Wednesday, February 15, 2006


ABOUT: This.

ACCURACY: Many examples exist, among them: calling a statue of the Buddha, a Buddhist; when you don’t miss; when your prey is drawn to you. Advice when dealing this word: resort to contrast to increase accuracy, eg, in terms of ‘wholeness’, dark is more accurate than light and love is more accurate than hate; in terms of ‘fragmentation’, the opposites are the cases. If desiring to decrease accuracy, desire is enough. Tantamount, then, to ‘enough is enough’.

ADVERTISING: By email: ‘Margie Cronin, Grow Your Penis’. Generally: I didn’t grow my penis: I’m one of the ten percent.

AGAIN AND AGAIN: There’s a lot more to it.

AGE: Behind you are the old, in front of you are the young; you are never either.

ALWAYS: Never true except for the word itself.

AM: Where you always are/were.

AMBITION: Something that would be better described by understanding its opposite (or should that be better understood by describing its opposite?), eg., the voice of silence has no ambition to be heard; the axes have no ambition – though this latter example can be a misleading one because axes can have ambition plural.

ART: Transcription of the bit you possess of what you see (a la Marc Chagall).

AT THE TOP OF THE LIST OF ANYTHING: Sleeping without fear.

ATTRACTIVE: What is able to be destroyed. (Why? Being attracted to the indestructible entails coming to terms with impotence.)

BALANCE: What the moon does.

BEAUTY: The symmetricality of the moment forced to empty itself into the cup of thought.

BEND: A technical term though no less poetic for that.

BLASÉ BEHAVIOUR: My theory for a long time based on nothing.

BODY BUILDERS: People with eel-filled bellies. (At least for the metaphorical.)

BROKEN BIT: The useful part of law.

BYPASS: These days usually triple or quadruple. In times gone, we are consequently without knowledge of what was avoided.

CERTAINTY: In which there is most opportunity and potential for uncertainty.

CHARITY: When we remember. And then forget.

CHILD: Unable to be convinced that we all get old.

COMPARISON: Cul-de-sac of like-un-like. Unlike it is and unlike that isn’t. Highly important territory that is randomly and commonly hijacked by fools for personal gain but only by adding value to the equation.

CONTEMPLATION: Should anything be in a museum? Did anything occur to you?

COVETOUSNOUS: Commendable given the pain.

CREATION: What’s only accomplished with help.

CRITIQUE: What we are all unqualified for.

DADDIES: Aren’t specific (eg, may put a pillow on your bed that isn’t your pillow). Lack of specificity also applies to the daddy itself.

DEATH: Subscription cancelled. (Does not matter who by.)

DECONTEXTUALIZATION: One person doing something and another person doing something else.

DÉJÀ VU: The exposed veins of a nutmeg.

DIFFERENCE: People are different. So is what you learn. [See WISDOM.]

DISINTEREST: Highly respected.

DISTANCE: Where fear and the unknown become scientific. May be casual, great, or covered.

DOES: Takes this example.

DREAM: Being stranded somewhere.

DULLNESS: The inability to be carried away.

ENEMIES: Your truest accomplices.

EDUCATION: Slowly filling the body with pain (so that a full – and useful – bucket can be drawn from the well’s depth and darkness).

EMBARRASSMENT: The world remains the same.

EMPATHY: The ability to make sure both/all are present in each part. (Unfortunately hardwired.)

EVERYTHING: 1. Everything plus nothing; 2. Isn’t real.

EVIDENCE: Both admissible and inadmissible. As if. [See LAW.]

EVOLUTION: The reigning theory of tautology.

EXACTLY: What everything is and what hardly anything is thought to be. The irony is it is recognized in a piecemeal fashion.

EXAMPLES OF PARADOX: When exposed the lie is a lie. When exposed the lie is not a lie.

EXCUSE: Beliefs that are acted upon.

EXTRA: 1. Empty parentheses; 2. What you can only have if you have enough. (However, if what you have is good enough, extra becomes impossible. Some think that enough is enough and is therefore good enough, extra thus always being an impossibility.)

FAIR TRADE: 1.The boy pulling his finger from the dyke; 2. Today for tomorrow (though some believe this shows elements of profit while others see it as blackmail).

FAITH: What is summoned from hiding within humanity and then used as an excuse not to come out. (Assume FEAR.)

FEAR: Getting to safety.

FINISHING: What is still worthwhile.


FREEDOM: Knowing the difference between differences. Ie., ‘We are always more free than we feel.’ ‘We feel free but are less so.’

FUTURE: 1. It will come back to you; 2. Involvement with consequences.

GOD: What is defined as God as what remains undefinable. (or 1. What is defined as God; 2. What remains undefinable.)

GOOD IMPRESSION: Putty for holes in the self. (A ‘bad impression’ is not showing your holes – everyone knows you have them – but insisting upon inserting a finger into them in public.)

GOOSEBUMPS: Footprints left by your brain creeping around your body.

GREAT BOOKS: The full story is on every page. Cannot have an index.

HANDPRINTS: Kids or caves.

HAPPINESS: A spontaneous lack of pain. (Always unexpected.) (Without embarrassment.)

HISTORY: What, on a good day, is in charge of the future; on a bad day what gives the past a bad name. It is always wrong. And usually unhelpful, eg., ‘Who were the Egyptians before history?’ This is a problem both of too much specificity and too little.

IDEA: What it’s advisable to have more than one of if you want it to work.

IMPERFECTION: Loving God properly.

JUDGEMENT: A strategy to stop things and take a small rest. Often inflated, indeed boasted, into something much larger, more important and of great significance. The last of these – significance – is not contested here, but the editor would like to point out that exaggerators often choose, and put forward, the wrong reason’s for a judgement’s significance.

JUSTICE: Colloquially, little crumbs the birds didn’t eat. In reality, if all goes well, the growing of the heap.

LAW: What occupies the immensity between tautology and oxymoron (eg., ‘standard of justice’, ‘alienable rights’, ‘appropriate compassion’, ‘alleged fact’, etc). Slang: tautmoron (or jokingly, tortmoron).

LIFE: 1. Mitigating; 2. Unused death.

LIVING: The emotion of passing.

LOGISTICS: Anything that gets in the way of wishes.

LOVE: Pretended collaboration of mortal enemies. Despite such, a union which not thirty ships of barbarians can destroy. (Also known as ‘the heart’sdisease’.)

LUCK: Beating your imagination.

MADNESS: The attempt to define a lack of definition.

MAGIC: Opening your eyes to see it. (Note – where ‘eyes’ is metaphorical.)

MEMORIES: What don’t happen on the day they happen.

MEMORY: Architecture of the present.

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN: Has her creams. Too poor, she has her pain.

MINUS: Significantly like ‘reverse’ but there is usually something left.

MIRROR: True definition of hanging in (what) space (there is).

MISBORN: Something the moon, bees and anything pushing worry nothing about.

MISTAKE: 1. A lesson you are surprised to have been taught; 2. A mistake that is, itself, a mistake.

MITIGATING FACTORS: Poverty, wealth, stupidity, intelligence, ugliness, beauty, etc.

MOTHERS: People we ask again and again to care again for a new world.

NAME: Tissue through which enters light of the sun (in varying degrees).

NATURE: What extracts itself from interpretation.

NAUGHTINESS: A highly interesting state.

NEGLIGENCE: Not insisting on getting a stronger man to pick you up rather than going on a diet that nearly kills you. [See ROMANTICISM.]

NEVER: Eternity before it starts to do anything. Equal to ‘always’ in mass but not size.

NOOM: With a slight adjustment looking at the moon in a mirror.

NOTHING: Everything’s consolation.

NOTICE: Well there you are.

NOW: What always happens.

ON SECOND THOUGHTS: The first ‘thought’.

OPTION: Restart?

ORIGINAL THOUGHT: One very small one right at the beginning. [Humourous]


PAIN: The only useful thing.

PANACHE: A hat made of spinach or what you have wearing one.

PARADISE: Living entirely within the dimensions of remorse.

PARENT: Often not wanting them to hurt themselves while often hurting them.

PENIS: Worth only four words, one of which is ‘the’.

POETRY: The part of love you can see.

POETS: Wonderful not careful. Experts on the ordinary.

POSSIBLE DEVOTION: A bird laying an egg in your hand.

POVERTY: A mitigation.

PRIVILEGE: Someone else’s suffering.

PROGRESS: Leaving your dead.

PROOF: What is mistakenly ‘offered’.


QUESTIONS: What is it called, when you can’t accept that you saved yourself? What are they called, the person you fall in love with in your dreams? Is there someone to keep going? (and not stop)

REAL: Nothing poetic.

REALISM: The literature of repletion.

REALITY: Everything isn’t real.

REALIZATION: Irony; mystery; humour. In essence, an understanding of ignorance without knowing anything extra.

REJECTION: Synonymous with people you don’t meet.

REMORSE: Distinguishing the genuine self. Evidence of remorse is entirely a matter of assertion and therefore always suspect in regards to authenticity.

REVERSE: An idea. It doesn’t really work.

ROMANTICISM: 1. Insisting on getting a stronger man to pick you up rather than going on a diet that nearly kills you. 2. It is the longest day of the year and at dusk the light is still trapped between the trees. You climb a tree. 3. A new scale pattern has developed on the wings of the region’s butterflies and you dream only of the scientist who discovered it.

SACRIFICE: Something you can only do without awareness. To make it more complicated, only what you are prepared to give up for nothing. The trick is therefore in reconciling preparation with ignorance.

SATISFACTION: 1. To be satisfied with nothing, is satisfaction. 2. At least it’s done.

SELF: As I figured from other people.

SLEEP: Stopping consciously wanting.

SOLUTION: Where literature is not literature.

SOON: The smallest possible unit of never. Alternatively, eternity reduced to a minimum.

SOUND: Cures walls of their deafness. (And their hardness.)

SPRINKLE: What is surprisingly still substantively.


TEARS: How you stop crying.

TERROR: The best person to kill is the person who least deserves it. This person is actually anyone at all but because the ignorant don’t realize this they are able to be terrified.

THOUGHT: 1. An off-hand reconstitution of the last one; 2. Only one that varies.

TIME: Always urgent; sadly the consequence only of observation.

TROUBLE: Facts you can’t rely on.

TRUST: When fear takes a detour.

TRUTH: What happens in the absence of eyewitnesses. (Also explains how things can fit inside things smaller than themselves.)

UNRECOGNIZED: More hidden than the hidden.

USEFUL: A hand with a still-attached arm.

VASE: Not something to hold.

VIRGULE: Where they paused in history.

WANT: Often confused with ‘feel’. Want, however, is a more free-floating enterprise (with enterprise being the operative word).

WAS: A moment of time without duration.

WEALTH: A mitigation.

WHAT CHANGES FOREVER: Yesterday into today. Today into tomorrow.

WISDOM: No difference in things (just less confusion).

WOMAN JUDGE: An adjective.

WOMEN: More only than men. All the same.

WRONG MOMENT: Same as the right moment; vice-versa.

ZOO: Animal larceny.

MTC Cronin’s twelfth book is The Flower, The Thing (UQP, 2006). Her 2001 book, Talking to Neruda’s Questions, has recently appeared in a bilingual Italian/English translation (Braitan, Italy, 2005). A forthcoming collection, Irrigations (of the Human Heart) ~ fictional essays on the poetics of living, art & love will be out with Ravenna Press, USA, in 2006