Fire

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, after being at the Coffee-house, where I sat by Tom Killigrew, who told us of a fire last night in my Lady Castlemaine’s lodging, where she bid 40l. for one to adventure the fetching of a cabinet out, which at last was got to be done; and the fire at last quenched without doing much wrong. To ‘Change and there did much business, so home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon. And so at night my aunt Wight and Mrs. Buggin came to sit with my wife, and I in to them all the evening, my uncle coming afterward, and after him Mr. Benson the Dutchman, a frank, merry man. We were very merry and played at cards till late and so broke up and to bed in good hopes that this my friendship with my uncle and aunt will end well.

the office
where we all grew old
on fire at last


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 26 January 1663/64.

Provision

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up and by coach to Whitehall to my Lord’s lodgings, and seeing that knowing that I was in the house, my Lord did not nevertheless send for me up, I did go to the Duke’s lodgings, and there staid while he was making ready, in which time my Lord Sandwich came, and so all into his closet and did our common business, and so broke up, and I homeward by coach with Sir W. Batten, and staid at Warwicke Lane and there called upon Mr. Commander and did give him my last will and testament to write over in form, and so to the ‘Change, where I did several businesses. So home to dinner, and after I had dined Luellin came and we set him something to eat, and I left him there with my wife, and to the office upon a particular meeting of the East India Company, where I think I did the King good service against the Company in the business of their sending our ships home empty from the Indies contrary to their contract, and yet, God forgive me! I found that I could be willing to receive a bribe if it were offered me to conceal my arguments that I found against them, in consideration that none of my fellow officers, whose duty it is more than mine, had ever studied the case, or at this hour do understand it, and myself alone must do it.
That being done Mr. Povy and Bland came to speak with me about their business of the reference, wherein I shall have some more trouble, but cannot help it, besides I hope to make some good use of Mr. Povy to my advantage.
So home after business done at my office, to supper, and then to the globes with my wife, and so to bed. Troubled a little in mind that my Lord Sandwich should continue this strangeness to me that methinks he shows me now a days more than while the thing was fresh.

I broke up with my last will and testament
and left empty

and yet I could be willing again
in an hour

without help I hope
to make some use of age

on a globe so troubled
and strange to me now


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 January 1663/64.

World without end

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Every day
practice adding
to a repertoire
that they can’t take—

Pity the fern
its crowded bed
and thin the fruit
trees’ branches.

Believe in spring
especially when
the violent hours
convulse with lies.

Cycles

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

You can’t remember how many nights
or days or cycles you’ve picked yourself up
from countless falls.
Luisa A. Igloria, “Way Station

for my mother

before your attending doctors
could bore a hole in your throat
to attach tubes to a life-sustaining machine,
you waged your silent
protest by dying at the hour of
great mercy, the hour i was away
from your bed, the hour i chose
to indulge in a siesta elsewhere
to make up for days, some nights
i hovered over you like a dutiful
daughter, a role
alien to me

nothing in your sudden departure
in cruel May prepared me or those
closest to you for this dystopian
universe we now inhabit:
the cheapening of human lives,
killings to the right of us,
killings to the left, to the front
and behind us, duct-taped corpses
fouling the night, the bitter wails of
new widows and orphans, bald men,
bewigged men, their bald-faced lies,
their armies of trolls scrutinizing,
deciphering our increasingly secret hieroglyphics

they say this downward cycle of darkness
is but temporary, depending on
a leader’s term of office

if this churlish despot leaves
through a possible resistance,
will Enlightenment follow?

even you in your grave, Mother, would
chide me for clinging to a child’s naivete
but let me hang on to this belief, so written
in Ecclesiastes, that all things under heaven,
on this earth, serve a purpose

Carnal knowledge

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then up, and being desirous to perform my vowes that I lately made, among others, to be performed this month, I did go to my office, and there fell on entering, out of a bye-book, part of my second journall-book, which hath lain these two years and more unentered. Upon this work till dinner, and after dinner to it again till night, and then home to supper, and after supper to read a lecture to my wife upon the globes, and so to prayers and to bed. This evening also I drew up a rough draught of my last will to my mind.

in bed
desirous to perform
we perform

entering a book
I read a rough draft of my mind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 24 January 1663/64.

How they shall be known

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
~ Matthew 4: 8

Beware the beasts that you can’t tell
from white-haired reptiles walking on two feet.
Beware the knell forced from the bell.

They took up rooms in all our hotels
then built casinos along main street.
Beware the beasts that you can’t tell

from clowns riding on the carousel.
Their kind make cake out of concrete.
Beware the knell forced from the bell.

Their kind embroider falsehoods, upsell
the numbers in attendance on their elite.
Beware the beasts that you can’t tell

from other dank and festering smells.
They manufacture fictions in place of facts.
Beware the knell forced from the bell

for we must guard the hope that sometimes flags
and falters: these are dark times we’ll need to beat.
Beware the beasts that you can’t tell.
Beware the knell forced from the bell.

Sensate

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Hawly came to see us and dined with us, and after we had dined came Mr. Mallard, and after he had eat something, I brought down my vyall which he played on, the first maister that ever touched her yet, and she proves very well and will be, I think, an admirable instrument. He played some very fine things of his owne, but I was afeard to enter too far in their commendation for fear he should offer to copy them for me out, and so I be forced to give or lend him something. So to the office in the evening, whither Mr. Commander came to me, and we discoursed about my will, which I am resolved to perfect the next week by the grace of God. He being gone, I to write letters and other business late, and so home to supper and to bed.

her morning touch proves
an admirable strum

as ear to ear we perfect
the next letter


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 23 January 1663/64.

Subjects

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and it being a brave morning, with a gally to Woolwich, and there both at the Ropeyarde and the other yarde did much business, and thence to Greenwich to see Mr. Pett and others value the carved work of the “Henrietta” (God knows in an ill manner for the King), and so to Deptford, and there viewed Sir W. Petty’s vessel; which hath an odd appearance, but not such as people do make of it, for I am of the opinion that he would never have discoursed so much of it, if it were not better than other vessels, and so I believe that he was abused the other day, as he is now, by tongues that I am sure speak before they know anything good or bad of her. I am sorry to find his ingenuity discouraged so.
So home, reading all the way a good book, and so home to dinner, and after dinner a lesson on the globes to my wife, and so to my office till 10 or 11 o’clock at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

another yard
another carved man

such people make better vessels

as abused as tongues that speak
before they know


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 22 January 1663/64.

Swell

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, contradicting all available data. ~ CNN News, 21 January 2017

Over how many
islands

are you king?
This is a joke,

so don’t try
too earnestly

to answer.
However, today,

thousands upon
hundreds of thousands

of women marched
in cities around

the world—
On the grass,

through the mall,
over bridges,

on freeways,
passing laundromats

& bakeries,
cafes, clinics,

corner tiendas
where other men

& women worked
and served so we

could walk,
bearing signs

like Hate
Won’t Make Us

Great & Who
Run the World?

& Equality
is for Everyone.

Where we stood
by the pillars

of the museum,
we could see

the copper glint
of a drone’s

hovering body,
taking aerial

photographs &
counting,

counting. One
answer

to the joke:
It depends

on whether it is low
tide or high tide.