walden, Parliament-man for Huntingdon, Rolt, Mackworth, and Alderman Backwell, to a house hard by, to drink Lambeth ale. So I back to the Wardrobe, and there found my Lord going to Trinity House, this being the solemn day of choosing Master, and my Lord is chosen, so he dines there to-day.
I staid and dined with my Lady; but after we were set, comes in some persons of condition, and so the children and I rose and dined by ourselves, all the children and I, and were very merry and they mighty fond of me. Then to the office, and there sat awhile. So home and at night to bed, where we lay in Sir R. Slingsby’s lodgings in the dining room there in one green bed, my house being now in its last work of painting and whiting.

My private bone, my chance heart,
my Walden in a wardrobe, my rose—
all night we lay
in one green bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 June 1661.

(Lord’s day). This day my wife put on her black silk gown, which is now laced all over with black gimp lace, as the fashion is, in which she is very pretty.
She and I walked to my Lady’s at the Wardrobe, and there dined and was exceeding much made of. After dinner I left my wife there, and I walked to Whitehall, and then went to Mr. Pierce’s and sat with his wife a good while (who continues very pretty) till he came, and then he and I, and Mr. Symons (dancing master), that goes to sea with my Lord, to the Swan tavern, and there drank, and so again to White Hall, and there met with Dean Fuller, and walked a great while with him; among other things discoursed of the liberty the Bishop (by name the of Galloway) takes to admit into orders any body that will; among others, Roundtree, a simple mechanique that was a person formerly in the fleet. He told me he would complain of it. By and by we went and got a sculler, and landing him at Worcester House, I and W. Howe, who came to us at Whitehall, went to the Wardrobe.
Where I met with Mr. Townsend, who is very willing he says to communicate anything for my Lord’s advantage to me as to his business. I went up to Jane Shore’s towre, and there W. Howe and I sang, and so took my wife and walked home, and so to bed. After I came home a messenger came from my Lord to bid me come to him tomorrow morning.

This day is ash.
The war continues, and the sea
takes a body that was
a person in the land.
The shore sang,
a messenger from tomorrow.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 June 1661.

To Whitehall to my Lord, who did tell me that he would have me go to Mr. Townsend, whom he had ordered to discover to me the whole mystery of the Wardrobe, and none else but me, and that he will make me deputy with him for fear that he should die in my Lord’s absence, of which I was glad.
Then to the Cook’s with Mr. Shepley and Mr. Creed, and dined together, and then I went to the Theatre and there saw Bartholomew Faire, the first time it was acted now a-days. It is a most admirable play and well acted, but too much prophane and abusive.
From thence, meeting Mr. Creed at the door, he and I went to the tobacco shop under Temple Bar gate, and there went up to the top of the house and there sat drinking Lambeth ale a good while. Then away home, and in my way called upon Mr. Rawlinson (my uncle Wight being out of town), for his advice to answer a letter of my uncle Robert, wherein he do offer me a purchase to lay some money upon, that joynes upon some of his own lands, and plainly telling me that the reason of his advice is the convenience that it will give me as to his estate, of which I am exceeding glad, and am advised to give up wholly the disposal of my money to him, let him do what he will with it, which I shall do. So home and to bed.

Lord, order me,
make me fear to get abusive.

I went to the top of the house
and sat drinking a while.

Let me lay some money on joy.
Tell me to do what I shall do.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 June 1661.

To my Lord’s at Whitehall, but not finding him I went to the Wardrobe and there dined with my Lady, and was very kindly treated by her. After dinner to the office, and there till late at night. So home, and to Sir William Batten’s, who is come this day from Chatham with my Lady, who is and has been much troubled with the toothache. Here I staid till late, and so home and to bed.

At war with my kind
in the office—
he who is a hat,
who is a tooth.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 June 1661.

in the hedge of indeterminate
time: it is the width of a sigh
and the length of an afternoon
siesta, it is the measured rest
vibrating between strings. It is
nothing the metronome can follow
for certain, for want of the tinge
that colors the lining of a nectarine’s
skin. It is the lift between the seat
of a wheelchair and the dark plush
of the theatre’s velvet drape,
the fingers that drum the tempo
of a heart loosed from its cage;
and afterward the slow cascade
toward rippling silence.