Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

Every time I think of you I feel so upset I want to run away and hide, and travel and try to forget. Every time I think of you, like a fool, I make your image so vivid I can’t erase it even though I struggle to forget. Every time I think of you I feel like I’m flipping through a book telling the story of how I failed—the story of my regret—a story with a clear ending, like a wall, or a cliff, or a fence, and still, I can’t forget.

I’m going to your house tonight to cry in the street, like a lunatic, like a sick coyote, like a howler monkey with no self-respect, flailing in the rain out there. Maybe you’ll invite me in for a cup of tea instead of calling the police. I hate getting pushed in the cruiser, laughed at, and driven home, like I’ve got Alzheimer’s or something and shouldn’t be out on my own.

I just keep hearing the Doors’ Jim Morrison singing “baby won’t you light my fire? Our love can be a funeral pyre.” That’s why I was going to ignite myself in front of her house, but it’s raining so hard I can’t get myself lit.

I know Annie could give a shit less if I went up in flames—in fact, she’d probably be relieved. But there she was standing in the doorway, motioning me toward her. I ran toward her, oblivious to everything else. An SUV ran over me. It broke both my legs, my right arm, ruptured my spleen, bruised me all over, and snapped four of my ribs. I’ve been in the hospital for two weeks and Annie hasn’t visited yet. When I get out of the hospital, I think I’ll give igniting myself outside her house another try. Or, maybe I’ll go some place in search of wisdom, like Skippy’s Bar and Grill, the community college, or Tibet.

Oh my God! It’s Annie! She‘s here! Annie!

Annie: “Hi Johnny. I’m here to give you what you need.”

She pulled a water bottle out of her purse, took off the cap and started pouring it’s contents on my bed. It wasn’t water, it was white gas—the stuff you use in Coleman stoves or lanterns. The nurse got the bottle away from her and wrestled her to the floor. The police came and took her away.

At that second, I realized Annie is crazier than me, and I would be so much better off if I never saw her again. But on the other hand, she loved me so much she wanted to murder me; so I would feel better. There’s something to that, right?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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