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.

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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“Who’s Winning?” Said the Martian to the Frisbeetarian: Competition

“Then there is Houston basketball coach Greg Wise whose high-school team at one point in the season was ranked first in the nation. Leading 100 to 12 at the half in one game with no ‘mercy rule,’ Wise ordered his team to press to the final buzzer because a win was not enough. He wanted […]

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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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