Tic

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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.)

Amtrak

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.

Zazen

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

In the morning to the Temple to my cozen Roger, who now desires that I would excuse him from arbitrating, he not being able to stand for me as he would do, without appearing too high against my uncle Thomas, which will raise his clamour. With this I am very well pleased, for I did desire it, and so I shall choose other counsel.
Thence home, he being busy that I could not speak more with him. All day long till twelve o’clock at night getting my house in order, my wife putting up the red hangings and bed in her woman’s chamber, and I my books and all other matters in my chamber and study, which is now very pretty. So to bed.

morning Zen
I would be a pear
on her mat


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 26 November 1662.

Skylark

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

To my office for 20l. to carry to Mr. Downing, which I did and back again. Then came Mr. Frost to pay Mr. Downing his 500l., and I went to him for the warrant and brought it Mr. Frost. Called for some papers at Whitehall for Mr. Downing, one of which was an Order of the Council for 1800l. per annum, to be paid monthly; and the other two, Orders to the Commissioners of Customs, to let his goods pass free. Home from my office to my Lord’s lodgings where my wife had got ready a very fine dinner — viz. a dish of marrow bones; a leg of mutton; a loin of veal; a dish of fowl, three pullets, and two dozen of larks all in a dish; a great tart, a neat’s tongue, a dish of anchovies; a dish of prawns and cheese.
My company was my father, my uncle Fenner, his two sons, Mr. Pierce, and all their wives, and my brother Tom. We were as merry as I could frame myself to be in the company, W. Joyce talking after the old rate and drinking hard, vexed his father and mother and wife. And I did perceive that Mrs. Pierce her coming so gallant, that it put the two young women quite out of courage. When it became dark they all went away but Mr. Pierce, and W. Joyce, and their wives and Tom, and drank a bottle of wine afterwards, so that Will did heartily vex his father and mother by staying. At which I and my wife were much pleased. Then they all went and I fell to writing of two characters for Mr. Downing, and carried them to him at nine o’clock at night, and he did not like them but corrected them, so that to-morrow I am to do them anew.
To my Lord’s lodging again and sat by the great log, it being now a very good fire, with my wife, and ate a bit and so home.
The news this day is a letter that speaks absolutely Monk’s concurrence with this Parliament, and nothing else, which yet I hardly believe.
After dinner to-day my father showed me a letter from my Uncle Robert, in answer to my last, concerning my money which I would have out of my Coz. Beck’s hand, wherein Beck desires it four months longer, which I know not how to spare.

in the customs of larks
joy is all the rage

they pierce the heart
afire with a news in which
I hardly believe


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 26 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)

Human

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

There’s the moon
floating overhead

and here we are below
pushing meat and bread
and drink into our mouths

groping for the light
switch, going from room
to room— distrustful

of what doesn’t make
the same noises we do.

Heresy

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up and to the office all the morning, and at noon with the rest, by Mr. Holy, the ironmonger’s invitation, to the Dolphin, to a venison pasty, very good, and rare at this time of the year, and thence by coach with Mr. Coventry as far as the Temple, and thence to Greatorex’s, where I staid and talked with him, and got him to mend my pocket ruler for me, and so by coach to my Lord’s lodging, where I sat with Mr. Moore by appointment, making up accounts for my Lord Sandwich, which done he and I and Capt. Ferrers and W. Howe very merry a good while in the great dining room, and so it being late and my Lord not coming in, I by coach to the Temple, and thence walked home, and so to my study to do some business, and then home and to bed.
Great talk among people how some of the Fanatiques do say that the end of the world is at hand, and that next Tuesday is to be the day. Against which, whenever it shall be, good God fit us all.

holy is the ear
the Lord’s lodging

where no end of the world
ever shall fit


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 25 November 1662.

Paper Cut

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Flank and furtive
glimpse of deer,
antlered bone

bereft of velvet—
Swatch of brown
soft as the blur

of powdered moths
that beat upon
the glass.

Mercurial time edged
always with dusk,
you wear me down,

cut me deft: each
year a rivening,
my likeness

in silhouette
to lay against
the years ahead.

 

In response to Via Negative: Scissor, paper.

Territory folks

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Called up early to Mr. Downing; he gave me a Character, such a one as my Lord’s, to make perfect, and likewise gave me his order for 500l. to carry to Mr. Frost, which I did and so to my office, where I did do something about the character till twelve o’clock. Then home find found my wife and the maid at my Lord’s getting things ready against to-morrow. I went by water to my Uncle White’s to dinner, where I met my father, where we alone had a fine jole of Ling to dinner. After dinner I took leave, and coming home heard that in Cheapside there had been but a little before a gibbet set up, and the picture of Huson hung upon it in the middle of the street. I called at Paul’s Churchyard, where I bought Buxtorf’s Hebrew Grammar; and read a declaration of the gentlemen of Northampton which came out this afternoon. Thence to my father’s, where I staid with my mother a while and then to Mr. Crew’s about a picture to be sent into the country, of Mr. Thomas Crew, to my Lord. So [to] my Lady Wright to speak with her, but she was abroad, so Mr. Evans, her butler, had me into his buttery, and gave me sack and a lesson on his lute, which he played very well. Thence I went to my Lord’s and got most things ready against tomorrow, as fires and laying the cloth, and my wife was making of her tarts and larding of her pullets till eleven o’clock. This evening Mr. Downing sent for me, and gave me order to go to Mr. Jessop for his papers concerning his dispatch to Holland which were not ready, only his order for a ship to transport him he gave me. To my Lord’s again and so home with my wife, tired with this day’s work.

frost white
on the gibbet

the grammar out here in the country
is buttery as lard


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 25 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)

Visions

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and I, going forth toward White Hall, we hear that the King and Duke are come this morning to the Tower to see the Dunkirk money. So we by coach to them, and there went up and down all the magazines with them; but methought it was but poor discourse and frothy that the King’s companions (young Killigrew among the rest) about the codpieces of some of the men in armour there to be seen, had with him. We saw none of the money, but Mr. Slingsby did show the King, and I did see, the stamps of the new money that is now to be made by Blondeau’s fashion, which are very neat, and like the King. Thence the King to Woolwich, though a very cold day; and the Duke to White Hall, commanding us to come after him, which we did by coach; and in his closett, my Lord Sandwich being there, did discourse with us about getting some of this money to pay off the Fleets, and other matters; and then away hence, and, it being almost dinner time, I to my Lord Crew’s, and dined with him, and had very good discourse, and he seemed to be much pleased with my visits. Thence to Mr. Phillips, and so to the Temple, where met my cozen Roger Pepys and his brother, Dr. John, as my arbitrators against Mr. Cole and Mr. John Bernard for my uncle Thomas, and we two with them by appointment. They began very high in their demands, and my friends, partly being not so well acquainted with the will, and partly, I doubt, not being so good wits as they, for which I blame my choosing of relations (who besides that are equally engaged to stand for them as me), I was much troubled thereat, and taking occasion to deny without my father’s consent to bind myself in a bond of 2000l. to stand to their award, I broke off the business for the present till I hear and consider further, and so thence by coach (my cozen, Thomas Pepys, being in another chamber busy all the while, going along with me) homeward, and I set him down by the way; but, Lord! how he did endeavour to find out a ninepence to clubb with me for the coach, and for want was forced to give me a shilling, and how he still cries “Gad!” and talks of Popery coming in, as all the Fanatiques do, of which I was ashamed. So home, finding my poor wife very busy putting things in order, and so to bed, my mind being very much troubled, and could hardly sleep all night, thinking how things are like to go with us about Brampton, and blaming myself for living so high as I do when for ought I know my father and mother may come to live upon my hands when all is done.

I see a king’s codpiece
on all the money

see a temple
in demands we deny the present

the Pope coming to mind
like a fat moth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 24 November 1662.