Singing bottles

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

In the morning before I went forth old East brought me a dozen of bottles of sack, and I gave him a shilling for his pains.
Then I went to Mr. Sheply who was drawing of sack in the wine cellar to send to other places as a gift from my Lord, and told me that my Lord had given him order to give me the dozen of bottles.
Thence I went to the Temple to speak with Mr. Calthropp about the 60l. due to my Lord, but missed of him, he being abroad. Then I went to Mr. Crew’s and borrowed 10l. of Mr. Andrewes for my own use, and so went to my office, where there was nothing to do. Then I walked a great while in Westminster Hall, where I heard that Lambert was coming up to London; that my Lord Fairfax was in the head of the Irish brigade, but it was not certain what he would declare for. The House was to-day upon finishing the act for the Council of State, which they did; and for the indemnity to the soldiers; and were to sit again thereupon in the afternoon. Great talk that many places have declared for a free Parliament; and it is believed that they will be forced to fill up the House with the old members. From the Hall I called at home, and so went to Mr. Crew’s (my wife she was to go to her father’s), thinking to have dined, but I came too late, so Mr. Moore and I and another gentleman went out and drank a cup of ale together in the new market, and there I eat some bread and cheese for my dinner. After that Mr. Moore and I went as far as Fleet-street together and parted, he going into the City, I to find Mr. Calthrop, but failed again of finding him, so returned to Mr. Crew’s again, and from thence went along with Mrs. Jemimah home, and there she taught me how to play at cribbage. Then I went home, and finding my wife gone to see Mrs. Hunt, I went to Will’s, and there sat with Mr. Ashwell talking and singing till nine o’clock, and so home, there, having not eaten anything but bread and cheese, my wife cut me a slice of brawn which I received from my Lady; which proves as good as ever I had any. So to bed, and my wife had a very bad night of it through wind and cold.

bottles of raw wine
the old soldiers
sit on the street singing
through wind and cold


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)

Evolution

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

“O mouth
O trusting life”

~ D. Bonta

Once voluptuary reptile. Systolic variation. Bird with unseasonable blue plumage that fled raised pitchforks in the fields and flew into the temple of ennui to make a fracas of light. Who decided it was going to become someone’s job to decode the instantaneous? Last night, while we slept, something in the air bound the lightning. Hyphae opened and spread their tiny veils under the surface. Handfuls of evidence speckle the grass: cells and spores that teem as if out of nothing. Out of sight, up in the rafters, the bird scrolls through its recitals of being and not-being here.

All Hallows

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

We say below, without knowing more
than the depth of fingers, a hand,

a spade descending into the soil:
wet and moist where worms and snails

burrowed, where voles or skunks tore
patches in the grass— We all seek

what feels ancestral. Last night
we turned the clocks back an hour;

but even before summer’s end, did you see
how fast the seed shed its garments?

Filament that clung to shrubs, stubborn
beard that caught in the teeth of the rake.

Breastfeeding

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up and after a little while with my workmen I went to my office, and then to our sitting all the morning. At noon with Mr. Creede, whom I found at my house, to the Trinity House, to a great dinner there, by invitacion, and much company. It seems one Captain Evans makes his Elder Brother’s dinner to-day. Among other discourses one Mr. Oudant, secretary to the late Princesse of Orange, did discourse of the convenience as to keeping the highways from being deep, by their horses, in Holland (and Flanders where the ground is as miry as ours is), going in their carts and, waggons as ours in coaches, wishing the same here as an expedient to make the ways better, and I think there is something in it, where there is breadth enough.
Thence to my office, sent for to meet Mr. Leigh again; from Sir H. Bennet. And he and I, with Wade and his intelligencer and labourers, to the Tower cellars, to make one tryall more; where we staid two or three hours digging, and dug a great deal all under the arches, as it was now most confidently directed, and so seriously, and upon pretended good grounds, that I myself did truly expect to speed; but we missed of all: and so we went away the second time like fools. And to our office, whither, a coach being come, Mr. Leigh goes home to Whitehall; and I by appointment to the Dolphin Tavern, to meet Wade and the other, Captn. Evett, who now do tell me plainly, that he that do put him upon this is one that had it from Barkestead’s own mouth, and was advised with by him, just before the King’s coming in, how to get it out, and had all the signs told him how and where it lay, and had always been the great confident of Barkestead even to the trusting him with his life and all he had. So that he did much convince me that there is good ground for what we go about. But I fear it may be that he did find some conveyance of it away, without the help of this man, before he died. But he is resolved to go to the party once more, and then to determine what we shall do further. So we parted, and I to my office, where after sending away my letters to the post I do hear that Sir J. Minnes is resolved to turn part of our entry into a room and to divide the back yard between Sir W. Pen and him, which though I do not see how it will annoy me much particularly, yet it do trouble me a little for fear it should, but I do not see how it can well unless in his desiring my coming to my back stairs, but for that I shall do as well as himself or Sir W. Pen, who is most concerned to look after it.

a dinner of convenience
a deep expedient bread
from a dug like a white dolphin

O mouth
O trusting life


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 November 1662.

The river, again

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain, but upon taking of cold.
I lived in Axe Yard having my wife, and servant Jane, and no more in family than us three.
My wife after the absence of her terms for seven weeks gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year she hath them again. The condition of the State was thus; viz. the Rump, after being disturbed by my Lord Lambert, was lately returned to sit again. The officers of the Army all forced to yield. Lawson lies still in the river, and Monk is with his army in Scotland. Only my Lord Lambert is not yet come into the Parliament, nor is it expected that he will without being forced to it.
The new Common Council of the City do speak very high; and had sent to Monk their sword-bearer, to acquaint him with their desires for a free and full Parliament, which is at present the desires, and the hopes, and expectation of all. Twenty-two of the old secluded members having been at the House-door the last week to demand entrance, but it was denied them; and it is believed that they nor the people will be satisfied till the House be filled.
My own private condition very handsome, and esteemed rich, but indeed very poor; besides my goods of my house, and my office, which at present is somewhat uncertain. Mr. Downing master of my office.
(Lord’s Day) This morning (we living lately in the garret) I rose, put on my suit with great skirts, having not lately worn any other, clothes but them.
Went to Mr. Gunning’s chapel at Exeter House, where he made a very good sermon upon these words: — “That in the fulness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman,” &c.; showing, that, by “made under the law,” is meant his circumcision, which is solemnized this day.
Dined at home in the garret, where my wife dressed the remains of a turkey, and in the doing of it she burned her hand.
I staid at home all the afternoon, looking over my accounts.
Then went with my wife to my father’s, and in going observed the great posts which the City have set up at the Conduit in Fleet-street.
Supt at my, father’s, where in came Mrs. The. Turner and Madam Morrice, and supt with us. After that my wife and I went home with them, and so to our own home.

I live by the river without a word
but my poor worn gun

time is a woman I burn to serve


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 1 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)