erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

White-hot and a black burn:
mind and face.
I look for direction,
see money and a petticoat.

I have taken up with that dog,
that plenipotentiary death.
What a great profit I made.
How I cheated.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 March 1659/60.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. These are getting better and better, I think – soaring, dipping, playing… I tend to be lazy about following daily projects, but am finding I never miss this. I think it’s the double voice that so strongly engages me. I’ve heard a lot Pepys read and dramatised very well on BBC radio and I hear that voice as well as yours, in a rollicking and poignant counterpoint.


    1. Thank you, Jean — that’s wonderful feedback. And you’re the second commenter in a row to mention listening to an audio version of the diary, something I haven’t done, though there is an oral component to my process since I usually begin by reading the entry out loud.


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