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10.8k · Aug 2013
Jimmy King Aug 2013
A pulsing electricity
Fuels your computer
Which takes you to websites
You'd rather not visit
But that you visit

It's that same electricity
That fuels the cameras
Which we covered with boxes,
A last ditch attempt
To reconcile ideals
With the world
We really live in

And when you think about
What fuels our hearts
And concequently our minds
You  might
Come the conclusion
That we
Are not products
Of the modern world-
The modern world
Is a product
Of us
9.6k · Jul 2014
Ascending Through Never Sink
Jimmy King Jul 2014
I commit to poems the second that I begin writing them,
And here I am committing to this one,
My cursor on the screen
Tap tap tapping like tap-roots across it’s blue-glowing surface.
With every push of every button,
I begin seeing the blue light
As more than it is. I begin seeing it as a poem.
The blue light that illuminated the Never Sink sinkhole
Was not from a screen.
Nor was it from glowworms.
As I write on this screen though, there is that same blue light
With me still. It is
Streaming from the walls of the cavern,
Still massaging the bags of tiredness
That hang beneath my eyelids to remind me
Of where I just was, having *** with my ex-girlfriend,
And of all the places that I was before that: to remind me
Of the blue lights in Never Sink,
The sinkhole that is 120 feet wide and 170 feet deep that I
Climbed out of on a rope and in the dark,
Which was anything but dark—an unlocked lock
Sat in my driveway after I got home

From having *** with my ex-girlfriend tonight,
And there, in that lock, was a comparison to or an analogy for or a metaphor of
My climb out of Never Sink: gradual ascension
And then a moment
Of absolute awe and profundity so unlike any other profundity
That the clarity I felt absolutely throughout my body tonight
Can only really be brought into my mind with full force
Through a comparison and analogy and metaphor
To, for, and of the blue lights
That that temple provided us. Looking into that lock’s
Reflective gleam, I discovered that I felt
The way I’d felt ever since climbing out of Never Sink, which was exactly
How I’d spent the past year or so wanting to feel.

“Bring me,” I said to Duane, who went with me to Never Sink,
“To the hole in the ground
Where the blue light glows; where the glow-worms lightly blaze” and Duane
Said “okay” and he brought me there without
My ever having to say those words. And then,
In the moments after the sun went down we discovered
That the glowworms were not glowworms but
Armillaria mellea, a bioluminescent fungus.
Not glowworms but Armillaria mellea,
Which rose through and across the cave walls, coating the rock
With its skin. The whole pit was covered in that skin—the skin
Of that single individual.
As I methodically climbed out of the sinkhole on my rope, I felt that
Fungus (that individual) extending
Its black shoelace looking taproots into my lungs too,
And into my skin,
Where I was but where
I wasn’t quite yet. Where I was but
Where I couldn’t yet describe to myself without the use of glowworms—
Without the use of made-up and childish sounding words
Like Depropheria, which I wrote a book about but which
I never really understood, and I, the whole concept of which is flawed,
Feel like I could be the plant on Joe’s counter,
Which he said I already am.
Because if my “I” was in all of its molecules and its “I” was in all of my molecules
Then we would both just be exactly what we already were, Joe said, and so
By the very logic I extended in posing the question
I was and am the plant.

I could be Armillaria mellea too
But what am I if I think that I am glowworms? but really
The glowworms are fungus, and while I ****** my ex-girlfriend tonight, falling
Further into the space away from her, I was also
Scraping away at the walls of Never Sink
To see the tiny little hairs that revealed to Duane and I what really was there,
The Armillaria mellea, of course, but how could something so different
(“**** me, Daniel,” she said, “I feel you inside of me, I want you.”
“**** me,” I said
“I feel myself inside of you, I”)
Be the thing that I am? I would never

Stop the car because I saw something shining on my driveway.
And I would never
Open the car door
And step out into the night with the engine running.
Step out into the night to find an
Unlocked lock
Lying there on the pavement while the song that I tried to live all year
Called In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel blasts loudly
From my Buick’s speakers. Step out into the night
With that song blaring through my open car door, surely waking
My soon to be empty-nested mother from her sleep behind
That second story window
Right up ahead.

I did those things though—I
Stopped the car because I saw something shining on my driveway, and I
Did those things.
I am glow-worms.
I am, and so
I am the plant on Joe’s counter, and so
I can be a glow-worm.
I can be what I already am without knowing or comprehending that I am it.
I can be the whole universe.
I am the whole universe.
I saw over one hundred salamanders at the bottom of Never Sink.
And I saw four different species of salamanders at the bottom of Never Sink.
And I saw six different species of frogs, and I saw
Three brown rat snakes, which thankfully were not copperheads, but which
Could have been glowworms that were copperheads,
I guess. If you ask Joe, anyway. I’m not sure
I believe it fully
Even though when you strip away sentimental definitions of “I”
It’s pretty **** convincing. He was convincing.

I danced around Joe’s counter (where the plant sat, even then)
In September. At the time,
The counter was quickly becoming Alex’s counter,
Because I was becoming close friends with Alex,
And because Alex was Joe’s little sister, and because
Joe had left for the college he’d drop out of,
And during his hiatus from what he’d wanted to run from
It was just
Alex’s counter. It is Joe’s counter again now,
Because Alex has a dumb boyfriend who she likes to kiss
And doesn’t really like to ****
But who she does **** anyway and as a result
Doesn’t really like spending much time not ******* me anymore.
Anyway, I danced

Around Joe’s counter in September, when it was becoming Alex’s counter,
And I sank songs like In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
With all my new friends. I thought that I
Was living those songs
Because, if my “I” was in the molecules that vibrated when the song played,
And the “I” of those molecules was in me
Then I would be those songs and those songs would be me.
Being the songs wasn’t the same as living the songs, though.
Rising out of Never Sink I saw myself
Reflected in the blue dots of light that Armillaria mellea created.
I saw that I hadn’t been living everything
That I was; I saw that I was the blue dots then, but I also saw
That I didn’t know that the blue dots weren’t glowworms.

When I was dancing
Around Joe’s counter, I didn’t yet know the words
To In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.
But all my new friends were singing those words, and so I
Screamed out barely-syllabic nonsense
With a smile on my face,
Speaking like a baby who recognizes the existence of language
But can’t yet put it into use.

Rising out of Never Sink
The whole cave opened up, as more and more levels of the sinkhole
Were revealed to be stars and galaxies
Of blue fungus to climb through.
Rising out of Never Sink, I held in my hand
The unlocked lock which I would use later
To weight my pocket as I would sit with these bags of tiredness hanging
Writing this poem late at night on the screen illuminated
By the blue lights of Never Sink. To weight my pocket
As I would sit writing this poem, with
***** excreted thirty minutes prior still resting on my ****
Like the name I haven’t yet learned to call her—
Caterina, Caterina, why did she change it? Maria
Was so pretty, why did she change her name, it was
To get away from me, it was to get away from me like
I wanted to get away from her, it was to get away from me it was
Because she always hated the name Maria. And
To grow more confident in herself
She needed to become
Caterina. She needed to rebrand herself like she worked on rebranding
That company’s logo for her senior thesis project in high school
When I first fell in love with her because
Glowworms lit up Never Sink at night.

They were glowworms in Never Sink
Because the glowworms are fungus
And I am the glowworms.

If you ask Joe.

I want to take some time now to describe
Rising out of Never Sink
Without giving any time
To the lock I found in my drive-way this evening, or
To Joe’s counter-top and how I danced around it knowing
That it wasn’t his but that it was him,
Or to the remnants of Maria, Caterina, and I which are all I, and which
Stick to my ***** still. Never Sink is a sinkhole
That is 170 feet deep
And 120 feet wide at its top.

I went spelunking in Alamaba, Georgia, and/or Tennesse last week
Where I never knew which state or time zone I was in,
And where an annoying but charming guy named Glenn
Led me and my best friend through epic places of infinite beauty.
One of those places was Never Sink,
Which is a sinkhole that is
170 feet deep and
120 feet wide at its top. We repelled into Never Sink
Because Glenn wanted to show us the glowworms
(Which were fungus that were glowworms that were
**** it) and because my friend Duane, who is my best friend, who is
A 39 year-old factory worker who worries that he is much older than he is,
Wanted to see the glowworms too.
We found over a hundred salamanders in Never Sink
And Duane and I discovered that it wasn’t glowworms
That illuminated the pit, but Armillaria mellea, which is a fungus, and
It was very cool.
But ascending through Never Sink was more than very cool,
And it was much more than fungus,
Just as the fungus which I took into my body in August (which it
Almost is again now) after the summer music festival was more
Than just fungus. That fungus was more than just fungus because
I took it into my body right after breaking up with Maria-Caterina (who
I can’t not talk about) For Good (which was
The name of a song they sang
At Maria-Caterina’s high school graduation a year ago, after which
We made love (which was what we called it
Because we were cliché and in love
(Which is what we made.)))

It was a spiritual journey through the cosmos,
In Never Sink,
Or at least that’s how it felt,
And when I climbed out of Never Sink’s mouth, I hugged Duane
And he hugged me and we
Thought that it was beautiful.

I am the plant in Joe’s kitchen.
I am glowworms.
9.2k · Jun 2014
Jimmy King Jun 2014
If we were the kind of friends who unironically
raised our glasses in toasts,
I would give one to the generation too comforted by the ease
of a honeybee in the plaintively nonexistent mind
of a tulip

To the generation, or at least its subset
that wrongly feels representative, who stumble drunkenly
or maybe just tiredly out of tents
to **** in the view of their friends, who are still at the fire
because the tent was too cold

To those who did raise their glasses in a toast
on New Year’s Eve at what felt, with the ball drop
not screening in luddite protest, enough like midnight.
Beginning with “dear friends” and a couple laughs;
concluding with “now let’s get ****** up” and
a couple more

To those who proceeded
as directed, clinking their shot-glasses
and swigging them back. If only because
they were not tulips.
5.5k · Jan 2014
Spitting Watermelon Seeds
Jimmy King Jan 2014
We’d sit on the back porch
On the Fourth of July
Spitting watermelon seeds
Into the tall grass,
Which glimmered in the midday sun.

The competition of who could spit the farthest
Never really with a winner,
It was mostly about the feeling of the sun,
Glimmering on our pudgy cheeks,
And the opportunity to abandon our napkins,
Letting that cool watery juice spill
Down our white shirts, leaving pink stains
And permanent reminders of summer

Of course a tattoo is only as permanent
As the body that wears it:
I outgrew the shirts around the same time
As the world outgrew those little black seeds

This year on the Fourth of July
We sat inside making small talk
Because there weren’t any black seeds
In the watermelon we ate:
Just dehydrated flesh, the color a little
Farther from pink and closer
To the off-white color of those flakey little seeds,
Which were miraculously allowed to remain
5.0k · Aug 2013
Syria / Like Me
Jimmy King Aug 2013
Syria may be falling-
And though you'll be told
Syria's fall doesn't mean
It means a fall
For all of us

And though I never wanted
To understand
Why you hurt yourself-
I understand you
And you
Are so much
Like me.
4.8k · Jul 2013
At Summer Camp
Jimmy King Jul 2013
The summer camp
Isn't what you love-
It's the trees
And the acceptance
That you don't find
Back home
Because back home
The air is filled
With too many chemicals
For anyone
To really accept anyone else

Because instead of
An occasional reminder
It's constant awareness
That we
Are the problem

So come here and pray
To your fictional gods
But know
That if there were a god
It wouldn't have created
Beings capable
Of only finding solace
In something so untrue
To the reality
Of themselves
Jimmy King Feb 2014
Two years ago on Valentine's Day
We had an attempt at reconciliation
And did 69 on a small sweaty couch
In a karaoke bar.

One year ago on Valentine's Day
You avoided eye contact with me and this year
You'll probably kiss someone else
And not talk to me but
That's okay.

Because it'll be just like three years ago
When I didn't know you and
I had a pretty good day.

I don't know. Maybe it won't be exactly like that.
I'm sorry, I'm not trying to deceive myself or anything,
It's just hard to say what real and what's
An admission
Of incompatibility.
from a week ago
3.4k · Oct 2013
Jimmy King Oct 2013
I remember playing the ukulele
A year ago
With you in my living room,
My fingers showing yours
The chords you still had to learn
(A perfect excuse
To hold your hand)

Sunlight pouring,
As the rain does now,
Through the windows
The carefully moving corners
Of your lips
(An imperfect
Yet somehow reasonable excuse
To kiss them).

This morning
As our noses pressed together
And our breathing intermingled
In the bed where I lost my virginity
To the girl
Who taught me those same chords
(To the girl whose lips
Mine found an imperfect excuse to kiss
This afternoon),
I wished that I still had chords
To teach you;
I wished that the sun
Would shine through the rain
3.1k · Apr 2014
Climbing Trees at Dusk
Jimmy King Apr 2014
And then I too
am part of the silence
that casts its post-sunset stillness
throughout this swamp white oak's great spread.

It seems as though even the hive of honeybees
and the nearby nest of baby birds
have stopped to admire
the feeling of the world
tilting on its axis; sinking through space.
We all gaze further upwards,
those bees and birds and I.
And nestled in the remaining twigs above,
is the shockingly finite dance
of the leaves... of the stars.

The shadows that hang from the top-most branches
cast their way down around me
and coat their way all over the ground, making it
easy to forget the height—
the ultimate suspension. Because
born within my skin
is a swamp white oak,
stretching its branches through the
grey matter in my mind,
over-taking and over-whelming.
At the end of it all is me:
a tiny little acorn laid
by an impossible evolution
of people into trees.

Every cell becomes leaf and
the heart a listening ear. Amongst
the chorus of the frogs,
the owls, the coyotes—
the chorus of the woods around—
is that shift
so revered.
The shift of the Earth.
The Earth tilting
on its axis.
It’s time to admit that the maps and
man’s little green boxes there,
are nothing but products
of a continually
diminishing temper... showing
that when this swamp white falls,
it won’t just be a wood
that’s finally left barren.
It won't just be a body
left emptied and charred.

Please, I think, as the bark gets flimsier
and flimsier
beneath my feet. As the wind gets fiercer
and fiercer
howling in my ears. *Please. Let this lone acorn
standing here
sprout into something.
Let a swamp white oak
be seen.
To be read at an Arbor Day festival right before a tree planting ceremony... Some constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated
Jimmy King Dec 2014
.              Part One               .

I wake up in a hungover haze that seems
Irrevocably unending. All the places I threw up,
That stiffness in my neck, the emptiness in my love;
There is too much to feel
So I feel numbness
And I feel remnants
Of ***** in my throat, only manifested fully
When my friends and I make fortune cookies,
Singing along to songs that we’re hearing for the first time
Amidst the chaos of exploding poinsettia plants and nascent tattoos,
All of which litter your mom’s otherwise bare counter.
I don’t make much mention, in my fortune cookies,
Of that girl who still leaves me hungover;
I fill them instead with cruel jokes
That send me cackling
Until my dehydrated headaches pass into

When I’m moonlit tipsy stumbling
Through a campus-wide coniferous forest in Washington State
With two strangers that I soberly think
Might be my future.
We arrive at the clear polluted waters
Of the Puget Sound, our boots all
Sinking into deep-mud as we walk past broken bits of shells
To low tide.
Even as the full moon sinks and I realize
That those two strangers can never be my future
(That Athens, Ohio is my future)
I still walk forward
Into the Puget Sound
Knowing that the water will stay with me
In my lungs, on my skin,
In my mind, and although I don’t tell a single person, I fear,
So rightly,
That the water from the Puget Sound,
Set to perpetually accumulate in my lungs,
Will one day come to drown me.
Even as I cry to my mom in our kitchen,
Relieved from that seemingly endless indecision
I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised
By the choice I’ve made, I’m not surprised
By the fears I still have, all that surprises me
About any of this
Is the immediacy with which
My conclusion’s future culmination begins, as I begin
And continue
While always feeling like I’m concluding,
An infinite

In spirals, spirals, spirals, leaving trails
In subconscious sands, someone paints
Blue spirals on my body, and when
I drive back to Lake Erie later,
To retrieve abandoned items and moments,
The road looks much different.
Less swirly, less threatening at first, and when we get there
We eat pineapple/onion pizza on my ****** cottage’s front porch,
Just barely shielded from the snow, and just barely
Shielded from one another. And even those
Slim shields between us begin to fall
When we stand on our melting Lake Erie.
Because the whole world
Calls to us.
The sky screams, the wind explodes,
The thin layer of water above ice rushes
Blissfully, almost hallucinogenically, towards you and towards I
And I am howling
Into the face of it all,
Fearing nothing—not even
The absence of that girl’s palm in mine
Or the water from the Puget Sound
Or the cold of the air
That is tearing at my scalp; that is tearing
At my whole being and

Is best described by a rampage
Home from a campsite
That I only ever saw
Drunkenly, in the dark, and under the pressure
Of Allan Ginsberg’s poetry and an ultimately failed ****.
On that rampage we steal tombstones,
We steal memories for ourselves,
And we steal crass glances
With crass jokes that sound sort of
Like the crass fortune cookies which somehow
Never went bad.
Someone notes during that drive
That the air is getting warmer
With regularity now,
And while I somehow can’t bring myself to cry when my cousin is shot to death,
I have to struggle to hold back tears
In our high school’s only classroom when you tell me
That you’re quitting that play we signed up for together.
I guess it’s cuz I’m concerned—
Cuz I’m deeply
Deeply concerned—
That it’s a lack of dedication
To me, to what we do together, to everything
That will prevent my rampage from concluding quietly
Amidst the smells of Indian food and the soft light
In your future dorm room
Where I will hug you
And where I

Let all the tears
Flow freely.
I guess it’s the unnecessary intensity
Of this collective celebratory anticipation
That preemptively reveals to me
That the moment of walking across a stage
To receive my high-school diploma
Won’t be quite as transformative as I’d hoped it might be,
And when I make out with that girl who still has me hungover
In the bed at my dad’s house where I lost my virginity
Almost exactly one year prior, I realize that in fact,
I’m still marching the same march, and
Both magic moments of idealized transformation in that bed
Were just as illusory.
Somehow though
Your no longer nascent tattoos have not yet faded
And I can’t help but worry,
(As sweat pours from my forehead and drenches these bedsheets;
As my finger nestles itself tiredly between the folds of her ******)
That I have, and in

When all my anticipation is realized,
People clap in the audience despite the fact
That it’s the same stream of sweat
That’s trickling down along my spine
To reach my ***.
I stare into the spotlight
For just a moment, amidst those stale applause
And in my squint, I think briefly
That none of it ******* mattered. I mean,
Despite this perspiration, I’m
Dehydrated. Hungover. I guess
Drinking more alcohol
Isn’t the best way to get over it, but I can think of nothing else,
So even when I acknowledge
That all my attempts have not even been half-assed,
But, like, one-quarter-assed
The only resolve I find is in distraction, in
******* my other ex-girlfriend instead
And not until that distant

When I’m ascending through Never Sink,
Does my head finally
Feel clear, yes,
In that glowing blue pit
Of bioluminescence,
I feel the whole world slow to a stop,
Embrace my body with its taproots
And whisper
Playfully and
In a child’s voice,
“You are the whole world” and I know that I
Am the whole world.
I breathe heavily, the only sound for miles around,
And for a moment I feel that the Puget Sound,
Along with everything else that is so ******,
Has fallen away.
For it is not my body
That is climbing on-rope through the stars and galaxies of this great sinkhole
But my mind,
But my soul,
Because Never Sink
Is not a landscape
But a mind-scape,
A soul-scape,
And it is one which is never dark
Thanks to the blue lights of soulful- (not bio-) luminescence—
A glow that is strong enough to see
A singularity
In the form of an unlocked lock,
Appearing with grace upon my driveway
After I return home
From ******* my other ex-girlfriend
For the last time.
It is only when I stop the car,
Open the door,
And hold that unlocked lock in my hand that I realize the extent to which
I am being
The ethereal being in Never Sink’s soul-scape,
Alone in the blue grace of the night,
With nothing in my breath.
The thought is terrifying.
So in

On the night of my eighteenth birthday,
The girl I’m hung over and I
Send magical, sparkling lanterns into the sky
With a wish so brilliantly bright and simultaneous
That even I am able dismiss the slurring drunk words spoken next to us—
“Here’s hopin’ that you two get married some day”
As superfluous.

.                Part Two               .

The winds above Lake Erie carry me,
Along with that lantern, into the foreignness
Which Never Sink foreshadowed.
But with the lantern as my very being
And the Puget Sound in my every breath,
Athens, Ohio does not become my soul-scape;
Even its gorgeous autumnal rolling hills
Are just land-scape, and I don’t know
Whether things would have been different
Had I not walked into that stranger’s party
For that terrible beer
On one of my first nights there, but regardless in

I walk up endless hills and stairs daily
To get around this hellhole where the only genuine people I’ve yet found
Were prepared to leave from day one, like I
Wasn’t. I wasn’t preparing for that at all, but the Puget Sound,
Lingers like phlegm in my lungs and distorts my regular refrain
Of “I can be happy here, I can be happy here,” keeping it
From ever loosing its hypothetical but eventually forcing it
To loose its conclusion:
I can be…
I can be…
I can be anything that I want to be and I am still here,
Sitting on the top terrace of this weird-assed biker bar with some girl
I just met, with some guy
Who seems cool, but in both cases
I drink one too many Blue Moon’s because I know
That neither of these people
Will ever loose their hypotheticals and will only ever
Loose their conclusions.
Gazing upwards towards the stars in the fading summer,
I try to ignore the physicality of all that’s around me,
But the alcohol churns in my stomach like violent waves, like in

How I rock like tides between the shores
Of two continents, of two
Acid trips.
One, on the floor of my dorm room, staring at my ceiling
In an attempt to make patterns
Out of patternless white paint, all the while holding hands
With that guy who seems cool, who has been dancing
In and out of hypothetical.
And the other acid trip with you,
Who somehow in the face of everything
Became one of my only certainties.
You, with whom I stood on Lake Erie
Howling into the wind in an unrealized epiphany.
An epiphany
That is now realized
Because the beers on that top terrace didn’t matter.
The white speckles on my dorm room ceiling during that first acid trip
Didn’t matter.
Hell, that girl I am in love with
Didn’t (doesn’t, can’t, won’t) matter.
What matters to me,
As I’m dressed in drag on Halloween,
Lying in your dorm room that smells of Indian food
With 120 dollars of drug money in my pocket,
Is what’s ultimately present. Right there.
Right here. But then, lying there, the time
Clicks over into

And at two in the morning it becomes
One in the morning.
I don’t know which of those hours wasn’t real
But when I hug you and cry in the soft light
It is a moment too brief.
It is a moment from which I am pulled straight
Into a hotel bed halfway to New York City,
Where I lie with that girl who I guess I’m in love with
And I’m kissing her, and I realize
That blue spirals still linger on my body, but when she groans,
So softly
That “we shouldn’t be doing this”
I pause before saying “I know,”
And in that pause, my pixelated, televised, and falsified image of reality
Briefly turns to fuzzy grey static, its finite infinity like the trance
Of meat on a rotisserie; I’m waiting
For this turkey to cook
In my friend’s mom’s home—funny
Because I’m still a vegetarian
Who sometimes likes to think of himself, in quest for definition,
As a vegan, but man
I’m beyond definition, I’m beyond anything,
I’m beyond even my darkest imaginings of myself, so when I get wasted
At a 2am that doesn’t click back on Thanksgiving morning,
I have a slice of that ******* turkey,
Cuz the vegan chili my friend and I made at school was good and all,
But I had to bike through freezing rain to get the peppers
And even though I’m starting to feel
Like I’ve found a few people who I can take in with permanence
Nothing feels more like permanence
Than this home-cooked meal
Of turkey and cranberries and sweet potatoes at a granite counter
Where, on January 1st when the ball dropped,
We all took shots, leaving me drunk, stumbling
And eventually
And of course in

I’m still
Hung over it all.
Part one, part two,
The futility of that division is so obvious now.
It’s the same poem, same sentence,
And when two not-so-new-anymore friends and I sit on a rooftop in Athens
With a bunch of still so-new I-guess-friends
Right before exam week,
Right before this emotionally excruciating semester comes to a close,
Right before I prepare to head home,
I realize that even though this place
Hasn’t quite become home yet,
My ‘home’ isn’t really at home now either.
I am without a bed in which I feel comfortable,
Without a body next to which my whole life makes sense,
And I am driving to go swing dancing—
An activity I can’t believe I’m still trying to like—
When I finally tell her that I’m in love with her:
Words that don’t matter despite
How much they do. Ultimately,
To me, to her, it’s just
A quick red-light phrase
And this poem is, without too many layers of resonance,
Not even addressed to her,
But to that girl with whom I stood on Lake Erie,
Howling into the wind,
Imagining part two but preparing
For part three, so
With that lantern still floating skyward, “here’s hopin’ that”
                                         (No. No. No. Start over.)
Here’s hoping that
At midnight
On this New Year’s Eve,
When the ball drops and when we all take shots,
Perhaps around that same granite counter-top,
These clocks
Won’t click back again.
These spirals
Will fade.
2.9k · Oct 2013
Jimmy King Oct 2013
I'm trying to see the world
Through these glasses
But I just see
My own reflection

All these glasses
Empty around me
2.4k · Jul 2013
Jimmy King Jul 2013
“It's all about consistency”
I said one year ago
As I walked into the same room
And put my suitcase on the same bed
As the last time the two of us
Had visited that
Remnant of childhood

My best friend from forever ago
Gave a silent nod
And followed my direction
Returning passively
To the bed opposite me

Now that bed
Is empty
Because he gave up trying
To make the past present;
Gave up trying
To be friends

But I still sit
In the same bed anyway
“It's all about consistency”
2.4k · Aug 2013
My Inaction
Jimmy King Aug 2013
The last leaf
On the oak tree falls
In the tradition
Of the first
And now the branches
Are bare
And Winter has come
And Ubuntu
Means nothing
2.2k · Sep 2013
Acorn of a Swamp White Oak
Jimmy King Sep 2013
Born within my skin
Is a swamp white oak
Stretching its branches
Through the grey matter
In my mind
Over-taking, over-whelming
Each leaf becomes a cell
A part of me
In a most central way
And me a part of my species
A tiny acorn
In the context of its whole
Laid by an impossible
Evolution of trees
To people
2.2k · Nov 2013
Crossing T's
Jimmy King Nov 2013
I just read all the poems you ever wrote
And at the end of the last stanza
I asked for another
But on second thought
Let's write this one together-
You don't even have to worry
About crossing the T's
Or dotting the I's
Because I've got your back
And I'm not about to look away
2.0k · Jan 2014
We Made Fortune Cookies
Jimmy King Jan 2014
The four of us wrote each other fortune cookies
And the sad part was that even though
The cookies we baked together were sugary and warm
None of the little squares of paper inside
Made much indication of one another.

You remarked that it had been exactly a year since
You were where we were:
Lying in a snowy field and watching the grey clouds rush
From the horizon to the moon
Illuminated by city lights too.

You protested those lights, throwing doorknobs
For the darkness but you couldn't break that streetlamp
Until the sun had already risen and the LSD
Had already worn off
Such that there was nothing to do
But read our fortunes quietly and sadly reminisce
About that night we'd spent
Melting the snow beneath our bodies.
1.9k · Aug 2013
Jimmy King Aug 2013
a snow fell across the land
like stars through the sky,
covering both the ground
and our minds
in a sweeping grey
of uncertainty
and failed attempts
at reconciliation
Jimmy King Jan 2014
Sometimes it seems like I'm not sad enough
About the fact that I've never seen a passenger pigeon,
So I tried to write a poem about one
"The bird that's lost from the skies,
I wish I didn't have to see the smog behind your wings"
But I couldn't conceal from myself
That the effort was half-assed.
And I knew that if I wrote one more line,
The pigeon wouldn't really be a pigeon anymore.
I know I'm wasting too much energy
And pumping too much gas into the air.
Even though I drive for hours I'm always
Just one minute from home,
Trying desperately to fall out of love with the idea of being in love.

The real sadness hasn't been in love though. Not in the illusion
Nor the loss thereof,
But in circling around the block again and again.
And in failing to write a poem
About that passenger pigeon.
1.8k · Sep 2013
Jimmy King Sep 2013
As I smoke a cigarette
On the front porch
Where I once declined
I listen in my memories
To my sister yelling at my mom
In a crowded Mexican restaurant
That she should be allowed
To love both my mom
And my dad
But then our food finally came
And my cigarette
Finally goes out
Having mostly burned
Without help from my lungs
1.8k · Oct 2013
The Blackness in Between
Jimmy King Oct 2013
A tattoo is just a scar;
A person is just a human being-
Not much more than a Wendy’s bag
That looks like road-****;
Not much more
Than a series of frames in a film
With a blackness in between
That our minds remove,
Creating an illusion of motion
Similar to the illusion of effortlessness
Created as we drive up a hill,
Pumping fossil fuels into the air
As everyone breathing outside the car
Rings like the aftermath of a gunshot
Or a screaming plea in an unfamiliar ear
“Stab me some more, dear,
Let the ink flow,
The film is running out
And I can see the blackness finally
Of the space that’s in between”
1.7k · Aug 2014
But I Am Not a Seagull
Jimmy King Aug 2014
I sit on the same well-tended grass by the water as I did
when I finished my novel about the place where love leaves us,
and I'm looking out across the lake to the dock
where we lay the other night.

A seagull sits there now,
atop a small white post, and there
is nobody else. The bird is unmoving
save for its feathers, ruffling in the wind, and I realize that everything
will very soon be seagulls because
if that spot there-- where we watched that Chinese lantern
float skywards and where you said that you knew me better
than you ever had-- can be a seagull,
well then so can be and will be every other place where I sat
watching things that weren't Chinese lanterns
do something other than float skywards.

While I'm tempted to say you made your mark on this place,
the seagull begs to differ-- no, you made your mark
on me.
Jimmy King Dec 2013
Ever since, I've been afraid of the telephone ringing:
That metallic chime intruding at any second
Drawing us from our ornaments to "have you seen her?"

"Have you seen her?"

Maybe if they hadn't told me to get the phone that day
It wouldn't be quite so bad still
But every time I see that tree in our living room
Standing for family, love, hope
Everything that was smashed that day
All around me and entirely within me
Replaces again all that's been slowly healed

That red little ball falling
From shaky hands and weak branches
Shatters on the floor with a sound like a telephone
And those red little pieces linger just to be stepped on
Just to draw blood
And there is

Two dead and however many phone calls
Shattering ornaments at every little decorating party
Where someone is stupid enough to say "I'll get it"
And everyone else is stupid enough to care,
Like humans do,
About all the things they can't control.
Like the snow falling, I mean,
There's no need to scream at the sky-
Your god can't hear you.
Just go back to the Christmas tree
And pick up where you left off.

There's probably 800 dead in Syria today anyway
And I can't seem to make myself give a **** about that, so
Why should I even really care all that deeply if
There's one less ornament on my tree?
1.7k · May 2014
Train Tracks
Jimmy King May 2014
A train howls through the distant summer
again tonight. Eighteen years now
I've spent lying in this bed and how
can I not yet place that howl to
any track other than Howl
by Allen Ginberg, still resting on my nightstand,
its sentiment about alarm clocks one wrong
(all mine are broken and
there it is again, chugging along
through the darkness that dances) simply because I
cannot see it?
1.6k · Aug 2013
Jimmy King Aug 2013
Whenever I grimace
Or cringe
It feels on some level
Like I'm just an actor
Making faces
For society
Because goddess forbid
I should ever show
My genuine
Lack of empathy

(Maybe you thought
If you cut yourself
It'd be clear
To yourself
That you weren't just
I wonder
If it worked.
I doubt
That it did.)
Jimmy King Sep 2015
I felt biking up hill today fairly alive
And then I sit in stuffy dormrooms or walk through hallways
I crouch at desks to copy and paste old thoughts
I jog from toilet to shower to make it to class on time
And still I am three minutes late, like I
Wrote in my little notebook that “I have to stop
Letting my desire for something supersede my feelings for the individual people in my life”
But even as I wrote it
Pissingdrunk against the side of my friend’s pink house
I didn’t know what I meant, scribing only
So that I could figure it out later:
What the hell I meant by ‘desire’
What the hell I meant by ‘something.’

I felt biking up hill today fairly alive
And then I’m called upon to have opinions,
To finish my homework
To take out the trash
To define ‘desire’
To define ‘something’
And then to flip the supersedence around,
Yes I am called upon by myself and myself only
So I’m not gonna finish my ******* homework today.
I’m gonna let the trash continue to rot.
I’m gonna define ‘desire’ as a product of rational society
And I’m going to define ‘something’ as the oppressor class
And I will fly past these nets
Like a proud and bold Icarus to
Sit on my bike

Remaining and lingering
As I move through temporal space.

And then I will love.
I will be loved.
I will be subject.
I will be humanized.
From an axiological point of view,
1.5k · Nov 2013
Jimmy King Nov 2013
You looked at me today
(When I finally forced your eyes
To meet mine)
Like I wasn't just. stranger
But a homeless man on the street,
Cursing at you and beggin you
For the dime or nickel
Which capitalist America
Demands you not give up

The time we spent the evening
Making love in your bed
You told me you wished
We were just ten years older
So we could look towards marriage
And a family.
I wonder what you think
About that night now
1.5k · Aug 2015
Escaping Zen Buddhism
Jimmy King Aug 2015
our circles of right and wrong,
fractured in absence of fickle zen,
stand now across the sky
diagramed on clouds in venn

and smiling the grey
blobs block the meteors;
it’s love of life that may
chain our bodies in the center

of that shifty airy water space
where waffles are gentrification
and the hands we hold are separation
and its happening everyplace

we go. so to talk and act
separately, is to deny that cloudy venn;
to go where mind is scarcely fact
and establish a dangerous distance

cuz yesterday I meditated
but today I must’ve particulated
cuz  I see we’re one big contradiction
inside love that’s bound to mediation.

friere would say this occupation
is precisely our ontological vocation,
but to subjectify ourselves at the very
center of the venn is to carry

a weight upon the column
of my spinal cord unknown
even to the days
of my very best posture.

yet, your resistance to the slump—
it guides me to listen for the thump
thump of distant drums:
a revolutionary battlecry

through which I extend my hand
to hold yours across the waffled
space which we’ve so ******.
our heartbeat races through my mind.
1.5k · Jan 2014
My Neck Hurts
Jimmy King Jan 2014
The first time I slept beside you in that basement
You were a stranger
And now you’re a close friend. But somehow
The sleeping hasn’t gotten much more comfortable.
My neck has hurt all day.
And when I said “happy new year” to my grandma
I still felt like I was holding back
A fourth round of ***** –
You know the vomiting actually hasn’t gotten much better either.
I remember the first time, sitting
On somebody’s aunt’s friend’s bathroom floor
Texting my sister “I’m drunk, I’m sick, I’m sorry”
While this ****** girl that I hadn’t yet fallen in love with
Held my hair back figuratively
But you
You held my hair back more literally last night (it’s gotten long),
And you know that I’m glad we’re friends
But that cheese fondue my mom prepared
Didn’t taste so good coming up the other way
And I shouldn’t need, I shouldn’t want, I shouldn’t need
To swig back so many shots
To tell people how I feel
Which might not even really be how I do feel
Because that girl wasn’t really all that ******
And ever since she left (I left her)
I’ve been looking for something to cling to and
I haven’t found it in this person or that person
So I tried to find it in this sea of bottles
But all the bottles empty quickly
And my neck has hurt all day so
Just don’t take it personally if I don’t
Spend the night in that basement with you again next time.

My neck has hurt since she left.
And I’m still drunk.
Still sick.
Still sorry.
1.4k · Aug 2013
Jimmy King Aug 2013
You see I didn't know
What an asparagus plant
Looked like
Until today
And the fact that you
Would understand
My horror
When faced with
That ignorance
Is one of the most
Liberating things
In the world

And even if
All the meaning
We derived
From the other night
Was drug enduced
And maybe mistaken
I still can't wait
To show you
That asparagus plant
And watch your eyes
As they watch me
1.4k · Aug 2013
Gardening with a Screwdriver
Jimmy King Aug 2013
I sit in the soil
With a ***** driver,
Too coated in Earth
To ever fix
Anything again,
And I eat a carrot
Taken from the ground
While, like Adam,
Only with modern
Like ***** drivers-
I wonder about
What would’ve been
If Eve had just
Liked carrots
And not apples
1.3k · Nov 2013
Jimmy King Nov 2013
You were my heart
But in that endless pulsing rhythm
I got lost in translation

I filled my blood with nicotine
To keep myself as far from
The truth of you
As I could

But every buzz wears off sometime
Leaving us listening only
To a single near silent refrain:
"I'm sorry."
"I know."
"I'm sorry."
"I know."
"I'm sorry."
"I know."
"I'm sorry..."
1.3k · Nov 2013
Swirling Lichens
Jimmy King Nov 2013
Flying through the sky with you
Anything was possible

Lichens swirled around us
And we swirled around one another

Tree bark crumbled and fell
Though maybe it was just old reservations

Two tabs of acid
Two sets of lips

One afternoon
And one unbreakable friendship
1.3k · Jul 2013
Power Outage
Jimmy King Jul 2013
I am equally as invigorated
By the temperance
Of modern convenience
And the dominance of nature
As I am terrified
Of total dependence
Of modern man
On everything electric
Jimmy King Jan 2014
I felt your ghost sitting in that chair with me today.
I don't know when I took to sitting in it too
But I mean, it makes sense that I'd like it.
People develop the same tastes as their best friends,
And as their fathers.

When dad left you were their to make it
Not so bad.
And you didn't like dad very much
So you had no reservations
About adopting his chair as yours.

But then you left too
And six years later
The scars both of you left behind
Have only just now healed enough
For the chair to gain me as its occupant.

I reclined it it all the way today
And as the silence engulfed me
You and I cracked up together
And played video games while my dad
Sat there too: snoring,
Unable to stay up with his kids
To watch The Rugrats
Before putting them to bed.
1.2k · Dec 2013
Flickering Fluorescent
Jimmy King Dec 2013
The flickering fluorescent
Places accent on the life we could've shared:
Laughter creeping through every drunken little recess
Of the ****** apartment on West campus

As my sister sneaks off with her boyfriend,
Leaving me with the continued potential energy
Of everything I've known lately,
I can't help but allow the thought I've been
Repressing for half the year
To worm its way,
Like the first decomposers into a buried coffin,
Into my mind

Maybe you are really
Happy without me but as I sit here,
Forcing smiles and drinking beer, eating guacamole,
I miss you anyway.

Somebody turns off the lights, saying that
The flickering light hurts their eyes.
Somebody else screams at the dark, in jest
And I'm thinking that at least
The darkness is consistent.
Jimmy King Nov 2013
Inside we drink tea and eat steaming waffles
While outside a white blanket drapes itself
Even over our minds
Painting things in a sweeping grey
That glistens in the sunlight

It’s a little too cold out
So our noses are a bit runny
And the heat’s on a little too high
But the maple syrup never goes bad
And neither does your laugh

Your thumb moves across my the back of my hand
Like it did in the summer
Gently; without much pressure
And in between my fingers I can feel your heart beat

If you wanna go outside though
I have a really nice hat
And some really nice gloves
And if you wanna go sledding
I have a toboggan too
So we can go down the hill
1.1k · Nov 2013
Pizza Night
Jimmy King Nov 2013
I lied to my mom the other night
About what I had for dinner
With my dad
Because I didn't want her to ask
Why it took so long
To just eat a pizza
And I didn't want her to be sad
About my half-shrug of response
1.1k · Dec 2013
A Poem for 2013
Jimmy King Dec 2013
Yelling at a screen after-hours
With old friends and passersby

Getting drunk in desperation
And hooking up with a boy I didn't know at all
After smoking a jointswith a boy outside
Who I cared to get to know, quite a bit

Dancing around the house that I couldn't have known
Would become a strange sort of home;
Covered in candle wax and visions of Depropheria
With brand new, beautiful friends

Neck craning upwards in the Grove of
Titans: the closest thing to God on Earth

New beginnings and transient visions of forever
On a magical bus ride to New York City

Making love for the first time in my bed,
Our bodies joining and intertwining while
My future slept on the couch downstairs

A teary goodbye and a journey to a lakeside
In the middle of the night where that future,
Which blew through like a whirlwind of a summer storm,
Was foreshadowed once again

Empty bottles lining your counter and you
Tearing down, just before leaving,
All my fences too

Making love for the last time in your bed
Right before the bubble of us popped,
Leaving me only with a bowl of soapy water
And a bendy straw: so many
New chances ahead

A whole community: the family to get me through
That love just passed and the happy moments too-
Falling asleep next to someone new
And clinking glasses on the dock
With a vegan pizza to top it off

The final falling apart of April to August
And a new heartbeat pulsing in
The quiet spaces between my fingers

Trying a new drug at the top of a tree
And laughing all through the journey,
The LSD nothing and your friendship everything

Flickering fluorescent lights reminding me
Of all I've lost; of all I've gained
In this beautiful year
Of 2013
Each stanza represents a month; the poem represents the year
1.1k · Sep 2013
Jimmy King Sep 2013
Fleetingly holding
Air of lungs in palms
I gaze up at floating blankets
Incapable of warmth
And hanging just below
The stars and bodies bouncing
Off the water in my mind

Though confined to basement
I see the shore we stand on,
Skipping stones
Across the lake
Until me my body throws
To a wind too powerful
To threaten sailing thoughts
Like the hands I hold-
Refusing to understand
The weight of breath
1.1k · Aug 2013
Packing Bags
Jimmy King Aug 2013
I hope my mom
Doesn't still cry
Every time
I pack my bags
To go to my dad's
But I wouldn't be
If she did

I do wonder though
Whether I'd be surprised
If she didn't
And I wonder too
Whether she still
Thinks of the bag
That always travels
With me
As hers
Jimmy King Aug 2015
Part One

We sat on a strange wooden platform
Which hung suspended
From a strange metal structure.
And we kissed in the daylight
With cars passing by.

It struck me then
That I hadn’t kissed anyone in the daylight
With cars passing by
In over two years.
And I’d never before
Kissed anyone in the daylight
With cars passing by
Who identifies as a Marxist.
Or who loves Virginia Woolf.
Or who takes her sandals off to splash in muddy water without prompting and
Without even rolling up her jeans.
Or whose love of life captures her in the same contradictions as mine.
And I haven’t written a love poem
For someone who might also be writing me love poems
In over two years
But this is it.
Here it is.

This is it,
Here it is,
In four days
We will live in separate cities
And then I might not kiss anyone in the daylight
With cars passing by
For two more years
Or two more after that but
Such a possibility strikes me as unlikely.
Not because we can commute but because you showed me
As we hung suspended on a strange wooden platform
Kissing in the daylight
With cars passing by
(As we braved the mosquito bites in that field that night;
As we waded through the creek today
While thunder cracked all around us
And rain poured down right upon us)
That I am someone who someone worth loving
Can find worth loving.

Part Two**

Or hang on.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
It doesn’t have to be like kale soup,
Which has been connoted for me as representing the preservation of tradition and community while effecting radical change within the food system.
It can instead be like artichokes
Which I just like
For no ******* reason
Other than that they’re good.
We each got over 40 mosquito bites because,
While we lay in a field under the, like, five stars that decided to show themselves at the peak of the Perseides meteor shower,
We were too busy making out to give a ****.
And it was fun.
It was fun, and tonight when we got dinner and you asked me to explain why I liked artichokes so much
We abandoned our tradition of narrative, us English majors, and we decided to study Sociology,
Because sometimes it’s better to look at how things are
Before you even ask yourself why.
A ****** poem. But ideas and moments I want to return to.
1.1k · Apr 2014
Knock Knock Jokes
Jimmy King Apr 2014
My drug addict cousin
didn't show up to our family dinner tonight.
My uncle drove around the block in circles,
I think hoping that she'd gotten lost. But unfortunately
she'd gotten too far lost for the easy resolution
of a trip around the block.
Her name is Hannah. It's a palindrome,
I explained to my mom. It reads the same
front to back as back to front. There's darkness
on either end, and some people call the middle part
light. My uncle is like
the stereotypical cool uncle, always
telling jokes, making puns, but
he didn't even smile tonight, and instead of "knock knock"
it  was "well I guess I see who's there, and they punched
me in the ******* face." It would be better described
as a faint red glow, that middle part. Life. A candle
burning on both ends, palindromically pulsing
from 'H's to 'N's. And my uncle,
left dealing with the puddle of wax.
1.1k · Aug 2013
A Heart Upside Down
Jimmy King Aug 2013
What could have been me
Floats within the grey mush
Of my mind as two blocks down
Not unhappy tears rush
From your eyes and maybe she
Could finally be free;

Positive and negatively charged
Atoms attract one another
But the metaphor fails time's test
Which always will smother
Any trace of poetic ambition or love
Not hyperbolized or enlarged

Like the sky through which
Meteors fall tonight
But everything is just far
Too polluted with light
For even the brightest to shine
And show me how to stitch

A lost love together again
'Cause it's like a heart upside down
And in order to turn it
All the way, clear around
I'd need energy I don't think
I can muster with my pen
1.1k · Apr 2015
Splinters & Ice Cream
Jimmy King Apr 2015
I thought of you today when I noticed the dirt underneath my fingernails
And when I felt the wind in my hair as I flew down a hill on my bike
And when I stared at the Hocking River again as it gently swirled downstream.
When I realized I’d be going to bed early and
When I thought about sleeping alone,
As I do almost every night.
When I decided to go the long way home.
When I sat down on a bench, ate a granola bar, and sipped away the rest of my water.
When I threw my shovel aside and dug with my hands.
When I wiped the sweat from my brow.
When I looked at my Aloe Vera plant and realized I hadn’t watered it in a while.
When I watered my Aloe Vera plant.
When I left the dinner table before the rest of my friends to call my grandma
Who once told me that you and I should get married.
When I laughed at my own thoughts
And when Ani DiFranco came on my Spotify.

I don’t exactly know what I mean
When I say I thought of you.
I don’t know anything exactly, I mean
What if the universe jumps erratically through temporal space,
And each moment only seems continuous cuz we only remember what came “before” it, as we say?
When I say that, when I think about that,
I guess I’d call that thinking about you.

I thought about you when I thought about
Getting ice cream
And when I thought I got a splinter,
Neither of which
Actually happened.
1.1k · Oct 2013
Winter Walking Distance
Jimmy King Oct 2013
In the bagel shop
By the Barnes and Nobel
In that corner of the shopping center
That's barely winter walking distance
From the hallway in the high school
Where we first met and first kissed,
We shared the warmth
Of an electronic fireplace
And the pages of the ****** books
We were both racing to write;
The ****** books which would very soon
Be written over with permanence
In new handwriting
1.1k · Jul 2013
The Noise From the Back Room
Jimmy King Jul 2013
The noise from the back room
Filters to the front
Flowing up the stairs
Seamlessly through the air
Passing from the actors
To the watchers
And eventually
Towards her ears.

For those in the back room
It can be both imagined
That she will hear
And believed
That she will not

So on that paradoxical duality
The actors settle.

They place their faith,
Their religion,
Their belief
On contradiction

As they must.

But of course
When believing in a future,
If an actor
Or when hoping for a future,
If a watcher
Those in the back room
Are quite often wrong

She will hear
And maybe
She will know forever
What the actors did
And what the watchers watched
And the god with a lower-case 'g' knows
It will **** her

But as long as those acting in the back room
And as long as those watching in the back room

No harm
Will come
1.0k · Jul 2013
Black Coffee
Jimmy King Jul 2013
A year later
The smell of black coffee
Will still remind me
Of a sad morning
Spent at Lake Erie
Hiding silent
Beneath blankets and books
And sitting across from a girl
I never quite
Got done loving

Embracing for the first time
Our ultimate future
And disdaining for the first time
Our previously unshakable present
We sipped idly at our coffee
And dared not look up
From the pages of the fictional
That we had created-
Trying unsuccessfully
To worm that ephemeral truth
Out of our minds
1.0k · Jul 2013
In Dependency
Jimmy King Jul 2013
I felt the three-dimensionality of space
From time
And the pull between all things

As the earth goddess spoke to me
In the basement of a girl I used to love
I sat alone just feeling
And imagining complex thought

Not immune from reality
But simply
Of all that's real and painful and unbearably true

Three dimensions,
Bound inseparably to time,
Closing in
1.0k · Feb 2014
Resolution of a New Year
Jimmy King Feb 2014
New Year's resolutions rarely carry into February
But the resolution of a new year
Will last twelve ******* months anyway.

It is the chipped ceramic gnome
Left to weather outside an abandoned apartment,
Which calls me cataclysmically to the forefront,
Asking how long it will be
Until I get to write '13' again. Or '12'. Or '08'.

Because to get used to writing '14'
Is to get used to the empty space between fingers
And the mess of my room, which will only fade
When I do.

It won't be until the storm comes,
When the gnome falls from banister to sidewalk,
That I'll stop asking how long
And begin to write '15' instead.
970 · Aug 2013
Capri Sun
Jimmy King Aug 2013
I saw someone
During a documentary
About Syria
And I wrote
A lot of poems
About it
But today,
Sitting here,
At my Capri Sun,
I don't feel
Like there's any less
For me
To be at
The center
Of my poems
Than that person
Texting so
Here's a poem
About me
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