Thursday, November 28, 2013

Link Mania

The Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

...according to "Alpha" is a pretty beautiful word itself. I might quibble (nice word!) with some of list's choices, however: "inure"? "wafture"?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Photo of the Week

Exchange Place

No lie: I've been contacted by a "contract writer with the State Department, writing an article on U.S. 'diverse cities' for Span Magazine (, published by our embassy in New Delhi." He wants to use this photo of mine, snapped last month at Exchange Place in Jersey City, in Span. Yeah, okay... although it might raise a few odd questions among his Indian readers -- like why there is a statue of a man with a bayonet in this back in Jersey City's "Wall Street West" financial district. It's a long story.

(Click the pic for a close-up view of that phallic wonderland in the distance.)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brain Dump

This Thanksgiving, consider your fork.

Ouch! It is sharp, this most ubiquitous and useful invention of Western civilization: keep it busy at the dinner table, and tune yourself later. Admire its stick-to-it-tiveness. Don't eat rice with chopsticks. Let your meat be full of holes. So it wants to join its friends in the drawer? The knives, who always come straight to the point? The spoons, such well-rounded sorts? Let it. Don't speak with its tongue. It lifts! Consider the river. For this is your moment. Some people do go both ways, but when you come to a it, take it. And forget "the road not taken". It is done. Stick a fork in it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Word of the Day: loganamnosis

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

loganamnosis (noun)[LAHG an um NOH sis]

A mania for trying to recall forgotten words

The password continued to escape him. "I just can't shake my loganamnosis," Chet said with a sigh. "Have you seen a doctor?" Sam asked worriedly.


TWITO, page 85.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Link Mania: Death Metal English

There is American English. There is British English (which some might call "real" English). There is Canadian English, Australian English, Indian English....

And then there is Death Metal English.

"Deprivations of the flesh / A quarantine in abject absence / Euphoria denied: dripping, unsated phantom limb / Suffocated, stifled mass can feel the temperature rise / By knowledge unrealized: a tumorous, parasitic grief"
--a real lyric, by the band Vastum

If there isn't an online generator yet for creating more such random poetry, there should be.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Random Sequence

He was the only one around anymore who could do it -- take the geranium to the cemetery, clip the crabgrass around her headstone, spade up the mushy soil, and make a little green and red garden on her plot. It was what she would have wanted. She always did have a green thumb; she loved gardening.

"That's probably why," Marcus thought, "instead of being cremated like grandpa, and scattered to the winds like he was, she wanted herself, well, planted."
--from "Scattered to the Winds" (by me), originally published by Hudson Current

Monday, November 18, 2013

Photo of the Week


I tried to create a 3D self portrait with my new 3D printer, and look what happened. I haven't looked this bad since I fell down a flight of stairs, head first.

Actually, I just made that up. This is a sculpture I photographed at an artist's studio last month, during the annual JCAST -- that's the Jersey City Artists Studio Tour, for the uninitiated. Click the pic to get up close and personal with this fellow. You feel strangely compelled to.

Oddly related: Guess what The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Word of the Day: oojah

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

oojah [OO-zsah](noun)

A whatchamacallit, a thingumabob

Portia had been ruminating for weeks over what to name her "junk shop," as she referred to her second-hand gift store. Then it came to her. "Oojah," she whispered, as she fondled a lamp made from a moose antler.


TWITO, page 102!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Random Sequence

"Watch where you're going, knucklehead," the man barked. Just as he said this, another gust filched the umbrella from his grip, and the man went scuttling down the shiny sidewalk after it. It blew into traffic and was crushed by a passing van. "Shit!" the man yelled, not so much at Marcus as at a malicious world.

Marcus turned away and resumed his march toward the train station. It was raining harder now, and the bottoms of his pant legs were getting soaked. He stopped at an intersection, waiting for cars to pass.

The umbrella tugged at this hand as if it wanted to escape. The station was in sight, less than a block away, and despite the downpour, a tiny aperture of blue had appeared in the sky.

It's a bad umbrella, he thought. He released it to the wind, and it blew off into the sky, like a wild bird.
--from "The Wild Umbrella" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brain Dump

Between an explosion of painful awareness and the softness of an undecipherable dream lies the opaque blindness of the unthinkable. Certain cogitations are too vexatious to be entertained in conscious daylight; they lie half glimpsed in the caliginous oblivion of repression, forever threatening to interrupt our happy delusions. But this incertitude evaporates when a sudden inspiration obliterates the impenetrable blockage and reveals the maleable foundations of reality. The dream-self never sleeps and never wakens.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Word of the Day: zarf

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

zarf [zarf](noun)

A holder for a hot coffee cup

"The guest holds out the cup by the silver zarf, the attendant opening one hand places it under, then brings the palm of the other upon the top of the cup; the guest relinquishes his hold, and the attendant retires backward with the cup thus secured."
--David Urquhart, The Spirit of the East (1839)

Those little cardboard thingamabobs they put around your coffee cup at Starbucks are technically called "zarfs", although they will try to tell you they’re called cup sleeves.

TWITO, page 168!


More about "zarf"

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Photo of the Week


Here we see my artist friend, Herman Halpert, who collapsed in sheer exhaustion after attempting for three hours to make his concrete head sculpture lean "insouciantly" on his hand sculpture.

Actually, I just made that up. I photographed this guy, who was apparently taking a nap, at the Digible festival in Hoboken, New Jersey, last month. Click the pic for a closer view. You have nothing better to do! (Is he wearing, uh, fairy wings?)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Random Sequence

The wind began to pick up as the bike got closer, and the biker began to fishtail back and forth from one side of the sidewalk to the other. Ivan stepped aside. The bike suddenly swerved.

There was a sharp impact, and for moment Ivan's mind mind went blank.

He found himself resting on the sandy bottom of a deep pool. All around him were fluorescent fish and waving plants -- and a semi-transparent mermaid sitting on a coral throne. She was topless, and her breasts bobbed up and down like multicolored jellyfish. She was laughing at him....
--from "Chicken of the Sea" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Monday, November 04, 2013

Word of the Day: hebetude

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

hebetude [HEB-ih-tood] (noun)

Mental dullness or slowness

"The inept Mayor Smalltree's re-election would depend entirely on the hebetude of the townspeople, Malachi thought."


TWITO, page 65!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

"I Have Words on the Brain"


The TWITO paperback now has a new cover, based on Narrator Jack's original design for the audiobook. Thanks to Bill Rood and Rachel Rood for the additional design and reformatting.