(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.

My head hath ached all night, and all this morning, with my last night’s debauch.
Called up this morning by Lieutenant Lambert, who is now made Captain of the Norwich, and he and I went down by water to Greenwich, in our way observing and discoursing upon the things of a ship, he telling me all I asked him, which was of good use to me.
There we went and eat and drank and heard musique at the Globe, and saw the simple motion that is there of a woman with a rod in her hand keeping time to the musique while it plays, which is simple, methinks.
Back again by water, calling at Captain Lambert’s house, which is very handsome and neat, and a fine prospect at top. So to the office, where we sat a little, and then the Captain and I again to Bridewell to Mr. Holland’s, where his wife also, a plain dowdy, and his mother was. Here I paid Mrs. Holland the money due from me to her husband. Here came two young gentlewomen to see Mr. Holland, and one of them could play pretty well upon the viallin, but, good God! how these ignorant people did cry her up for it! We were very merry. I staid and supped there, and so home and to bed. The weather very hot, this night I left off my wastecoat.

My ache is
a green thing,
a simple music.
It plays well
on a violin.
But how I cry
for the home
and weather
I left!


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 June 1661.

This morning did give my wife 4l. to lay out upon lace and other things for herself. I to Wardrobe and so to Whitehall and Westminster, where I dined with my Lord and Ned Pickering alone at his lodgings. After dinner to the office, where we sat and did business, and Sir W. Pen and I went home with Sir R. Slingsby to bowls in his ally, and there had good sport, and afterwards went in and drank and talked. So home Sir William and I, and it being very hot weather I took my flageolette and played upon the leads in the garden, where Sir W. Pen came out in his shirt into his leads, and there we staid talking and singing, and drinking great drafts of claret, and eating botargo and bread and butter till 12 at night, it being moonshine; and so to bed, very near fuddled.

I dine with owls
and in hot weather drink
great drafts of moon.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 June 1661.