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.

It’s Not Collecting, It’s Composting: Creative Reading

“Once during an in-class writing assignment, a bright freshman asked me if ‘anal retentive’ was hyphenated or two words. I suspected she was joking, but I answered seriously, ‘The way I stuff my files, I’m tempted to say it’s one word. Of course, it’s two unless it’s being used as a compound adjective, but if […]

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Letter from Clemson, South Carolina

“Having learned from the studies of stressed humans in isolation, NASA has built cupolas into the International Space Station. When tensions mount, astronauts are advised to seek refuge in these snug, windowed spaces and observe the Earth, where everything they love is housed and where, eventually, they will return. A month into our quarantine, perhaps […]

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For Machisma: The Natural Superiority of Women

“Camille Paglia once argued that the female stake in the middle ground helps to explain their superiority. Just as there have been no female Jack the Rippers, she claimed, so have there never been any female Mozarts.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Dr. Skip Eisiminger “Man may be the sail, but woman’s the rudder,/not the […]

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Templars of Tooth: Elephants

“Elephants have been known to remain standing after death until the herd’s matriarch gently tips them over for waiting scavengers. When the bones are chalk white, the herd returns to conclude its rites and purge its storied memories. Unlike humans, elephants do not mummify their dead; they respectfully roll the bones under their feet and […]

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Glögg & Lutefisk: Scandinavia

“For reasons of my own, when I think of the Swedes, when I put aside the fact that they gave the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan, I think of meatballs, nightingales, massages, smorgasbords, and Volvos.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Dr. Skip Eisiminger I. “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.”—Nordic proverb CLEMSON […]

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When Wanderlust Meets a Flagging Libido: Japan, with a Side Trip to Sri Lanka

“After the Japanese national soccer team lost in the 2018 World Cup in Moscow, they left their locker room spotless with a note thanking the Russians for their hospitality. After all, the players had been educated in schools where they spent 15 minutes each day doing custodial work.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Dr. Skip […]

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Near-Life Experiences: Abortion

“First Lady Nancy Reagan said, ‘I’m against abortion. On the other hand, I believe in a woman’s choice.’ In 1992, Time reported that while 75 percent of Americans ‘approve of a woman’s right to an abortion,’ 60 percent say, ‘It’s murder.’ Something doesn’t add up here, but one thing is clear: ever since prenatal screening […]

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Charismatic Microfauna: Honey Bees

“Should Colony Collapse Disorder worsen, and we lose the bees, an engineering lab at Harvard is perfecting tiny drones, neither male nor female, that will pollinate our crops. Lamentably, the drones will gather no pollen, nor produce any beeswax or honey. Or in Aesop’s words, no ‘sweetness or light.’”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip […]

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Beer Goggles vs. Rose-Colored Glasses: Optimism

“Life is a river of incalculable length, width, depth, and direction. Like the Biblical Jordan which rises in the Syrian hills before crossing the Sea of Galilee, life ultimately dribbles into the Dead Sea, which has no outlet being the lowest point on Earth. But like all rivers, at some point, the ripples flatten out […]

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Tried & Found Wanton: The Language of Sex (Revisited)

“So, exactly how do humans reproduce if we don’t bifurcate, pupate, or molt? I’m glad the answer to the overwhelming question of my adolescence was not left entirely to my parents.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “The mad, white fish of the oval realm/often led me to ask, ‘Who’s at the helm?’” “The […]

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