You’re Not Scorsese

There is no choice but to do what you want to do. They’re always saying to do what you love, but then people always wonder. They think maybe they should do what they love while they’re doing what they have to do. I can see their point.

It ain’t easy to become Scorsese if you ain’t Scorsese; if you’re a filmmaker. You’ve got to pay your dues. Why? Because you’ve got no choice. The world is as it is and to change it for your desire to have life work out for you and everybody else does not change the fact of what is. As they say: as so it is, so as so it is, as so it is so, so it is as it is so.

In effect, if you do what you want to do it will be better than doing what you don’t want to do because you will have to do what you want to do eventually anyway and it might as well be now.

That’s why you should become a big fish. The small fish will gobble you up one snip at a time. Till you fall to the bottom upside down staring at the room of Timmy.

You have better things to do than give your life over to nonsense when you could be giving your life over to sense if that sense includes your ability to have the wherewithal to take the most minimal of jobs within your industry.

The next Scorsese would never do that, yeah, well, you know, need I again say it? Christ. You’re not Scorsese!

And once again, plopped down into helplessness. I don’t even remember the subject matter at hand.

Published in: on August 17, 2022 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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For When

For when writers got smart. For when.

For when lovers got heart. We win.

For when sun glints not just shines. We win.

For when we finally believe but we don’t know what

We believe but it doesn’t matter

There is always consciousness and there always will be

And it will be a refreshing thing

For when nobody is going to take care of you and you don’t care

Because you know about life and death, thought about it, considered it

For when you were just sad and hoped that being sad would make you

Go all the way through to something deeper, something beyond, sadlessness

For when all the computers can’t compute you into the place you want to be

For when you are the very last loser and that’s okay

You still look up, poke up, your nose, like a deer

And see over the brush mountaintops thousands of feet away

And you feel the cold air on your sides and then the rush of the brush

The movement of your side, you a stag, a doe, runs, runs, runs,

For when mountains of evidence become clear

For when tomorrow rears its ugly head

For when today seeks solace knowing this about its future, as though

Tomorrow could be something better and you at least have to give it a chance

For when the chance happens and you slide down, happily, like a raft on a river

For when, those smart writers who found out but then remembered they forgot

They’re the ones we’re doing it for, the dreamers, the shleps, the two-percent men

For when those same smart writers knew something else, that they were secret members

Of something totally not understood, life, the simple dumbness of it. Never prepared for that.

For when we all remained hopeful and silent and still

Winking at the candlelight in the street next to ours

For when we wake up and realize that this all American Now that we feel

Is ours and ours alone. We should grasp it, hold it and seize it, like an eagle a dawn.

For when we all fall down and then all stand up again

For when we get a dollar or two for our wage and we smile not frown

 For when we finally grow up

For when you expect nothing from your practice but do but try not to but do

For when you realize that you shoulda just given up a long time ago. You’re that big of a loser

For when you figure you might as well go on.

For when you go on.

Published in: on August 10, 2022 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

words; ambassadors to your soul

Writing is a very strange endeavor. In fact, society now tells me, although I had come to believe completely the other way, that writing or talking to yourself actually means that you are not three cracks shy of a fiddlestick as opposed to being the manager of the last McDonalds on the moon. So, in the interest of mental health, I will choose to write what I am thinking even though I am thinking what I’m thinking already. So, I do it for you, don’t I? Well, not necessarily for you. I’m sure if I were to do this it would be for me as well but it is meaningless to me if you aren’t involved in the process and I don’t even know you.  

It must have to do with my ego, my desire to write.  I need to believe that I am worthy in your eyes through my words. But that is nonsensical. Everybody thinks. Is one person’s thought any greater than another person’s thought? I suppose it is when it deals in morality. If your thought makes my life difficult and my thoughts do not make your life difficult then my thoughts could be said to be better than yours. More important. Well, what if what you need is to have a difficult life though? In other words, I could challenge you with my words as well so I could make you uncomfortable with my words. That can be a good thing because I am actually trying to help you. But if I harm you with my words then I am correct in stating that my words would, in that case, be worse than your words, unless you were trying to harm me too. A word can be a weapon or word can come in and save the day without lifting a finger.  

But we hate words, don’t we? We get sick of them. Everybody is blabbing. The Internet is blab central. There is so much noise in the world today that a little patch of silence can go a long way in the sanity of a human being. Words are being used all the time by so many different types of people. It’s just too much isn’t it? Apparently not.  

A word is an ambassador for the soul. We don’t know what the soul is but we have an idea. It is somewhere way down deep like inner space, a place that if we got to, we would be inside of in the same way we would be inside of a cathedral. Words we use like underwater rescue balloons. We hatch one and then we hold on as it takes us to the top, into hospitable air we live. Pop. After the words have provided sustenance, the ability to live more peacefully in this world, we begin the float back down again, only to rise back up. But it’s never-ending, isn’t it, the need to rise again and again through words. 

Words words words words words. You can live inside of a word. Entire novels have been written by a writer having glanced inside of a stranger’s window. There are worlds inside of words, even individual words. Try this one out for size: rappel. Once again, the notion of going deep, rappelling into the soul, discovering new things there, seeing different color shades, sunsets, orange blue skies on fire. A world that does not exist except in your imagination. Dog. A breathing, furry friend whose notion of you is like your notion of God in a lot of ways or a father or a mother. A dog is God to God’s dog. Wait. That doesn’t make sense! But we try, don’t we? Even if it means we’ve become bad poets and bad philosophers, we keep trying.  

We keep putting the words together because without the words we almost feel as though there is no journey. We all want to go on a journey. Why? Because of the stories, because of the images that will produce words in the future. Not that we’re after the words but we’re after the experience that the words can help us to remember, moments of utmost life, thrilling living, love if you’re lucky.  

Our memories are good and bad. Sometimes all we want to do is just escape the words that arise from memories and other times we want nothing more than to keep the flow going; love, beauty, music, poetry. Regret, loss, last chances, gone people forever. It is a mixture of good and bad always for each of us.  

As children we grow up believing that to know the dark edges of existence is important for survival. Writers, the creators of words, are especially haunted by this idea that they’re husked mollusks in a world too rough. They have to experience and know and not be afraid of the dark. To do this they direct their eyes towards the night where ugly things squirm and lose control and threaten you. To stare down evil is an admission that you have integrated good inside of you sufficiently, for everybody knows that good can destroy evil. Of course, sometimes it’s the other way around too. Hence the motive of the daredevil to stare down evil death. 

So, underneath the laying down of word after word after word is fear too. The great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung perhaps would have called it the shadow, the other side of our personality that we are enthralled with, to some degree, because we know that it is controlling us. Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But that evil that you see is not you. It is the fear of the opposite of you, and as a human being you are aware that if you were not capable of being the opposite of you, in other words, a beast, if need be, then you can die. The world can scoop you up and dump you right in the garbage dump. 

 You don’t want that. Nobody wants to be dumped in the garbage dump of life. No, we all want to run free and fly and climb and speak and dream and then we want to do it again and again and again. Then we grow up. Sadly. 

When we grow up that’s when we feel fear for the first time. It doesn’t come right away, hopefully, although for some people it does very early. Usually when you feel the fear, you’re well advanced into adulthood. Something horrible happens to you, something odd and off color and stilted and real, usually at the hands of a criminal or an act of God that can come in the form of death of those around you, can come in the form of becoming prey for the first time.  

A sign that you’ve seen and experienced this adult fear, using a clinical term, is when you have post-traumatic stress disorder; PTSD. The brain races where the mind needs just a few words. Now the mind has millions of words and they rush through you like a firehose so that when that flow hits you it comes through your body and it lifts you up off of your perch, you pace across the room, you can’t sleep, you get down on your knees and you pray, you try to meditate, to get it away from you. 

 And so, we arrive back at why we use words in the first place; partly to alleviate fear, to help ourselves get through the fear, a fear so great that it should not be allowed into the soul of man. Humans should not be allowed to see the darkest, most evil aspects of their fellow man, but some of us become monsters and we can’t avoid all the monsters all the time. Sometimes it’s our turn to see the monster. 

But those monstrous fears producing monstrous words in our heads, often the result of monstrous people doing monstrous things, once we are safe, have no more power over us. With time we can bring ourself back to a slow doable pace again inside of our minds and the words can rise again and we can relish them again. We can smile at the word dog we can dream again at the idea of rappelling into a new world.  

We shall overcome with time and with the proper words due to a conquering of our fears, only after our suffering of course. So, words aren’t there for me to impress you. They’re there for you to impress yourself with when I give them to you, when I place them into your soul from my perch way up here. 

 And maybe just maybe you will hear me and if my words are good then they can be fruitful for you and I can know that I am doing something good for somebody today. I, perhaps, helped to lift them up from the bottom of the ocean as your spirit was sinking. That seems to be even better than just writing for my ego. I’d much rather do it to help save your life. But you have to promise to do the same for me and you can do that by living a good life and if so, may chance bring our lives to meet. 

Published in: on February 13, 2022 at 11:43 pm  Comments (1)  

The Deal by Fargo Kantrowitz

The Deal

Ive had enough. Enough is enough. U got guys carrying guns in their larynx’s. you got people doing stupid things for people not you but them. Our representatives in congress on the Republican side are ALL working for corporations without admitting it. There is no other explanation for the tax bill.

You can’t win the argument on the street because nobody is watching the same program. But you’re ready to pick up a pitchfork and make it out into the streets anyway because supposedly there is an enemy there and you have to pitch in and join the fight. But you don’t admit that you didn’t see that internet show and realize that you don’t know why you are holding that pitchfork. You pitch the fork anyway. You wait. Why, you wonder. Why did I do it? But now it is too late, you are part of the plan. They will tell you what to do from here, in the meantime the elite, not the liberal elite, but the conservative elite, are going to eat. They are going to eat your children and you better smile and say yessir if you want your crust now. Without now then how could you have then, you imagine. But then comes and you watch the leg go down. Slurp. The deal you made with Donald Trump.

Jimmy ambled down the road. Not much going on with jimmy today. His official stance pertaining to his state of mind was left open. Of course, he was unconscious about so much but that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t try. You had to pull from the pit the sustenance that you need. It all feels so empty, like there is nothing going on anywhere that matters. Hopeless, pointless it is. Pitiful. Over. So what then? What then? What then? What’s the point and what is the point of thinking about then? When there is no now from which to grow a then.

In another sphere above the fear that he was aware of was a huge blue sky with birds flying and breezes that held meaning. Beauty, he supposed. But enough about that. The thing that everybody wanted to know about Jimmy was whether he would become a success. He too thought of this and it ultimately disappointed him greatly until he stopped doing anything that would make him a success. He was too put on the spot.

He made it down the street but didn’t know to turn left or right so he just kept walking. What’s the point? There was no point. Might as well keep walking forever, he thought. His feet kept moving. His mother was dead. His family was gone. His love hopes abandoned. The blue world above him or meaningful beauty always lived there, but it was impossible to connect to. So he walked with a fake blue sky above him as he did. Fake clouds. Fake birds. No accompanying feeling, the one thing he wanted. Nothing that mattered could permeate his skull. His skull, not heart. The heart was just one big lament by this time. Something that didn’t matter that much at all. Life didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Nothing.


Of course some things mattered, like sunshine and the best next word. Why would Jimmy want to cry? Post modern writers were all fools. That world wasn’t real. Only the real world was real. You know, that one. But then, you don’t want to say that, that the world is near one pickle shy of an empty barrel. Done. Nothing matters anymore as they say in this era of Trump. Nothing matters anymore. Exactly what jimmy was saying and feeling. Who cares? Who cares? You? Do you?

Published in: on June 23, 2021 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s Happening?

There is a lot of stuff going on these days. Stuff. Can something actually happen? What does it mean to happen? If something happens what does it become, the thing that happened? An ongoing happening? A million consecutive and fluid happens? Anyway, I guess we’ll never really know whether or not something can happen. Anyway.


Okay, so people say “this is happening” as a joke. This is happening, Stephen… I get it now. Something that happens can take time. It must be some sort of strange sort of thing where time is mixed in with space and within that funnel is a happen, but it can be long, years maybe. Maybe there is a larger bit of space rather than just the moment that something happens. Maybe a happening can last thousands or even millions of years. It’s good to think of time like that…long. It releases you. The Hindus have calendars in the millions of years. Time. This too shall pass, they say, this too shall pass.


Mostly it’s darkness. Clouds whispering in winds cooly wrapping round vents in the waterless sea and falling. You see. You don’t see. You keep going. All that you can do is just survive. All that you can do to help yourself is stay alive. Rush.


But I know there is more than that. I know this. This world is not meant to be wasted and family should not fight and that goes for extended family which means everybody in America and the wider world. Everybody. Everybody love.



Published in: on June 20, 2020 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Excerpt from Babybirds


Buy the book here:


One of these bleak yet potent cracks in his usually peaceful, waking world one day appeared in his sleep. It happened in a dream, a nightmare really, and Bernard could not handle it. He had dreamed of a bird flying in a wide blue sky, a mountain far off in the distance. The bird and the mountain would rock back and forth together, sideways too, like a boat on the water. White clouds behind and in front and the bird would swerve and swoop, happy to be alive. It was a dream Bernard had had many times before, the flight of the bird. The freedom that it engendered in him, after he awoke, often would make him go quickly to see his father, even awaken him, to tell him about “the bird.” But he had never dreamed of the mountain before. It was a mountain he had seen on the other side of town. He knew about this mountain. He knew where it was. He had seen it before. It was a small mountain next to what is called Sunrise Mountain in the eastern part of the Las Vegas valley, which he had seen on his way to a picnic at Lake Mead some months before. The bird and the mountain were closely aligned in the dream, the clouds pillowed the bird so the bird seemed to gather great speed and could traverse great distances with very few flaps of its wings, much like anyone would dream of flying over the landscape, a totally unreal sort of flight that empowered him and made his heart feel full. The mountain would come closer with a turn of the bird’s wings and then would recede with another turn.

He watched the flight of the bird in his dream. The bird tilted and floated directly over the mountain until, suddenly, it stopped. There was no more fluid movement. The clouds froze, and far below was the top of the mountain, which slowly began to rise higher and higher and higher because the bird had gone into a free fall. Bernard kicked at his blankets and tried to make the bird flap its wings, but it would not. It would only fall as the mountain rose and rose and rose and Bernard’s heart beat faster and faster until it sped up, everything, like lightning, and the bird was falling past his eyes and down and the mountain rose and rose and instantly, suddenly, the bird fell through a strand of green scrub and hit the compacted dirt and rock of the mountain with a sound that sounded like a ball entering a baseball glove. The bird landed dead next to a tiny nest filled with baby birds who in unison screamed up at Bernard with a single voice so loud that Bernard opened up his eyes wide and let out a shriek of horror so intense that it could not escape his mouth, and the only sound in the room that you could hear during the height of the most horrible moment of his life was the sound of the ticking of the clock which read 3:34 in the morning.

Bernard flew out of bed and began to run around his room wildly. He then placed his hand upon his cheek and pushed himself in circles until he fell back on to the bed. His parakeets flitted around the cage and Bernard grabbed the cage and placed his face against it uttering “babybirdsbabybirdsbabybirdsbabybirds.” He wheeled around again and the thing that had him would not let him go. He shuffled crazily around the room for his pants, took off his pajama bottoms and left the top on, and put them on. He then found his Velcro strap tennis shoes and put them on without socks and went to the door and opened it wide when he suddenly stopped and decided he would not go to his father for help this time. He realized he hadn’t intended to for why would he have put on his clothes? He peaked around the corner of his door and looked down the hallway where his father’s room was. A grey light was emanating and he listened momentarily to the soft murmurings of a television set. He moved quietly in the opposite direction, unlocked the front door and slipped out into the cool early morning air and ran.




Published in: on June 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

There Are a Million Ways – Joey Kantor

there are a million ways




by joey kantor




space. the final frontier. space. the final frontier. oh no, not another one of those books where the Mac hunter welcomes you and belittles your sense of now. Well, then why don’t you get the popcorn. because i don’t have any money. well, do you think money grows on trees?  soon. soon. you will see why.



there are a million ways subtly and not so subtly to finally die into the arms of love and sheer bliss.  don’t worry too much about any little old one. another will come. you trust it and that too shall pass and lucky for you…it’s good. there are a million ways for all of us.



Published in: on December 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Brighter Side of Existentialism – a short, short story by Joey Kantor

The loneliness involved in being a writer. Sometimes I think being a writer is being a closer, always closing in on something until you can’t stand it anymore. A closer. Gonna close the deal. Yeah, right…

Sometimes you can’t write at all

it is always the shorter sentences which make the greater impact, but sometimes it is the long ones where you say fuck it. Punctuation, mostly punctuation is a way to make every fucking kid writer not be a writer but sell dope instead. Good writers out there too. It isn’t always the closing. Punctuation is part of the closing. The closing off from the process. The corruption of it even to the point of believing it is deserving of being “closed off”. Life. Love and happiness. The three things that we must remember when we write. Life love and happiness.


Fuck those great dead writers who were closed off completely. Celebrate the ones that knew better. The ones that lived a long time. But disappointment comes and the closing off is eventually inevitable. Better to stave off that lightlessness by being light. Being happy.






Published in: on December 16, 2016 at 6:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Adam and Eve – Katherine Gianaclis

Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 2:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Neville, Wilma and Charlie – Albert

Charlie stooped down to pick up a multi-colored pencil. Just then a bullet flew over his head. Right where his head would have been. A man stared at him holding the gun. He still pointed it at Charlie who simply looked up.

-Can I help you?

-You stole my Wilma!

-Your Wilma? What the hell is a Wilma?

-My wife!

-You must have me mistaken for someone else…

-No, you’re the guy.

-What’s his name?


-The guy who stole your wife.

-I don’t know, but I know you’re it.

-How do you know that I stole your wife if you don’t even know his name? What if my name was Ron, but the guy who stole your wife’s name was Stan?

-I saw you coming out of that building.

-That’s my building.

-224 sound familiar?

-I’m 222.

-Do you know Esther?



-Mrs. Williams?

-Yes. That’s my sister. She seen you.

-Seen me?

-Yes. Seen you. She seen you going in and out of the apartment with my wife.

-How? From where?

-The laundry room.

-How do you know your wife and I hadn’t perhaps come to the same point in the same hallway at the same time and entered the two doors at the same time. They are right next to each other, and it looked like we entered the same room from the laundry room which is a good ways away down the hall, I might add.

-She said it was you.

-Were we in my apartment or Esther’s?


-Didn’t she go back and find your wife?
-She was gone. She was in your apartment with you.

-I see.

-Well, I guess you better shoot me, because that’s some pretty heavy evidence.

-I’m not going to shoot you, the gun just went off.

-Well, you almost shot me.

-I just wanted to scare you. I don’t want to go to jail.

-You don’t think there’s a charge against waving a gun in someone’s face even if you’re not planning on shooting them?

-I guess so, but I didn’t care.

-Because I’m cheating with your wife.


-Well, why would you think she’s cheating on you?

-She doesn’t like me anymore.

-That doesn’t mean she’s cheating on you.

-I’m soft.


-Yeah, soft, weak, filled with fear, afraid I’m going to lose her, obsessed. Stupid, stupid!

-Don’t take it so hard. So, you’re soft. Everybody goes limp now and then. We can’t all be superman all the time and as for your relationship, maybe she chose you because she was having a fight with a mythical mother in the distant past or a father who hated her or something and realized that she got into a relationship with you because she was afraid of turkey or something.

-She ain’t afraid of turkey.

-I didn’t say that. What I mean is, what if she loves you, but she doesn’t love you the same way anymore, but she still loves you and you guys just need to figure out how you love each other as you both keep changing in this world. I’m sure you’re not a total shlep. I’m sure you’ve got some good qualities or she wouldn’t have married you in the first place, but I have to tell you, you’re blowing it with this gun bit and all.

-I’m sorry.

-It’s okay. Sheez! Will you at least put the thing in your pocket or something.


-Okay. Good. Well, now, have we got it established that I didn’t cheat with your wife?


-Good. Well, then. I’ve got to go. I could call the police, but I won’t because I can see that you have had a setback into insanity and I’ve had a few of those myself, not quite like you, but I’ve had them and I won’t call the police.


-Well, I’ve got to go.



-What’s this?

-What? What?

-This picture.

-What is that. Give me that. Jeez, porn.

-Not porn. That’s you.

-Let me see.

-That’s me?  Are you sure.


-But he has red hair, reddish brown hair and my hair is black, dark brown.

-Same cut.

-But you can’t see half his face and that is definitely not my nose. A button. See?
-Close enough.

-I thought we’d established….

-Look, you talk a lot. I can respect that. But I know what I know and I know that you slept with my wife.

-But I thought you said…

-Forget what I said. That was to shut you up. Get the fear out of you. Now you got to pay.

-You are going to shoot me.



-Oh well. Okay, I might as well fess up. I did it. I don’t know you’re wife’s name but if that’s her in that picture then I certainly must have enjoyed it. I think I’ll always remember our night together, the way that she weaved and bobbed for me and then insisted I take her laying down from behind…

-Wilma. I told you. Wilma.

-Then she said that she couldn’t stand it anymore and then I really let her have it…


-Fear. You’re filled with fear. Everything you do is filled with fear. From the way you hold that gun to the way you stand there looking at me right now. Fear. Fear fear fear fear fear. You’re filled with fear. I’ve never met your wife. Definitely never fucked her if I never met her, although I’ve heard such things have been attempted.

-You never met my wife…with your clothes on…

-You can’t learn can you? You don’t get it. I didn’t fuck your wife!

-Then who is that in that picture?

-Some guy fucking your wife.


-Who looks like me!

-Who is you!

-Who looks like me.

-Who is you.

(removes gun from pocket)

-Oh, so now you’re going to really do it aren’t you?

-I don’t know. You look like him.

-I’m not him.

-Esther saw you. Wilma was gone after.

-She wasn’t anywhere near me. She may have been near my apartment, but she’s never been in it.


(Charlie turns)


-Neville, what are you doing here?

-What are you doing here? And why are you calling this guy Charlie?

-Because he’s Charlie. God, Charlie, I missed you.

(She snuggles close into him)

-Excuse me!


-Who are you!

-Oh, God, Charlie, what?


-Oh, God, Neville. I forgot for a second.

-Forgot what?

-God, I’m so sorry. I just forgot.

-But we’ve been married five years!

-I know.

-And why did you lie to me!

-I’m not lying to you! I’ve never seen this woman in my life except for in that picture.

-Charlie, just tell him.

-My name’s not Charlie!


-That either.



-Oh, Neville…it’s you.

-You’re drunk!

-I was at Esther’s. How was that Charles?

-Great. I guess I’m Charlie after all. Good enough. I’ve got to go.

-Wait. I’m not going to shoot you. It wouldn’t be right and I don’t want to go to jail. But if I ever see you around her again I will do it and next time I won’t be kidding around.

-Great. Awesome. Groovy. I’ve got to go.

-Just a warning to you.

-Bye, Charlie.

-Bye, bye, “Wilma.” Bye “Neville.”

-Remember the warning.

-Roger that.

Charlie exits.

-So, Nev. We going to go home and make love?

-I don’t know. I don’t feel it anymore. You make me weak. I don’t feel strong. I feel full of…fear. Fear. That’s it. I am full of fear. I can’t do anything anymore.


-I don’t know why. I don’t trust you or myself or something. I don’t trust that you love me anymore and maybe I’m seeing too much into things and you’re drunk and you’re not usually drunk and that guy and why did you just melt into him like that…

-I don’t know. I just did.

-That’s what I mean. You just did. You just did. And I’m weaker for it and fearful and cold and, I gotta go. C’mon.

-Okay, but I can’t go yet. You go. I’ve got to get my stuff at Esther’s. I’ll be right there. Make me a bath, okay?

-Alright. Okay. Be quick. I gotta go. I’m sick of this. Sick of this fear.

-Just go and make me the bath and it will be alright.

-Alright. Fear. Fear. All this fear.

Neville walks away. Wilma walks into the building when Charlie meets her.

-Christ, what a bastard. Almost killed me.

-Just kiss me and get me upstairs. We only got a few minutes this time.

-This is getting ridiculous.

-I know. But what are you going to do?

Published in: on May 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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