Lay some time, talking with my wife in bed about Pall’s business, and she do conclude to have her married here, and to be merry at it; and to have W. Hewer, and Batelier, and Mercer, and Willet bridemen and bridemaids, and to be very merry; and so I am glad of it, and do resolve to let it be done as soon as I can. So up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and thence home to dinner, and from dinner with Mercer, who dined with us, and wife and Deb. to the King’s house, there to see “The Wildgoose Chase,” which I never saw, but have long longed to see it, being a famous play, but as it was yesterday I do find that where I expect most I find least satisfaction, for in this play I met with nothing extraordinary at all, but very dull inventions and designs. Knepp come and sat by us, and her talk pleased me a little, she telling me how Mis Davis is for certain going away from the Duke’s house, the King being in love with her; and a house is taken for her, and furnishing; and she hath a ring given her already worth 600l.: that the King did send several times for Nelly, and she was with him, but what he did she knows not; this was a good while ago, and she says that the King first spoiled Mrs. Weaver, which is very mean, methinks, in a prince, and I am sorry for it, and can hope for no good to the State from having a Prince so devoted to his pleasure. She told me also of a play shortly coming upon the stage, of Sir Charles Sidly’s, which, she thinks, will be called “The Wandering Ladys,” a comedy that, she thinks, will be most pleasant; and also another play, called “The Duke of Lerma;” besides “Catelin,” which she thinks, for want of the clothes which the King promised them, will not be acted for a good while. Thence home, and there to the office and did some business, and so with my wife for half an hour walking in the moonlight, and it being cold, frosty weather, walking in the garden, and then home to supper, and so by the fireside to have my head combed, as I do now often do, by Deb., whom I love should be fiddling about me, and so to bed.

my atelier will be the wild
goose chase

no dull inventions
no wandering comedy

moonlight and frost
fire my head

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 11 January 1668.


Gypsum and karst my consonants; 
pine and mountain-fed streams, my vowels.
My syntax and speech of copper-mined and gold-
veined hills; the craggy, rain-soaked vowels 
that won’t stop stippling the ceilings.
My tutors: stonecroppings and terraces, 
ochre-traced sunflowers; the flint-tapping call 
of the mountain shrike. My avatars: stick 
shift jeepneys, five of them crowded into 
two-lane roads. My aubades from hot 
bean curd vendors, the molasses of their song. 
Vesper of unfertilized duck eggs tucked 
into warming cloths. In the oldest café, 
click of chess pieces and rumor of coffee 
grounds mingled with eggshell bits. 
In the distance, ghosts of Dominican friars 
and Kempeitai walking ruined labyrinths. 
My countrymen: low-moving cloud rats; 
carnival queens and Benguet lilies. 
My harbor of monsoons and February 
cabbage-frost. Monuments, mudslides 
and bus graveyards; soft gauze of mummy
scarves. My conjugation of vegetable 
carts, hefts of burlap slung into the air. 
I walked across the city as if from the front 
of a small monograph to the very end 
then turned the pages again, my feet
leaving trails of inky sludge. 


Up, and with Sir Denis Gawden, who called me, to White Hall, and there to wait on the Duke of York with the rest of my brethren, which we did a little in the King’s Greenroom, while the King was in Council: and in this room we found my Lord Bristoll walking alone; which, wondering at, while the Council was sitting, I was answered that, as being a Catholique, he could not be of the Council, which I did not consider before. After broke up and walked a turn or two with Lord Brouncker talking about the times, and he tells me that he thinks, and so do every body else, that the great business of putting out some of the Council to make room for some of the Parliament men to gratify and wheedle them is over, thinking that it might do more hurt than good, and not obtain much upon the Parliament either. This morning there was a Persian in that country dress, with a turban, waiting to kiss the King’s hand in the Vane-room, against he come out: it was a comely man as to features, and his dress, methinks, very comely. Thence in Sir W. Pen’s coach alone (he going with Sir D. Gawden) to my new bookseller’s, Martin’s; and there did meet with Fournier, the Frenchman, that hath wrote of the Sea and Navigation, and I could not but buy him, and also bespoke an excellent book, which I met with there, of China. The truth is, I have bought a great many books lately to a great value; but I think to buy no more till Christmas next, and those that I have will so fill my two presses that I must be forced to give away some to make room for them, it being my design to have no more at any time for my proper library than to fill them. Thence home and to the Exchange, there to do a little business, where I find everybody concerned whether we shall have out a fleete this next year or no, they talking of a peace concluded between France and Spayne, so that the King of France will have nothing to do with his army unless he comes to us; but I do not see in the world how we shall be able to set out a fleete for want of money to buy stores and pay men, for neither of which we shall be any more trusted. So home to dinner, and then with my wife and Deb. to the King’s house, to see “Aglaura,” which hath been always mightily cried up; and so I went with mighty expectation, but do find nothing extraordinary in it at all, and but hardly good in any degree. So home, and thither comes to us W. Batelier and sat with us all the evening, and to cards and supper, passing the evening pretty pleasantly, and so late at night parted, and so to bed. I find him mightily troubled at the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury opposing him in the business he hath a patent for about the business of Impost on wine, but I do see that the Lords have reason for it, it being a matter wherein money might be saved to his Majesty, and I am satisfied that they do let nothing pass that may save money, and so God bless them! So he being gone we to bed.
This day I received a letter from my father, and another from my cozen Roger Pepys, who have had a view of Jackson’s evidences of his estate, and do mightily like of the man, and his condition and estate, and do advise me to accept of the match for my sister, and to finish it as soon as I can; and he do it so as, I confess, I am contented to have it done, and so give her her portion; and so I shall be eased of one care how to provide for her, and do in many respects think that it may be a match proper enough to have her married there, and to one that may look after my concernments if my father should die and I continue where I am, and there[fore] I am well pleased with it, and so to bed.

I rest in green
and red books

a great library of rust
with nothing to do

and nothing not to do
and one match

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 January 1668.

Pagsweldo ng tulisan—

when thieves make 
an honest living. 
Meaning: never. 
                Hedge funds, 
philanthropies; billowing 

silk parachutes, insurance-
lined. Earnestly they say 
they've earned 
     their keep, take home 
the coin they worked for.

Between seasons, I'll look 
through closets, putting 
a hand into  
               coat pockets 
for stray quarters and dimes.

If there were hidden 
sacks or sleeves in the skin,
the gold-bent 
            would fleece them.

Would slit the seams 
from throat to hem.


Living in hope

Up, and to the office, having first been visited by my cozen Anthony Joyce about the 350l. which he desires me to lend him, and which I have a mind enough to do, but would have it in my power to call it out again in a little time, and so do take a little further time to consider it. So to the office, where all the morning busy, and so home at noon to dinner with my people, where Mr. Hollier come and dined with me, and it is still mighty pleasant to hear him talk of Rome and the Pope, with what hearty zeal and hatred he talks against him. After dinner to the office again, where busy till night, very busy, and among other things wrote to my father about lending Anthony Joyce the money he desires; and I declare that I would do it as part of Pall’s portion, and that Pall should have the use of the money till she be married, but I do propose to him to think of Mr. Cumberland rather than this Jackson that he is upon; and I confess I have a mighty mind to have a relation so able a man, and honest, and so old an acquaintance as Mr. Cumberland. I shall hear his answer by the next [post]. At night home and to cards with my wife and girle, and to supper late, and so to bed.

visited by desire
I have a little fur
on my heart and hat

busy busy things
my desires are
but so honest the cards

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 9 January 1668.


Up, and it being dirty, I by coach (which I was forced to go to the change for) to White Hall, and there did deliver the Duke of York a memorial for the Council about the case of Tangiers want of money; and I was called in there and my paper was read. I did not think fit to say much, but left them to make what use they pleased of my paper; and so went out and waited without all the morning, and at noon hear that there is something ordered towards our help, and so I away by coach home, taking up Mr. Prin at the Court-gate, it raining, and setting him down at the Temple: and by the way did ask him about the manner of holding of Parliaments, and whether the number of Knights and Burgesses were always the same? And he says that the latter were not; but that, for aught he can find, they were sent up at the discretion, at first, of the Sheriffes, to whom the writs are sent, to send up generally the Burgesses and citizens of their county: and he do find that heretofore the Parliament-men being paid by the country, several burroughs have complained of the Sheriffes putting them to the charge of sending up Burgesses; which is a very extraordinary thing to me, that knew not this, but thought that the number had been known, and always the same.
Thence home to the office, and so with my Lord Brouncker and his mistress, Williams, to Captain Cocke’s to dinner, where was Temple and Mr. Porter, and a very good dinner, and merry. Thence with Lord Brouncker to White Hall to the Commissioners of the Treasury at their sending for us to discourse about the paying of tickets, and so away, and I by coach to the ’Change, and there took up my wife and Mercer and the girl by agreement, and so home, and there with Mercer to teach her more of “It is decreed,” and to sing other songs and talk all the evening, and so after supper I to even my journall since Saturday last, and so to bed.
Yesterday Mr. Gibson, upon his discovering by my discourse to him that I had a willingness, or rather desire, to have him stay with me, than go, as he designed, on Sir W. Warren’s account, to sea, he resolved to let go the design and wait his fortune with me, though I laboured hard to make him understand the uncertainty of my condition or service, but however he will hazard it, which I take mighty kindly of him, though troubled lest he may come to be a loser by it, but it will not be for want of my telling him what he was to think on and expect. However, I am well pleased with it, with regard to myself, who find him mighty understanding and acquainted with all things in the Navy, that I should, if I continue in the Navy, make great use of him.

I did not hear it raining
in the night

we who are citizens of the ordinary
sing other songs

even by the sea
uncertain what to think and how

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 January 1668.

Parsing Exile

Kallautang: the movement of waves

between approaching and receding;

what pull keeps them 

in constant


They do

and don't belong 

to the current. Foam

flowers, folds: a disappearing letter. 


[Kallautang: Ilokano; drifting, wandering]

Short Guide to Estate Planning

Today you learn about revocable
living trusts and testamentary
trusts, and how in some cases
these might work better than
a regular will. But you 
don't know where to find wild
fiddlehead ferns or sea 
grapes on this southeastern
coast. Intestate means 
if you die without a will,
the court may step in to oversee
the distribution of your assets.
Usually, when you break bread with 
others, it means they can be trusted.
Long ago, emperors hired people
to taste of each dish brought before
them, in case their enemies 
slipped poisons into the broth 
or the bellies of roasted quail. 
The history books don't say 
if those who took the hit 
had prepared their affairs 
in advance, or whether they were 
able to croak their last instructions 
before choking on a shrimp or a spear
of melon and expiring on the floor. 


Up, weary, about 9 o’clock, and then out by coach to White Hall to attend the Lords of the Treasury about Tangier with Sir Stephen Fox, and having done with them I away back again home by coach time enough to dispatch some business, and after dinner with Sir W. Pen’s coach (he being gone before with Sir D. Gawden) to White Hall to wait on the Duke of York, but I finding him not there, nor the Duke of York within, I away by coach to the Nursery, where I never was yet, and there to meet my wife and Mercer and Willet as they promised; but the house did not act to-day; and so I was at a loss for them, and therefore to the other two playhouses into the pit, to gaze up and down, to look for them, and there did by this means, for nothing, see an act in “The Schoole of Compliments” at the Duke of York’s house, and “Henry the Fourth” at the King’s house; but, not finding them, nor liking either of the plays, I took my coach again, and home, and there to my office to do business, and by and by they come home, and had been at the King’s House, and saw me, but I could [not] see them, and there I walked with them in the garden awhile, and to sing with Mercer there a little, and so home with her, and taught her a little of my “It is decreed,” which I have a mind to have her learn to sing, and she will do it well, and so after supper she went away, and we to bed, and there made amends by sleep for what I wanted last night.

weary clock within me
go away

where I was promised school
they taught me sleep

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 7 January 1668.