holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Going to my office I met with Tom Newton, my old comrade, and took him to the Crown in the Palace, and gave him his morning draft. And as he always did, did talk very high what he would do with the Parliament, that he would have what place he would, and that he might be one of the Clerks to the Council if he would. Here I staid talking with him till the offices were all shut, and then I looked in the Hall, and was told by my bookseller, Mrs. Michell, that Mr. G. Montagu had inquired there for me. So I went to his house, and was forced by him to dine with him, and had a plenteous brave dinner and the greatest civility that ever I had from any man. Thence home and so to Mrs. Jem, and played with her at cards, and coming home again my wife told me that Mr. Hawly had been there to speak with me, and seemed angry that I had not been at the office that day, and she told me she was afraid that Mr. Downing may have a mind to pick some hole in my coat. So I made haste to him, but found no such thing from him, but he sent me to Mr. Sherwin’s about getting Mr. Squib to come to him tomorrow, and I carried him an answer. So home and fell a writing the characters for Mr. Downing, and about nine at night Mr. Hawly came, and after he was gone I sat up till almost twelve writing, and — wrote two of them. In the morning up early and wrote another, my wife lying in bed and reading to me.

talking to her
I play with the hole
in my coat

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 27 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)


holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

At my waking, I found the tops of the houses covered with snow, which is a rare sight, that I have not seen these three years.
Up, and put my people to perfect the cleaning of my house, and so to the office, where we sat till noon; and then we all went to the next house upon Tower Hill, to see the coming by of the Russia Embassador; for whose reception all the City trained-bands do attend in the streets, and the King’s life-guards, and most of the wealthy citizens in their black velvet coats, and gold chains (which remain of their gallantry at the King’s coming in), but they staid so long that we went down again home to dinner. And after I had dined, I heard they were coming, and so I walked to the Conduit in the Quarrefowr, at the end of Gracious-street and Cornhill; and there (the spouts thereof running very near me upon all the people that were under it) I saw them pretty well go by. I could not see the Embassador in his coach; but his attendants in their habits and fur caps very handsome, comely men, and most of them with hawkes upon their fists to present to the King. But Lord! to see the absurd nature of Englishmen, that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at every thing that looks strange.
So back and to the office, and there we met and sat till seven o’clock, making a bargain with Mr. Wood for his masts of New England; and then in Mr. Coventry’s coach to the Temple, but my cozen Roger Pepys not being at leisure to speak to me about my business, I presently walked home, and to my office till very late doing business, and so home, where I found my house more and more clear and in order, and hope in a day or two now to be in very good condition there and to my full content. Which God grant! So to supper and to bed.

waking on the train
I see a hawk

absurd men laughing
about office business

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 27 November 1662.

Exit Review

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

“…who/ among us is not a comically constructed
mutt, a cacophonous anthology?” ~ Amy Gerstler

Yes, I married young— I was a child bride.
Wait, this is a joke! but shave off a few years

and it could have been true, you know? Yes,
I had my first child before I reached the legal

age for alcoholic consumption. I thought I
had it all together, but of course I was a finely

controlled mess of prematurely fired hormones
passing for suave maturity. For the first

five years or so we lived rent-free
with my parents, not savvy enough yet

to know the difference between pride
and the proverbial fall. Did I have any

inkling of the rest of what was to come?
Of course not. After a fight, I spat out

to anyone but the offending party: You,
you are responsible for making of my

marriage a failure! There are times
I am so ashamed of my naivete— Hurt is,

as always, the ever-mutating threat one
will be abandoned. Never once then

did I think to turn the tables, deal
the same cards back with my own aplomb.