Hot Planet Summer

Realizing that one of the things I really like about Facebook and Instagram is the mundanity of much of the content. As far outside the mainstream as I am in how I occupy my time and what I like to read and think about, it’s useful to be reminded of normal things that people do, such as attend sporting events, cook on backyard grills, dance to music that nobody loves but almost everyone can tolerate, go on family vacations, etc. Especially at this point in my life, when I know that everyone else is just winging it, too, and that some of the most organized-seeming people are also the most terrified. (And considering the state of the world, if you’re not terrified, I don’t know what to tell you.)

Normality seems precious, now. Many actively debate its existence. I want to commit as much as of it as possible to memory. What we were like. How beautiful the planet still was.


mosquito wading
through my arm hair
her caress

stump water
a jake-braking truck’s
thunderous stutter

roadside diner
a vulture walks the last
few feet

stick insect
the wings you can’t grow
would be so green

mossy log
an old lightning strike’s
glossy char


How many times can an axis mundi be destroyed before the concept of the sacred becomes completely nonsensical? In the book of death all will be unwritten, but in the name of Life. Those who pray for the end of time and champion the destruction of the planet claim to speak for the unborn. For whom do you claim to speak?

The smell of smoke

I used to love watching Londoners watch the moonrise. At such times, a metropolis can feel like a village; strangers may actually find themselves having spontaneous conversations in one of the most uptight places on earth. The famous views become even more instagrammable: Let no one drink alone with the moon ever again! And the dogs running off-lead in the park, rolling ecstatically in the grass wherever a vixen had sprayed her scent.

open moon—
someone’s fingertip making
a wine glass sing


lyrics for an imaginary pop song

eyes on
her wing bones
hot tattoo summer

the voyeur finds
his gaze thwarted
by skin turned screen

close your eyes
and see more
with augmented reality

pay no attention
to the smell of smoke
behind the curtain


Ridgetop cellar hole for a collier’s hut. Two hundred years ago, this mountain was a smoking ruin.

An oak that started growing about that time.

Another oak that started growing about that time. Not too long ago, it seemed sturdy enough to get married under. Sic transit gloria mundi.

The charcoal fed the forge in the gap; the forgeman might’ve seen the mountain before it was entirely denuded. It was he and his family who settled it when clearcutting made it affordable. I suspect it had been a place of wet meadows and rhododendron thickets where forge workers liked to go on picnics, gather ginseng and sassafras, go hunting, etc.—a backyard wilderness even as devastated as it was.


A click beetle lands in my lap and seems unable to escape, given its strategy of trying to, I guess, freak predators out by snapping its body several inches in the air—and landing right back in the same spot. I take pity on it after six or seven clicks and give it a flick.

Whippoorwill, crickets, an occasional katydid. The moon isn’t due up for… a while. As for me, I’m going down to the house and up to bed.

Bad Snufkin, butterfly battle, saved by the privy

mourning cloak butterflies facing off

My interior monologue: I don’t get why people still need mythic archetypes. Are we really so shallow?

Five minutes later: Let’s be honest, you’re still just a Moomintroll who longs to be Snufkin.

And that felt like a pretty solid insight, you know?

The moral of the story: Be sure to expose your children to the Moomin books—they’re pretty great.

There’s much more I could say on all of this but I’m currently (evening of June 28) chasing the sunset up a steep hillside. Which is absolutely not a metaphor for anything.


I understand the need for sacred theatre, i.e. ritual, around major life events—especially death, when the survivors are the most earnest in their need to behave as if a truer but less tangible reality exists in which total annihilation can be overcome or evaded somehow.


hot tub
laid bare in the woods
a junkie’s pale face

(via Woodrat photohaiku)


My interior monologue is heavily laced with sarcasm. I suppose that’s a Gen X thing. (Yes, of course you do. That’s the kind of sophisticated analysis you’re known for.)

Perfectly healthy, I’m sure.


“If everyone just thought like me, the world would be a better place” is a hallmark of both imperialism and fanaticism — in fact, they summon each other up, I think.

This is not idle philosophical speculation. Most left-wing revolutions turn repressive because fundamentally the revolutionaries are either too fanatical to accept that there will always be dissent, or too callous to care.


The forest is full of mourning cloak butterflies with pristine-looking wings: the new generation has just turned into adults. They will likely be aestivating soon, but in the meantime they’re defending territories in the woods.

I watched two mourning cloaks battling for several minutes on the side of an oak this afternoon. Since tree sap is their main source of food, perhaps this tree is especially good tasting. They used front and middle feet to bat at each other; mouthparts didn’t seem to be involved, and wings only a little. Here’s a brief video of the very end of the fight:

watch on Vimeo


Bushwhacking through a Pennsylvania state forest, it’s impossible to stay lost for long. My first sign that a road was near, this morning, was a hunting camp privy. As is so often the case.

At one scenic overlook, a memorial to someone who leapt to his death. I actually remember this. I was a Penn State undergrad at the time.

Someone had spray-painted “no fear” on the retaining wall-like structure:


I remember my parents pointing out a “lovers’ leap” place on some family trip when I was a little kid, and how baffled I was. If romance made people jump to their deaths, it struck me as something best avoided.


Some trails are notional—made through bushwhacking.

Some trails are roads.

Some trails are the spines of mountains.

And some Snufkins go for a wander primarily to get a new perspective on where they live.

Tell me we’re fucked without telling me we’re fucked

In American poetry as in our ordinary discourse, a kind of positivism reigns supreme, using language to expose, explore, and extract meaning. We bring this mentality to haiku in English and are thwarted, because in Japanese culture, language is considered to be such an inadequate vessel for conveying true thoughts/feelings that what isn’t said becomes at least as important as what is. (This is the point at which my own attempt to master Japanese faltered, as a young man in love with a certain style of discursive conversation. What’s the point of learning a language if you can never use it for robust arguments about ideas? I said to myself then.)

Haiku with its wealth of off-the-shelf natural imagery (kigo) represents an attempt to enlarge the overall cultural vocabulary for human feelings, which are considered much more recondite than most WYSIWYG Americans tend to admit. Suggestion and concision in haiku, tanka, etc., more than just arbitrary restrictions intended to spur inventiveness, represent openings for interpretive possibilities that require sensitivity and creativity to parse. So for American poets the challenge becomes “tell me X without telling me X”—a currently popular online meme formula. But rather than jokey photos, we work with two images or observations, a main one and a subsidiary one, joined by a semantic break in an almost kintsugi kind of way, mindful of the gap itself. According to the aesthetic values of Edo-period Japan, which still hold sway in traditional arts and crafts, in kintsugi “such ‘ugliness’ was considered inspirational and Zen-like, as it connoted beauty in broken things.” This wabi/sabi aesthetic finds parallels in a number of countercultural currents in the West, from Medieval monasticism and the whole Christian embrace of poverty and brokenness to the disruptive force of Eliot’s The Wasteland, and provides I believe the most reliable bridge between two otherwise quite different understandings of the limits and purpose of language..

There have been five upheavals over the past 450 million years when the environment on our planet has changed so dramatically that the majority of Earth’s plant and animal species became extinct. After each mass extinction, evolution has slowly filled in the gaps with new species.

The sixth mass extinction is happening now, but this time the extinctions are not being caused by natural disasters; they are the work of humans. A team of researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Gothenburg has calculated that the extinctions are moving too rapidly for evolution to keep up.

If mammals diversify at their normal rates, it will still take them 5-7 million years to restore biodiversity to its level before modern humans evolved, and 3-5 million years just to reach current biodiversity levels, according to the analysis, which was published recently in the prestigious scientific journal, PNAS.

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis

The brokenness of the world is far more urgent than it was in Basho’s day. If we don’t mind the gaps, they will soon swallow us and all our art and culture, because a world without beasts, a world where the immense creative power and resilience of nature are hidden for millions of years, is a world without poetry.

dancing flames—
a ruby-throated hummingbird
here and gone​

(via Woodrat Photohaiku)

There’s one wood thrush here with a markedly less pleasant song than the others. It’s sort of flat and minor key, and while still musically more interesting than most songbirds, simply does not meet the high standard set for wood thrushes. This thrush’s performances feel perfunctory, even dialed in. Two and a half stars.

I wonder whether I’d be more concerned about my legacy as a poet if I had planted fewer trees?


What happens when we stop thinking of evolution as a ladder leading to us, which it most definitely is not, and start thinking about it instead as the story of our ancestors? What Darwin called the Descent of Man. Because that’s what we are: descendants. The paramecium is my brother! Or my ten-thousandth cousin a million times removed.

Paramecium or Paramoecium is a genus of unicellular ciliated protozoa. They are characterised by the presence of thousands of cilia covering their body. They are found in freshwater, marine and brackish water. They are also found attached to the surface. Reproduction is primarily through asexual means (binary fission). They are slipper-shaped and also exhibit conjugation. They are easy to cultivate and widely used to study biological processes.

I strongly advise clicking through and reading the entire bit about paramecium reproduction, for a strong sense of just how simple things have gotten for some of us. Here’s what follows the section on asexual reproduction:

Sexual reproduction in Paramecium is by various methods.

In conjugation, two complementary paramecia (syngen) come together and there is a transfer of genetic material. An individual has to multiply asexually 50 times before reproducing by conjugation.

In the process of conjugation, the conjugation bridge is formed and united paramecia are known as conjugants. Macronuclei of both the cells disappear. The micronucleus of each conjugant forms 4 haploid nuclei by meiosis. Three of the nuclei degenerate. The haploid nuclei of each conjugant then fuse together to form diploid micronuclei and cross-fertilization takes place. The conjugants separate to form exconjugants. They are identical, but different from the earlier cells. Each exconjugate undergoes further division and forms 4 daughter Paramecia. Micronuclei form a new macronucleus.

Paramecium also shows autogamy i.e. self-fertilization. A new macronucleus is produced, which increases their vitality and rejuvenates them.

Cytogamy is less frequent. In cytogamy, two paramecia come in contact but there is no nuclear exchange. Paramecium rejuvenates and a new macronucleus is formed.

A Paramecia undergoes ageing and dies after 100-200 cycles of fission if they do not undergo conjugation. The macronucleus is responsible for clonal ageing. It is due to the DNA damage.

Paramecium is a real chip off the old block! And it shows us that aging is a choice made by evolution, just as sex is. Not all microorganisms do age. Most of we consider to be universal truths don’t even apply to all species on this planet, let alone to whatever other planets might have produced.

This is the logical flaw in Christian Bök’s Xenotext project, genius as it is: assuming that any “intelligent aliens” who discover the code would even have the frames of reference to allow them to interpret it. I mean, it’s also anthrocentric nonsense to believe that anyone from another planet would even care that much about us, other than perhaps to eradicate us as an obvious menace to all other lifeforms on earth, but that’s become sort of a new, post-religious article of faith for many who “believe in science.” (Pro tip: believing in science is unscientific.)

Wanting to have fixed, would-be truths in which to believe strikes me as so juvenile. Properly educated religious people learn not to linger at that stage, but who advocates for intellectual flexibility among the post-religious aside from a few morally bankrupt corporatist pundits? Well, Teju Cole comes to mind. Rebecca Solnit. And a bunch of more academic or abstruse thinkers who will never go viral for anything.

I wish I had more precise descriptors than “insects” for the winged creatures going back and forth in front of the porch this morning—all Diptera, I’m sure, but the lack of a general term for anything larger than a gnat but smaller than a cranefly is frustrating. And of course it’s telling: this is how much English speakers in aggregate pay attention to the natural world. Apart from entomologists and trout fishermen, who cares about a bunch of wee beasties (Scots English FTW) looking less like Victorian children’s book fairies than refugees from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch.

cool forest
a sunlit glade buzzing
with house flies

Having a ridge experience means, for example, getting to the top and forgetting to pause because no scenic vista is half as interesting as cool old trees growing among the rocks. What’s my destination today? I’ll know it when I see it.

Just stopping to type that, I’ve upset a hairy woodpecker. I look up and yep, there’s a tree with nest holes beside the trail.

I don’t want to get a better camera in part because not being able to capture quite everything is still a pretty good goad to write.

summer evening
a certain slant
of Dickinson


a black ichneumon wasp
thinner than death

(Ichneumons are the ones whose eggs hatch out inside living caterpillars—the inspiration for the Alien movie universe. There are tens of thousands of species, each specializing in one species of caterpillar.)

The evil impulse is such a great teacher, as long as you ignore its instructions. I refuse to elaborate.

Trying to take more artsy photos on my walk today, instead of just spontaneously reacting to what I heard and saw, dissatisfaction led to frustration led to boredom. Eventually I stopped taking pictures altogether, and began gathering yarrow tops for beer.

Woods queer: thoughts in a thunderstorm

a coyote in motion tends to remain in motion. a coyote at rest may or may not stay at rest.

In the beginning there were no coyotes in Pennsylvania, merely wolves. And behold, the wolves as top dogs had no sense of humor, so were easily trapped and shot out. We made that dog-shaped hole in the land. Coyote saw that hole and filled it, but not before reinventing coyoteself via repeated romantic encounters with Canadian timber wolves and thus became this uniquely Eastern Coyote phenotype which is larger more social and culturally a lot cagier around humans than their western counterparts, which makes sense—the west is way less overrun with people by and large

also, and this is of equal importance, over my lifetime a domestic dog-sized hole has emerged as our culture has changed around dog-rearing norms. when i was a kid it was exceedingly common for country people (including us) to have dogs just sort of run loose much of the time. though if they chased deer they ran a high risk of getting shot by an outraged hunter. coyotes are just way better at not getting shot. and they don’t chase deer they know they can’t catch

i mean i love dogs but let’s admit it, even the hardiest of mongrels bear the scars of centuries if not millennia of inbreeding. they’re loyal faithful and wet nosed but they’re not very bright

you know how to tell a coyote track from a dog track? the coyote track will be arrow-straight for long stretches. they’re out in the woods, or whatever, for a reason, they’re not tourists. i assume any wild dog would eventually develop similar habits were it able to survive, but few can on their own

packs or more likely family groups of feral domestic dogs were still a fairly common thing in the 1970s when i was a kid, but didn’t last long into the 80s, not around here. a century earlier feral dogs were common in the cities but now coyotes fill that niche too. i read all about it on the internet somewhere but right now i’m more committed to finishing this sentence than to doing a simple web search. and that’s the level to which blogging has sunk these days. deplorable. this idiot can’t even be arsed to deploy capital letters

turning off spellcheck on your phone is possible by the way. why follow the Man when you can be a free spirit, a leaf on the wind, an idiot with an umbrella in a thunderstorm

Wish it would hurry up and rain though. I’d look like less of a dumbass walking under this umbrella.

What? It keeps the mosquitoes off.

Question from @dylan20 (Dylan Tweney) on Twitter: does that actually work for mosquitoes? Reply from @morningporch (Dave Bonta): not all species, sadly. not the fabled Aedes vexans. but many of the meeker sort. and definitely deer flies and gnats. those Victorian ladies with their parasols were on to something

maybe blogging from here on out will be zuihitsu aka my Twitter feed meets Woodrat photohaiku minus some of the photos.

or maybe it’ll just be random BS I type into my phone not unlike the foregoing

i am still thinking about my eight-minute close-hand observation of a black-and-white warbler on my front porch this morning. she just completely ignored me, even after i started filming, so intent was she on gathering soft and silky oddments to line her nest, which is almost certainly not in the top of the tree where i saw her fly afterwards but in some hidden spot on the ground at the base of a tree or rock or under a bush. such un-warbler-like warblers. like friendlier, better looking nuthatches. (sorry nuthatches but you do look like the offspring of an unholy union between undertakers and bats)

here she is hoovering up some stuff beside my primitive end table with a copy of my latest poetry read, by the wonderful if occasionally terrifying Cynthia Cruz

shit this thunderstorm is going to hit, I’d better start walking back

it wouldn’t do to get my phone Max all wet. my precioussss

back before the worst of it—which now becomes my evening’s entertainment. the people who came up with the idea of a front porch understood what makes life worth living!

those people being enslaved West Africans in the Caribbean. same brilliant people who gave us the banjo. that’s two African things that everyone thinks of as purely Appalachian or Southern. well nothing is purely anything of course, but racist folklorists did a bang-up job of excluding indigenous and African contributions to Appalachian culture in their zeal to portray it as a largely Anglo-Celtic backwater. i realize i’m at the northern end of Appalachia (though only half-way up the Appalachian mountains) but there were a hell of a lot of grandkids of Eastern European and Italian immigrants in my high school class. just like anywhere else in the US. to say nothing of all the Germans who came into the area about the same time as the Irish, just higher on the social scale. and there used to be a tiny AME church in Tyrone that was close to 100 years old. a larger Black population now than in decades but they’ve always been part of the mix here. and John Henry was the most Appalachian dude ever, so, ya know…

the earlier Ulster Scots did have a preference for the mountains but i’m not sure whether that’s because they felt a unique bond with the landscape as is sometimes alleged or just because they didn’t have much of anything and had to settle for land no one else wanted. then because they were on poor marginal soils tended to specialize in the one thing that could turn a profit: growing corn and making whiskey.

when i was a kid we used to find so many century-old whiskey bottles lying out in the woods where people tossed them when they were empty. probably loggers and colliers, men and boys who lived in the woods: wood hicks. i suppose i’m a hick in that tradition though without the whiskey or quite as much hard physical labor or tree butchery. so not at all really.

but like the word redneck, it’s weird that hick became an insult. and there are so many others for county people: hayseed. bumpkin. peasant (said in a certain way). hillbilly. local yokel. native. savage. wild man. Hermit is one of the few jokey epithets that’s not an insult. but then it’s not exclusively rural, is it? you can be a hermit anywhere and an increasing number are. together in our aloneness, alone in our togetherness, sounding irritatingly like a new-Age Sufi

when i was a kid, my parents used to joke about the possibility of going woods queer—like year-round cabin fever, basically. it would be absurd and probably offensive for me to claim that as my gender identity. but i can see having it as my epitaph, if anyone bothers to make me a tombstone. it’s pithy.

Dave Bonta
woods queer

I mean it’s so much better than tree hugger, which has been taken over by neoliberal techno greens (a term i just made up but which is absolutely a real category)

when you live on a mountaintop, you quickly learn to unplug all modems, computers and other sensitive electronics during a thunderstorm, imagine if we had a so-called smart home. our dumb asses would be running around all the time unplugging and fussing over things. slaves to the machines we made to serve us. weighed down worse than ever by Blake’s mind-forg’d manacles.

(just because “London” is in every secondary school curriculum in the English-speaking world doesn’t mean it isn’t still a very deep, very heavy, and may i also suggest very metal poem)

Known unknowns

To St. James’s, where the King’s being with the Duke of York prevented a meeting of the Tangier Commission. But, Lord! what a deal of sorry discourse did I hear between the King and several Lords about him here! but very mean methought. So with Creed to the Excise Office, and back to White Hall, where, in the Park, Sir G. Carteret did give me an account of his discourse lately, with the Commissioners of Accounts, who except against many things, but none that I find considerable; among others, that of the Officers of the Navy selling of the King’s goods, and particularly my providing him with calico flags, which having been by order, and but once, when necessity, and the King’s apparent profit, justified it, as conformable to my particular duty, it will prove to my advantage that it be enquired into. Nevertheless, having this morning received from them a demand of an account of all monies within their cognizance, received and issued by me, I was willing, upon this hint, to give myself rest, by knowing whether their meaning therein might reach only to my Treasurership for Tangier, or the monies employed on this occasion. I went, therefore, to them this afternoon, to understand what monies they meant, where they answered me, by saying, “The eleven months’ tax, customs, and prizemoney,” without mentioning, any more than I demanding, the service they respected therein; and so, without further discourse, we parted, upon very good terms of respect, and with few words, but my mind not fully satisfied about the monies they mean. At noon Mr. Gibson and I dined at the Swan, and thence doing this at Brook house, and thence calling at the Excise Office for an account of payment of my tallies for Tangier, I home, and thence with my wife and brother spent the evening on the water, carrying our supper with us, as high as Chelsea; so home, making sport with the Westerne bargees, and my wife and I singing, to my great content.

what did I hear in the park
except many things

calico flags
conformable to their meaning

I went therefore to them
to understand us

with few words but the water
high and singing

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 28 May 1669.

“Write what you know”

Up, and there come to me Darnell the fiddler, one of the Duke’s house, and brought me a set of lessons, all three parts, I heard them play to the Duke of York after Christmas at his lodgings, and bid him get me them. I did give him a crowne for them, and did enquire after the musique of the “Siege of Rhodes,” which, he tells me, he can get me, which I am mighty glad of. So to the office, where among other things I read the Councill’s order about my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen to be assistants to the Comptroller, which quietly went down with Sir J. Minnes, poor man, seeming a little as if he would be thought to have desired it, but yet apparently to his discontent; and, I fear, as the order runs, it will hardly do much good. At noon to dinner, and there comes a letter from Mrs. Pierce, telling me she will come and dine with us on Thursday next, with some of the players, Knipp, &c., which I was glad of, but my wife vexed, which vexed me; but I seemed merry, but know not how to order the matter, whether they shall come or no. After dinner to the office, and there late doing much business, and so home to supper, and to bed.

I hear the music of my pen
quiet as desire
apparent as the letter M
telling me she will play
a glad wife

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 22 January 1667.


Up, and having sent for Mr. Gawden he come to me, and he and I largely discoursed the business of his Victualling, in order to the adding of partners to him or other ways of altering it, wherein I find him ready to do anything the King would have him do. So he and I took his coach and to Lambeth and to the Duke of Albemarle about it, and so back again, where he left me. In our way discoursing of the business and contracting a great friendship with him, and I find he is a man most worthy to be made a friend, being very honest and gratefull, and in the freedom of our discourse he did tell me his opinion and knowledge of Sir W. Pen to be, what I know him to be, as false a man as ever was born, for so, it seems, he hath been to him. He did also tell me, discoursing how things are governed as to the King’s treasure, that, having occasion for money in the country, he did offer Alderman Maynell to pay him down money here, to be paid by the Receiver in some county in the country, upon whom Maynell had assignments, in whose hands the money also lay ready. But Maynell refused it, saying that he could have his money when he would, and had rather it should lie where it do than receive it here in towne this sickly time, where he hath no occasion for it. But now the evil is that he hath lent this money upon tallys which are become payable, but he finds that nobody looks after it, how long the money is unpaid, and whether it lies dead in the Receiver’s hands or no, so the King he pays Maynell 10 per cent. while the money lies in his Receiver’s hands to no purpose but the benefit of the Receiver.
I to dinner to the King’s Head with Mr. Woolly, who is come to instruct me in the business of my goods, but gives me not so good comfort as I thought I should have had. But, however, it will be well worth my time though not above 2 or 300l.. He gone I to my office, where very busy drawing up a letter by way of discourse to the Duke of Albemarle about my conception how the business of the Victualling should be ordered, wherein I have taken great pains, and I think have hitt the right if they will but follow it. At this very late and so home to our lodgings to bed.

I know what I know
to be false

how things in the hand refuse us
gives me comfort

a thought should be worth
one wing

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 October 1665.


Up, and saw and admired my wife’s picture of our Saviour, now finished, which is very pretty. So by water to Greenwich, where with Creed and Lord Rutherford, and there my Lord told me that he would give me 100l. for my pains, which pleased me well, though Creed, like a cunning rogue, hath got a promise of half of it from me. We to the King’s Head, the great musique house, the first time I was ever there, and had a good breakfast, and thence parted, I being much troubled to hear from Creed, that he was told at Salsbury that I am come to be a great swearer and drinker, though I know the contrary; but, Lord! to see how my late little drinking of wine is taken notice of by envious men to my disadvantage. I thence to Captain Cocke’s, [and] (he not yet come from town) to Mr. Evelyn’s, where much company; and thence in his coach with him to the Duke of Albemarle by Lambeth, who was in a mighty pleasant humour; there the Duke tells us that the Dutch do stay abroad, and our fleet must go out again, or to be ready to do so. Here we got several things ordered as we desired for the relief of the prisoners, and sick and wounded men. Here I saw this week’s Bill of Mortality, wherein, blessed be God! there is above 1800 decrease, being the first considerable decrease we have had.
Back again the same way and had most excellent discourse of Mr. Evelyn touching all manner of learning; wherein I find him a very fine gentleman, and particularly of paynting, in which he tells me the beautifull Mrs. Middleton is rare, and his own wife do brave things. He brought me to the office, whither comes unexpectedly Captain Cocke, who hath brought one parcel of our goods by waggons, and at first resolved to have lodged them at our office; but then the thoughts of its being the King’s house altered our resolution, and so put them at his friend’s, Mr. Glanvill’s, and there they are safe. Would the rest of them were so too! In discourse, we come to mention my profit, and he offers me 500l. clear, and I demand 600l. for my certain profit. We part to-night, and I lie there at Mr. Glanvill’s house, there being none there but a maydeservant and a young man; being in some pain, partly from not knowing what to do in this business, having a mind to be at a certainty in my profit, and partly through his having Jacke sicke still, and his blackemore now also fallen sicke. So he being gone, I to bed.

no creed
pleased me like music

though my own road
is a wound

I saw mortality touching all things
but the night

not knowing is an art—
a black one

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 27 September 1665.