Nun Condom

So, some thoughts.

The title comes out of some weird play I was doing once with the word “coNUNdrum.” I think I sort of overly manipulated that one, but the point is that that is what I saw, so I just wrote it, and it was a fun sort of paradox, no?

One wonders with wordplay, how much of it is active manipulation on our part, and how much of it is simply following where the letters and words want to take us?

For example, this morning a friend of mine said her husband had once been called “horrid” by someone. I don’t see him that way at all, and it was an odd choice of words. So I thought I’d take out my magic wordplay wand and see where horrid would lead me, in relation to her husband who I know and see as a big kid, always ready for play and at the same time very very intellectual and curious. (Clearly these are not mutually exclusive qualities!)

Instantly I saw “Whore it.” To me that means, swerve the negative connotations of someone who barely knows you calling you horrid. Anyways, that’s their subjective perception and as such, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. “Whore it” also fits her husband perfectly, because he is a real showman and character, and I could see him flaunting his personality in response to an off-hand negative comment.

No big revelations here. Just some reflections. As I learn more about wordplay, I often wonder where the line crosses between my own active manipulation of the words to achieve a desired outcome, and the unavoidable conclusions that come as a result of having to work within the constraints of a particular word, phrase, or sound.



I want to sit in the cradle of the Y, in that space between the bend in the road, where both paths are open to me but I don’t feel pressed to choose. Where both of the uplifted arms of the Y can hold me safely, and where I can feel like I’m always supported. I could climb down the stem of the Y and walk over to the R next door. I could knock on the door of R and have R open its upper back window for me to climb inside. I could lean up against the plexiglass of the bubble of R and look out without falling, and C, see our why.

cry, scream, shout, call, outcry, exclamation
crying, tears, weeping, cry, lament
scream, cry, shout, yell, howl, bellow
scream, shriek, squeal, cry, screech, shout
direction, verse, way, line, verso, cry
invocation, cry
ad, announcement, notice, intimation, cry, spot
yelp, cry
cry, weep, mourn, sob, bawl, grieve for
shout, cry, scream, yell, call, shriek
scream, shout, yell, cry, howl, roar
scream, shriek, shout, cry, squeal, screech
proclaim, declare, cry, herald, publicize, publicise
wail, whimper, cry


Hi! Rvsh in legwird

Ok, yes, rushing. That’s exactly what I thought.

Last day of freedom for the time being. I feel like the clock is ticking in my ear. Argh. Hate that feeling. Hate feeling rushed. Hate it.

Rush in legward makes me feel like I’m jumping into some pool feet first, or perhaps dancing (where this anagram was actually originally born) by kicking my shoes off or jumping in with my entire legs in one crazy movement. Backward, forward, legward. It works, somehow, no?

This anagram has me thinking about Rumi, and a friend of mine who told me about one of her favorites by him. She asked “Do you like Rumi?” I told her I loved “The Guest House.” She said there was another one that she really liked… I forget the name. She tried to recite a few lines and I don’t remember them anymore, and that was just yesterday. Rumi is by now sort of like Coehlo. I almost sometimes feel like I should hide my head when I say I like to read Rumi, as if Oprah went through and put a stamp on it for her book club-approved reading. Trite pulp squeezed out of “100 calorie to go” plastic pouches for mass consumption while driving around from one McDonald’s Drive-Thru to the car wash and back through to Starbucks for the triple-venti-soy-latte-extra hot-no whip-with a shot of sugar-free vanilla. The Jonathan Franzen manifesto.

Holy shit. Did Franzen just liken Oprah to Moses? I believe he now sordide.

But, back to Rumi.


That’s what I need. More room. More room to breathe, to express, to expand, to search, to reed.

There are three main types of reeds: single reeds, double reeds, and free reads. I played the saxophone in 4th grade when I was 8 years old.

I like free reads the best.


Just for Maestro

This one is for my teacher, just to check and see if he’s visiting my word lab on a regular basis.

I found a way to make his name sound like Elmer Fudd is saying it. No, seriously.

All you have to do is replace the entire part before his name asks why, with the word ennui. (I will read no further into this in and of itself. That would be too tedious.)

I know, right! Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat, folks!

N.B. Elmer Fudd’s hat is NOT, I repeat: NOT, one of these.

Nota bene, bene: At 6:25 Bugs Bunny translates the word for a Sardinian bird back into English. Just saying.


Loss of Self

I love serendipitous things. I have another blog that people actually read, which garners me a modest little following. As much as I hate the word “followers,” that is simply what they are when we refer to Twitter. I get notifications when I get new “followers” and I’ve never gone into the settings to turn them off. I usually ignore them but for some reason this morning I went ahead and opened the email, and started looking at a few of the people who are now “following” me. (I feel absolutely compulsive about putting that word in quotes. I think I’m hoping that the quotation marks will be a shower that will wash the word of any semblance of guru or hero-worship connotations!)

So this one twitterer (tweeterer? twitter user? follower?) turned out to be super fun and had some fine examples of word play in his recent tweets. I don’t know if this was intentional or just because his brain works like someone intentionally engaged in word play. My brain has worked this way for as long as I can remember, it’s just that having more formal training in learning about how to deploy language is giving me some more direction and certainly has increased the output exponentially.

Anyhoo, here I’d love to share a few examples from Travis.

Exhibit 1. “Io-Gone”


I mean, really, folks. This is a no-brainer. The only thing I’d add is that “Io” in Italian means “I” as in me, myself. So in addition to hearing “I’m all gone” in this, I also see a sort of way more existential crisis!

Exhibit 2. “Palindromes

I especially like this example because it was something I had to do a bit of work to figure out. First of all I had to look up the word palindrome. I mean, obviously I’ve heard this word before, but I hadn’t ever reserved space in my brain for actually defining it, even though I’ve recently discussed this exact phenomenon with my Jedi Master.

Travis’s tweeted quote on this picture was “Next palindrome in 1100 miles.” Folks, that is just brilliant. Honestly. Kudos, Travis! Or rather, should I say [insert some palindrome here that gives Travis a big gold star].


Naturally, I am now one of Travis’s followers. But it … sigh … leads me to desire another Twitter account open only for tweeting word play. OH GOD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON MY S(OU)L.



Be quiet! is a house without soul.

I A (e) = [me et e] [InconTrareE] [In conTaraE]
[lET mE count thE ways…]


Imagine a l b r r y.

o [the whle wrld]
O! O!

Brrit‘s c l d in there.
(Put that O back. Pls, don’t take my world away from me.)

I’m floating, fltng, flitting, flttng, fit ting fttng, on a c l o d.

All that’s missing is you.

and I…