Up and with my father towards my house, and by the way met with Lieut. Lambert, and with him to the Dolphin in Tower Street and drank our morning draught, he being much troubled about his being offered a fourth rate ship to be Lieutenant of her now he has been two years Lieutenant in a first rate.
So to the office, where it is determined that I should go to-morrow to Portsmouth.
So I went out of the office to Whitehall presently, and there spoke with Sir W. Pen and Sir George Carteret and had their advice as to my going, and so back again home, where I directed Mr. Hater what to do in order to our going to-morrow, and so back again by coach to Whitehall and there eat something in the buttery at my Lord’s with John Goods and Ned Osgood.
And so home again, and gave order to my workmen what to do in my absence.
At night to Sir W. Batten’s, and by his and Sir W. Pen’s persuasion I sent for my wife from my father’s, who came to us to Mrs. Turner’s, where we were all at a collacion to-night till twelve o’clock, there being a gentlewoman there that did play well and sang well to the Harpsicon, and very merry we were.
So home and to bed, where my wife had not lain a great while.

I bled red years in the mine.

I went out of the present, going back and back.

In my absence, the clock sang to my wife.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 29 April 1661.

The Buddha remembers Miss Sifora Fang,

his third grade teacher from years ago: diminutive
terror of the daily twenty-item spelling quiz, bespectacled,
hair pulled always into a severe chignon— How she parsed

sentences across three panels of chalkboard, lectured on
the solidity of nouns and verbs and the relative shiftiness
of adverbs. Therefore, when he reads the half-leafed-out lilac
seems to glow, achingly green against the brown woods,

his mind begins to revise: is it achingly, the half-leafed out lilac
seems to glow green
, or is it the half-leafed out lilac seems
to glow a painful shade of green
? He suspects that Miss Sifora Fang
would not approve. Likely, she would interrogate the very lilac

by the garden gate as to its blushing intentions, and certainly
the speaker as to why the sight of light striking the undersides
of leaves should stir a wound. Once, she sternly asked
the Buddha: Why are you crying? as he struggled to find

the right words for a difficult lesson. To be precise
does not necessitate complication, except that it is so
difficult to pluck the right thoughts from the always moving
branch, and find the words to flesh out what it is they mean.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.


This entry is part 83 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses


After all-night rain,
the forest floor is soft
and full of give.

A birch log collapses
when I step on it, but the bark
arches back after I pass.

New ferns uncoil,
heads slowly dissolving
into spine and ribs.


(Lord’s day). In the morning to my father’s, where I dined, and in the afternoon to their church, where come Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Edward Pepys, and several other ladies, and so I went out of the pew into another. And after sermon home with them, and there staid a while and talked with them and was sent for to my father’s, where my cozen Angier and his wife, of Cambridge, to whom I went, and was glad to see them, and sent for wine for them, and they supped with my father. After supper my father told me of an odd passage the other night in bed between my mother and him, and she would not let him come to bed to her out of jealousy of him and an ugly wench that lived there lately, the most ill-favoured slut that ever I saw in my life, which I was ashamed to hear that my mother should be become such a fool, and my father bid me to take notice of it to my mother, and to make peace between him and her. All which do trouble me very much.
So to bed to my wife.

He sent for wine
in bed, and she
would not let him
come to her
out of jealousy
of that other
between him
and trouble.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 April 1661.


All the ephemerals are emerging—
Here they are at cafe tables, shrugging

off the morning drizzle as if it, too,
were a malaise of modernity (middle

syllable drawn out like a small stretch
of prairie), nothing that couldn’t be

fixed with a cup of good Colombian
coffee and a dose of the internet.

And in the rain, squirrels, gulls, and crows
work on their own version of bricolage—

collecting seeds and nuts, shavings, plastic
twine, leftovers from dumpsters in the parking lot.


In response to Via Negaiva: Up in the hollow.


This entry is part 82 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses


Clouds hide the top of Ice Mountain
and it looks like a real mountain again,
no turbines in sight.

Below, the ugly subdivision
where a black family once woke
to a burning cross.

I find a shed antler on the powerline,
a twisted Y like the bottom half
of a stick figure.

Classical cockerel

In the morning to my Lord’s, and there dined with my Lady, and after dinner with Mr. Creed and Captain Ferrers to the Theatre to see “The Chances,” and after that to the Cock alehouse, where we had a harp and viallin played to us, and so home by coach to Sir W. Batten’s, who seems so inquisitive when my house will be made an end of that I am troubled to go thither. So home with some trouble in my mind about it.

In the morning din,
the cock had a harp and violin
played to an inquisitive hen-house end:
to go within.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 27 April 1661.

Up in the hollow

This entry is part 81 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses


A small cloud on the cliff
above the railroad tracks—
the shadbush is in bloom.

As I drive up the hollow on
our one-lane road, a red-tailed hawk
passes me going down.

All the spring ephemerals are emerging,
leaves wrinkled and damp
like freshly pitched tents.


At the office all the morning, and at noon dined by myself at home on a piece of meat from the cook’s.
And so at home all the afternoon with my workmen, and at night to bed, having some thoughts to order my business so as to go to Portsmouth the next week with Sir Robert Slingsby.

at noon a piece of meat
at night a mouth

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 26 April 1661.


Accost the moon as it scuds
across the fields.

Brake hard
against the surf.

Chain the bike to the back gate, then
come in and take off your shoes.

Don’t wake the sleeping parakeet
swinging in its cage.

Every other object in the room
conceals a flaw.

Find each, and you shall have
succeeded where no one else has.

Gongs sound
a muffled music;

heard through burlap
thicknesses of air,

it’s no longer obvious
they’re brass with jawbone handles.

Joss sticks in the alcove
sweeten the air.

Kindness, they remind,
is all.

Long as
the days might be,

memory is
longer by far.

Nothing goes unpunished; not
even the skin around a callus;

oversight is merely time’s way
of staging an intermission.

Pillow books catch
the days’ unsaid intentions,

questions that we’ll mull over
in the afterward.

Rouged by heat, I like when our
foreheads touch lightly after love.

Stay with me and pretend
ours is a house on stilts anchored

to water. We’ll watch
the colors change,

undo their drafts,
revise what came before.

Voyage is a noun
or verb;

what is the grammar
of the states between the two?

Exactitude is not possible;
I’ve heard it said we

yearn because we’re born
into a chain of misunderstandings:

zoetropes flash brightly lit
illusions of static pictures moving.


In response to Via Negativa: Insomniac's to-do list.