Author Archives: Sterling Eisiminger

Dr. Sterling ("Skip") Eisiminger was born in Washington DC in 1941. The son of an Army officer, he traveled widely but often reluctantly with his family in the United States and Europe. After finishing a master’s degree at Auburn and taking a job at Clemson University in 1968, he promised himself that he would put down some deep roots. These roots now reach back through nearly 50 years of Carolina clay. In 1974, Eisiminger received a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, where poet James Dickey “guided” his creative dissertation. His publications include Non-Prescription Medicine (poems), The Pleasures of Language: From Acropox to Word Clay (essays), Omi and the Christmas Candles (a children’s book), and Wordspinner (word games). He is married to the former Ingrid (“Omi”) Barmwater, a native of Germany, and is the proud father of a son, Shane, a daughter, Anja, and grandfather to four grandchildren, Edgar, Sterling, Spencer, and Lena.

An Improbable Fiction: In the Language of Shakespeare

“Marry, young Russet. Now, don thy hooded cape incarnadine and hie thee to the forest o’er yon high eastward hill. Keep to the path no matter how the harebells beckon, and, I beseech you, beware the fantasied forest. There a wolf named Lupus dwells, swift as a shadow, and thus beggars all other description. Verily, […]

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The Farther You Go, the Better It Looks: Home

“Clark Gable is remembered as a thrice-divorced and five-time married screen actor, but he understood what ‘home’ meant: a place you approach knowing someone inside is listening for your footsteps. Whether it’s an over-priced Silicon Valley mansion or a canvas tent pitched on a raft, home is a place where your heart has been marinated […]

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Textile Conspirators vs. the Skyclad: Naked & Nude

“My father, a charter subscriber to ‘Playboy,’ who never discussed the ‘articles’ therein with anyone except his golfing friends, apparently feared he’d left a gap in my education. He took me, therefore, to the Folies-Bergère in Paris when I was a 19-year-old enlisted man. The two of us sat there nursing our drinks as a […]

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Stealing Home with One Foot on Third: Risk

“Actuarial tables show that far more pedestrians die in a crosswalk than jaywalking. Risk takers often cite those tables as justification for the chances they take. Of course, far more people cross city streets legally than illegally, so it stands to reason that more will die in the crosswalks. Moreover, many jaywalkers are doubly cautious […]

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“D. C.” Stands for “Da Capital”: Fools, Etc.

“The purest fooling is neither stupid nor ignorant; it’s wit, and it often strikes like lightning turning sand to glass.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “Ignorance, the lost part of ‘virginal,’/is a barefoot girl at a urinal.” —The Wordspinner “When Skip tries to learn what students don’t know,/the class goes still in a […]

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The Farther You Go, The Better It Looks: Home

“I grew up in a military family that moved 17 times in 17 years. Yet, like Huck, I always felt that our apartment, duplex, or house was a home because I was loved there. Eudora Welty argued that ‘one place understood helps us understand all the other places.’ In my case, 17 places helped me […]

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The Knotted Roots of a Marriage

“Having flown over Treblinka and snatched a few grapes from the Warsaw grapevine, he strongly suspected but could not confirm the horror. Occupying his mind were two brothers at two fronts, and a family huddled in a blacked-out basement in Magdeburg, an industrial city poised on the knife edge between Berlin and London. In 1945, […]

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The Idol Quartet

“Born in the Great Depression, John and his six brothers grew up at the base of ‘Eitel Mountain,’ a few miles east of and downhill from Boone, NC. A hillock in reality, the rocky farm in the quilted community of Deep Gap (est. pop. 100) was dubbed ‘mountain’ by John to give it a modest […]

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Holding for Customer Service to Complain about Customer Service: Complaints

“In the 1960s, Clemson professors typically posted their final grades outside their offices, so anxious students could attend to their grades instead of waiting for the post office to deliver them. A couple of days after his posting, Caskey went to his office to do some end-of-semester tidying up and discovered someone had written ‘nigger […]

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Hams That Cannot Be Cured Must Be Canned: Acting

“I finally appeared on stage as a chorus member in a production of Euripides’ Hippolytus. The school critics thought I’d made a creditable Horatio in Hamlet but, in Twelfth Night, they were expecting Alec Guinness and met instead an uncured ham. One night, after a friend carelessly wished me good luck in my portrayal of […]

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