An ongoing collection of gnomic neologisms, lilting phrases and word combinations from my readings that, when spoken, just roll off the tongue and fall together — like elusive puzzle pieces, to illustrate complexities that I previously believed I had no language for. Use Control+F or Command+F to find a particular phrase or word.


  1. moribund: In a dying state; dying; at the point of death. 1
  2. motley: Consisting of many different types, parts, or colors that do not seem to belong together. 2
  3. false cognates: A false friend, a word that appears to have the same meaning as a given word, but that does not. 3 eg: Gift in German means poison.


  1. of connected loneliness and distracted boredom (Simon Reynolds) 4
  2. gnomic neologisms (Simon Reynolds) 4
  3. pleasantly disorienting (Simon Reynolds) 4
  4. cretinous instrumentality and utilitarian stupidity (Darren Ambrose) 4
  5. belief in the operative effectiveness of fugitive discourses which have been legitimated by neither the official channels of the establishment or traditional forms of publishing (Darren Ambrose) 4
  6. Above all else, it allows us to put off answering childhood’s most troubling question: what will I be when I grow up? School reminds me of a train that carries you to a destination—providing you arrive on time, make all the right connections and wait patiently for the journey’s end. But I had jumped off the train in the middle of a desert, far from my destination. 5
  7. born amateur 5
  8. What was it like to live with genius?
    Like living alone.
    Like living alone with a tiger.
    Everything had to be sacrificed for the work. Plans had to be canceled, meals had to be delayed; liquor had to be bought, as soon as possible, or else all poured into the sink. Money had to be rationed or spent lavishly, changing daily. The sleep schedule was the poet’s to make, and it was as often late nights as it was early mornings. The habit was the demon pet in the house; the habit, the habit, the habit; the morning coffee and books and poetry, the silence until noon. Could he be tempted by a morning stroll? He could, he always could; it was the only addiction where the sufferer longed for anything but the desired; but a morning walk meant work undone, and suffering, suffering, suffering. Keep the habit, help the habit; lay out the coffee and poetry; keep the silence; smile when he walked sulkily out of his office to the bathroom. Taking nothing personally. And did you sometimes leave an art book around with a thought that it would be the key to his mind? And did you sometimes put on music that might unlock the doubt and fear? Did you love it, the rain dance every day? Only when it rained. 6
  9. asymptotically approaching, but never reaching, zero. 6
  10. He kisses—how do I explain it? Like someone in love. Like he has nothing to lose. Like someone who has just learned a foreign language and can use only the present tense and only the second person. Only now, only you. There are some men who have never been kissed like that. There are some men who discover, after Arthur Less, that they never will be again. 6
  11. “We’re too old to think we’ll meet again,” Less says. 6

  1. Pickett, Joseph P, John R Rickford, Steven Pinker, Calvert Watkins, and John Huehnergard. 2018. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ↩︎

  2. “Motley.” 2008. In Cambridge Dictionary.↩︎

  3. “False Cognate.” 2022. Wiktionary. September 27, 2022. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 3.0),↩︎

  4. Fisher, Mark, Darren Ambrose, and Simon Reynolds. 2018. K-Punk : The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016). London: Repeater. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  5. Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, and Pankaj Mishra. 2013. The Time Regulation Institute. Penguin Classics. ↩︎ ↩︎

  6. Sean, Andrew. 2018. Less : A Novel. New York: Back Bay. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎