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Tasis (ta’-sis): Sustaining the pronunciation of a word or phrase because of its pleasant sound. A figure apparent in delivery.

My mother was obsessed with Pandas. For her, they were “the cuuu-test creatures on God’s green earth.” She had a bamboo garden in the basement, lit by purple grow lights. She called it “Panda Acres” even though the “Acres” were growing in a 3-foot square box. She fervently hoped to feed a Panda in the basement some day. She had a gallery of “famous pandas” hanging on the living room wall. Andy Panda was most prominently displayed. In one picture Andy, and his sidekick Charlie Chicken, are pictured hoisting beer steins with their chests puffed way out. I always thought it was because they were proud of something, but my mom was convinced they were doing “healthy” breathing exercises.

She was concerned with panda health. Whenever a new panda was born in China, or at the zoo, we would hold a vigil, praying for the baby panda’s survival. Mom had a portable shrine mounted on roller skates. She would pull it out of my bedroom and make bamboo offerings and say brief prayers. My favorite was “Dear baby panda, listen to your mother, stand up straight, and don’t j-walk.” Sometimes we’d sit up all night, burning incense, drinking tea, and making up panda stories. Dad made up “The little panda who got a tattoo.” It was about a panda who joined a biker gang and raised hell all over New York. He had a tattoo of a devil-horned pangolin on his butt and swore a lot. For obvious reasons, my mother hated the tattoo story and would go “na, na, na” whenever my father started telling it.

One of my earliest memories is riding in a stroller on a warm spring morning wearing my panda suit. I wasn’t allowed to talk. I was only allowed to grunt like what we thought a panda would sound like. I was expected to hold my hands out too, like I was begging for bamboo. People thought I looked cute, but they did’t know what hell it was inside the suit. The worst was that the panda suit’s eyeholes weren’t lined up with my eyes. So, everything was sort of cut in half. When I got older, I had to wear a panda snowsuit when I walked to school. Mom made me carry a piece of bamboo and swish it around like a fly swatter. One day I couldn’t get my snowsuit off at school. After that, everybody called me Poo-Poo Panda. I didn’t like it.

But then the seventies came. I finished high school and moved away from home. I formed a rock band called “The Primo Pandas.” We wore panda face paint and had back-up dancers in full-on panda suits who frequently fainted in the middle of a set. The audience expected it, so the fainting always got some heavy applause. Our biggest hit was “Bam-bam-boo-boo, I’m gonna’ Chew ya’ Right Down.” John Lee Hooker’s lawyer told us he would’ve sued us for infringing on his “Boom, Boom,” but we were too pitiful to mess with. Despite that, John Lee sat in on a gig with us in Oakland, CA. He was truly a great man.

When things opened up further with China, we made millions touring—Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, etc. We merchandised the hell out of the panda suits and other items, like panda eye masks. When it was all over, I opened a Chinese restaurant back in New York with Xiu, the woman I had met (and married) on the tour in Shanghai. Along with other pictures (for example, me and Ringo waving bamboo branches) mom’s panda gallery graces the restaurant’s wall. All the staff wear panda suits, and the name of the restaurant is “Panda’s Trough,” and it’s themed like an upscale zoo cage. People love it!

Xiu and I are going to have a baby in about five months. She’s afraid it will look like a panda. So am I.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anacoloutha (an-a-co’-lu-tha): Substituting one word with another whose meaning is very close to the original, but in a non-reciprocal fashion; that is, one could not use the first, original word as a substitute for the second. This is the opposite of acoloutha.

There is a trellis outside my window entwined with blooming roses, velvet red, soft, twisted, filling my room with breeze-driven shadows brushing along the walls. I can hear the waves hitting the beach. The tide is coming in.

I lay there wondering about hope and it’s vague projections of wobbly futures, trying to form a hope: something to want, but not to need. I could only conjure what I had lost, especially my dog “Goddamnit“ who ran away during the 4th of July fireworks. I was yelling “Goddamnit” out in my yard for two hours and then gave up. I yelled “shit” and a big expensive-looking dog shot out of the bushes by my house, knocked me down, and licked my face. I thought about the one-two-ness of it all. I missed Godammnit, but Shit was a pretty good replacement. But, I hadn’t hoped for Shit. I just wanted to bring Godamnit back home. Laying there, I realized that hoping was a waste of time, that something always comes along to fill the gap. In my case, right then, it was Shit. Who knows? In your case it could be a raccoon or a man or a woman. And, I think you can be optimistic without being hopeful. That means you think good things can happen without knowing what they are! In fact, you may not even think they’re good.

I met my first wife when I got a flat tire outside of Bakersfield. She pulled up in a dune buggy, we got married, and the rest was misery until we divorced three weeks later—barely missing the annulment deadline. But, the first two days were bliss at a motel near San Luis Obispo. On day three, she tried to smother me with a pillow because I remarked on her hairy armpits. It was like she had two lumps of coal grafted to her armpits—I called them her “coal pits.” I yelled “shit!” when she came after me with the pillow, and Shit bounded through the open motel window and growled and barked at her. She got off of me, threw the pillow at Shit and ran out the door. She took the car, and disappeared. I was marooned at the motel with Shit. I got $100 out of the motel’s ATM and packed Shit’s dog dish along with my clothes in my rolly-bag, hooked up Shit’s leash, and Shit and I started walking toward Santa Barbara. We got about 100 yards when an Audi convertible pulled over and the driver asked us if we needed a lift. She was beautiful and kind looking. Shit and I climbed in the car and we took off toward Santa Barbara. She asked me my dog’s name and I told her “Shit.” “That’s fantastic,” she said. I felt like a door had opened in my soul, letting in light, clearing out the darkness. I told her what had happened and she invited us to stay with her for a couple of days. That was one year ago. Nancy’s out of town on business right now and Shit and I are in charge of the villa. Nancy and I are going to have a baby girl. We’re going to name her Hope.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

The race was on! The 10th annual “Walker Run” at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens, a nursing home that stays afloat with constant Go Fund Me appeals and the kindness of a Mr. D.B. Cooper, a parachuting enthusiast who donated a pile of money after recovering from two broken legs and a broken collarbone and being cared for at Our Lady of the Soiled Linens .

My doctor tells me that “with luck” I have fourteen months to live. It is imperative that I win the race—even though I feel like a million dollars, I know the doctor’s right. He gave Mrs. Tellby ten months, and boom, she checked out in ten months.

I bought a lightweight titanium racing walker on Amazon. It can be filled with helium to make it lighter. The wheels are repurposed skateboard wheels and it has no brakes (to get rid of extra weight). The rear crutch tips have been replaced with Kevlar sliders. I would’ve replaced them with wheels, but all the racing walkers have to conform to normal Walker specs—that means only two front wheels, and of course, no motors!

My only real competition is Col. Von Gruen. Everybody else competes just to get some fresh air and sunshine, working on their Vitamin D deficiencies and their alienation from nature. Anyway, Von Gruen’s Walker is a black 1994 Rover. It has none of the modifications that mine has and he’s never failed to beat me in the past, until I got rid of my 1989 Trekker. Now that I’ve got a 2020 titanium Light Walker, I am going to kick his butt.

We line up on the starting line. It’s fifty feet to the finish line— I feel like Big Daddy Don Garlits lined up at Meadowlands, ready to rock. I am a dragster! I grip my walker and wait for the green light. Von Gruen is right next to me. We are almost shoulder to shoulder. He turns and says to me, “I am dying day after tomorrow, the Doctor told me.” Putting on my best scowl, I say “So what?” Von Gruen says, “Let me win.” Just then, the light turned green and off we went. I got half-way to the finish line and slowed down on purpose to let Von Gruen win. He was gonna die on Friday and it seemed like the right thing to do. Two weeks later he was still alive. I was enraged. I walked down the hall, burst into his room, and threw his ‘94 Rover out the window. He died the next day. He left me his walker and the $35.00 he had won for winning his final race.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Georgia’s.


Ara (a’-ra): Cursing or expressing detest towards a person or thing for the evils they bring, or for inherent evil.

I hate the guy who fixes my lawn mower. He always makes it a big deal by using technical terms to describe he did, so he can charge me more money: “I rearticulated your rotoric sward inscisor. That’ll be $100.” What the hell is that? That’s what I paid for the lawn mower brand new! If I refuse to pay, he’ll take me to small claims court and embarrass me, or he’ll file a mechanic’s lien against my mower.

I’m fed up. I am going to make my yard into a meadow for wildflowers, bunnies, butterflies, and birds.

I’ve been getting complaints from my neighbors about my meadow and there’s some kind of law that will make me pay a weekly fine until I mow. So, it’s back to the damn mower mechanic to bail out my mower. He greets me: “Salutations Mr. Parsimonious Pants. Your sward cropper awaits—it is reconstituted and agog to return to its calling.”

That was it, I picked up a wrench and hit him on the head. I was going to grind up him with my mower. I pulled the starter chord several times and nothing happened. He lifted his head off the floor and said: “I can correct that for a supplementary emolument of $150.”

I called 911, was convicted of battery, paid the fine and did the community service.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Diaskeue (di-as-keu’-ee): Graphic peristasis (description of circumstances) intended to arouse the emotions.

My mother was dead. Two weeks in the hospital and off she went. The restraint on her bed had come loose. She rolled over and the life sustaining tube yanked out of her arm. I’m no medical expert, but I don’t how one tube can make the difference between life and death. I demanded an autopsy but the hospital dismissed me like I was dirt.

I couldn’t stop thinking about my mother and the single tube that had killed her. I hired a lawyer and told her what had happened. The first thing she asked me was whether my mother had any enemies. I told her my mother was her own worst enemy. She ate like the pastry shop was a health food store. She drank the cheapest gin money can buy—Mr. Boston—smells like cleaning fluid flavored with juniper berries. She smoked Mavericks—a brand of cigarette that might not really be a cigarette. They are under investigation for using lawn clippings and recycled cigarette butts. The lawyer frowned and told me if we were going after a death rap, we needed somebody to blame before we’ll be granted the autopsy. I told her I thought we could blame anybody, so we blamed the orderly who mops the floors. It worked! The autopsy was performed. They found one of those little umbrellas that go in drinks lodged in my mother’s throat. She had choked to death. My mother always liked a Mimosa with a cocktail umbrella.

I sued the hospital for $5,000,000 and won. They had lied about the cause of death and we nailed them. My mother’s funeral was semi-festive. She was so quirky I know she would’ve loved it. The mortician had decorated her hair with cocktail umbrellas and put a Maverick cigarette between he lips. There was a bottle of Mr. Boston tucked under her arm. She looked great laying there. If she had gotten up and headed to Towne Liquor, it would’ve seemed perfectly normal.

You only have one mother. She was mine. It still hurts every time I think of her. I can remember her making me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for my school lunch. She always gave me extra jelly. She was so nice to my friends and girlfriends. We would play in the yard and she would pop out on the back porch in her apron: “Come on kids, the cookies are ready.” We would race to the kitchen. I loved her with all my heart.

Some day we’ll catch the bastard who killed my mother. In the meantime, I’m in a serious relationship with the lawyer, Theresa. In a weird way I feel like that’s some kind of justice, and she bakes cookies that might be better than my mother’s.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Enigma (e-nig’-ma): Obscuring one’s meaning by presenting it within a riddle or by means of metaphors that purposefully challenge the reader or hearer to understand.

There is a windmill, or should I say, a wind turbine, spinning in my mind. It is generating electric thoughts, like Edison had when he summoned his assistant Watson to light his cigar in his laboratory. Yes, the cigar had import, basking in the significance of the moment, like an open door or a pile of loose change, mostly dimes and quarters, or a glowing summons to an unimaginable future, imagined right there in Menlo Park, New Jersey. The cigar was cheap, but Edison’s thoughts were worth a fortune.

I want to know how the wind gets in my head to make the windmill spin. Maybe I should say there’s a hamster in my mind running on his wheel, spinning off crazy ideas that are soaked up by my consciousness, providing grounds for illegal and inappropriate actions. Oh wait—there is a rainbow bridging my brain! It affords me a promise, hope and an optimistic turn toward the rest of my life. Like George LaVkovff says, there are “metaphors we live by” (and die by). Does your life stink?

That’s a metaphor. Change the metaphor and your life will change. I consider myself to be a turtle with a rainbow above my head. Think of a turtle’s characteristics. They’re mine too. Put a rainbow above them. They’re mine too. Being a rainbow-crowned turtle provides me an orientation toward life! But what am I really? I’m an life insurance actuary with a boring hopeless life. I am not a turtle—they have more fun than I do. I am an anchovy stuck in the darkness of my can with ten or twelve other anchovies. We’re waiting for the lid to be ripped off. There’s a lot of anxiety in the can, plus we smell bad.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Epanodos (e-pan’-o-dos): 1. Repeating the main terms of an argument in the course of presenting it. 2. Returning to the main theme after a digression. 3. Returning to and providing additional detail for items mentioned previously (often using parallelism).

There was a time when I could put up with anything—I think I was around six years old. Up to six, I wailed cried until things went my way. After six, I lost my tolerance for everything—a crack in the sidewalk set me off. My dog Creature looking at me set me off. Having to poop set me off. If somebody said my name, it set me off. The list of triggers was endless and I was always angry and miserable until I stumbled across a book at Geppetto’s Flea Market. The book is titled Stop It! It is by an obscure author from Belize named Shep Rutt. It made me realize I suffer from a kind of mental illness called “Omni Baddy Kakosphere” (OBK): a tendency to dislike and be irritated by everything. Rutt argues: (1) It is a mental illness, (2) It is all in your head, (3) It can be cured. As a mental illness it has name recognition among doctors and insurance carriers. So, you’re covered: you will get a doctor and your insurance will pay for your care. Since it is all in your head, your head will play a big role in your cure. You will get control of your imagination and ability to see all things in a positive light. For example, if you step in dog poop, you’ll just wipe it off your shoe with a stick and be on your way, smiling. And, that’s how OBK is cured: once you get control of your judgement, you will lose your judgement to Rutt’s ground-zero insight drawn from the 60s pop song: “Everything is Beautiful in Its Own Way.” When you feel yourself slipping back into OBK, you will play the song on your iPhone and you will be restored.

Mental illness. All in my head. Can be cured. I laughed at a homeless man today: he looked so funny in his raggedy smelly clothes, with a sunburn, and a worn-out cardboard coffee container. One month ago he would have made me mad and I might have pushed him down on the sidewalk. But now, I think he’s funny. I pointed and laughed. Shep Rutt saved my life: I had an illness in my head that was cured. Stop It! made me stop it. I am studying now to become a Stop It therapist. More OBK sufferers need to see that everything is beautiful in its own way.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Epilogus (e-pi-lo’-gus): Providing an inference of what is likely to follow.

I was driving us from Topeka to Moobell, Kansas—about 400 miles. Our oldest son was graduating from the abattoir school located there. Their motto is “You’ll Make the Cut” and it really helped our son develop a positive attitude toward his studies. We couldn’t wait for him to flop a pile of steaks and sweetbreads on the kitchen counter. Medium rare please! Thickly breaded please!

There was so much going on in car that I was completely distracted. I was trying to finish my second beer and stay under 80 at the same time. No mean feat. The twins were bickering about whose feet were bigger and what was better: to die by chainsaw or by car wreck. They both decided car wreck was the way to go: a lesser degree of terror and waiting for the chainsaw to do its thing, after being taunted by its insane wielder. Mary, our only daughter, was sitting alongside the twins and I could see her in the rearview mirror mouthing “bullshit” and giving her brothers the finger. I turned around to tell the twins to shut up, and a Buffalo stepped out in front of the car.

My beer can crumpled in my hand and the car flipped over. Luckily we were all belted in and we were hanging upside down with no injuries. Also, I was able to reach my phone in my pants and call 911. The highway patrol cut us out of our seatbelts and asked me what the open beer can in my hand was about. I told them I had a weak bladder and I needed it to pee in.

Our car was towed to a local body shop where the insurance adjuster would check it out. They had no rental cars available, so we rented the tow truck and continued on. We made it in time to the graduation. The key speaker was Olaf Meyer, the great grandson of Oscar Meyer, the king of weenies! The speech was “There’s a Cut for Everybody,” a typical left-wing speech about gustatory diversity. We sat through it and drove the tow truck back to the body shop. They had a mini-van available. We all hopped aboard and headed home. Our car had been judged to be a total loss. Soon, we’d have a new car purchased with the insurance money.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Eutrepismus (eu-tre-pis’-mus): Numbering and ordering the parts under consideration. A figure of division, and of ordering.

Although we only have two legs, there are myriad reasons why we should take up prancing. I will enumerate two.

1. When we prance we channel the energy of a steed. We become swifter, and focused, and more racy.

2. We develop the desire and ability to jump over fences and water hazards: excellent skills for managing urban life. We also develop an appetite for oats. A very healthy breakfast food.

So, you can prance. To prance is to prance. Prance in the mall! A lot of room there and people will usually step aside as you come prancing by. Then, of course, you can prance in the parking lot, weaving in between the cars and pickup trucks, like the show pony you’ve become. Next, you’ll want to prance down a sidewalk, feet rising and falling, body swaying like a quarter horse crossing the finish line. You will jump gigantic puddles as if they were somebody’s spilled beverage.

Last but not least, to complete your prancification you will never say “no” again. Showing your prancer pride, you will say “neigh” and whinny your satisfaction with the prancing life. I’m going prancing in the park tonight. Come along!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Exuscitatio (ex-us-ci-ta’-ti-o): Stirring others by one’s own vehement feeling (sometimes by means of a rhetorical question, and often for the sake of exciting anger).

How many of you have had your underwear shrink? Mine claimed to be shrink proof on the package. I had total faith in their assertion. After all, they’re a big company with a pleasing name: “100% Cotton.” What could inspire more confidence than 100%? 100% of anything is all of it. I’ve trusted cotton since I’ve worn Levi’s as a toddler. They told you to buy them big because they would shrink. They were honest.

I don’t know about you, but my briefs have become a cotton postage stamp with 2 leg holes. When I put them on, it’s like I’m wearing Ken’s undies and Barbie is standing there laughing at me.

Underpants are the closest thing to you aside from your skin. Closer than your girlfriend. Closer than your mother. Closer than your boss! Do you want what’s closest to you chafing and painfully squeezing your private parts? Are you with me? Together we can make this right. Together we can get the underpants bosses to stop crushing our pride by making our underpants one size smaller, after they shrink, than they say on the package. What’s worse, these underpants are made in China by Communists. Are they trying make us sterile so there will be no soldiers when they invade us with their depraved Army, conquer us and make us slaves—probably working in an underpants factory to further their cause.

Again, are you with me? We must confiscate all of the 100% cotton underpants in the United States. We must burn them in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue to show our President that these shrinking underpants are un-American and unacceptable. We can do this. The confiscation and transportation of Chinese shrinkys will become our life’s work. Nothing shall deter us as we harvest the 100% cotton underpants and bring them to the bonfire. We will not be duped by Chinese agents giving away free underpants at the mall. We will save America! Let’s go! Down with constricting underpants!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Homoeopropophoron: Alliteration taken to an extreme where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant. Sometimes, simply a synonym for alliteration or paroemion [a stylistic vice].

Time tells tarnished truths and tepid tales; takes twisted treks, tired trips. Doubts diminish, dragging dreams down darkened drains. Determined demons delight, raising their fists and chanting “Damn you!” over and over. Memory manages many miscalculations, designing dilemmas, developing demonic domains—angelic in thought, diabolical in action.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Homoioptoton (ho-mee-op-to’-ton): The repetition of similar case endings in adjacent words or in words in parallel position.

Note: Since this figure only works with inflected languages, it has often been conflated with homoioteleuton and (at least in English) has sometimes become equivalent to simple rhyme: “To no avail, I ate a snail.”

“The Brady Bunch” blared on YouTube while I ate my lunch—I had a hunch that Greg Brady’s latest invention was designed to give Alice some kind of relief from her vexing responsibilities. It is hand-held and battery-powered and makes a buzzing sound when it’s turned on. We find out near the end of the episode that it is a hand-held vacuum cleaner for sucking up crumbs and other things from under and between furniture cushions. This episode had put me to sleep—it was boring and it had me snoring. Suddenly, I woke myself up by the snarling sound I was making and I thought, “If that jerk Greg can invent something so can I.” I started to think—what doesn’t the world have that it needs? It would have to be simple. I would make it in the garage at my dad’s workbench. He always had four or five projects going, mainly because he never finished any of them. He’d been fixing the kitchen sink drain for two years and my mother had gotten used to putting a mixing bowl under it to catch the drippings. My father spent most of his home-time sitting in “his” chair looking at his laptop: an antique computer the size of a two-inch thick chessboard. He had to plug in an antenna to pick up wi-fi. It was pitiful. Then, I got an idea: I could make a device that would send an electric shock through Dad’s chair and get him up off his ass. He would thank me.

I found an old electric extension chord. I cut off the socket end exposing two copper wires. I took the license plate that Dad kept hanging on the wall—his old vanity plate “LETSMAMBO.” I ran a wire through each of the license plate’s top two screw holes— one on the right, one on the left. I was done. I didn’t know what to call my invention, maybe “Watts Up” would be a cool name, or maybe “Butt Jumper”? Anyway, I went into the living room and slid the wired up LETSMAMBO vanity plate under dad’s chair cushion. I would hide by the chair and plug it in when he sat down.

He came into the living room and sat in his chair. It’s like he didn’t care—another night in the chair. I shoved the plug into the outlet. My father screamed and all the house’s electricity shut down. Not only was my dad out of his chair, his chair was smoking, and so was the seat of dad’s pants, and he was squirming around on the floor, cursing. We called 911 and he was taken to the hospital to have his butt examined.

I thought, all great inventions move through trial and error, and reconsideration of basic assumptions, before they come to fruition. Dad threw me out of the house after I nearly fried his butt, but I’ve continued to develop and redevelop my invention. I have been using guinea pigs, which aren’t cheap. I’ve yet to kill one, but they are all a little singed. I wear a white lab coat with my name embroidered on it in red letters when I work at night. Like all great inventors, I suffer for my vision and sacrifice everything for my hope. I work as a ticket-stub tearer at the local movie theater. My meager earnings go into my dream. Luckily, my mom sends me cash to supplement my wages and keep me going. Now I know how Tesla and Eli Whitney felt.

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Definition and commentary courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Inter se pugnantia

Inter se pugnantia (in’-ter-say-pug-nan’-ti-a): Using direct address to reprove someone before an audience, pointing out the contradictions in that person’s character, often between what a person does and says.

I am sick and tired of dealing with your false persona—claiming to be fair, honest, and above reproach. Well, I’ve got a giant dose of reproach for you. You can’t be opposite people at the same time. You can’t say one thing and do another thing. You can’t keep concealing what you’re actually doing from what you say you’re doing. You can’t say you have a commitment to helping the poor when you’re condemning their homes, buying their homes, demolishing their homes and replacing them with high rise condos. The web of corruption enabling this to take place is wide and vile—in fact, it holds it together: public officials, private contractors riding on your rotten scheme, making money, ruining poor peoples’ lives. Everybody that can help the poor, from building inspectors to real estate brokers, is on your payroll: mostly government money you’ve looted— that you’ve stolen on behalf of yourself and your cronies.

Now, since I’ve spoken of your greed, duplicity, and illegal activities on the public record, my guess is that my life will be in jeopardy—that you’ll dig up a hitter from the garbage pile you call “My Colleagues.” While that may be coming, I’m not afraid. I’ve seen the sad look in the eyes of the dispossessed—especially the children. There, I see the future. There, I see my legacy as a public servant, restoring their hope, assuaging their fear. Besides, you’ll be indicted as soon as the evidence (which I’ve provided) hits the DA’s desk. You’re going down. Your mob is going down. Do you know how to spell Attica?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Synonymia (si-no-ni’-mi-a): In general, the use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. A kind of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. Synonymia often occurs in parallel fashion. The Latin synonym, interpretatio, suggests the expository and rational nature of this figure, while another Greek synonym, congeries, suggests the emotive possibilities of this figure.

The sun, Helios, the burning orb. It makes shadows as it shines—the flat black and gray images, stretched and pulled across every surface on earth except glass, water and other earthly aspects that reflect what sunlight brings to life.

It is winter here and the sun is shining; the sky is a cloudless corridor to outer space. It is cold, -4 F. You go outside and the mucus freezes in your nostrils. You try to start your car—the starter growls and then it gives up. Nevertheless, the sun has some effect: mainly to give you a sunburn on your face if you stay outside unprotected, as if were summer without the warmth. There’s probably an explanation of winter sunburn on Wikipedia, or maybe it’s some kind common knowledge that I’m too undereducated to know. But I do know I have gotten winter burn several times. My cat won’t get it though.

We have a full height glass storm door with a southern exposure. We leave the door open and the sun streams through the storm door’s glass. The black cat—Sidney—lays on his back there like he’s on a piece of pool furniture, lounging, waiting for his Fancy Feast. The sun’s light streaming in generates heat—so much heat that it affects the thermostat in the hall, throwing it off by five degrees, while the rest of the house becomes chilly. After the sun goes down, or on a cloudy day, the cat stretches out in front of the heat ducts in either the mud room or the kitchen. I don’t how he chooses between the two ducts, but I wish I could join him basking in the burning propane’s blowing heat.

Sunlight. Daylight. Sunset. The magical star that brings warmth, growth, healing, closure, and life to our otherwise dead planet. Try to understand it’s mystic ubiquity, as we see that the Sun, like everything else we humans interact with, can injure and kill—skin cancer: a slow, drawn-out, unhurried death. It’s true, and it’s ironic, like everything else.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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A video reading is n YouTube: Johnnie Anaphora


Aganactesis (ag’-an-ak-tee’-sis): An exclamation proceeding from deep indignation.

John: You did it again! You did it again! You did it again! Damn you to Hell! I wasn’t put on earth to line things up! To make things right! To sweep it under the carpet. Damn you!

Jane: But there was an earthquake last night. Didn’t you feel it?

John: No! You liar, you want to tell me my best chocolate soldier, General John, was knocked off the fireplace mantle and broke off his head because of an earthquake? Ha ha ha. Once again, the wind blowing out your mouth cries Mary. But, there are imps in my attic because I’m a Voodoo Child, and you’re Mrs. Blue. You angel-faced liar. Poor General John. He was in charge of the chocolate soldier brigade I bought on the internet and has guarded our home and watched over you since I came home two weeks ago.

Jane: John! Look in the newspaper! The headline says: “Earthquake Rocks Bay Area.” That’s the truth. You need to calm down and have one of the bon-bons I picked up at CVS last week. They have a delicious cherry center and Dr. Rick says they’ll make every day feel like Valentines Day; our anniversary and your favorite holiday!

John: You eat one first.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory. Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.

“It is a quite special secret pleasure how the people around us fail to realize what is really happening to them.” Adolf Hitler

I hate quoting Hitler. He was evil incarnate. He was a cold-blooded murderer. He was a racist. He exploited sensibilities already operative in Germany. He was a populist devoted to making Germany “great” again. He was an antisemite. Dissent earned a death sentence. His theatrical rallies struck the hearts and minds of attendees. Held at night with shining vaults of light and a jacked-up rostrum putting him above the attendees, an epoche was invited that blurred the distinction between theatre and real life allowing an amplification of feeling and a reduced sense of the reality of consequences, lost in the ethos of the “staged” performance and the persona of being part of national play—where “objectionable” or “morally abhorrent” is not what it appears to be if we remember why we’re doing it. The “people” believe that the glory of their past is being retrieved—that everything the star on the stage aims for and does induces the rebirth so ardently desired by the people, even if it calls for the murder of “others.”

But this is a lie. The biggest lie is the concept of “the people.” In practice, it excludes “people” based on criteria, promulgated by power, that lose their place at the table of brother- and sisterhood, that lose their right to the law’s protection, that lose everything due to: Sexual orientation. Race. Social status. Gender. Disability. And more.

Here, the failure “to realize what is really happening to them” affects the victimizers. They fail to realize that they are corroding their souls. Their collective participation in the night-time rallies themed around the National Socialist dream begins to spill into the streets, where opposing views are confronted with wooden clubs. It is a juggernaut, a force of nature, “our” destiny. And the salty tears of their victims flow under their feet unnoticed, as they look up to the leader and venerate his nationalist will—the murderer, the antisemite, the beloved demon who is making Germany great again.

So, do you know what is actually happening to you?

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].

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Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

Dad: If you don’t stop doing that every night, your thing will wear down to a tiny nub and you’ll never get a chance to use it the way God intended—as a procreation implement, like the bull out there in the corral with his thing. Did you ever see him do to himself what you do to your self? Of course, the answer is “No.” Big Ted’s not a pervert. He’s a bull. And if people find out what you’re doing, you might be hauled off to the State Mental Institution for unnatural impulses and self abuse. Then, you will have a permanent record. You won’t be able the get a decent job, and your mother, God bless her, will be humiliated and will never leave the house again.

Son: So Dad, how do you know what I do in bed at night?

Dad: There’s a spy cam hidden in your room. It’s the best way I know to monitor your nocturnal habits and take measures when they overstep the limits of propriety, as your nightly self-abuse certainly does. We should’ve had this talk a lot sooner, but I hate confrontations. I’m glad we finally got around to it.

Son: You’re a pervert. I’m shocked, hurt, angered and disgusted, you scumbag creep. I’m getting the hell out of here and checking into a shelter until they can find me a foster home. I’m packing. You better stay out of my way asshole! Your days as a voyeur are done. You may be hearing from the police very soon. Now, get the hell out of my way!!

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Aporia (a-po’-ri-a): Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=diaporesis].

I’ve been lost on Rte. 80 for about 12 hrs. Where the hell is the Delaware Water Gap? How can I be lost on Rte. 80? Did somebody sabotage my GPS? The battery’s dead anyway. But Rte. 80 is loaded with well-marked exits. Where is the damn Delaware Water Gap? I hear sirens and see flashing red lights in my in my rear view mirror. What’s going on? Why are they chasing me?

I pull over to the shoulder and start looking for my registration and insurance card. And just like that, the 2 New Jersey State Trooper cruisers roar past, sirens blaring, lights flashing. They must be going 100!

Where the hell is the Delaware Water Gap? I can see the river out my car window. The sky is clear. The stars are bright. Now, to complicate things, I hear a tapping sound coming from the passenger side of the car. I look and see an old badly dressed man riding shotgun. He says in his old man voice: “Son, Delaware Water Gap symbolizes your life’s divisions: you wife, your children, and your children’s hamster Wild Bill.”

Oh my God, It was my father. How had I forgotten he was in the car? Between being lost and forgetting, I was surely having some kind of mental breakdown. Then Dad said, “According to my phone’s GPS, We’re not lost. The Gap is five miles up the road.” I pulled over and borrowed Dad’s phone to call home. It was reassuring hearing my wife’s warm and comforting voice. I felt the Gap narrowing and wanted to turn around and go back home and be with my wife, children, and the hamster.

As we came up on the exit, Dad said “This is where I get out.” I thought he was joking, so I pulled over. He told me to keep his phone as he opened the car door. He instantly disappeared into the night. I jumped out of the car calling his name and looking for him. He was nowhere to be found.

I got back in the car, started it up, turned around, and headed back to Chatham. Aside from the cellphone, there wasn’t a trace of Dad in the car. I decided to report him missing the next day, which was really shitty of me. I got home around 8:00 am. I could smell coffee as I came through the door. I was carrying Dad’s cellphone in my hand. When my wife saw it, she smiled and reached for it. “You found my cellphone, I thought I lost it forever.” I told her I had found it in the car. I decided not to report Dad missing. Why?

He was in the little brass urn on the mantle.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Effictio (ef-fik’-ti-o): A verbal depiction of someone’s body, often from head to toe.

His skin was a tribute to Postmodernism—a critique of the grand narratives affording space and surfaces the restrictive positioning of images and linguistic structures, keeping repressive borders intact as if they were mandated by a ‘natural order’ emanating from God.

Mr. Mellon had overcome all that with his body’s free-range tattoos: a Modernist’s nightmare!

Of his 200+ tattoos, he had a frame from “Little House on the Prairie” inked on his chest. In the tat, Charles is inked in, headed to the outhouse with a piece of newspaper in his hand. Alongside the “Little House,” there’s a hammer and sickle from the flag of the now-defunct Soviet Union. Centered on his belly button, there’s a durian fruit with passed-out people lying around dressed like dentists. Tony Soprano and Richard Nixon sit on a cloud on the right side of his neck with the number “9” being carved on it by Albert Einstein wielding a jackhammer.

It would take 100s of pages to describe and catalogue Mr. Mellon’s tattoos. Suffice it to say, from head (a question mark on his nose) to toe (a bleeding cut with stitches), his random tattoos project a sort of “I don’t give a shit” mentality which unfortunately projects a quality of rugged individualism, a keystone of Modernism. However, fortunately, it projects a directionless trajectory: going nowhere, the tattoos display an all-consuming disregard for “normal” and challenge the taken-for-granted preference for everyday life and regimes of truth that unreflectively promulgate it.

Mr. Mellon will be on display in a ventilated glass booth daily at the Notting Hill tube stop from October 5- 9, 1.00-3.00 pm. He will be wearing a spa towel to cover his privates, but the rest of him will be unclothed and on-view as he slowly rotates on a turntable repurposed from a record player manufactured in the late 1960s.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Enantiosis (e-nan-ti-o’-sis): Using opposing or contrary descriptions together, typically in a somewhat paradoxical manner.

At 6’ he’s not that tall, but, he’s a giant in everything else. As a politician he mended our lives, won us universal health care, and lowered our taxes. I’ve been praying for these reforms since I was a teen living under Eisenhower and the rabid anti-socialism dominating the politics of the time, and later, the Cold War craziness under Nixon. We made some progress with Kennedy and Johnson, and more significantly with Obama, but we haven’t hit the big ones until now.

Time passes. The social climate changes. The Trump years have yet to be completely understood. Perhaps crazy and leaning toward dictatorship are two hallmarks of his regime. There are still people suffering from his influence— especially the anti-vaxers who would rather die than heed the truth, and the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who actually believed the Presidential election was stolen.

On the one hand, we have a giant asshole who is short on brains, and on the other hand, a giant who got into politics for the right reason: to serve the Republic and its wildly diverse people who stand (or kneel) united in opposition to tyranny.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Enthymeme (en’-thy-meem): 1. The informal method [or figure] of reasoning typical of rhetorical discourse. The enthymeme is sometimes defined as a “truncated syllogism” since either the major or minor premise found in that more formal method of reasoning is left implied. The enthymeme typically occurs as a conclusion coupled with a reason. When several enthymemes are linked together, this becomes sorites. 2. A figure of speech which bases a conclusion on the truth of its contrary. [Depending on its grammatical structure and specific word choice, it may be chiasmus].

It’s raining, you better take an umbrella. You have a red one to match your cloak. Grandma will he happy to see you, especially since you’re packing a half-pound of primo weed in your basket along with six packages of maple sugar candy, two copies of The New Yorker, and a bottle of Bombay gin.

Now, there’s rumors that there’s a “big bad wolf” lurking around Grandma’s. I think it’s your Uncle Harvey wearing a wolf suit to scare people away. After all, Grandma’s hut is pretty isolated and there’s no locks on the doors. Having Uncle Harvey stand guard is a pretty good idea, and dressing in a wolf suit lends him some authority. Anyway, there hasn’t been a real wolf sighted around here for ten years. There isn’t going to be one sighted now. Also, even if he’s really still around, he hasn’t attacked anybody, so you can bet he’s not going to start now. “Big Bad” is the wrong first name for that wolf.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Homoioteleuton (ho-mee-o-te-loot’-on): Similarity of endings of adjacent or parallel words.

I was a Dead Head in the 60’s. I was a travel-all-over rover, driving my green and white VW bus everywhere the Grateful Dead was appearing. It was a big pot-smoking acid-dropping family.

If I hadn’t had my trust fund to draw on, I couldn’t have been a Dead Head. The drugs alone cost bundle, especially since I gave a lot away, mainly to hot looking hippie chicks who showed their gratitude in many splendored ways.

The weirdest thing that happened was at a Dead event in Kentucky. I took a hit off a joint, and looked up, and bam, there was Al Gore standing in front of me in a pair of jungle fatigues singing along with the Dead’s “Box of Rain.” I didn’t know who he was at the time. I found out years later when he went into politics.

We smoked the rest of my joint together. We talked, and he did almost all the talking. I don’t remember what we talked about, but after that conversation I decided to go back home, go to college, and go into finance.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Horismus (hor-is’-mus): Providing a clear, brief definition, especially by explaining differences between associated terms.

As you become more deeply involved with “hunting” you should know the difference between a bullet and a pellet. A bullet is a single projectile, often called a slug. When well-aimed it will blow a hole through its target causing blood to spurt out if a heart shot, or ooze out, if the strike is elsewhere. For example, it may blow off a leg, become lodged in the rump, or somewhere along the spine, causing a slower bleed-out and a more agonizing death.

A pellet is a lead sphere. It comes in different sizes, from bird shot, to upland game, to buckshot— which comes in different sizes, the largest of which is called “00 Buck.” Coming from a shotgun, pellets are sprayed in a lethal pattern, mutilating one’s prey, or blowing a big hole in it, if fired from close range.

Remember, if you’re going to kill animals, you should choose the right projectile. You should only kill people in self defense (broadly defined).

Instant killing is a fun thing to do, but you might want to consider wounding your prey so you can have the satisfaction of tracking it’s blood trail and finding its dead body somewhere in the woods. Imagine, wounding a rabbit and trying to find it. What a challenge, building the character attributes of patience and perseverance as you crawl through a thicket in your camo overhauls, dragging your new Remington over and under beside you.

Bullets and pellets. Vehicles of death, makers of meals: deer, squirrels, ducks, raccoons, pigeons, chipmunks (if you’re really hungry). Remember, that Bible commandment about killing is just about killing people. If there’s a season on it, it’s fair game. Unless it’s a cow or a chicken, you can kill it. Cows and chickens can be killed any time, but you, unless the chickens or cows are feral, should let the farmers do the killing. Don’t worry. You can get farmer-killed meat at the grocery store!

Now, you’re one step closer to being a hunter. Every time you load up, take aim, pull the trigger, and kill a living creature you become a better person.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Metastasis (me-tas’-ta-sis): Denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against you.

Incite? I think you meant insight. This is what I think: Your hearings are doing the inciting. As patriotic Americans hear your lies about the peaceful visitors on a guided tour of the Capitol on January 6th, who were met and ejected from the building by force, by order of Nancy Pelosi, they have become very angry and mistrustful of the federal government’s role in all of this. They might even think the right thing to do at this point is to burn down the Capitol with all the Democrat Representatives, and the two Republican traitors, locked inside.

I’m not inciting anything here today with my remarks, and, by the way, I’m just speculating like you are. You’re running a guessing game, so can I. But my guesses are based in facts. Yours are based in lies about a group of innocent tourists who were violently ejected from the Capitol by overzealous police, who attacked them on orders from Pelosi. She’s the one you should be questioning and charging with crimes against the American people. She’s the one who should go to prison. She’s a disgrace.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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Simile (si’-mi-lee): An explicit comparison, often (but not necessarily) employing “like” or “as.”

My preferred character is projected by my speech. It’s like a currently popular catchphrase or a buzz word: I want to utilize incentivization to maximize our leverage in the upcoming negotiations. Ha ha! That’s me! Smart! With it! Learned!

I am constantly masking my rough origins and basic dishonesty with Latinized words. In a way, I am like a brick painted with elaborate images that will eventually be hurled through somebody’s window.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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