no news is like meeting an angel
more than air
more than some poor child
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 September 1665.
I have not been pretty.
But before I brought a command
of my temper, I had heard the certainty of it;
and the messenger says:
some are good, and others rich
and everybody is high.
And I being full of wind and out of order
called for a piece –
I did wonder
I did endeavour
with as few as I could
for the present
to enable me to have some money;
upon serious thoughts I am advised
to let my money and plate rest here,
as being as safe as any imagining
when all are gone.
The opinion I did leave, to see the trouble;
there is good reason for it.
I spent some matter for as much content,
speeding in my business,
the hearing of this good news
to such excess, after so great a despair –
my meeting dead corpses
carried to be buried close
at the Angell tavern
the person dying when I was last there
a little while ago, at night
to mistresse –
this desperate fever lasts.
Hell’s Angel or Heaven’s Devil?
By stealth of night, in the darkest hours, or by sun’s brilliance, The Mistresse Is.
Death? Longing? Desire? Lust? Prowler? Predator? Yearning?
Prayed upon. Called forth. Brought down. Lifted up.
And yet, she is the unnameable on the tongue’s tipping of scales.