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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1576 thru 1600 of 2827 Poems

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Jan 23, 2008, 10:57 pm

Cookies and Pink Propinquity

Cookies have recipes people do too
Some recipes include ingredients
Which fly in the face of obedience
And make one hate to be told what to do
But count them many if count them you must

A sparkling sprinkling of the fairy dust
Though beautiful quite natural and true
Is one ingredient which you can trust
To put the fun in fundamentalist

Love always seeks its dream and makes its vow
Some people seek a pink propinquity
Whatever one might or might not allow
And in spite of our great variety
One is just like one with a little twist

Cookies have recipes people do too
From dust to dust some sparkle in between
Though beautiful quite natural and true
The sparkling sprinkled best know what I mean

Our world is big enough for us to share
Pink for some people and cookies for each
If God is there then God must hear the prayer
Of everyone with no one out of reach
Love always seeks its dream and makes its vow

As if it were not obvious by now

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 23, 2008, 7:35 am


Appears to be
So hard to see
If it appears at all

Like a small star
Bright flashing sharp and small
Falling from far
A star too far away
For me to see convincingly
Especially by day

At midnight when the world is dark
Though not for you for me
If I seek I might find your spark
Appear elusively
The single shard of hope I know
Of ever seeing clear
Three wonders I have wondered so:
Whence have I come? Where will I go?
What am I doing here?

I think you are
An honest star
Ever only always true

And I will be out there tonight
Should you flash sharp and small
With open arms to reach for light
If there is hope at all
I wish I may I wish I might
I wish tonight and wait for you

Come clarity and make me free
To see and dream to be and do
Embrace me in epiphany
Tonight to feel the real and right
My being clarified to light

Come falling star and fall on me
O rarity of verity
O riddle of the reason
For my uncertain season
I wish tonight and wait for you
A silver streak across the blue
Enlightening me through and through
Spark in the dark consuming me
Come falling star of clarity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 21, 2008, 11:04 pm



The circus is returning to Turkmenistan
I would like to go and see it as soon as I can
The circus is allowed now but a travel ban?
The circus and I will return with a travel plan


How do you know
Where do you go

So few today
Take time to pray:
Needs nourishment


If we are the only
Ones here
Then why
Should we be made lonely
By fear
Of high

I would like to unite
With you
To try and find the light
Of true
Human propinquity

Please could you come with me?


The rain has washed us (hobos) in from out
The poor of us are fat the rich are thin
But I am poor and thin so what about
This life we start to end when we begin?

Born upside down we always stay that way
The same
So drop a piece of gold in my tin cup

This has been such a lovely night today
I came
All this way down here just to get washed up

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 20, 2008, 9:03 pm

Sunday Morning Veterans

Old men and women in their Sunday best
Embalmed and ready for a funeral
Flung frightened from the dying restaurant
Now brace themselves for this their weekly test

Having struggled with stall and urinal
Bent double blinking into light to haunt
The stumbling sidewalk to the parking lot
Of Cadillacs and Lincolns with their flags
Reminding them of wars which they once fought
Fumbling with wallets and wrestling with bags
Fight to keep themselves together because
Today ought to be like last Sunday was

I smell the mothballs as they stagger by

A victory parade of heroes past
Who know this Sunday might well be their last
When our eyes meet we understand and smile
Although we weep within and feel the shame
Of how we are and have been for awhile
We know each other then if not by name
Mortality connects from eye to eye
We march as march we must until we die

They return my salute then wonder where
They left those cars by which somehow they came
(But it was memory which brought them there)
These Sunday morning veterans and I
As comrades know all combat is the same

We shake our heads at that and then we sigh
And wait until next week to say goodbye

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 20, 2008, 12:50 am

Breadline Blues

(by a ninth cousin of Langston Hughes)

Standing in the breadline
Forgotten by fancy (former?) friends
Stubbornly starving (doing just fine)
They have their means but I have my ends

Keep those pearls from the swine
Since they
Would only step on them anyway
God knows they have theirs but just let me have mine

(Not disinterested parties I daresay)

With the defenseless no one defends
Where nobody can spare a dime
For poetry nor paradigm

Standing in the breadline
Left to marvel at the mystery
Of why
Suddenly they choose to be rejecting me
(Punitive and disproportionate)
They have chosen the wrong side of history
(Literarily unfortunate)

As I
Falling in (fallen out?) standing there
Politely with a part in my hair
Standing in the breadline




(But by God I will never let them see)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 18, 2008, 11:10 pm

Within the Labyrinth

The way it is today is not the way
It has always been nor will always be
It is only the way it is today
Nor is it the only reality

You might want to leave but might as well stay
Await another possibility
So as not to miss the end of this play
In which you take the stage alongside me

Sometimes I wonder if we really are
Here or if this is all an illusion
Or I wonder if I wandered too far
Into a labyrinth of confusion

But then what else am I supposed to do?
I follow my nose to see where it goes
It might still lead to a dream come true
Both best and worst is that nobody knows

Until it happens when it is too late
And when it happens is when we find out
Nobody wins an argument with fate
So we have nothing to worry about

We have to see what happens when it does
And not before nor after only then
Never mind what will be nor how it was
We were happy once and will be again

Within the labyrinth at every turn
I realize I really have no choice
But to be myself as I live and learn
And asking questions I have found my voice

I have no idea what else I might find
Or what I might lose and yet I have this
Some people tell me I have lost my mind
And I tell them how it felt like a kiss

We act and react we watch ourselves walk
And we wonder where we are walking to
We write our own roles we hear ourselves talk
And we wonder who we are talking to
Sometimes I want to leave but I will stay
Await another possibility
So as not to miss the end of this play

I look out to the audience and see
To my surprise a face which I know well
There is no one out there except for me
The critic who makes this heaven or hell

While up on the stage I wander between
And how it will end nobody can tell
But my fellow actors know what I mean
Since like our audience we are the same

We try to leave us laughing as we go
Our only difference being the name
We give it as we go on with the show
With no one to credit no one to blame
Except ourselves but then we never know
Within the labyrinth at every turn
Awaits another line for us to learn

I have to see what happens when it does
And not before nor after only then
Never mind what will be nor how it was
I was happy once and will be again

Within the labyrinth at every turn
I must be myself as I live and learn

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 16, 2008, 9:45 pm

A Curious Heart in the Sunshine

A curious heart in the sunshine
Receives what the afternoon gives
Even a sad old heart like mine
Enjoys how the other half lives
As I look up and they look down
At the yin and yang of my town

In each other we are complete
As one complements the other
Who choose or choose not to compete
And I (as the black sheep brother)
Put it all into poetry
For them (but I save some for me)

If you are reading this you know
At least a little of my fate
Some fancy folk would see me go

They ought to know I have a date
With all of them (whom I love so)
I need to be here nor be late
Since very soon is my next show
This is how I make my living
I get what I get by giving

Whether or not they pay I stay
And even in pain I remain
Because this is where I belong
I have always been here (if queer)
The afternoon gave me this song
They need to learn to share this day

(If you are reading this you know
At least a little of my fate
Some fancy folk would see me go)

But I will teach them anyway
(Again and again and again)
A curious heart in the sunshine
Is one able to see things clear
Even a sad old heart like mine
Can see the truth: they need me here

As I look up and they look down
At the yin and yang of my town

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 16, 2008, 12:28 am

Oh God (Are You Still There?)

Borne by nightmare and blown ashore
To darkened day bloodstained by dream
Frozen inside this silent scream
I cannot rise to bear one more
Cycle of fear's insanity
Sleeping waking weeping breaking

And so I pray if silently
Through my cold sweat through my shaking:
Oh God (are you still there?) help me!

Please tell me I am not alone
Kiss these my disappointed eyes
With hope to help me realize
You have been watching (have you known?)
Stoop down to heal me set me free
So it no longer hurts to be

And so I pray if silently
Through my cold sweat through my shaking:
Oh God (are you still there?) help me!

Make this my broken heart your own
And let it bloom a butterfly
Up to the sun before I die
Lift me again to love to trust
You Lord of life beyond my dust
To rise once more since rise I must

And so I pray if silently
Through my cold sweat through my shaking:
Oh God (are you still there?) help me!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 13, 2008, 2:10 am

This Quixotic Quest Called Poetry

Nobody believes in me except for God and you
But as long as he will lead me and you will read me
I have everything I need to make my dream come true
They used to call me lazy now they call me crazy
I admit to the latter but it does not matter
Nothing can stop me from doing what I came to do
I was sent and so I went and here I am today
To write my songs and right my wrongs: this is the way I pray

I cannot see the road ahead but simply follow
The steps the living and the dead have traced before me
With the certain tread of sky above and earth below
Beside the sea and through the fire into destiny
The elements in equipoise God and you and this
Quixotic quest called poetry which is nothing less
Than the reason I exist this madness I confess
This existential ecstasy which we share like a kiss

Share with me please bear with me stay with me through this night
God and I believe in you: come let us look for light

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 10, 2008, 7:06 pm

Poetic License

I live on the knife of life not the fence
Each day is a dangerous trip for me
While each night is an existential fight
Wrestling with the angel of destiny

Life has been frightening hard and intense
Looking in dark and deep places for light
Some drugs some alcohol some decadence
But mostly stubborn striving for the best
Doing what I do with all of my might
Which I pray God might mitigate the rest

I will not complain nor need I explain
And somehow I think things might turn out right
In any case right for my poetry
Let them call the rest poetic license

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 8, 2008, 7:30 am

Without into Within

Those who believe in it keep insisting
On the reality I keep resisting
Because it could simply never be mine
Though apparently for them it seems just fine
As their only way for me to break my fall

And I suppose it makes sense of a kind
To them anyway never mind to my mind
So they relentlessly keep persisting
But it is an argument no one can win
How could one imagine one size would fit all?

This leads me to ask of reality
How many are you? Have you one to fit me?
And when you happen when do you begin?
To me reality seems a size too small
When fitted from without into within

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 6, 2008, 7:47 pm


I who have little see one who has none
And wonder which is the fortunate one
Our coin has one side for bad one for good
One of us falling one of us leaning
I have never understood the meaning
If there is meaning to be understood

I look white yet I am a cousin of
Langston Hughes in a paradox I love
A family tree of poetic wood
With T. S. Eliot and others too
Possibly even a cousin of you
My neighbor in our human neighborhood

I am going through a terrible time
But others are going through even worse
I try to line my lifelines up by rhyme
In my syllable-counting universe
The only place I have control is here
Where poetry is fashioned from my fear

When times were better I would sing of light
Of drawing a sword if only in pen
But now there seems no sword to put things right
Although I draw it again and again
In pencil imperfectly and erased
To leave little but bitter aftertaste

And so I struggle stumbling though the dark
A cousin of poets who would be one
Still trying to protect such little spark
As left me until a fire has begun
At which time I might sing of light once more
To do again what I once did before

If there is meaning to be understood
Will I ever understand the meaning?
Am I falling now or only leaning?
The coin has one side for bad one for good
I with my little see one who has none
And wonder which is the fortunate one

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 3, 2008, 5:16 pm

Compassion Fatigue

Those things you think so therefore think you see
Concrete with your own eyes as though complete
As how it is so far from me so near
To you which you then call reality
An inescapable cage at the zoo
Which you find conclusive so you repeat
As though I have to hear them slow to hear
Stay stubbornly invisible to me
You say it is hopeless but I will not

I know your numbers add the way they do
And threaten as you say no matter what
Then you add your threat of subtracting you
Which you will insist is not a threat but
Merely how merely my life has to be
I still remember one thing you forgot
I still believe my miracle will come
You say it is hopeless but I will not

If you have no hope left I still have some
You tried to help me and you give up now
I love you and I thought you loved me too
But I have to make my last stand somehow
And now I find myself out of your league
You tire of me now as of compassion
With warm words yet with eyes so cold so clear
I am alone again in my fashion
You say it is hopeless but I will not

Although as you know I was once like you
You judge me as unworthy to be here
I fell through the cracks down out of your league
Although before you were right here I was
Now a victim of compassion fatigue
Still I remain if victimized in pain
Although judged as unworthy to be here
If just to show the world (and you) again

You say it is hopeless but I will not

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 1, 2008, 12:30 am

Birthday Meditation

31 December MMVII

It was better than it could have been and
Yet it could have been better than it was
But what it was and is (which is my hand
As dealt me) was to become my because

The answer which I came to understand
To "Why am I here?" My quest and my cause
Is but to leave it better than I found
It waiting for me to take up and be
(If sometimes squalid at other times grand)
Whatever I want now as I set free
My destiny found lying on the ground
As a wrapped gift by the side of the road

This compass which tells me where I am bound
How best to bear the burden share the load
Life gave me I must wear upon my back
This knowledge I need in order to grow
And how to love and live with what I lack
Or rather without what others might know
Who spoke into the dark without a sound
And told nothing since no one told them so

But that was back before I came around
I mean to make some noise before I go
And not go quietly into the dark
If there is to be fire I am the spark

Have I lived long enough? (How about you?)
I have not yet learned how to be a man
Despite what I have done and what I do
So I must keep doing the best I can
Although it might not be enough at last
And not go quietly into the dark
Into the dreary dustbin of the past
If there is to be fire: I am the spark

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 29, 2007, 10:33 pm

Water Music

My ashes soon will join the sea
I always enjoyed the beach
And passed my Sea Stones out for free
Such as I could afford to
And though I subtly sought to teach
Daresay I never bored you

I was not much but what I was
Brought us more credit than blame
I hope you will remember me
And smile when you say my name

My reach fulfilled its grasp because
My nights and days were the same
I saw the stars in squadrons storm
To scrub the sky and scour me
I sang the sea informed by form
And felt its waves empower me

My own Ash Wednesday sacrament
Will settle to the seabed
The equipoise we spoke and meant
In all those poems we read

As death from life is different
I will go to sea instead
And when I do remember please
That joy of understanding
When we shared poems such as these
Hearts pure and undemanding

Beneath the lamplight late at night
There was magic in the air
We spoke our hearts and heard them right
Now to be heard everywhere

Keep those old chewed-up manuscripts
I gave you and think of me
Poets like us are not for crypts
But to be part of the sea

My life your love our sea as one
In true triangularity
Will meet in the seaweed's tangle
Red seaweed dusted grey with me
Where jellyfish streamers dangle
Then rock the boat with a party

If when you pour some of me blows away
Sea breeze will breathe me in and it will say:

"We have a taste for poetry
As he who went to sea at last
Borne on my breath and carried free
Into the future from the past
The elements in harmony"

The sea will sing informed by form
Eternity empower me
The stars will swirl down in a swarm
Bright fireflies to devour me
As glorious life victorious loves me free

My beautiful children all I love you so
Celebrate your lives and mine when I must go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 27, 2007, 9:30 pm

Son of a Gun

to Amanda Cardona for her twenty-fifth birthday

They say he first worked for the bad guys then
He saw he could work for the good guys when
They called him up not caring right from wrong
So slaughtered for both sides silent and strong
Since all he ever wanted was to kill
And this hunger was shared by other men

When he found out the good guys were worse than
The bad guys then he asked what kind of man
He was and his answer was to go mad
As honest killers have done and do still
His heart and mind broke beyond good and bad
Beyond the black breakwater of the will

I can finally understand him now
But used to seek to summon him somehow
To disappear imagined enemies
Who were not amenable to reason
One of my absent father fantasies
A childhood nightmare of killing season

And so my father Wallace Dean Lance was
A hitman for the cause of just because
Which seemed I suppose like reason enough
And now he is dead as I will die too
Should such time come as I can bear no more
Until then that which keeps me here is you

You and a certain curiosity
My hitman father passed along to me
Since I am here with my ticket paid for
Past pain to remain until our play ends
To place my rhyme in space and time and soar
Because unlike my father I have friends

Not friends with connections nor friends with guns
People like that are not friends anyway
Who go away when the going gets tough
But friends like you who are genuine ones
With whose help I am able to get through
The night that I might live a better day

Son of a hitman bad good and then mad
My father's life seems meaningless and sad
And though I have killed no one that you know
It is hard to stay and easy to go
Meaning costs more in the market these days
If I could afford some I would be glad

Balancing here on the blade of always
I mean to make atonement for the sin
Which burns in the blood of my family
And would prevent me before I begin
But there is a certain stubbornness in
A son of a hitman a son like me

If it can be done then I am the one
To balance the wheel: a son of a gun

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 24, 2007, 4:39 pm

Healing Waters

I found out last night I have lost everything
I lie on my bed and my cat lies on me
Through a weeping window which used to be mine
I can hear the Christmas bells of my church ring
I sigh here instead by a cup of cold tea
With faint hope of favor human or divine

Yet faint though it is it is hope just the same
Its spark fanned by the fact that people read me
Some who have suffered have come to trust my name
I hope they know I need them if they need me
And I feel like they can understand my shame

As I must leave my home now and slip away
Some other hurt hearts share this hurt poetry
These sharp and bloody shards of who I once was
Of who I am and we are even today
We are not dead yet and I still have my cat
My readers know how much I thank God for that

I will get up and go to the Plaza now
A place as improbable as me because
It survived through purity of heart somehow
And it only exists to make things better
At a time when it seems things could be no worse

Stray drops from the fountain mingle with my tears
There is love and beauty in the universe
Teardrop by teardrop and letter by letter
No matter what we win and lose through the years
Healing waters of the only home I know
Kiss my face one more time before I must go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 23, 2007, 4:02 pm

Right Where You Are

If you enter a door
You exited before
Do you go anywhere
If no one knows you went?
You go out and come in
Receiving what is sent
But not from here to there
In linearity

Although you may go far
Should the journey allow
The point along the way
As you follow your star
Is not to go somewhere
But to be the wise say
Not to end nor begin
Never early nor late
At the corner where now
Intersects with your fate

Recipient of grace
Your purpose is to be
Now you are everywhere
And yet nowhere somehow
To neither lose nor win
But both to go and stay
In a state without place
In the smile on your face

To be right where you are

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 21, 2007, 12:04 am

I Finally Wept for My Father Today

I finally wept for my father today
The one who abandoned me when I was young
When he was young too then the years had their way
With us both while to the last he held his tongue
As I did but the silence is broken now

He was my father even though he was wrong
Time passed us and in the end would not allow
The reunion I hoped for yet feared so long
But the silence between us is broken now
Like my mother's heart so many years ago

Sometimes I feel I can hear the voices of
All of my dead loved and lost known and unknown
One of those things no one can prove but just know
What it feels like more than anything is love
Speaking in the silence when I am alone

Which makes me wonder what to be alone is
And if the next voice I might hear might be his

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 19, 2007, 9:13 pm

Being Me


I am embarrassed to seem a failure
When so many had been expecting me
Or maybe it was just my family

To have made them proud might have been the cure
But they were honest and they said they were

And now they have all gone into the light
As I have gone further into the dark
I will live simply and sleep in the park

Although a failure is what I might seem
I am still here now and I can still dream


If poor and sick and uncomfortable
Having made rather a mess of living
I am not one of the irritable
Who seem to prefer getting to giving

I give away such as I have to give
Which could be why I have so little now
Having hit bottom deciding to live
Against bad odds and good advice somehow

Everybody knows what is best for me
But I have to follow my destiny


My grandma thought it was I was too smart
She and her doctor were worried for me
Life broke my mind just like it broke her heart

I think my mother saw how it would be
But she married my father after all

My grandpa was not my grandfather but
With that perspective could see that my fall
Would lift my people up no matter what

What they all wanted was to make it right
But ran out of time as day became night


My children love me and I love them too
They watch me curiously anyway
One eye made proud one blind by what I do
I think one or two of them might still pray

The future is impossible to see
In fact the present is pretty hazy
As the past slips slowly from memory
Every now and then someone goes crazy

Since someone has to do it I will be
Myself since I am best at being me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 19, 2007, 1:56 am


Each day its world each life its universe
Which may turn upside down at any time
Where everything changes in a heartbeat
Often for better and sometimes for worse

Fortune can turn in shadowed pantomime
To prowl down an unfamiliar street
Where possibilities are limitless
And all one has to pay is to say yes

I want to live in the affirmative
At least I would like to try it awhile
After so long in its alternative
They say it takes less energy to smile

At least in that way a conservative
When it comes to shown emotion and such
I never had the optimistic touch
But I would live well if I am to live

Nor do I think I am asking too much
Where possibilities are limitless
If only here today or so they say
Since I am here I will stay and say yes

Yes to the future and yes to the past
To the only gift which I can afford
This present always opened first and last
The process of life in a single word

And all one has to pay is to say yes

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 17, 2007, 8:54 pm

Evolution Revolution

for and against those pictured within

What is it about the slamming of doors
Which characterizes bullies and boors?
What is it about the dread of it all
Which keeps us from walking down the dark hall?

A certain unevolved stupidity
Which takes delight in slamming and scaring
Belching and farting cursing and swearing
Would love to be the death of you and me

So lock up the doors the bullies and boors
And know the world is not theirs but is mine and yours
The world is wise and it belongs to us
However hard the unevolved might fight and fuss

So duck 'em and buck 'em and F**K 'em and never you mind:
Rear up on those hind legs of yours and leave the apes behind!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 15, 2007, 1:40 pm

Suicide Note

My world is empty far as I can see
My enemy is not outside but in
I live incarcerated to die free
I die to live and as I lose I win
Another martyr of mortality

The reaper brings his scythe to lay me low
But cuts me free to fall so I can fly
My seed will sprout tomorrow bloom and grow
My way of life turns out to be to die

Up through the disappointed atmosphere
Of broken promises and poisoned dreams
Up up and away and away from here
Where hate enslaves and yet where love redeems

When there might seem to be no hope at all
Then autumn comes to free the leaf to fall
All that I am might seem like none at all
But my autumn is here now and I fall
To feed my seed of immortality

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 13, 2007, 10:08 am

Because We Share This

Is this for always or only tonight?

I have to be honest and tell you I
Have never known of a time except now
But when it is right then it will be right
And when it is wrong we will smile and sigh

We take the bad to get the good somehow

Whether forever or just for now this
Is something for always if only when
Someday we remember this soft warm kiss
As present past and future (now and then)

Live love and leave but live to love again

I suppose we were supposed to have met
Remember December and tears like rain
Nourishing the earth for another birth
The earth has not seen the last of us yet

I love you more because we share this pain

I thought this was impossible until
Sheltering under your hair on the train
I tasted you but having tasted will
Desire you who inspire me to this fire

For always if that is what you require

We know no regret nor can we forget
This is for always and only tonight
Always and only (we know this is right)
Always and only if only tonight

I love you more because we share this pain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Dec 12, 2007, 3:53 pm


Of the people whom I find annoying
The Recovering Fundamentalist
Who would do good building by destroying
Or the Closeted (False) Conservative
Whose rules only count for the rest of us
And who makes us dance for a chance to live
I cannot tell which makes the greater fuss
So two vie and tie for top of my list
And I think these are equally to blame
For making the world so wearisome now
In fact they are likely one and the same

Pay no attention to what they allow
For that would be nothing in any case
And do what you jolly well please I say
Attempting to enjoy yourself somehow
Since that is what people do anyway
Faith is not ordering people about
Creation is not for those who destroy
The truth is whispered (only liars shout)
My God is broadminded and we enjoy
Watching the bluenoses step in the shit
Which they shat on us (for the hell of it)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII


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