Tag Archives: love

New words to live by: “Biercism”

A young Ambrose Bierce

A young Ambrose Bierce

“Cynic. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.”
–Ambrose Bierce

Biercism, n. dry wit on par with that of Ambrose Bierce.

Old biercism (original): Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.

Modern biercism: Love, n. a meeting of the mind and the loins, one hopes somewhere around the heart. A volatile mixture often given to displays of insanity, vitriol, and occasionally violence. The world seems turned upside down by love – and often is. You fall in love and fall out of love, but the violence appears to be less to the shins, knees, hands, arms, or back, and more to the internal organs.

[Editor's note: one might consider this both a new word to live byand a Devil's Dictionary entry all mashed up (or rolled up) into one. In our continuing quest to revisit a classic, or even a curiosity from the past and see how relevant it is, we continue with The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in newspaper installments from 1881 until 1906. You might be surprised how current many of the entries are.

Click on Devil’s Dictionary in the tags below to bring up the other entries. Click on new word or new words below to see some other new words, such as congressed or obsurd or fogget or awfulizer. Words that should be in the modern lexicon, but aren't ... yet.]

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Cold love”

Revenge is a dish /

best served cold. May God serve yours /

on a plate of love.

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Leaves”

Give me all you love. /

Leave your hate beneath the tall tree. /

The leaves will shape it.

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The blathering idiot and falling

Love hurts

Love hurts

“Do you hurt yourself when you fall out of love?” Xenia asked.

The blathering idiot didn’t have an answer when she asked him a week ago, and he didn’t have an answer now.
It had always been the woman who fell out of love with him or maybe had gotten fed up with him, had her fill, and walked away, saying she had fallen out of love with him.

He did wonder now if Xenia asking was because she had heard something Zoey, Xenia’s mother. Had said.
Was Zoey falling out of love with him?

If so, what was he supposed to do? In the past – though there were not many of them, there were a few – the woman had announced it after the fall had taken place, saying things like: “It’s not you, it’s me.” Or, “I think we should spend some time apart.” This type of announcement usually came after they had already been apart a month.
In other words, the fall had already taken place and his heart’s shins were the ones getting barked.

“I hear that when you fall in love, that can hurt too,” Xenia said. “Has that happened to you?”

They were sitting in an ice cream parlor, the leaves already falling, but the temperature staying up. At least it felt that way to him. She had come back to the subject she had started talking about last week, just before he took her back to Zoey. He liked spending time with Xenia. She usually didn’t judge him, or at least didn’t judge him too harshly.

He had to think about that, too. Had he fallen in love with Zoey or had they just sort of got along well enough to stay in each other’s company – at least some of the time?

The blathering idiot felt a sudden desire – a pang really – to call Zoey and say with as much force as he could muster, “I love you!” Blurt it out even before she said hello.

Yes, that’s what he would do. He wouldn’t think about it anymore: he’d just do it.

Right now.

He’d just do it: right now. In person!

He bolted up from the chair, knocking it over. “Come on.”

Xenia had not finished her sundae. She brought a spoon full of sundae up to her mouth, and said in a muffled voice: “Where?”

“You’ll see,” he said.

They walked west and as they got closer to the house Xenia lived in, she said, “It’s too early to take me home. Mom’s still studying.”

“This will only take a minute.”

“No,” Xenia said. “You don’t understand. Mom’s studying.”

The blathering idiot stopped outside the gate at the end of the sidewalk that led up to Zoey’s house.

He paused and looked at Xenia. She was frowning and he thought he saw some sweat on her forehead.

“Is she … ah … studying with somebody?”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what exactly?”

Zoey looked away for a moment, then looked back at the blathering idiot.

“She … ah … told me not to tell you this.” Xenia shifted from one foot to the other. “But she’s sleeping.”


“But you were asking me about falling in love and falling out of love.”

“Oh, that. That’s ’cause I sleep in a bunk bed and I keep falling out and hurting myself. I told Mom it’s because I keep having bad dreams. Mom says she can’t wait until I’m old enough to fall in love. Then, she says, I’ll really have bad dreams and hurt myself.”

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Snake”

Love puts forth a leaf. /

In my garden of desire /

the snake has purpose.

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Haiku to you Thursday: “First fright”

He reached the road’s end. /

He stepped into the unknown. /

The first fright was love.

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Scatters”

Lightning, thunder, rain — /

wind scatters all that remains: /

memory, leaves, love

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Haiku to you Thursday: “rain … leaves … love”

Lightning … thunder … rain /

Wind scatters all that remains /

Memory … leaves … love

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Haiku to you Thursday: “You and the World”

When the world’s empty /
and holds no love, you will have /
evolved to your Hell.

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To Zombie, with love.

To Zombie, with love.

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