Monthly Archives: October 2019


For the past three years I’ve devoted November to a serialized work of fiction. I’ve decided this year to write poetry instead. I guess I’ll call it Povember. I start with an early triolet for Hallowe’en.

It lashes rain. I dress: my masquerade.
Mais, elle aussi, elle a sa mascarade.
We meet. I drip. She asks no task or aid.
I dress it. Lashes rain. My mask arrayed,
Mascaraed lashes, fishnets, musk: parade.
Elle ne rien dit, cette Marquise de Sade.
My lashes rain. Dress it: I masquerade,
Mais elle, o! si elle a sa mascarade…


When the summer is here, it’s time to chill some beer (or lemonade, or other drink). But as the days grow dimmer, the time is just… chillsome.

I suppose a word like this would be likely to kill (or make ill) some who have no chill about the language. Others would receive it with a surreptitious sniff as when you pass them a book they suspect to be old and basement-scented. But which is it, lately invented or long aged? Continue reading


Coworker is a funny word. It’s often misread, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose. And while I love a good double entendre, in my editorial role as a professional clarifier I feel it is worthwhile inserting a hyphen to make it clear what it really is: cow-orker. Continue reading

vetust, vetusty

Yes, I am vetust. I am the vetustest. I am wallowing in vetusty. I am vested in fully as many years as a deck of cards has, well, cards (not including jokers). I am perhaps a veteran of years, but only arguably venerable. Jag vet det. Continue reading

censor, censer, censure

When is it sensible to censure – or censor – something incendiary? Can we not be candid without someone getting burned? At what point does inflammatory speech and the smoke of burning crosses make a more offensive incense than the scent of burning books? For that matter, what is and is not censorship? Continue reading


This is your time for fulgour. No need to think it vulgar; it’s fine to shine flagrantly. Raise your rays and enubilate yourself. Let those prone to heliotaxis hail a taxi or hop on the omnibus towards your nimbus. All will hallow your halo; all will be effusive about your effulgence. Continue reading


The opening words of Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem, breathing in as a barely felt but well-needed touch in a quiet moment, are “Selig sind, die da Leid tragen, denn sie sollen getröstet werden.” In English, we know that line from Matthew 5:4 as “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Those who need solace shall have it. Continue reading