Poem with a line from Ilya Kaminsky

What is silence? Something of the sky in us.
A rift that opens, so two not speaking

can step through to find a street
still blunted by rain, part

of a fence leaning against another
part that isn't broken. There's no need

to point out what needs to be done.
Once, on a mountain road wide enough

for only one vehicle, two
met in the middle, unable

to proceed. I don't know how each
made its way to its destination:

if passengers got down from the bus,
shouldered their belongings and made

the trek to town on foot. It's not
so easy to return to the beginning

when something keeps nudging you
forward. A stone thrown over the edge

falls for a long time, and you strain
your ears to hear the sound it makes.

Employed

Up, and was presented by Burton, one of our smith’s wives, with a very noble cake, which I presently resolved to have my wife go with to-day, and some wine, and house-warme my Betty Michell, which she readily resolved to do. So I to the office and sat all the morning, where little to do but answer people about want of money; so that there is little service done the King by us, and great disquiet to ourselves; I am sure there is to me very much, for I do not enjoy myself as I would and should do in my employment if my pains could do the King better service, and with the peace that we used to do it.
At noon to dinner, and from dinner my wife and my brother, and W. Hewer and Barker away to Betty Michell’s, to Shadwell, and I to my office, where I took in Mrs. Bagwell and did what I would with her, and so she went away, and I all the afternoon till almost night there, and then, my wife being come back, I took her and set her at her brother’s, who is very sicke, and I to White Hall, and there all alone a pretty while with Sir W. Coventry at his chamber. I find him very melancholy under the same considerations of the King’s service that I am. He confesses with me he expects all will be undone, and all ruined; he complains and sees perfectly what I with grief do, and said it first himself to me that all discipline is lost in the fleete, no order nor no command, and concurs with me that it is necessary we do again and again represent all things more and more plainly to the Duke of York, for a guard to ourselves hereafter when things shall come to be worse. He says the House goes on slowly in finding of money, and that the discontented party do say they have not done with us, for they will have a further bout with us as to our accounts, and they are exceedingly well instructed where to hit us. I left him with a thousand sad reflections upon the times, and the state of the King’s matters, and so away, and took up my wife and home, where a little at the office, and then home to supper, and talk with my wife (with whom I have much comfort) and my brother, and so to bed.

with little to do but answer
a little king

I do not enjoy my employment
in the service of service

I see what grief we come to
in our reflections


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 November 1666.

Poetry Blog Digest 2019: Week 45

Poetry Blogging Network

A personal selection of posts from the Poetry Blogging Network and beyond. Although I tend to quote my favorite bits, please do click through and read the whole posts. This week, the poetry blogosphere was relatively quiet, but I still found cold hummingbirds, jack-o’-lantern bird feeders, Twitter cravings, mackerel skies, Real Housewives, vending machines, beheadings, strength-training benefits, cat hairs, full-length manuscripts, freshly laundered towels, a goalkeeper’s hands, Russian tank tracks, social difficulties, broken windows, and fallen figs.


The hummingbirds have gotten very flutterly lately, in the cold, dancing around the last flowers and available hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds stubbornly see out the cold season here and in a way we manage the same way. I am writing, editing, and sending out work trying to stay warm in a cold season, drinking cider and listening to my sad music and reading novels into the night (I have terrible insomnia during time-change season). What drives us to survive? To try to create beauty, or even just to notice beauty, in a world that often seems to try to trample it, or ignore it? We wait for magic. We might even create our own.

Jeannine Hall Gailey, New Poems in Sycorax Review, November Gloom, and Waiting for Magic

We’ve turned our Halloween pumpkin into a bird feeder and the kids, cats and I are loving it. We’ve even had a woodpecker come to visit among the normal songbirds. It was cold and snowy for the first part of the week, just a dusting, too much for my liking. Now it’s rainy, silver drops hanging off the rowan berries. More my idea of autumn. I’m glad to have a few mornings to scribble at my kitchen table and watch the birds with the cat trying to sleep on my computer.

Gerry Stewart, An Adventure Begins

I am currently at a 10-day writing residency and have promised myself that for 7 of those days, I would completely stay off of social media and any website that connects me to the outside world (like the news).

Yesterday, I found myself scrolling Instagram for no reason, just habit. Just–oh, there’s my phone, let me pick it up, open and app and scroll. No thought, just action.

Today I woke up and wanted to check Twitter. But I didn’t.

I realize, I do feel a loss. My brain wants its trending stories. It wants to see who is saying what.

But there’s this other gain, since I have NOTHING to check, I have so much time. Today I thought–what do I need to do? Write a poem? Revise a poem? Organize my work? Submit? Write letters to friends? Go back to bed?

I realize how much of my time ends up on social media, even if I’m not there all day, I realize how much I pick up my phone to check, I don’t keep notifications on, so I open the app several times a day–that adds up.

I guess I didn’t notice until I’m sitting her after being up for 5 minutes saying, “Okay, what do I do now?” 

So when I decided, “I’ll write a blog to gather my thoughts.” I realize my last blog post is from June. When I have Twitter or Facebook, what I would have normally (well, in the days pre-social media 2001-2009ish) I would have written in a blog or a journal. But I had nothing to blog, all my stories and thoughts went out as soundbites on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook.

I remember hearing Terrance Hayes say he’s not on Twitter because he was concerned he’d tweet out great lines for a poem instead of using them *in* a poem.

Now that I have no place to do that, a blog feels like a good way to document the time (and the weird thing is, whether anyone reads this or not). I realize how much of my writing is me just wanting to get thoughts out of my head, on paper, so I can look at them, size them up.

But I do miss Twitter.

Kelli Russell Agodon, Writing Residency: Day 1 – Social Media Detox

In the northwest sky this morning, mackerel-sky and mares’ tail clouds like fins, wispy and broken up against the blue, brought to mind the book I’m reading: Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks. In this book, essays on place and environment interweave with “word hoards” or mini-dictionaries, a rich lexicon of regional terms that describe specific observations concerning weather, geographical formations, topology, the sea, plants, moorlands, mountains.
 
Macfarlane’s word hoard draws mostly from the British Isles, but his essays–in this collection, many are based on books he has loved–assert that naming is noticing, noticing is loving, and loving means preserving or saving. “Language deficit leads to attention deficit,” he says. He’s not incorrect. My own experience concurs; for the past few years, I have had less time and energy to walk my meadow and take the two-mile amble along the back roads of our neighborhood, and as a result, my written expression feels both a bit contracted and less precise. I need to get back to the land.

Ann E. Michael, Bro-ken

I find the sheer volume of contemporary culture references in this book [There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker] to be soooooo satisfying. I guess some people disagree, but Parker has a terrific answer. Here’s what she says in an interview for The Paris Review on the pop culture references, Parker says, “It would feel false if I didn’t include all those things that really shape contemporary life. … I don’t really see what is so difficult for folks to grasp about it, but I think it’s a debate wrapped up in class and race, and what constitutes high and low art. I’m using pop references, but not in a light or gimmicky way. The poems are exploring and troubling something. My references may look different from someone else’s, but in my life I experience the Real Housewives more than I experience Greek myth. These are my contemporary myths and symbols.” I think this also speaks to the accessibility of the work: for a majority of people, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga are more recognizable references than Hera and Demeter.

Carolee Bennett, “the gloom of being where you are meant to be”

because otherwise it’s a round Formica table
& the clicks and beeps from the alarm system
& the vending machines
a slowly shrinking horizon of possibility
& the monstrous white shape of the future

I read to remember myself
(a boss walks by, says “Call me Ishmael”)

Jason Crane, POEM: Moby-Dick in the break room

Winner of the Walt Whitman Award, Emily Skaja’s Brute is a stunning collection of poetry that navigates the dark corridors found at the end of an abusive relationship. “Everyone if we’re going to talk about love please we have to talk about violence,” writes Skaja in the poem “remarkable the litter of birds.” She indeed talks about the intersections of both love and violence, evoking a range of emotional experiences ranging from sorrow and loss to rage, guilt, hope, self discovery, and reinvention.

One of the things I love about this collection is the way the poems reflect the present moment — ripe of cell phones, social media, and technologies that shift the way humans interact with each other, while maintaining a mythic quality, with the speaker feeling like a character struggling to survive in a surreal fairy tale world just waiting to eat her up. Gorgeous work from Skaja, who I recently interviewed for the New Books in Poetry podcast. I need to finish preparing the episode and hopefully I’ll be able to share it soon. 

Another great collection of poetry that I read this month was Head by Christine Kanownik. Drawn in by the gorgeous cover, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection of poems centered around beheadings — whether saints, royalty, or commoners throughout history.  She uses a mixture of of forms to explore the nature of power and the meaning of death.

Andrea Blythe, Culture Consumption: October 2019

In more pleasant news, I retooled the poem I mentioned last week that I wasn’t happy with, and I am happier with it now. There’s still more work to do, but it’s getting there. The last few lines are not hitting the exact note I want them to, but maybe the answer will come to me in a dream. It was interesting to discover in the editing process that the problem was simply that I wasn’t telling the full truth in the poem. It showed. Once I got down to what was true, the poem came into focus and had more energy and dynamic force. I also started a new poem along the same theme. I don’t want to be prematurely optimistic, but I think there is a possibility that I have enough material in me for a new chapbook. That makes me excited, because I haven’t had that feeling in a very long time. Poetry is making it’s way back to me, and this seems to be directly tied in to the strength training. Quite unexpectedly, the grueling but relatively straightforward act of strengthening my body has opened up a whole new avenue of creative thought.

Kristen McHenry, Map App Stalking, Truth in Poetry, The Blood of My Foes

fur finally
deciding to leave the cat
for the sunshine

Jim Young [untitled haiku]

I realized last week that I have not one, not two, but three full-length manuscripts currently in a completed or just shy of completed state. feed is pretty submission ready, but the other two, dark country and animal, vegetable, monster need a little arranging and proofing for typos.  I am going to submit at least one to presses I’ve worked with before, but the other two, I’m not sure. Overwhelmingly, they show how productive I’ve been over the past two years, during which most of them were written.  […]

I sometimes wonder if compiling full-length books is something I need to even do, since my work as writer is so tied up in the visual, and the smaller issues probably give a better idea of the work as it was initially intended. But I like the weightyness of a volume, how it almost feels like an encapsulation of various projects in a given span of time and theme. And perhaps reach in terms of working with publishers, getting in bookstores or libraries, the things that full-lengths make easier than if you are just doing little books on your own. And the poems can stand on their own without the visuals just fine, they are just an added bonus in their initial incarnation.

Kristy Bowen, books seeking homes

– When the laundry is all done, even the towels.

– Reading the poems of John Haines from fifty years ago.

– Suddenly remember two homeless people that froze to death in the snow in 1983.

– Learning how to finally be comfortable in your own skin. In your sixties.

James Lee Jobe, Journal 08 Nov 2019 – ten things

His goalkeeper’s hands beat a soft
tattoo against his knee, When he remembers
he clasps them like a handshake, or a prayer.
In jungle once, he came upon a pal
pinioned to a tree, opened up from throat to groin,
his piled entrails at his feet, a black buzz of flies.
I’ve never told our Vera that.  I tidy round his neck.
I’ll shake the teatowel outside on the step,
watch the hair blow, like dandelion clocks.
His hands have freed themselves.
He has forgotten them.

John Foggin, Remembrance Sunday

This is the real dance;
we stitch its paces
over the Kaiser’s cobbles,
in between the Weimar tramlines,
through Hitler’s broken archways, empty squares,
up and down the grim lattices
of Russian tanktracks.
Laughing, we invade the territory
inside each other’s arms.

Dick Jones, THE WALL IS DOWN!

It’s miraculous that the world continues spinning around the sun. That trees still accept our carbon dioxide as currency, and provide dividends of oxygen in return. It’s phenomenal that drivers stop at red lights, that we don’t rush onward into one great fender-bending, humanity-ending, billion-car pileup. It’s astonishing that we have smart phones, smart homes, robotics, biometrics, and super drones. It’s spectacular that we have all these things, and more, yet still sometimes have difficulties approaching one another, and simply saying: “Hello.”

Rich Ferguson, Miraculous, Phenomenal, Spectacular

A tour guide to pain stands
in the middle of the gray street

as pieces of windows scatter
in slow motion, and then reform,

over and over again. We
watch, mesmerized, as flames flicker

in the glass before us, the glass
shards on the ground, fragments floating

back into place, outlined with gold,
an ephemeral kintsugi

P.F. Anderson, On Broken Glass

We walk down the path with our children.
Dust rises behind us like smoke. 

The ground is littered with figs:
small purple bodies
burst open to show their red seeds. 

Foreignness blooms quietly inside their wounds.

Romana Iorga, The Fig Tree

In Retrograde

A week ago I spent a whole day
in the same building: only moving through
three floors, carrying papers to class
then to a meeting. The tiny brass bell
on my belt-clipped key fob made its usual
tinkly sound, but I never noticed how
my car key got detached or where
it must have fallen. Not until I made
my way to the parking garage and tried
unsuccessfully to pull the driver's side
door of my car open did I realize
it was lost. By then it was dark,
since we'd just come off Daylight
Saving Time. A nearly full
moon was in the sky, reminding me
of how I'd overheard some people talking
about Mercury being in retrograde: which
is to say that the planet, observed
from Earth, seems to be moving in
reverse direction. If you believe
what's mostly an optical illusion, this
apparently causes spasms of misfortune:
as if the swift messenger of the gods
himself has tripped; and, limping,
is unable to convey messages of good
fortune or the souls of the dead
to the underworld. Maybe the universe
is peeved at the inconvenience—
its favorite courier lagging behind,
bungling deliveries. So it becomes
the favorite scapegoat for everything
that goes wrong: the refrigerator's busted
light bulb, the broken-off engagement,
the check that bounces. The yelling
match, the slammed doors, the tears
and fast-food bingeing. The nerve
snapping at the slightest hint
you too must somehow be at fault.

 

Unsettled

Out with Sir W. Batten toward White Hall, being in pain in my cods by being squeezed the other night in a little coach when I carried Pierce and his wife and my people. But I hope I shall be soon well again. This day is a great day at the House, so little to do with the Duke of York, but soon parted. Coming out of the Court I met Colonell Atkins, who tells me the whole city rings to-day of Sir Jeremy Smith’s killing of Holmes in a duell, at which I was not much displeased, for I fear every day more and more mischief from the man, if he lives; but the thing is not true, for in my coach I did by and by meet Sir Jer. Smith going to Court.
So I by coach to my goldsmith, there to see what gold I can get, which is but little, and not under 22d. So away home to dinner, and after dinner to my closett, where I spent the whole afternoon till late at evening of all my accounts publique and private, and to my great satisfaction I do find that I do bring my accounts to a very near balance, notwithstanding all the hurries and troubles I have been put to by the late fire, that I have not been able to even my accounts since July last before; and I bless God I do find that I am worth more than ever I yet was, which is 6,200l., for which the Holy Name of God be praised! and my other accounts of Tangier in a very plain and clear condition, that I am not liable to any trouble from them; but in fear great I am, and I perceive the whole city is, of some distractions and disorders among us, which God of his goodness prevent!
Late to supper with my wife and brother, and then to bed.
And thus ends the month with an ill aspect, the business of the Navy standing wholly still. No credit, no goods sold us, nobody will trust. All we have to do at the office is to hear complaints for want of money. The Duke of York himself for now three weeks seems to rest satisfied that we can do nothing without money, and that all must stand still till the King gets money, which the Parliament have been a great while about; but are so dissatisfied with the King’s management, and his giving himself up to pleasures, and not minding the calling to account any of his officers, and they observe so much the expense of the war, and yet that after we have made it the most we can, it do not amount to what they have given the King for the warn that they are backward of giving any more. However, 1,800,000l. they have voted, but the way of gathering it has taken up more time than is fit to be now lost: The seamen grow very rude, and every thing out of order; commanders having no power over their seamen, but the seamen do what they please. Few stay on board, but all coming running up hither to towne, and nobody can with justice blame them, we owing them so much money; and their familys must starve if we do not give them money, or they procure upon their tickets from some people that will trust them. A great folly is observed by all people in the King’s giving leave to so many merchantmen to go abroad this winter, and some upon voyages where it is impossible they should be back again by the spring, and the rest will be doubtfull, but yet we let them go; what the reason of State is nobody can tell, but all condemn it. The Prince and Duke of Albemarle have got no great credit by this year’s service. Our losses both of reputation and ships having been greater than is thought have ever been suffered in all ages put together before; being beat home, and fleeing home the first fight, and then losing so many ships then and since upon the sands, and some falling into the enemy’s hands, and not one taken this yeare, but the Ruby, French prize, now at the end of the yeare, by the Frenchmen’s mistake in running upon us.
Great folly in both Houses of Parliament, several persons falling together by the eares, among others in the House of Lords, the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord Ossory. Such is our case, that every body fears an invasion the next yeare; and for my part, I do methinks foresee great unhappiness coming upon us, and do provide for it by laying by something against a rainy day, dividing what I have, and laying it in several places, but with all faithfulness to the King in all respects; my grief only being that the King do not look after his business himself, and thereby will be undone both himself and his nation, it being not yet, I believe, too late if he would apply himself to it, to save all, and conquer the Dutch; but while he and the Duke of York mind their pleasure, as they do and nothing else, we must be beaten.
So late with my mind in good condition of quiet after the settling all my accounts, and to bed.

who tell me who
is whole

not holy
but in fear of god wholly still

every power must starve
some people or other

so everybody fears invasion
by rain or quiet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 31 October 1666.

Hate Inc.

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, where late, very busy, and dispatching much business. Mr. Hater staying most of the afternoon abroad, he come to me, poor man, to make excuse, and it was that he had been looking out for a little house for his family. His wife being much frightened in the country with the discourses of troubles and disorders like to be, and therefore durst not be from him, and therefore he is forced to bring her to towne that they may be together. This is now the general apprehension of all people; particulars I do not know, but my owne fears are also great, and I do think it time to look out to save something, if a storm should come. At night home to supper, and singing with my wife, who hath lately begun to learn, and I think will come to do something, though her eare is not good, nor I, I confess, have patience enough to teach her, or hear her sing now and then a note out of tune, and am to blame that I cannot bear with that in her which is fit I should do with her as a learner, and one that I desire much could sing, and so should encourage her. This I was troubled at, for I do find that I do put her out of heart, and make her fearfull to sing before me.
So after supper to bed.

the office of hate
in a frightened country
is like a storm singing
a note out of tune
that cannot fit
in or out of an ear


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 30 October 1666.

Poem in which Prometheus Considers Battery-powered Tea Lights and Forests Burning

A world ablaze: I wanted that
too, but not in the manner of
a raging California brush fire.
Not like the man who drives
into town for his high school
reunion, then spends two days
driving along the Calaveras road,
setting pieces of fast-food paper
wrappers on fire with a cigarette
lighter before chucking them
out the window just to see
what happens. By ablaze
I meant the mind leaping
out of the darkness of its
miserable self-containment
to see how, if heated metals
bent toward the same task,
a bridge might arc over
the yawning gorge. I meant
there was danger, but also
promise of beauty; of ships
that humans could build and fill
with provisions so they might move
forward out of calamity instead of
perishing in the current.
By ablaze, I meant the dance
girls in the village learned
when they were young, balancing
three votive candles, each stuck
inside a glass: one on the head,
the other two carried on each open
palm. The gold flicker on their faces:
something a tea light could never
reproduce. I love the quiet
blue flame of a stove's pilot
light, the brilliant sparks
before molten glass twists into
a clear vessel with an awestruck
mouth. I've walked into cathedrals
just to gaze at rows of lit
tapers in rows above the metal
box, ready to accept a coin or
slip of paper with petitions
for the world not to end in violent
conflagration, but burn as in glow,
as in the Latin ardere, which is
also the root of ardent.

Poem in which Prometheus is also the Father of Various Roast Meats


I can't remember the source
of a quote scribbled in my notebook:
"Why should the thirst for knowledge
be aroused, only to be disappointed
and punished?" Something to do
with Prometheus, famous fire-
stealer; and the eagle or vulture
the gods sent to feast every day
on his innards. The liver
which the bird pecks at replicates
itself and is whole again by morning,
for the point the gods seem to want
to make is that they can do
the same thing over and over
without having to consider
there could be a different result:
you in your place and me in mine,
but you wear the chains, bro.
Until, in the next part of the story,
Heracles kills the eagle and frees
the hero dear to those who consider
themselves revolutionary.
That his deed is meant
to illustrate the arrival
of civilization is cultural
anthropology. In other words,
the difference between the raw
and the cooked, though this
has been shown to be largely
accidental: a pen full of pigs
catches fire and opens the door
to a world of cochinillo and pork
belly buns. And I remember
that one of the earliest
things my in-laws and I
bonded over was a dish
of pan-braised liver
and onions, cooked down
over a low fire, which no one
else in the family would touch.




 

Boulevardier

Up, and to the office to do business, and thither comes to me Sir Thomas Teddiman, and he and I walked a good while in the garden together, discoursing of the disorder and discipline of the fleete, wherein he told me how bad every thing is; but was very wary in speaking any thing to the dishonour of the Prince or Duke of Albemarle, but do magnify my Lord Sandwich much before them both, for ability to serve the King, and do heartily wish for him here. For he fears that we shall be undone the next year, but that he will, however, see an end of it.
To prevent the necessity of his dining with me I was forced to pretend occasion of going to Westminster, so away I went, and Mr. Barber, the clerk, having a request to make to me to get him into employment, did walk along with me, and by water to Westminster with me, he professing great love to me, and an able clerk he is. When I come thither I find the new Lord Mayor Bolton a-swearing at the Exchequer, with some of the Aldermen and Livery; but, Lord! to see how meanely they now look, who upon this day used to be all little lords, is a sad sight and worthy consideration. And every body did reflect with pity upon the poor City, to which they are now coming to choose and swear their Lord Mayor, compared with what it heretofore was.
Thence by coach (having in the Hall bought me a velvet riding cap, cost me 20s.) to my taylor’s, and there bespoke a plain vest, and so to my goldsmith to bid him look out for some gold for me; and he tells me that ginnys, which I bought 2,000 of not long ago, and cost me but 18 1/2d. change, will now cost me 22d.; and but very few to be had at any price. However, some more I will have, for they are very convenient, and of easy disposal.
So home to dinner and to discourse with my brother upon his translation of my Lord Bacon’s “Faber Fortunae,” which I gave him to do and he has done it, but meanely; I am not pleased with it at all, having done it only literally, but without any life at all.
About five o’clock I took my wife (who is mighty fine, and with a new fair pair of locks, which vex me, though like a foole I helped her the other night to buy them), and to Mrs. Pierces, and there staying a little I away before to White Hall, and into the new playhouse there, the first time I ever was there, and the first play I have seen since before the great plague. By and by Mr. Pierce comes, bringing my wife and his, and Knipp. By and by the King and Queene, Duke and Duchesse, and all the great ladies of the Court; which, indeed, was a fine sight. But the play being “Love in a Tub,” a silly play, and though done by the Duke’s people, yet having neither Betterton nor his wife, and the whole thing done ill, and being ill also, I had no manner of pleasure in the play. Besides, the House, though very fine, yet bad for the voice, for hearing. The sight of the ladies, indeed, was exceeding noble; and above all, my Lady Castlemayne.
The play done by ten o’clock. I carried them all home, and then home myself, and well satisfied with the sight, but not the play, we with great content to bed.

I walk
to magnify my heart

into the city
of gold and bacon

I am not without life
like the play in plague


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 29 October 1666.

The drunkards’ progress

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church with my wife, and then home, and there is come little Michell and his wife, I sent for them, and also comes Captain Guy to dine with me, and he and I much talk together. He cries out of the discipline of the fleete, and confesses really that the true English valour we talk of is almost spent and worn out; few of the commanders doing what they should do, and he much fears we shall therefore be beaten the next year. He assures me we were beaten home the last June fight, and that the whole fleete was ashamed to hear of our bonefires. He commends Smith, and cries out of Holmes for an idle, proud, conceited, though stout fellow. He tells me we are to owe the losse of so many ships on the sands, not to any fault of the pilots, but to the weather; but in this I have good authority to fear there was something more. He says the Dutch do fight in very good order, and we in none at all. He says that in the July fight, both the Prince and Holmes had their belly-fulls, and were fain to go aside; though, if the wind had continued, we had utterly beaten them. He do confess the whole to be governed by a company of fools, and fears our ruine.
After dinner he gone, I with my brother to White Hall and he to Westminster Abbey. I presently to Mrs. Martin’s, and there met widow Burroughes and Doll, and did tumble them all the afternoon as I pleased, and having given them a bottle of wine I parted and home by boat (my brother going by land), and thence with my wife to sit and sup with my uncle and aunt Wight, and see Woolly’s wife, who is a pretty woman, and after supper, being very merry, in abusing my aunt with Dr. Venner, we home, and I to do something in my accounts, and so to bed.
The Revenge having her forecastle blown up with powder to the killing of some men in the River, and the Dyamond’s being overset in the careening at Sheernesse, are further marks of the method all the King’s work is now done in. The Foresight also and another come to disasters in the same place this week in the cleaning; which is strange.

spent and worn
as a bone of loss
no fight in their belly
as if the wind
had beaten them

o the bottle
is a pretty woman
and accounts for the killing of some
and the careening of all
to disaster


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 October 1666.