(Lord’s day). In the morning my father and I walked in the garden and read the will; where, though he gives me nothing at present till my father’s death, or at least very little, yet I am glad to see that he hath done so well for us, all, and well to the rest of his kindred. After that done, we went about getting things, as ribbands and gloves, ready for the burial. Which in the afternoon was done; where, it being Sunday, all people far and near come in; and in the greatest disorder that ever I saw, we made shift to serve them what we had of wine and other things; and then to carry him to the church, where Mr. Taylor buried him, and Mr. Turners preached a funerall sermon, where he spoke not particularly of him anything, but that he was one so well known for his honesty, that it spoke for itself above all that he could say for it. And so made a very good sermon.
Home with some of the company who supped there, and things being quiet, at night to bed.

The garden gives me
nothing; I am glad.
In love,
in the greatest disorder,
in one nest it made
a home of quiet.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 July 1661.

Of course I think about return: the many ways a path
might stretch or hold, mountain and valley, across a map.
Edges don’t circumscribe or surpass: this kind of math
merely arrives at the same sum— How many ways a path
leafed out, but tracked itself back to a source. No trap’s
more cunning than the one that never shut you in or out—
Of course I think about return: the many ways a path
can stretch and hold, mountain and valley, across a map.

Waked this morning with news, brought me by a messenger on purpose, that my uncle Robert is dead, and died yesterday; so I rose sorry in some respect, glad in my expectations in another respect. So I made myself ready, went and told my uncle Wight, my Lady, and some others thereof, and bought me a pair of boots in St. Martin’s, and got myself ready, and then to the Post House and set out about eleven and twelve o’clock, taking the messenger with me that came to me, and so we rode and got well by nine o’clock to Brampton, where I found my father well. My uncle’s corpse in a coffin standing upon joynt-stools in the chimney in the hall; but it begun to smell, and so I caused it to be set forth in the yard all night, and watched by two men. My aunt I found in bed in a most nasty ugly pickle, made me sick to see it. My father and I lay together tonight, I greedy to see the will, but did not ask to see it till to-morrow.

I made myself a pair:
my clock and I,
my corpse and I
set forth together,
greedy to see.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 July 1661.

The poem behind the poem says
what do we do with the other
creatures of this world?
Those that stay put, stay put;
those that move, raise their mobile
devices to the window
and press record. What do we do
with the other languages of this world,
the other ways to forget or fall silent?
Dogs can’t be the only ones
whose vocalizations have adapted
to the inattentiveness of the human ear.
And there’s a bird in New Guinea
that can imitate with equal accuracy
a camera shutter or a chainsaw.
What do we do with ourselves
during the 99% of our lives
when we are not listening
to the poem (song, prayer) in which
our actual names happen to be recorded,
and customs agents are demanding more
and more documentation for everything
that crosses a line, while those that stay put
learn to imitate themselves…
I’m sorry, what
was the question again?
I’ve been busy collecting photographs of cherubs.
I love how they manage to be
both fleshy and impossible.
And now the voices are telling me
to mind the gap—
over and over, as if that were
our most essential task…