Friday, December 29, 2017

Arrayed Amidst The Ruins

Every day standing is a lone 
Miracle in itself, naked lingering 

Vestige of a singular 
Life spent in the passing 

Panoplied columns 
Of so many vain- 

Gloriously fallen. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

You Too Can Buy A Pig In A Poke And Make America Grate Again!

Goose step my foxy ones, 
To Jiggery-Pokery Foundry, 

To found a mine pig, 
Home again, home again, 

Mind gone to crackers 
And pig iron, jiggity-jig! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Trying To Come To Terms With The Selfish Coward In Me

In a word 
I used to think 

You were so 
Overworked it hurt— 
I felt it now 

And then deep 
In this sham heart 
That struggled 

Against uttering 
Your name even 
When blessed 

With loved ones round 
Me and me always 
Ending in shame. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Exsanguine Coup de Grâce

It’s vital 

The poet get rid of all 
Irrelevant details and get 

To the heart of the matter 
With as little blood 

Shed as possible. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

You Were Meant For Better Things

That’s what well- 

Wishing friends say when 
They see you’ve gone 

Astray and getting closer 
To going over 

The end but isn’t this 
As good as it gets? 

And even if 
It isn’t, please don’t 

Give me that 
Old song 

And dance about 

The going gets 
Tough, the tough 

Get going—I’m not 
Going anywhere 

Till you see 
The whites 

Of my eyes rock 
And rolling 

Back in their sockets. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Moving Through Mean Times

Though you may 
Think you cannot, 

As Heraclitus observed some
Fifteen centuries ago, step 

Into the same river twice, 
If you do 

Remain listening to one 
To no end, you will never 

Stop asking yourself why 
Times like these never end. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Of the innumerable 
Times you have 

Fallen prey 
To your own 

Indifference to the world 
Around you, you should 

Have noticed by now 
How it is 

These recurrent lapses 
Of your “better” 

Self reveal 
Their selves 

Through the manner 
In which they move 

Across your smug sleeping 
Visage come the first 

Light of day—though 
You can’t see it, you do 

Sense there’s something 
Out there trying 

To work it- 
Self out through you 

From under a skin so 
Thick it can’t 

Tell the difference 
Between night and day.


Monday, December 4, 2017


Dear Mr. Frost: 

Looking back on what 
You once said 
About writing free 

Verse, I know it’s really far- 
Fetched but for the sake 
Of this poem let’s say you were 

Still alive—I bet you’d have 
A field day with this flighty 
Pesky little critter 

Of mine, more than likely 
Running it to the ground 
Like some frenzied color- 

Blind lepidopterist tra-la-la 
Traversing a pied meadow, 
Sporting a mean nonexistent net.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Heady Autumnal Aporia

At first sight not a leaf stirring— 
But hold on—what’s this light 
Headed grizzled one up to now 

Cropping the air with the greatest 
Of ease all the way down 
To an uncut graveyard plot? 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Foolproof Triphasic Lie Detector Test

To tell the truth, 
One of us is lying 
Through his teeth. 

I’ll find out who 
If it’s the last thing I do. 

Best keep away from me 
Or else you’ll lose 
Your dentures, too.

Monday, November 27, 2017

How Not To Lay An Egg

Pure poetry I tell you— 
How deftly 

Weasels slit the throats 
Of brooding sleeping hens— 

Never a need for needless 
Revision again.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Now On The Silver Screen, Pixamax Productions Proudly Presents "The Bigly Bang-up Sixties"!


The meanest gang in town 
Was getting pretty itchy 
As they unhitched 

Those dazzling diamond- 
Studded belts, the newest 
Comer on the scene was made 

To hitch up 
That oh so come-on skirt 
Above her comely head, 

Above that heavenly body 
The stars 

Exploded one by one, 
Four studs literally 
Dropped dead— 

Mum’s the word, 
Everybody said. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Refining Further The Fine Art of Artful Confession

Running away from what you know 
You must say, don’t you always 

Skip over that failing in a jiffy, 
Hoping it will forever go away, 

And then backtrack over what 
You didn’t say, thinking never 

To do it again, 
Come what may? 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wind Song: An Epitaph For Lorine Niedecker

There’s a livelier sheen on the dead 
Leaves of autumn than in a dullard’s 
Air and oft Lorine had seen it there. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quintessentially Human Defense Mechanism

That small 
Cur curled up 
Like a cinnamon 
Roll on a thread- 
Bare throw rug in 

Front of this 
Baker’s doorway 
Day and night come 
Rain, sleet or snow, 
Don’t tell me that 
He’s not like 

All those other poor 
Souls you think don’t 
Know any better than 
To come in from 
The cold—he doesn’t 
Know that. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hail and Farewell To Fair-Weather Friends

Adieu, adieu, you too 
Facile, two-timing 

Fickle near rhymes, too— 
I always felt deep down 

You were too close, 
Too good to be true. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Crepuscular Perambulating Septuagenarian

Ruminating towards end 
Of day, approaching

Olive grove full of wrinkles 
And furrows, cicadas drumming 

Their delirious ancient song well 
Into the night, leaving 

Everything plain as day!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Finding The Rightful Road To Being What You Eat

Break your bread so 
As to nourish yourself 
Accordingly—you may begin 

By straightaway feeding 
Your vanity less 
And eating humble 
Pie to surfeit. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Catch Me If You Can

In the calm 

Before the storm, calm 
Wind spirit soon gone before 

Some said it goes on 
And on and no good 

Man knows every time where 
In the mad dash it went, 

And who throws caution 
To the winds praying fervently 

Not to worry when unspeakable 
Evil rends the storm 

Doors of the beleaguered 
And once more unspeakable 

Evil is done. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Cheapskate Curmudgeon Caught Soaking Dentures In Half-Empty Water Glass

I gather 
It’s a chore your 
Not thinking of anything 
Else so what 
You most likely attend to 
As you contemplate 
Your sunken cheeks 
In your chintzy 
Bathroom mirror is what 
You should’ve sunk 
Your teeth in all 
These years 
But didn’t. 

Moderator's comment: Grrr. . . .if there’s but one iota of a chance my alter ego is spreading false—aka “fake”—news about his better half of a cur, I can assure him this mutt’s teeth are real.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Parting With Your Fantasies Is Such Bittersweet Sorrow

Where you are 
At any given 

Moment and where 
You think you are 

Going rests on 
The mistaken 

Assumption you have 
Always been here. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Winter Of Our Discontent

Filthy room at the top, stinking 
Cot in the middle, debauched 
Incessantly by wine, women 
And bawdy songs in-between 

The purple tomes 
Fall in Flames and Depraved 
Come Spring, let him who remains 
Unremorseful all the way 

Down to the lower depths 
Be the first to violate 
The oh-so-sacrosanct 
Maculate hypocrisy within. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Too, Too Rash Crash Diet

Oh, poor plump cat-mangled mouse spread- 
Eagled out in my orchard too, too dead— 

You fell hard for tart, fallen apples—better 
You’d gone with Mousse à la Pantry instead! 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Solemn Procession Approaching Uppermost Limits Of The Absurd

On corner 
Of cemetery 
Chapel, a lone 
Mourning dove 

Cooing on ash- 
Grey lantern 
Eyes coffin followed 
By black-clad widow 

And bereaved 
Ones passing below
On way to where 
Nothing follows. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

On The Death Of A Friend

i.m. George Tsiros, 1954-2017 

Blot it out of your mind, 
You cannot--it remains 

There, in that hollow left 
Of your brain--where 

That quivering candle was 
Snuffed out by a blast 

Of hard, hard rain. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

B/W Photo With Young Dummy In Shop Window, Raymond, Washington, 1972

You might not see him 
At first but he’s there 

Alright—on the left— 
Wearing a striped 
Long-sleeved shirt 
And dark pants, looking 
Smart as a tack as he gazes 
North onto a long gray 
Street stretching south 
Under an endless canopy 
Of low gray clouds— 

Three cars are parked 
With their noses pointing 
North, too—it looks 
Like it’s early spring, 
For the lone 
Leafless sapling 
On the sidewalk shows 
Signs of coming 
To life again. 

NB:photo courtesy of Tom Mattson, Administrator for FB page "You Know You Grew Up In Raymond When. . ." for which I thank him.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


My eighty-year old 
Mother-in-law, now 

Well past recalling 
Anything that transpires 

Over a minute after 
It flashes before her, 

And so 

Thin and frail you can see her 
Bones pressing against 

Her flimsy night- 
Gown still remains 

Sharp enough to tell 
The young 

Doctor feeling her 
Body for any 

Tell-tale signs of 
Imminent danger 

To go to hell the moment 
He brushes what now passes 

As her breasts. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Transient Harvest Moon

The sky was ever so moving last night— 
A surfeit of broken, moonlit pie crusts, 
So I thought to hesitate a while, take

My fill of it, or if not all, as much as 
I could, when I heard a voice I swear 
Coming from the dark side of the moon:

“Move on, you light-headed fool, 
Indulge as you will, what makes you 
Think you’ll ever get your fill?” 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Outside A Railroad Station Coffeehouse Where Trains No Longer Run

Early autumn late afternoon 
In a light northerly breeze 
Under the centenarian 
Plane trees, we pass 
The time sipping 
Coffee and keeping 
An eye out 
For the next crumpled, 
Crablike leaf to fall 
And scuttle past us when 
Just across the other 
Side of the rusted derelict 
Tracks, we catch sight of 
The black-garbed village priest 
Slowly making his way, pushing 
His paraplegic son along. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Practicing What You Preach

Yes, indeedy— 
No particular place to go was his motto 

And he always doubled back 
To where he’d started 

To make doubly sure 

He knew precisely where 
He wanted to go. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Curmudgeon's Epitaph

Never a slacker, his life was marked 
By a stoic refusal to follow any lackluster tack, 
And steer that lonely, steady course he did— 

Till he found himself a haven where
No groveling lackey missed his absence,
And nothing ever lacked.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Out Of This World: 5th Century B.C. Attic White-Ground Lekythos

The Ancient Greeks used to think 
The soul was a moth, a small 
Bird, or butterfly that escaped 
From the body once 
A mortal had left his mortal 
Existence behind; as such it was 
A favorite motif of many 
An Attic white-ground painter— 
Take this piece for example, 
Where we see the little winged one 
In question has just made his exit 
And is now perched upon the head 
Of the upright dearly departed 
Prior to taking off again, 
Presumably to somewhere 
Where no doubt it won’t be 
So easy for the artist 
To recapture him.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Suspension of Disbelief

All told, 
When they finally fall

To earth and rot,
It’s not as if all that

Hanging on was 
Definitely not 

For naught. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Archipelago of the Aegean

of that jasmine 

from first light 
of day to night 
winding through 

narrow passage 
ways smelling 
of sea- 

girded white washed 
limestone still 
blinding white. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Janus-Faced Plumb Cuckoo's Cogito Ergo Sum

Of all the nutty 
Scenarios that keep flashing 

Through his double’s dealing 
Mind’s eye, the one that sticks 

Out from the others like 
A sore thumb is the one where 

His alter ego’s little 
Jack Horner jamming 

A humungous middle 
Finger up the other’s 

Piebald bum, all the while 
Trumpeting “I’m the greatest 

Tweeter of all, I am, I am, 
Oh, what a titillating prize 

Plum of a cornucopian 
Fruitcake I am!” 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Curmudgeon Closing in on the Summation

In the end, 
He who is continually 
At odds with himself is close 
To knowing who his chief adversary is, 
Though never close enough 
To make a difference. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Phantom Undertaking

Let him who is beyond 
A doubt devoid of substance 
Be the first to show us how 

Soul-cleansing the act 
Of casting shadows on white 
Washed walls can really be. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Drawing A Blank: Returning To The Motherland, 1959

"They enter the new world naked, 
cold, uncertain of all 
save that they enter.” 
—W.C. Williams, Spring and All 

I imagined 
The village welcoming 
Ceremony would be 
Like the farewell 
Eleven years before 
When I was all of four, 
But who knows what 
That was like when 
I remembered nothing 
Of what had come before, 
Let alone my mother 
And the midwife bringing 
Me into a new world naked 
In the middle of March 
On a hard-packed earthen floor.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pushing Renewable Energy To Its Uppermost Limits

It was green as all 
Get out up there 
On Resting Place Ridge 
And it was going 
To keep on 
Getting greener, 

A real going concern 
As they say, something 
A live wire could die for, 
Even the daisies out doing 
Pushups could be seen 
Turning green with envy. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Huuklyeand Cinquor On The Difficulty Inherent In Finding Your True North

Like a compass gone 
Haywire, the why 
Of where you may be 
At any given point 
Has nothing to do 
With where you think 
You are going. 

Moderator’s comments: OK, Cinquor—you just keep throwing your soul-searching lines out—sooner or later, some lost soul will take the bait and follow you straight to wherever it is you think you’re going.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017



small sky- 
blue bouncing 

ball bouncing 
from one vacant 

lot to another 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Her Mama Done Told Her

The quickest way to his heart 
Was through his stomach 

But she garbled the message, 
Peeled, and sliced his 

Adam’s apple instead. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Bankrupt Wordsmith Soon To Be Back In Business

Out of the thick dark- 
Green blackness of vegetable 
Life smothering the derelict 
Study of the late obscure 
Minor underground poet, 
There comes the fevered 
Munching of eager beaver 
Ghost writers rabidly attacking 
A bolted, worm-eaten door. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Squint-eyed Kid Strikes (Out) Again

Sun, it’s time you stopped 
Playing with me—how 
On earth am I 

To reflect on all 
That’s under the heavens 
When you’re always on the run? 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gullible Masochistic Supplicant Beseeches Imagist Muse

My unerring, yea, insouciant 
Lady, should you deem it fit 
To kill me with a panoply 
Of words cutting 

To the heart, please 
Please with your leave
Before I depart, let me see 
How they all hit the mark. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

But For The Grace Of God: Making America Great Again

If it’s true that 
Time waits 

For no man, yet 
Neither does it 

Stand still, caught 
As we are 

In such a debilitating 

And drained of any 
Feasible exit plan, 

It’s not unreasonable to expect 
The great unwashed will 

Opt for the next up-and-coming 
Maelstrom to suck the whole 

Godforsaken kit and caboodle 
Down, down, down to where 

Everything settles in
To the muck 

Of just being there. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Making The Best Of Small Talk

under the shade 
of the huge 

coffeehouse maples, 
where the receipts 

of what has been 
spent so far 

flutter round my feet 
like the dying 

leaves soon to be 
scurrying over 

the crushed gravel 
when Fall rolls round 

again, I cannot 
help but overhear 

the mindless droning small 
talk of grownups 

behind me—all 
the while 

my eyes riveted 
on the children hard 

at play in the play- 
ground opposite, 

and though not 
a praying man 

myself, I swear 
I can almost 

hear the desperate 
small white cry 

of the child I once was 
pleading with me, 

telling me don’t 
give it a second 

thought, no matter 
what you might be 

thinking, make the best 
of it, it’s all we’ve got. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moira, Kindred Spirit

Second-guessing her is akin 
To knowing bloody well what 

Where and when to turn down 
All blind alleys to Hell. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seriously, You Can Ask Me

If I’ll be here 
Tomorrow to answer 
Your life-and-death question; 
To give you, 
Among other things, 
The proper time 
Of day when everybody looks 
Askance at you then turns 
To look the other way; 
You can ask me whatever else 
Pops out of that enquiring
Mind as long as you remember 
Not to blow it when unfinished
Business calls and I’m not 
There to stop that pap before 
It ups and blows your brains away. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Memo From One Of The Wolves On Wall Street

Share and share alike? 
Never did buy 
That piece 
Of pap—why 

Should we 
Portion out half 
Of what we have 
To some ungrateful 

Misfits clearly unfit 
To reap half 
Of our precious hard- 
Bought misanthropy? 

Better we let the wretches 
Dawdle in their misery. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poem Fraught With Symbolism

I bet someone could write 
A poem worthy 

Of Baudelaire’s best 
About these two 

Doves suddenly 
Lifting them- 

Selves up from 
The gashes 

Of plowed land where 
They were 

Foraging for food, 
Now darting lovey- 

Dovey from branch to branch 
Of shimmering silver- 

Green olives with 
Nary a hawk in sight, 

But I wouldn’t 
Stake my life on it. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How To Make A Killing In Commodities

Tut-tut, not to worry— 
In brief, the bulk 

Of the argument being 
You have to haul your own 

Weight all the way over 
To the right side 

Of the tracks or else 
Some pell-mell runaway 

Freight train makes double 
Sure your burden is disposed of 

Properly, so as to fit 
Such a moving occasion. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ill-Conceived With The Speed Of Sleight

Thinking you can fashion 

A living out of writing 
Poetry’s tantamount 
To believing 

There are hobbyhorses that fly. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Immaculate Minimalist Body Poetic

my dear fly- 
weight mates, stay 

clear of midges 
that swarm round 

you in your spot 
less white and do 

nothing but maculate. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ruminations On Pulling The Wool Over One's Eyes

In this dazzling midday heat, 
It’s comforting to think how 
Contented the innocent 
Lambs must be, gathered 
With no care in the world
Under the protective canopy 
Of the blessèd olive tree, 
Suckling their mothers’ teats 
As if their lives depended 
On it, and indeed how 
Easy it is to be sucked in 
By that old rustic wives’ tale— 
A bit harder to digest how 
Gamboling they are 
Soon to be led off 
By city-bred wolves 
In always appropriate 
Cutting-edge abattoir attire. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Definitely Not Lemmings: A Benediction

No, no, not these 
Poor misguided 
Driven ones that 
Dive headlong in 
Droves over 
The nearest head- 
Land, dear God, let me

Please in my next life be 
Anything, anything 
Save those consumed by that 
Sweet, deadly urge to self- 
Destruct without never 
Ever knowing why, 

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Dawning Darkening

The village elders were fond 
Of telling us the waxing 
Sickle slowly lowering it- 
Self in the western sky 
Would be full before 
We knew it and empty 
Itself just as fast— 

An eternity passed before 
We knew it. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Smug Wannabe Psychic

Insisted you could always tell 
What we were about to say 
By the look on our faces— 
How we chuckled back then 
But then again how 
Were any of us to know? 

As it so happens, second- 
Guessing the future’s a lot 
Like digging your grave 
Specially now when 
Everybody round you turns out 
Dead right grim in the end. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fantastic Freshly Plowed Centenarian Olive Grove

Amidst the frenzied clamorous 
Backdrop of cicadas readying 
To draw the curtain and call it 
Still another night, the dumb 
Eye strains before finally 
Falling upon fold after fold 
Of newly-wrought furrows 

Under the wrinkled arching 
Brows of row after row 
Of stately silent grotesques— 
My arrogant fellow bit players, 
If you please, please observe how 
Once more the stage is being set 
For yet another humbling 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Great Expectations Till Hell Freezes Over

In the searing July heat 
Hot enough to broil 
A souvlaki on asphalt,

This seventy-year-old man 
Has just crossed the street 
To a neighbor’s where he

Picks up a goodly-sized 
Leafy branch from a freshly
Pruned lemon tree, tenderly 

Brings it back and then 
Proceeds to dig a hole 
In his garden, plants 

The amputated 
Limb, waters it profusely 
And waits for it to take root, 

Come hell or high water. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Heads Up, Or What's That You Say?

I said Poet, 

If you’re finding it hard 
To hear the sounds 

Of silence, you’re 
More than likely 

Talking your ears off. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Welcome Mat

This dreary derelict mud 
Brick hovel in which squat

A Roma family 
With six kids all

Under twelve also 
Sports a brood 

Of scrawny kittens 
Numbering about 

A dozen taking in 
Today’s brilliant 

Sunshine in front 
Of a hanging 

Pied blanket 
Serving as 

Its front door. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Immaculate Cycladic Morning

From round, blue-green 
Plastic tub next to her

Frail frame, white-spattered 
Black-robed widow wielding

Long-handled red brush 
Attacks greying house

Walls with wide swaths 
Of blinding fresh whitewash—

Soon everything will smell 
Of clean wedding night sheets. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Turning Point

You know she’s right 
And you’re dead wrong 

When she sees red and 
You’re already past 

The last green light, 
Long past gone. 


Sunday, July 9, 2017


Slowly pedaling past black ornamental 
Cast ironwork railing round small candle-

Lit cemetery cramped by too many large marble 
Tombstones crested with white crosses where 

No matter what you’re thinking, 
The mind always reaches 

A blank there. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Are You With Us Or Against Us?

“You” being the “we” we always thought 
We were until someone came along 

And told us otherwise and then 
We became “them” with a whole 

New perspective concerning who 
We were and who they were 

And gave up trying to answer 
Their question right then and there. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Littoral Expanse

Literally on edge, 
The complacent self-

Same image now 
No longer

Grounded, breaks in- 
To an un- 

Broken recitative 
Of waves leaving 

Nothing to chance. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Has-been Apprentice Hack

NON-DISCLAIMER: This is a work of poetry; as such, it is the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is definitely not coincidental in any way, shape, or form. On the contrary, it is clearly intended to enlighten the reader as to the character of the splashy, hubris-filled blowhard now playing hack actor playing at playing the role of the most powerful man in the world—a part soon to be assumed and straightaway transmogrified into a bit player’s nightmare by a most desperately driven, artful director called Nemesis.  

Used to be 
You could tell how

Hot you were from how 
Much fake precipitation dripped

From your forehead 
As you manipulated your way

Up Broadway to no end—what 
A farce, my no longer cool friend!

No more easily anticipated 
Big splash round the bend, 

Only just too much 
No sweat vaporized

In the sweltering end.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Postmodern Poetry's Distressing Emphasis On Omphaloskepsis

"The question of the nature of navel fluff seems to concern more people than one would think at first glance.”  – Dr. Georg Steinhauser, chemist 

One way or another 
On the idea that 
Idiot in its ancient 
Greek sense did not 
Mirror what it means today, 

But rather someone so 
Caught up in his self- 
Importance that he is 
Useless to society really 
Makes one kind of wonder, 
Does it not? 

Moderator’s comments: Huuk, I suppose it does but if so, shouldn’t that questioning spirit supply us with real answers rather than ending in a vapid query that does nothing but prolong the agonizing naval-gazing status quo that characterizes a great deal of contemporary poetry, yours included? 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Know Thyself, Dude

Like the man said 
Before he drank his last 
Bitter draught toasting 
Man’s stupidity, 
One thing only I know, 
And that is that 
I know nothing. 

Say you do not know, 
You know. 

Say you know, 
You do not know. 

You know? 

If not, you must be 
Some kind of stupid.
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