Up early and went to Mr. Phillips, but lost my labour, he lying at Huntingdon last night, so I went back again and took horse and rode thither, where I staid with Thos. Trice and Mr. Philips drinking till noon, and then Tom Trice and I to Brampton, where he to Goody Gorum’s and I home to my father, who could discern that I had been drinking, which he did never see or hear of before, so I eat a bit of dinner and went with him to Gorum’s, and there talked with Tom Trice, and then went and took horse for London, and with much ado, the ways being very bad, got to Baldwick, and there lay and had a good supper by myself. The landlady being a pretty woman, but I durst not take notice of her, her husband being there.
Before supper I went to see the church, which is a very handsome church, but I find that both here, and every where else that I come, the Quakers do still continue, and rather grow than lessen.
To bed.

A lost horse,
I never see the way
by myself, durst not
take notice of being there
or here and still
continue to be.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 6 August 1661.

We’re on that train that’s going by in the distance, confined to its track like a blood fluke to a vein. Instead of blood, it feeds on boredom — a green blur. We stop at stations just long enough to read the advertisements and gaze at the litter. One hoarding for a summer movie reads: “How do you catch a serial killer if he’s invisible?” Another, for a bank, promises no card tricks. In the Quiet Carriage, phones vibrate in bags and pockets like cicadas struck dumb by thirst. You picture all this from the seat of a combine harvester, spiraling toward the center of a field of wheat.

Early to Huntingdon, but was fain to stay a great while at Stanton because of the rain, and there borrowed a coat of a man for 6d., and so he rode all the way, poor man, without any. Staid at Huntingdon for a little, but the judges are not come hither: so I went to Brampton, and there found my father very well, and my aunt gone from the house, which I am glad of, though it costs us a great deal of money, viz. 10l.
Here I dined, and after dinner took horse and rode to Yelling, to my cozen Nightingale’s, who hath a pretty house here, and did learn of her all she could tell me concerning my business, and has given me some light by her discourse how I may get a surrender made for Graveley lands.
Hence to Graveley, and there at an alehouse met with Chandler and Jackson (one of my tenants for Cotton closes) and another with whom I had a great deal of discourse, much to my satisfaction.
Hence back again to Brampton and after supper to bed, being now very quiet in the house, which is a content to us.

The rain found us; I am glad.
It has given me a land to tenant, close
and quiet.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 5 August 1661.

(Lord’s day). Got up, and by and by walked into the orchard with my cozen Roger, and there plucked some fruit, and then discoursed at large about the business I came for, that is, about my uncle’s will, in which he did give me good satisfaction, but tells me I shall meet with a great deal of trouble in it. However, in all things he told me what I am to expect and what to do.
To church, and had a good plain sermon, and my uncle Talbot went with us and at our coming in the country-people all rose with so much reverence; and when the parson begins, he begins “Right worshipfull and dearly beloved” to us.
Home to dinner, which was very good, and then to church again, and so home and to walk up and down and so to supper, and after supper to talk about publique matters, wherein Roger Pepys — (who I find a very sober man, and one whom I do now honour more than ever before for this discourse sake only) told me how basely things have been carried in Parliament by the young men, that did labour to oppose all things that were moved by serious men. That they are the most prophane swearing fellows that ever he heard in his life, which makes him think that they will spoil all, and bring things into a warr again if they can.
So to bed.

Luck is a large thing.
The country-people talk about things that labor,
things that are wearing in life,
things in war.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 August 1661.

In terms of furnishings and decor, I am not
mismatched vintage, nor repurposed mason jar.

I am not even a music player made to look old
to look new and marvelously as-if-old again.

I am not the discovery of sex and fumbling
in the sheets, against the rough stones

of a garden wall; nor a flower plucked
from a bar stool in some navy town. I am

neither the invention of offspring— so
cute, so twee— to dress in rompers and tote

around as accessories. I don’t mix
well with others but it doesn’t mean that I

don’t give a shit. I sit in the kitchen carving
fruit parings with my knife, turning castoff skins

into some kind of new animal. I’ll teach it
to fetch things and to sing, but not to curtsy.

– *Dave Bonta


In response to Via Negativa: Horse whisperer.