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Sep 2012 · 2.0k
popsicle wrapper
Warren Gossett Sep 2012
playground –
a popsicle wrapper
skips in the wind

Jan 2012 · 672
That Old familiar
Warren Gossett Jan 2012
In the night, in the darkness,
that old familiar steals around.
Emerging from corners of my room,
from the stillness and shadows
is a sad repository of memories
I can count on always to cheat
me of comfort and sleep.

Jan 2012 · 776
Not the Sum
Warren Gossett Jan 2012
I suppose the secret to happiness
as we grow older is living to enjoy
each day, not the sum of all our days.
If we tally the days, the years, it becomes
a cumbersome affair and we begin
to labor under its unyielding weight.

Jan 2012 · 981
Brittle Leaves
Warren Gossett Jan 2012
It's a difficult thing, admitting I've
grown old, no longer denying the truth
and feeling mortality's cold breath which
until now I've not wanted to accept.
In those flourishing days of my youth
I often felt as if I could outgrow my skin,
heaving and throbbing with life's lust,
but now I feel I am shrinking back,
too far back into this aging shell,
finally seeing how I'm at the autumn
of my life while it gathers about me
as brittle leaves swirl about a lamppost.

Dec 2011 · 692
Razorblade Words
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
Your words, like razorblades,
lacerate and penetrate
this grasping heart.
I've cried out many times in pain,
pleading with you, asking why
you can't simply walk away
and leave with me a portion
of my heart to lose elsewhere.

Dec 2011 · 2.2k
Bayou Night
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
There is no night like a bayou night,
the air pregnant with expectancy and
mystery, mingling scents of wisteria,
trumpet honeysuckle and gumbo mud -
a Dark Ages alchemist seeking an elusive
golden fragrance. It's a night dark despite
the nearly full moon, a night in which
fireflies pulsate as so many flickering
neon bulbs and the cacophony of insects
reaches toward an unattainable crescendo.

Mammoth cypress trees line the bayous,
letting fall Spanish moss as strands of ghostly
gray-green hair, and the oppression of dark
is waiting just beyond the searching lantern.
At times the wind moans like a sated lover,
at other times it howls wildly, but it's always
present and always vocal to those who
would listen. There could be fear in such nights,
or there can be a love of the mysteries inherent
with the bayous - I choose the love of the bayous.

I lived in Louisiana about nine years,
and there are many things about that
state I still love - bayous being one of them.

Dec 2011 · 1.1k
Winter haiku
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
a lone leaf
clings to the winter aspen –
my child's grasp


blizzard –
the snow goose
there . . .
or not


seaside . . .
the moon pulls away
from its reflection


winter  forage –
the crow pecking
at its shadow

Dec 2011 · 1.9k
Ode to Sylvia Plath
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
Sometimes it is, poor Sylvia,
that we cannot find the answers. They're
not to be found clinking about in the stars,
blowing about in the August wind,
or blooming among the tea flowers, no matter
how scented. No charlatan soothsayer discerns.
No pull of the cards deciphers. If answers come
at all they'll be found deep within yourself, only.
Don't we all prove that countless, wretched
times? But know this, dear Sylvia, even though it's too
late for your sanity and your life, your daddy didn't
die because of you, for you, by you. Death simply
drew the line and pulled him across.

What were you to do when life puzzled you
to the limit, when all poems disappointed,
when the ink failed to flow smoothly,
the pen tore at the paper and the paper
turned to ash before a line could be written down?
What to do when your child's smile failed to ignite
motherhood, when Daddy's image floated in and out, when
emotional pain dragged you terrified under its
black cerement, that cold, wet, smothering grave cloth?

Fear, oh my God, fear, and the doubt that you had,
the whirling about of a shattered mind, bouncing
from this trap to the other - your muted, stifled inner
screams unheard, or worse, unexpressed. Yes,
you found a solution, poor Sylvia, but suicide
doesn't always equate with an answer. You found a
sad poem, a dirge to be exact, something that moves
us, but there is no rhyme to it and the ending is an
enigma, a great puzzle yet to be invoked, understood.

Dec 2011 · 3.9k
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
We'd laugh at life
if it weren't so serious;
we'd laugh at death
if we weren't afraid;
we'd laugh at pain
if it didn't hurt so much;
we'd laugh at circumstances
but we'd get nowhere.
I suppose, truth be known,
we'd laugh if only we
hadn't forgotten how.

Dec 2011 · 1.7k
A Drink
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
A drink isn't hard to swallow,
but a divorce, a lost child, death, they are.
The wind comes up, blows away dreams,
ends marriages, sifts through plans,
hopes, throws out what it wants.

A drink isn't hard to swallow,
but growing old, pain, dying dogs, they are.
The wind comes up, tears our garments,
exposes our frailties, our nakedness,
thoughtlessly shreds our defenses.
At times like these
A drink isn't hard to swallow.
Dec 2011 · 2.1k
Small Town Poet
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
I've been trying to poet off and on
now for awhile - but it's hard for a guy
like me, born and raised in small towns.

I've never really learned to swear,
not like a poet anyway. Not like Bukowski.
I mean, what kind of poet would

the world expect me to be? Except that
I'll admit I can drink with the best.
A Huffstickler I'm not, or a Bukowski,

or Etter, or Kerouac - guys who knew the
big towns, the *****, the dives, the rehabs,
the back alleys, park benches, soup kitchens,

flop houses, drug pushers — Humm, come to
think of it, we got all those here. But not
the all-important big town poet attitude.

I'm just this hick, delusional perhaps,
trying to fill a blossoming hole inside
of me that grumbles and claws for more,

and there's gotta be more to life than this crap.
In poeting I used to try and rhyme, like as
in "poor" and "*****", but there's

no rhyme to life, just grab it and clench.
Just life, death, burial and maybe a little
something for the dog afterwards.

The preacher says there's more,
the devil tells me to forget it,
(I'll listen to him occasionally).

So, for me, I'll probe a little deeper and
scrutinize a little harder, perhaps drink a
little heavier, and maybe find a plug

out there that'll fill the hole inside me.
Maybe even put it in words.
Become a poet.
Dec 2011 · 521
Love's Pulsing
Warren Gossett Dec 2011
I would hope to die early
should I grow too old to dream,
to believe in something,
anything, or feel the red-hot surge
of ambition and love's pulsing.

Nov 2011 · 610
The Queen
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
She walks as though she were a queen,
this woman who walks beside me - head
held high, chin up, striding confidently.
If she is a queen what does that make me?
I am no king, certainly not much at all
in my reckoning, but still she walks with me,
occasionally taking my hand in hers.
She must think more of me than do I -
how could I not treat her like a queen?

Nov 2011 · 676
Sorry, Mother
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
My mother died alone in the nursing home.
That sweet mouth that once whispered
comfort to my child's ear when I cut a lip,
scraped a knee, or suffered my first heartbreak,
was now open to the world, awkwardly caught
in a gasp for one more precious breath of life.

She so richly deserved my presence that day,
and paid in advance with tears over the years,
as I wasn't always the son I should have been.
This was a visit which was not afforded
because something, something very asinine
on television kept me from her bedside
on that final morning of her precious life.

The news came in a sympathetic phone call.
"Sorry Mr. Gossett, but your mother has died."
I continued staring deeply, analytically at
something, something on the television
that morning, wondering if this was really how her life
should have ended, so alone, with dead eyes staring
to the side, still hoping to see the son who was
too engrossed to be there. I'm sorry, mother,
one last time I have to tell your how sorry I am.

Nov 2011 · 674
The Painter
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
If only he could paint what he feels
deep within, and not just what he sees,
his paintings would be transcendent.
But anymore, what he feels is elusive, hidden
somewhere beyond the descriptive,
beyond the stroke of his brush and the
complexities of his paint, beyond his ability
to put emotion and insight to canvas.

He's begun to question himself,
no longer the confident painter but now
far too introspective and unsure of his talent,
a talent that used to reveal itself with flare,
color and a successful style. Melancholy
has set in, frustrating any attempts
to get beyond the feeling of hopelessness.

Someone who would never equate
himself with the great painters, knowing
the limits of his own talent, he
nevertheless wonders - could this
be how Van Gogh felt in his despair?

Nov 2011 · 605
The Wild Geese
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
The wild geese overhead
follow their instinct, know
where they came from,
know where they must go.
They follow not the errant wind
but their own natural course –
so much more real purpose
than man.

Nov 2011 · 898
Waning moon
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
hospital visit . . .
the hush of snow falling
outside the window


old neighborhood –
even the memories
have moved on


waning moon —
the cricket's chirp
in a spider web


morning wind . . .
my sports pages delivered
to the neighbor

Nov 2011 · 439
Out of shadow
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
out of shadow —
an eagle's wing
touched by the sun


morning light
traces the frosted trees –
winter's brush

Nov 2011 · 1.8k
Ghosts of The Oregon Trail
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
Tall prairie grass, wind-swept and
burnished gold, whispers with the
long-dead voices of all who passed
on this trail in their dream voyage
to Oregon, or California, or who
died, disease-ridden, exhausted, to be
buried just off the rutted trail
under a lonely stretch of sod
or cairned atop a barren lava bed.

A bone-white wagon tongue,
its carriage long ago disintegrated
and fallen into splintery planks,
laps thirstily at the dry sod along the
edge of the trail, finding only
parched earth and no water, burrs
and beetles instead of hydration.
More prairie than desert but still
more a place to leave behind, only
insects, lizards, hawks and the curious
chickadees seem to make it home,
this dusty stretch of history.

Hawks hover, then spiral effortless
high above, as they did so many years
ago, dark against a soft patchwork
of azure blue sky and creeping clouds.
The occasional click of grasshoppers
is barely audible in the billowing prairie
grass shaken by the incessant wind.
Dry bones of beasts and luckless humans
hug the edges of the trail, mute testimony
to the brutality of the westward rush
and the following of the Oregon Trail.

Nov 2011 · 1.0k
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
The old farmer hung back,
as rickety and battered as the
‘50s Allis-Chalmers tractor upon

which he leaned, hunched,
clung, as if the auctioneer's words
and the wind might carry him off

like the implements he'd treasured
much of his life, machines with
which he had toiled and sweated

and which had helped him chisel
out a meager existence in his
40 years on the farm. His wife was

dead now, his children scattered
like the clucking chickens and hissing
geese, all he had left were memories

and the old homestead, and it was
leaving him bit by bit on the backs
of creaking pickups and low boys

and stuffed into the cavities of shiny
new Cadillacs and Buicks. The cruel
wind had driven in from the southwest,

stealing a little more topsoil from the
threadbare farm, swirling and *******
at tattered curtains still hanging in

the mouths of grimy windows left ajar.
With each piece of his life leaving
down that gravel road, a draining

of his dreams and energies followed.
A few more raps of the gavel and he
too would be as dust in the wind.

Nov 2011 · 800
Winter haiku
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
frigid wind –
a snowdrift and the dogs
at the back door


winter painting –
mostly grays
on my palette


warm spell . . .
the snowman leans
into the sun


icy wind —
the dead spider
spins in its web

Nov 2011 · 568
Darker by Double
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
The night holds no sway over me,
for I am darker by double
the darkest of night shadows.
This heart has come to no other
purpose than to prolong life,
having years before given over
any love, belief, good ambition.
Wail as you might, night winds,
rage against this hardened heart,
for it shall no longer be moved
to fear nor to cater to hope.

Apparently the encoaching winter
has put me in a darker mood
Nov 2011 · 1.0k
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
Neutral seems
to be the sum of
all my colors - any color,
any combination - no matter
what I mix on this diminishing
palette called my remaining years,
all that emerges is futility
and grayness. Is
this what my life
has become?

Nov 2011 · 836
Morning's Color
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
The sleet
falls harsher,
colder than
I've experienced.
The morning's color is no longer
color, simply achromatic, and
my heart warms neither
to this canvas, nor the
brushes, nor to her
smile, not even
to the dog.

Nov 2011 · 741
Lament of Old Age
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
**** this bitter dusk!
Shadows of my death gather
about me, torment me.
Ah, these waning years -
the good years disappear
and what was once sweet,
turns bittersweet, then sour.
Only memories remain
of all those shameful years
and memories have become
a caustic and hated bile.
**** this bitter dusk!

Nov 2011 · 539
The Nightmare
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
Fearsome dream: I'm cocooned below, facing heavenward,
          but my face no longer senses nor melts
the frozen snowflakes that once were my pleasure.
          Now those flakes swirl aimlessly, unfelt in the blue-black
uncaring night of winter, barely touching my grave,
blown about by the frigid January wind  -
          dead to those sensations, I lay hard, cold, slowly rotting.

Nov 2011 · 653
Ode to Spring
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
Oh spring,
if you were but mortal,
or better yet, that I

was the May breeze,
you and I could make
such passionate love,

for I have long been
enamored by you.
Like loving fingers

through cascading hair,
I would weave magic
in your meadow grasses

and flowering trees.
I would move over your
greening landscapes

with a most ardent touch
and spread the intoxicating
fragrance of your

blossoms as a priceless
perfume for the only
one I could ever truly love.

I would caress your
billowing clouds, ferrying
them gently about, and

we would lie naked upon
their undulating waves
and allow the sun to warm us.

God, what a dreamer! What
a spell spring has cast.
Oh, if I were but the breeze.

Another spring poem I thought
I would put before you -
perhaps bring some warmth into
the reading

Nov 2011 · 844
Scent of Lilacs
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
The breeze carries magic
on this flourishing spring morn,
with the scent of lilacs inspiring
memories of golden days and
long lavender nights with you.
How long ago has it been
when in the depth of innocence,
of youthful lust that current
of something crystal clear
and sweet coursed through me
with each thought of you?
Closing my eyes, you are here
beside me, vibrant and utterly
charged with sensuality, and
just as easily, you are diminished,
like the promise of my life.

Obviously not spring now, but
a poem I started then and finished

Nov 2011 · 1.0k
Sparrow's Song
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
even on gloomy
days, the sparrow's song –
warmth of her smile


cumulus –
a hawk spirals down
the updraft


ancient pine –
the sun climbing
limb by limb

Nov 2011 · 804
Tracks of a Sandpiper
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
water’s edge
. . . briefly, the tracks
of a sandpiper


a snow goose
cups its wings to land—
curve of the shore


a ribbon
of starlings twists, turns
— this narrow road

It might be noted that I love
to write haiku about birds, in particular

Nov 2011 · 1.1k
Disdainful Love
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
Lacking self-respect, I again seek her out,
my wounded heart oozing intimate poetry,
sonnets and pleadings of love in my
addiction to her lustful wine red lips,
mesmerizing pale thighs and *******.
She smiles perfect teeth, indifferently
sipping on one of my love poems but then
spews minute flecks, revealing nothing,
perhaps feeling nothing; I'm certain her heart
remains either dormant or nonexistent.
I know her ****** routine so well as she
becomes that familiar raptor, and I allow
her to sink razor talons deeply in my nape.
Night animals stir with fear as she carries
me off toward the blistered moon, trailing
precious bits of my love, her sensuous
midnight blue silhouette seared into
this dulled brain as my dreams of reciprocal
love are left smoldering on the foul ground,
all for another night of disdainful love.

Nov 2011 · 1.8k
humid night
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
on the grass where
the dappled fawn had lain –
dappled sunlight


humid night . . .
only the cat's tail
stirs the curtains


a leaf flutters
in an old spiderweb
. . . these gray clouds


swirling leaves –
the tattered scarecrow
flashes a motorist

Nov 2011 · 453
mo' haiku
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
morning fog –
he sips a second coffee
to clear it


canyon trail –
my shadow falls
over the edge


winter moon
. . . the backlit shuffling
of thin clouds

Nov 2011 · 960
For love of haiku
Warren Gossett Nov 2011
morning snow –
a canyon wren singing
just above silence


the belly of a storm front –
southbound geese


in the hollow
of an oak tree –
hollow of a nest

Oct 2011 · 632
autumn leaves
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
autumn wind –
it's the ground's turn
to display leaves


he'd forgotten
how many years it'd been . . .
falling leaves


falling leaves –
many sad memories
gathering today

Oct 2011 · 1.4k
Hardwood Floors
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
It's the smell. The smell of hundred-year-old
hardwood floors in this old school I recognize most,
floors grown thick and corpulent with untold layers
of pine-scented oil - floors darkened, smoothed
by the trample of children herded, then corralled
in dank stables down those long corridors. I also
remember the confinement I felt, pinned within
those stables, wanting nothing more than to run free,
with the wind of youth combing my untamed hair.

Oct 2011 · 2.0k
The Pebble
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
Early on, we passed this pebble between us,
each in turn
trying to avoid possessing it.
The pebble
is worn smooth,
each palming it off on the other,
refusing to
acknowledge it even exists
so we don't have to talk
to each other.

After all, it's a tiny pebble.
A pebble of non-communication, but tiny.
Nothing to it.

Over the years the pebble becomes
a stone, albeit a small one -
more conspicuous,
more awkward.
The words between
us grow sparse, and if we do speak,
the words are sharper,
more piercing as we attempt to disown
the stone.

But by now the stone is a boulder, massive,
like some squat, ugly beast it has come between us,
pushing us out of our lives, what was our home,
the dreams
we were going to share,
the dreams
we would once talk about.

Oct 2011 · 420
Perfect Shadows
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
Tonight's full moon,
flush with its brilliance
for one night a month,
casts perfect shadows
from imperfect people.

Oct 2011 · 1.8k
Succumbing to the Succubus
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
The dream haunts me
often, far too often, building
in intensity but is initially
disguised in absurdity and the
nonsense of a young man's lusts
with an old man's deficits.
This woman-like entity,
ill-defined at first but forming
voluptuously, emerges from
swelling curtains. She moves, more
levitates, toward my bed, buoyed
by what I don't know, but angelic-like
it would seem. Or perhaps
an Aphrodite reincarnate?

Oh this goddess, what pale
skin, as Parian marble, full bosomed,
jutting *******, ***** that
beckon, nearly drool, and pursed
red lips beaded with sweet
juice stolen from the wild cherry
tree beneath my window.
Far too much clarity for a simple
dream. But such a dream! And what
seething testosterone I feel!
I am become a hedonist, raging,
pulsing spermatozoa, renewed
of time and youthful energies.

Nerve into nerve we join, ecstacy
compounding ecstacy, bodies wantonly
impaling the other on this love bed
to the result that each cell of our
individualities melds. We are indistinct,
yes - as one, and any ****** impulse
between us is shared to the point of
utter exhaustion, depletion. I am
nearly drained of life, it would seem.

Then, as it always must,
the scene changes, Act II.
Inexplicably, shedding a ******
serpentine-like skin, she slings it away
and drops limply upon me - entirely
skeletal, dry cartilage, sinew, lifeless,
sexless, motionless. The horror
of a diabolical hollowness
stares through me, and I am
suspended, fully terrorized, in
this paralysis. So, this is
succumbing to the Succubus?
God, my dear God, that I should
never dream again!

Oct 2011 · 546
The Woeful Turn
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
Oh, the sadness in your beloved eyes, that
woeful turn from bright blue to grey, and
the callous years engraved across your face.
Dear God, but that I could reverse the slow,
methodical spin of earth and cruel time,
take us both back to when our passion
for each other burned hot and there was
no purpose in this world but our purpose.

Oct 2011 · 786
Haiku pair
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
twilight trees –
a flock of blackbirds
empties the shadows


morning mist
lifts from the forest
. . . a haiku rolls in

Oct 2011 · 587
Mirror, Mirror . . .
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
God, how I hate these reflections,
these abhorrent reflections,
not just the one in the mirror,

but the reflections of my life
clattering around in my brain.
I could shower, shave, slap a mask

over this aging face,
this wretched, etched face,
but what to do about regrets

for all those wasted years?
The *****, the drugs, the
remorse over lost relationships?

Time goes on, and didn't someone
once say that time heals?
Now there's a hell of a laugh!

It doesn't necessarily heal -
if you're not careful
it produces more to regret.

Regrets are compounded and
pain becomes razor-sharp, relentless
with the advance of time.

And I've got time on my hands -
its defilement won't wash off.
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall" . . .

or should it be "memory, memory"?
Is it absolutely necessary I go through
this ever time I stand before you?

Oct 2011 · 497
Two Haiku
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
autumn lake –
leaves rocking
in a trout's ripples


birdsong –
how it amplifies
the dawn
Oct 2011 · 1.0k
Rehab Girl
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
The teenager sits curled around
herself in rehab, matted hair, skeletal arms
bruised by needles, scarred wrists,
metal gouged grotesquely into and around
every orifice, sunken eyes exuding
a generous measure of fear and defiance.
God, She could be my daughter,
had my daughter inherited
my weaknesses and propensities.
Her demeanor tells me more
than her lack of words -
She is filthy, scabby, loathsome.
She looks at me and I can tell she's
thinking the same of me.
Judgmental *****!

Oct 2011 · 831
Exquisite Dream
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
Just before waking this morning
I dreamed I was still walking with
a cane - I found myself walking in a
very shallow stream, wading nicely
as it were with just the cane - lift one
foot and then the other, no longer tripping
and falling. No need for the walker,
no need for the wheelchair, just the cane.
I was free again. My mother, who
had died years before, was in my dream
and I was showing her and my wife how
I could suddenly wade in the stream
with just a cane. It felt so wonderful. Then
I awoke and after taking a few minutes
to clear my head, struggled to my feet and
with the aid of the walker, dragging the
bad leg along, I made my way into the
kitchen and brewed some really strong
coffee. If I was going to be awake
I may as well be ****** wide awake.

Oct 2011 · 1.1k
The Wasp
Warren Gossett Oct 2011
You are banded for life -
marked and set apart
to be despised, hated.
The yellow stripes tell it all -
you're to be feared
should one get too close.
Only among your own
are you accepted,
and then but tenuously.

Sep 2011 · 1.1k
Warren Gossett Sep 2011
He feels the terrible urgency of aging,
a foreboding, a sense of something
left unaccomplished
which constantly
claws at his thoughts when he should be
enjoying what life he has left.
It's a cautioning
that the time allotted him to find
an answer, to seek fulfillment,
is escaping him.
What has he done with
his life to merit existence on this orb,
to warrant another sunrise,
another soft rainfall?
Such questions go without answer.

Sep 2011 · 1.1k
Most Excellent Cord
Warren Gossett Sep 2011
It's probably always been there, this
transcendent connection, a strand
to the ethereal, a most excellent
poetic cord smothered by youth
and denied each time it reared its
beautiful head, left to writhe, waiting
the day when age and character
finally fashion the person into a poet.

What use had youth for deeper emotion
other than lust? What use the forming
of feelings into higher expressions,
so often ridiculed by the young?
Comes the day, however, when beauty
and sensitivity prevail and poetry flips
on the switch to enlightenment.

Sep 2011 · 655
A Dream of Flying
Warren Gossett Sep 2011
Gliding just above the aspen thickets,
nearly scraping their golden canopies,
I cling to this exquisite dream hawk
for all it's worth. Dipping and hovering
as the hawk is prone to do, I am soaring
with the updraft to where the air grows
thin, I'm becoming faint, and the world below
is somehow irrelevant. I can even see my
disheveled bed below where I lie dreaming.
Gliding, soaring, hovering, in my dreams
of flying I soar tree-level and prefer gliding.
I fear falling at the upper heights, but
this time, in this dream, I am become brave,
choosing instead to challenge the cumulus
and with no fear loosen "the surly bonds".
Sep 2011 · 751
Indifferent Breath
Warren Gossett Sep 2011
How is it that another's love
can be so easily abandoned,
so thoughtlessly divested, like an
indifferent breath exhaled into
the frigid morning, visible but
for an instance then vanishing,
and meaning nothing at all?

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