Anaphora (an-aph’-o-ra): Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.

I had no bootstraps. No ace in the hole. No pease porridge hot. No tale to be told. The ice of old age had settled on my heart. I was cold and lonely and losing heart. My eyes reflected the beautiful lazuli sky, blurred by time, I thought I would die—die on the sidewalk, die in the street, die of foolishness, stupidity and regret on an island of greediness flooded with pain. Flooded with the challenges of being alone. Flooded with a desire to stop the misery.

I awoke on the sidewalk and I looked at you. Covered with fur and a bushy tail too. Excuse me for saying it, but I was so hungry I could’ve eaten you. But, I had no means to whack you down or fry you up in a frying pan. But I could never catch you anyway. So, I just watched you nibble on an acorn, and go digging for more. Then, like some 19th century horror tale, you said “ You are not doomed to fail. Come, I’ll teach you to find acorns. They’re buried everywhere.” “Same old crap,” I thought. “I’m rolling into the DTs.” Last week it had been a pigeon “bearing tidings of comfort and joy.” The worst was the Rottweiler standing on my chest, telling me to get the “F” up and do the hokey pokey. I have no idea how I can remember this shit, but I do. I needed to put my pan handle on so I could buy a half-pint of Mr. Boston and check back out of this world again. The first guy I hit up gave me a dollar—there must a holiday nearby, I thought as I stuffed the dollar bill down my pants. Then, I saw a policeman coming my way. I tried to run, but my feet stuck to the sidewalk. When he got up to me, he pulled out his gun and started shooting me. I felt nothing. He shot me fifteen times and said “This is just a friendly warning. Keep up this bullshit and next time I’ll stick a hand grenade up your ass.” The squirrel started laughing. He said, “Open wide” and threw an acorn at me. It got stuck in my eye socket. I yelled “Help! The squirrel has blinded me!”

An ambulance arrived and took me away. The acorn was successfully removed and my eyesight was restored. I was at a public detox facility where all they could afford to do was strap you to a bed and check on you every few days. I had lost weight and my head was starting clear. I started remembering. The more I remembered, the more I wanted a drink. I was so burdened by guilt I thought my bed would collapse. I had killed my family in a car crash on the way to my mother-in-law’s in New Jersey. I lifted my head from my pillow and my wife and daughter were standing there. “But you’re dead!” I yelled. “No we’re not you silly boy,” my wife calmly said. “Here’s a knife. I’ll cut your restraints.” I was free! We were walking toward the facility’s exit when an orderly yelled at me “Where do you think you’re going?” “Home with my wife and daughter.” I went to point at them, but they had disappeared.

I needed a drink.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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