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 fifty 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. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)

On Sacred Grounds: Coffee

“‘All aboard,’ cried the conductor as the steam whistle underscored his cry. ‘Oh, dear, the train’s leaving,’ said a traveler at the lunch counter, ‘and my coffee’s too hot to drink.’ ‘Drink mine, Ma’am—hit’s already been saucered and blowed,’ said a gentleman in the days before Styrofoam. Thanking this stranger, she gulped down his coffee, […]

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Haptic Teams Win More Games: Touch

“Physicists tell us that, in fact, no real touch is possible. Thus, when lips meet, they say, two electric fields are interacting, electrons are grazing electrons. Perhaps so, but if a pretty server touches my hand, the size of her gratuity rises in direct proportion to the warmth of her interaction.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. […]

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Grateful for Every Plateful: Prayer

“Claire has never forgotten the panic he felt when, at age eleven, stretched out on an operating table, the surgeon who was about to excise his inflamed tonsils, asked everyone in the OR to kneel with him in prayer. For days, everyone had told Claire that the procedure was simple and ended with a bowl […]

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Sky Dye Sampler: Blue

“The history of blue begins with its absence. In any aboriginal language, blue will be the sixth color term to join its primary and secondary kin. I’ve often wondered what took so long for aboriginal poets to add ‘blue’ to their word palettes. My guess is that they already had it in the form of […]

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Perilous Crossing, 1981: Saigon to Greenville

“The engine ran for one day, and it broke down. We tried to fix it, but it was helpless. After that, we just let the boat drifted to wherever it wanted to. We floated out at sea for 26 days without any food or water. A lot of people died of starvation during those 26 […]

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Tran’s Journal: A Worth Above Rubies

“The engine ran for one day, and it broke down. We tried to fix it, but it was helpless. After that, we just let the boat drifted to wherever it wanted to. We floated out at sea for 26 days without any food or water. A lot of people died of starvation during those 26 […]

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Striking While the Irony Is Hot: Reversals

“Finally, irony is fun . . . as when Jack Nicholson says his mother never appreciated the irony of calling him ‘a son of a bitch.’ In one fell swoop, Nicholson winks at his mother without extending his middle finger or his tongue. (The fun becomes even more complicated when you learn that the woman […]

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Looking for a Label: Cynicism to Optimism

“I admit that I’m among the first to collect bad news to share with my wife and classes, but I do not feel that the Sermon on the Mount is on the rocks, either. I also collect the good news, as when the journalist-lawyer Steven Brill, pretending to be a wealthy but lost foreign tourist, […]

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Sparkplug to Bucephalus: Horses

“Though horses started disappearing from America’s roads and fields about a century ago, Pegasus and Winnie are still kicking up their heels in English prose, poetry, and speech. Indeed, after studying the impact of horses on the language today, one might think they’d never gone to pasture. In a sense, they never did because most […]

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The Odor of Genius: Influence

“Influence is subtle yet pervasive. Dine alongside Alberto Giacometti’s emaciated statuary, and most diners will eat less. That has been proven according to a study reported in the January 2017 issue of Appetite. Now, dine alongside the Standing Woman, a voluptuous bronze by Gaston Lachaise, and, though I cannot prove it, you’ll eat more.”—Dr. Skip […]

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