If interested in having me for a reading, class visit, or conference/festival, please contact me at lorcaloca AT aol DOT com

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Trauma In Santa Fe

E & Others,

I also received a ticket today. What's in the air?

And guess what? It's 500 dollars! Who decides these things? I was waiting for a friend to exit the video store, and I ran in to get a coffee, while I was half-way parked in a disabled parking zone. The guy came, I tried to move my car and he wasn't having it. Does anyone know how I can get out of this type of thing? I know I was in the wrong and am willing to pay, but 500 dollars ???(I don't even have that much money LOL). The obtuse man also said I would have to appear in criminal court. I don't even live in Santa Fe so I'm not sure how I'm going to manage this. And I was in a rental car. Hmm. I don't even think they charge sex-offenders this much money for ruining people's lives. But I might be wrong.

Oh No!

I got a ticket for criminal speeding yesterday! I have a March court date.

Oh, boy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Elmer's Bits

Stephanie King wants to add me to her blogroll. Of course, Stephanie. You didn't have to ask. Such wonderful manners!
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God is opening a new bottle of glue today.
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Look at these great photographs of desert snow. Scroll down a bit.
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Rigoberto reviews Pat Mora.
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The University of Arizona press is going to publish some interesting books this spring. Like this one. And, of course, this book.

I just have one bit of advice for the good folks over at the press. Stop the in-house blurbing! That ticks me off. Get writers NOT published by the press to blurb the books! I don't like incest.
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Congrats, Daisy!
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At first I was almost sure that the speaking persona behind Jean-Paul Pecqueur’s The Case Against Happiness was a good dancer.
*
Did anyone else catch Kazim Ali on Jeopardy? It was a hoot! The host began the show by saying, " I can't remember the last time we had a poet on the show." Kazim, unfortuantly, tanked. He was $1600 in the red by the time of the first break. I blame it on the nerves, Kazim! The nerves! Though he did get most of the Latin American literature category right. Yeah!
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Need a Website for a Reasonable Price?
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Don't forget this contest. The postmark deadline is February 1.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Northern New Mexico College Needs Your Help

This post is an impromptu decision to reach out to bloggers, writers, poets, do-gooders, shut-ins, extroverts, introverts, perverts, teachers, philosophers, pugilists, and anyone else with two feet, two arms, a brain, and maybe even a heart (I lose mine all the x).

For the last two weeks, I’ve been teaching a Poetry Class on the Northern New Mexico’s College Campus in El Rito and have realized their library is nil to nada. Granted there are many helpful books in the library (I did see a collected Plath), but the library is lacking those books that you and I have read that have turned the power on, and helped us see ourselves, others, or the world(s) in neon. Fiction, History, Art (anyone have an extra Ernst book?). Basically, send anything.

I know you have extra copies of your chapbook lying around. I know you have piggishly purchased two copies of your favorite book (I do it all the x). I know you have random books that you have wanted to rid yourself of but have not found the time to journey to the garbage or your local thrift store/salvation army. I also know that the majority of people that read this award-winning blog have already published book (s) of their own so you could start by sending a copy of your authored book. And what about you lit mags?

So…

Help a college out and send x-tras or new books to:


Attn: Cecilia Romero
Northern NM College
P.O. Box 160
El Rito, NM
87530

You could even put a donation note in the book: Donated by Diana Marie Nabokov…

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jean-Paul Pecqueur

I had waited all day for the mail. Just as I was leaving to teach a couple of classes, I was already running about 30 minutes late, I saw the mail-carrier turn the corner onto our block. I retreated into the apartment to await my delivery. But alas, the doorbell was not rung--there was no box of books. What I received instead was one of those yellow slips, ingenuously dated the previous day, instructing me to come to the post office to pick up my package. Not thinking, I rushed over to the post office, yellow slip in hand, and was not-so-promptly informed that my box was still with the carrier.

Robert Vasquez Blog

His first post deals with the state of creative writing as a discipline in the California Community College system. I wonder if he's blogging to disseminate information about this one issue, or if he's going to blog about all kinds of things. I don't care. I'll read anything he writes. Well, not everything. I'm sure his grocery lists are boring.

2 Online Mags

Hobble Creak Review

Octopus Magazine

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Kundiman Retreat 2007

In order to help mentor the next generation of Asian-American poets,
Kundiman is sponsoring an annual Poetry Retreat at The University of
Virginia. During the Retreat, nationally renowned Asian American poets
will conduct workshops and provide one-on-one mentorship sessions with
participants. Readings and informal social gatherings will also be scheduled.
Through this Retreat, Kundiman hopes to provide a safe and instructive
environment that identifies and addresses the unique challenges faced by
emerging Asian American poets. This 5-day Retreat will take place from
Wednesday to Sunday, June 20 – 24, 2007.

Complete info HERE

Call for Manuscripts

From Steve:

I have a special interest in publishing a book by a female poet next. Before I start reading submissions for the next contest entries, I'd like to read manuscripts from female poets.Please send manuscripts of 65 - 90 pages to:


Three Candles Press
PO Box 1817
Burnsville MN 55337

Monday, January 22, 2007

And the Winner is...

Rigoberto has picked the winner of the double entendre contest. And the winner is Suzanne ! Congrats, Mizz LitWindowPane. Send me an email, S.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Bitch is Back Bits

River Road: a few poems by Kazim Ali. He's my new boyfriend. Sssh. Don't tell him. It's a surprise.
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I received my contributor's copies of Post Road this week. It's a good-looking journal. Post Road only publishes four poets an issue; two poems each. Dora Malech, Michael Dumanis, and Anthony Swofford are the other poets. Yes, that Anthony Swofford. Author of Jarhead.

Anthony contributes an ekphrastic poem; so do I. I contribute a broken heart poem; so does Anthony. We're twins! Not identical, but fraternal. He's the beefy ex-military stud. I'm the fat tumbleweed.

All the poets are graduates of Iowa. Funny or scary?

When I see my work in print I usually cringe. I see all the "weak" lines! I see all my mistakes. I quickly put the journal away. But not this time. I really like my work this time!

Dora Malech's "Face for Radio" is my favorite poem in the issue. It begins:

As usual I am unusually tired.
All night my fingers double-crossed me,
tangled up in someone else's hair
.

And ends:

If you give me a dollar I'll take
my top off and let you see my heart
.
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I had a good first day of class Friday. Nice assortment of students. Though the classroom they gave me threw me off. My classroom is a small computer lab! Each student has a computer. I'm thrilled. I'm going to incorporate technology into my class for real this semester.
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Take the work of Brian Turner, who has been described as a “war poet.” He is an incredibly earnest young man, and it is not hard to imagine why the Festival invited him to read here. But his work—what he’s managed, under pressure, to punch in—embodies an impoverished imagination and a determination to trade on his experiences in only the most likable and predictable ways. Nearly always competent, his verse is yet frequently artless...
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Congrats to the newest MFA grad. Welcome to the rat race!
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Three poems by Josh Rathkmap. Josh, that's a terrible author photo! The gaps in the fence behind you highlight the gaps between your teeth! Josh, you're too good-looking to have a bad author photo. Leave bad author photos to me. And to Nick Flynn.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Other Fugitives and Other Strangers: Contest


I have a copy of Other Fugitives and Other Strangers to give away. A signed copy! Rigoberto was kind enough to dedicate the book to a Lorcaloca reader. That's you! You!

The contest is open to everyone.

To win the book just leave as a comment your favorite double entendre. It could be something you've read in a poem or novel. Or something you heard in a movie. Etc. If you think the double entendre needs some explaining, some context go ahead and provide it.

After a few days I will ask Rigoberto to pick his favorite double entendre. The winner gets the book.

Good luck.

Bits

I'm not going to AWP this year. Bummer.
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Commercial Break by Paul Martinez Pompa. Paul might be the most handsome emerging Chicano poet out there. He's fine. He's got some sexy tats on the back of his arms.
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Hehe. I said "Bummer."
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I start teaching this Friday. I hope I get an apple. Or a hicky. An apple-sized hicky.
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The latest installment of Boxcar Poetry Review is up.
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I'm going to apply to Breadloaf this year. What the hell. I have to experience the madness of Breadloaf at least once. I got in two years ago as a waiter, but I had to decline because of my brother's sudden wedding. I should've gone to Breadloaf instead. My brother is now divorced.
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Francisco Aragaon interviews Elena Minor.
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I'm looking for new blogs written by poets to read! I speed through my blogroll quickly. What cool blogs are you reading?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Frederick Douglass

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues' rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.

Robert Hayden

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Snark

10.31.06: Absent rejects the solicited Elegy for the Church, A Bad Experience Eating Mandrake Root, Are You Telling Me You Bought a Puppy, Elegy for a White Supremacist, and Portrait of the Artist as Kenny Rogers Seriously Losing His Shit. I wonder if Absent will publish the editors of Typo? After all, Typo has published Absent editor Simon DeDeo. Why, yes they will. Class act.

UPDATE: There seems to be some confusion. I'm not the author of the snarky paragraph above. The author is Jason Bredle. More power to him.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

El Rito Poetry Workshop: Pass The Wire

If anyone knows anyone in El Rito, NM, tell them to contact:

Diana Marie Delgado @ dmd2107@columbia.edu.

I am teaching an "intensive" 4 week Poetry workshop at Northern New Mexico Community College in El Rito. My class starts next Wednesday... Begins at 10:00 AM...There's going to be a lot of in-class exercises...

Think:

Bachelard meets Jung's "Dreams" during a Freudian slip about Lacan.

Think:

A train wreck with offerings.

Think:

Strategic chaos.

Think:

About telling Mr. or Mrs. X, Y, or Z, to contact me and take my class.**

*I'm also willing to meet up with anyone that will fly out here and drive from Santa Fe to El Rito to watch the Amelie DVD I bought myself for my birthday (November 14th) but have been unable to watch. We could watch it on my Mac and order New Mexican Food. We could also go here. I'm surrounded by it.

*But for cereal. Please pass this on.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rigoberto González: Mini-Interview

The son and grandson of migrant farm workers, Rigoberto Gonzalez was born in Bakersfield, California, and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. Educated at the University of California at Riverside and at Davis, and at Arizona State University, he received a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. His first collection of poetry, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, was selected for the 1998 National Poetry Series. He received the John Guyon Prize for Literary Nonfiction from The Crab Orchard Review, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Poetry, and an NEA fellowship. His novel Crossing Vines was named Fiction Book of the Year and received the Editor's Choice Award from ForeWord Magazine.

His book review column on Latino literature has appeared twice monthly in the El Paso Times of Texas since 2002. A member of PEN and the National Book Critics Circle, he has been awarded artist residencies to Spain, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Scotland. He is currently a contributing editor for Poets & Writers.


I conducted this mini-interview with Rigoberto González via email.

Other Fugitives and Other Strangers takes its title from a poem by Thomas James, a relatively unknown poet. How and when did you discover James? Do you feel a kinship with his work? In what ways?

In 1993, while taking a poetry workshop with Sandra McPherson, I overheard her mention to another student a “Mr. Plath,” referring not to Ted Hughes but to a poet whose work was very much like Sylvia Plath’s—a male version of her, in fact. I immediately sought him out since, at the time, I was a Plath devotee.

I discovered in the campus library an out-of-print book called Letters to a Stranger. This was Thomas James’ only book, published in 1973 by Houghton Mifflin. He died a year or two later, in his mid-twenties. After reading and re-reading the book, I did begin to see how James could be considered a Plath derivative, especially with his use of darkly humorous metaphors, the death-wish themes, and his leanings toward formalist structures (which Plath also employed early in her writing career), but he was very much in his own element when he took on the persona poems through the male perspective.

I also suspect (but have not been able to confirm) that James committed suicide—yet another Confessional poet rite of passage—and that he was queer. The James poem from which I took my book title is called “Reasons” and I am convinced it’s a cruising poem, which is why I noted on my own cruising poem “The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods” that it was inspired by Thomas James. Incidentally, I also imitated James by making the title poem of my first book, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, the second-to-the-last poem in the collection, just like he did with Letters to a Stranger.

So in a sense, I have built this huge mythology around the mysterious Mr. Plath, and hope to pursue some research on him for an essay I’m writing. But in the meantime I’m holding on to this constructed narrative.

Violence visits the body often in this book. And the body is often yours. The poems are explicitly gay and urgent. Chicano poets haven't written candidly about homosexuality. I can only think of Francisco X. Alarcón. Chicana poets, on the other hand, have richly explored sexuality. Why do you think Chicano poets have refrained from writing about these subjects?

Firstly, I’d like to point out that Luis Alfaro and the novelist Arturo Islas also wrote homoerotic or homosexual verse, though Alfaro is very much a performance artist and Islas’ poetry didn’t come to light until long after his death (and it wasn’t very good—these poems were mostly hate letters to his former lover). I also know that there are a number of gay Chicano poets who never published their poetry in book form (for a number of reasons) though they were writing it long before me. We fare better if we expand the category to queer Latino, and queer Latino prose, since there have been some notable anthologies like Jaime Manrique’s Bésame Mucho and Jaime Cortez’s Virgins, Guerrillas, and Locas: Gay Latinos Writing About Love. I would also like to point out Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano’s anthology Queer Codex/ Chile Love, published by Evelyn Street Press in 2004, and his book of poetry Santo de la pata alzada, which is mostly in Spanish. But within Chicano letters, (aside from Lozano y Herrera’s contributions) gay poetry is shockingly absent.

Like many others, I turned to black gay poets for guidance and education because early queer Divas like Joseph Beam and Assoto Saint were putting together amazing, unapologetic collections in the 1980s. Much later in 2000, Asian Americans organized and put together Take Out, edited by Quang Bao. But I have yet to see something that charged or political within our own gay Chicano community, even though I’m sure we have the numbers.

I think it’s too simplistic to say it’s because of fear or homophobia. Though that does exist in our community, I’m not sure it’s the only reason we are not more visible. Instead of answering this question, I’d like to throw out some points to ponder: Rayo, the huge Latino imprint of HarperCollins, has yet to publish something queer (even Jaime Manrique’s novel was about Manuela Sáenz, Simón Bolívar’s mistress); published gay Chicano writers tend to explore issues of race and class before moving into the territory of sexuality (and I include myself in this group); scholarship on U.S. gay Chicanos has yet to move out the backyards (pun intended) of Francisco X. Alarcón, John Rechy, Luis Alfaro, Arturo Islas and Michael Nava; Chicana lesbians have had such amazing activists like Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherrie Moraga, generating interest, scholarship, publications, etc. since the 1980s.

I believe we are at a turning point. I have seen such fierceness in the younger gay Chicanos, like the Calijotos, a West Coast writing group that puts it all out there.

I know poets hate to be asked to single out a favorite poem in a book. So I won't ask you that. But tell me: what's your favorite line in the book? Why?

I don’t know that it’s my favorite line, but I do know I’m more conscious of this line than any other when I read it aloud. I think it’s because it sounds like a tongue-twister and I don’t want to screw it up: “Music from the organ grinder driving the monkey to madness” from the poem “Danza Macabre.” Only native speakers, I imagine, don’t have to think too hard when they read alliteration in English, but I do.

You had two books come out this past fall: Other Fugitives and Other Strangers and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, a memoir dealing primarily with your father and an abusive lover. Did one book influence the creation of the other? Are these books in conversation?

I read a review recently in the Lambda Book Report that made some startling connections between the two books. Although they were revised at the same time they were not supposed to be published the same year. I suppose I don’t have to tell people by now that the poetry book was supposed to have been published last year with Zoo Press. Thankfully, Tupelo came to the rescue at an opportune time. I didn’t want to publish the second book through a contest because I didn’t have the energy.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I didn’t own up to the fact that many of the lovers in the poetry book are shadows or echoes of the lover in the memoir. Theses two books are companions in many ways—both of them are also my most personal works. But I was clear, from inception to completion, that I was working two different genres with distinct expectations and strategies. But the poetry definitely came first. Many of the poems in the second collection were poems I removed before publishing the first. I felt this topic I was exploring was too valuable and too important, so I dedicated an entire book to the issue of violence in gay relationships. The memoir was driven by wanting to understand another man in my life—my father.

Bob Hicok blurbs the book. Why did you pick him as a blurber? Do you have a crush on him, like everyone else in the poetry world?

Of course I’m in love with Bob Hicok, the man and the poet—everyone knows this, especially my friends Lisa Glatt and David Hernandez, who once fooled me into believing Bob had come out of the closet. I almost had a heart attack. Needless to say they are both shit-listed for another year at least. Anyway, I did ask Bob for a blurb because he’s extremely intelligent and an incredible reader. We once spent an entire afternoon in Central Park, chatting away, and once I got over my urge to jump him behind the bushes, my admiration and respect for him grew exponentially. He’s an incredible person.

You're incredibly productive. You've published a novel, two collections of poems, two children's books, and a memoir. I know you've recently finished a short story collection, another children's book and a third collection of poems. Mercy! What fuels this tremendous output? And what are you currently working on?

To begin, I don’t own a television, I don’t have Internet access at home, and I keep the cell phone off most of the time. You’d be surprise how much of the day opens up without these technological gadgets. That gives me the space and energy to dedicate myself to my many projects. I work on 4 or 5 of them at once. The more I have on my plate the more I become determined to move forward. I don’t know where this drive comes from, I simply do it.

I envy people who can toil away at one poem or one book at a time, but I’ve never been able to do that. I lose interest or become restless. When I sit at the computers, I like to have 3 or 4 files opened at once and I move back and forth. Eventually I focus on one for the evening, but in the beginning I skip around like a dog sniffing around for that perfect spot.

I’m currently working on a second collection of essays, the fourth book of poems, a young adult novel, and a biography on Chicano writer Tomás Rivera. Plus, I teach at Queens College and I still pen one or two book reviews a month for the El Paso Times. I don’t think there’s any secret. It’s mostly discipline and perseverance. I told myself I was going to be a writer, so I write. I meet many people who are writers in theory only, and they frighten me. They’re reminders of the type of writer I don’t want to become, so I push myself even more.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Reginald Shepherd's Blog

No American poet has ever been sent to a Gulag because of his or her writing. The closest we have come to such a thing was the blacklisting of some writers (mostly in Hollywood) during the red scares of the 1950s, and even in that period explicitly oppositional material was openly published, distributed, and read. Neglect is hardly the same thing as repression or oppression. No one has the duty or obligation to read anyone or anything, and though there are many writers I think should be read more widely (and even more I think should be read less widely), no one has a "right" to be read. Not even me.

Tip of the hat to C.Dale for the heads up.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2nd Avenue Poetry Reading: Today

2nd Avenue Poetry Reading with SEAN TUMOANA FINNEY, THOMAS FINK, RIGOBERTO GONZALEZ, PAOLO MANALO, DANIEL NESTER, PURVI SHAH.

I asked Rigoberto to kiss Daniel Nester for me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ahsahta Press

Ahsahta Press is sporting a revamped web site. And it's fantastic. The site is now clean and elegant. Each author page includes sample work, audio files (forthcoming), extended biography and author statement.

Aaron McCollough
Paige Ackerson-Kiely
Susan Tichy

I love how the book covers pop against the white background. Ahsahta produces beautiful books. No doubt about it. In the past two years I've picked up four titles from the press. I need to add Aaron's and Kate's books to my list.

Now, if only Ahsahta would publish Tony Robinson! Let's get a petition going!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kate Greenstreet

The subject is distant from and dark.
The subject is seen through glass.
The subject reflects, or has a luminous body...

"Discovery"/The Nation 2007

Apply! Apply! Apply!

Now in its 33rd year, the "Discovery"/The Nation contest, co-sponsored by The 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center and The Nation magazine, is designed to attract large audiences to poets who have not yet published a book of poems. Each of the four winners will be awarded $500, a reading at the Poetry Center on Monday, May 7, 2007, and publication in The Nation.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 19, 2007.

Complete info HERE.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Meridian Contest for Prose Poems

Short-shorts, prose poems--whatever you want to call
them, we're opening a new contest just for them. The
winning entry will be printed on a 4" x 6" postcard
which will be given out at the AWP 2007 Conference.
to promote Meridian. The postcard will also be
included with the May 2007 issue of Meridian. And the
winner will receive a $100 prize and 100 stamped
postcards so you can send copies to all your friends,
acquaintances, uneasy allies, etc. This is a great
opportunity to get your writing noticed in a unique
way.

This contest has a modest $3 entry fee. Deadline is
midnight EST on January 31st, 2007. Entry is online
only. To enter, click HERE.

MM Sez

I started writing this to address Cavafy, to apologize for calling him a Gay Republican...

New Year Bits

I had a strange dream about a poet last night. I dreamt I was tickling Tony Hoagland's feet with a blue feather. He was nude. And he was holding an iced tea in his right hand. He kept asking if he could place his drink on my shoulder.
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Happy New Year! Wait, that was yesterday. Never mind.
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I have no resolutions this year. I never keep them. I resolved a couple years ago to learn to play poker. I never did. Last year I promised myself to finish my collection and send it out. Didn't happen.
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Saddam wrote poetry and fed birds
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Shit list item: Old classmates who email once, but then you never hear from them again. Rude! I'm talking to you, Alison. I'm talking to you, Reed.
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