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One of the many curiosities you'll find on this site. I may post and every new post may be on the front page. But I'm trying to move all that shit to a blog named blog, which is I guess more like a journal but then it would be under J and I'd probably overshare. V Stands for vulnerability. Hard shell, soft centre, and free provided your subscribe!



I knew Ken, a frequenter of ArtSpace, where I worked for five years, well enough to nod and say hello. I was  aware of his eclectic art practice working with sound, installations and kinetic sculpture including participation in send and receive during my years at the Manitoba Art Council.  

I was fascinated with his departure, or rather I should say, his development as an artist by jumping in to the fire, and learning to smithy at the forge. A diabetic, he has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. However it came to be he was one of the first artists I thought to ask before I even had any money to work on this show. 

I had an image in my head of a tire spike belt standing in for my messed up spine, and talked to Ken. So now we can tip our hats when I see him when we install his work with the rest.






first cut-up of my own books*

Media can’t keep up with all the killing
car doors swing open on Portage Avenue
I do not find this reassuring though there are
days filled with ants and rot the wild geese are gone.
Inclined to the sky the Cockshut wheel reels in the blue
heaven by the kitchen window, I am on my way.

Watch the wind wave we’ve come at this
all wrong two children on foot scooters
notice I am short a foot my body says scream
taking my pain to bed, Oh Linda I see the machine
hidden fury behind pillars of love I want the highest
resolution the beam so hard to remove.




* I have a cut-up poetry manuscript in progress. Three sections. This one is from cut-ups of all my own books, my words in phrases, in a box dipped into randomly. The other sections include the first with War & Peace, Peace shall destroy many, Sexus, Naked Lunch. The middle one is to be announced later.

There is really nothing wrong with you. When can I see you next?


Yesterday I met two wonderful mental health professionals. The first was a female psychiatrist, my first woman psych and I believe there is more to know ab0ut being, Alive.She was very clear, “I don’t do psychotherapy depending what you mean. . I described the difference between two of my psychs in Winnipeg and was fine with what people now like to call talk therapy. That was possible she said, but  not psychoanalysis. Well I’ve been fortunate to have had something akin (selected as just a cool word.) to analysis in my life, but recently – say the last 20 years  have had talk therapy. It has been an important element of my mental heal practise (honest slip, really, word to be health) since 1985 along with medication, meditation (both daily) reading, listening to music and writing for and about my life. So we’d start in a month with a half hour by Zoom to see if it could work. I prefer in-person but it involves my power wheelchair, handicapped van, a carer to drive, so Zoom is easier, especially to introduce my wife, just at first  just.  to say hello.

I am writing to distract myself from the reality of our dog’s death. So this is a a scene and an example of my frustration with my doctors. I present well, though I talk too much. Not really a problem with talk therapy. But the medication issues  for pain management have been all centralized under addiction, and the second doctor is an addictionist, one different than a previous one that nearly killed me. A long story for some where else. My mental chemical balance, doesn’t. Finding the right meds since the last fail is harder now after spending a week intubated, and off all my meds, and another week in hospital. The two weeks in KGH has affected a good deal of how I think and how I an, but the meds are nearly sorted.. Ok this is the story


My carer takes me into the addiction centre (not visibly labelled as such) to the proper entrance to see my second doctor aboput pain management. We also have an appointment to put down our dog in our neighborhood at 4:30. This appointment runs from 3:20 to 3:50 downtown so just barely manageable as it is. The timing of my meds, and the stress of a second appointment both about the state of my brain was stressful. I presented well. “Honestly, I didn’t notice any stuttering or memory loss or forgetfulness” Because I can write about what actually happened with a writers’ touch, there is “nothing wrong with me”

Well you/I  are not to get more than  30 minutes of a doctors time. Especially on a Tuesday, when 5 Kelowna residents have ODed on the previous weekend. My brain makes stories, jokes, puns and is getting judgmental which is freaking me out a bit) but mostly I don’t stop talking, and often that applies to my writing (a digression like this happens always), but I left at 4 and he took me out the clinical space by the exit and away I went! Yeah, can you see the problem?

Exits are often not in the same space, visual space, from entrances. Especially mental health spaces. Some notion of privacy I think, and office traffic flow  planning maybe. I could not find my carer and walked around a bit and decided time was tight she was probably at the van already. Took the elevator and I could not find the van when I reach out doors (there’s a great Fran Liebowitz joke\” The great-doors?” The great out of doors is what I pass through between the hotel door and the cab.”)  This is where I try to explain my brain’s issue with being in the world. I never really know where I am in the world. So I exit the building, can’t find either van or carer. I take out my phone and start sending messages. They are ALL Not delivered. This I find out later has something to do with “AirPlane Mode” and our new carrier. So I sit beside the van, and yes the carer “turnips” and we are both glad. She hadn’t and couldn’t see me leave and so she stayed and waited until the meter was run out. And there we are, in a happy reunion. And after a quick cell phone lesson, homewards! So end of story. But I was disoriented, and lost in space, without meds (plan to be home by then etc) being able to tell anyone that asked.”Yes I am in Kelowna.” The street sign says what it has to say and disregards the rest. How can I possibly demonstrate my situation and distress to a doctor. It has happened before, and I’m getting better at waiting until I’m found.

Unfortunately to late to take our deer Deefer to the vet,  and a handicapped van is needed for my wife’s power chair…..but then our supper carer has come and found someway to get everybody back home to the Vet, including Deefer in a 4 door hatchback. I include a picture of DEEFER and  me in my powered chair and Deefer earlier this year.

I’ve just had my 4th vaccination “jab” today in a main floor refrigerator-white pharmacy. Same wonderful carer and no complications. The good news is I am learning how to successfully drive my powered wheelchair in and out of the handicapped van, which will take two powered chairs. We’ve done it, and are planning it again for a Guy Few concert with an R.M.Schaefer composition being featured. So to close this circle, I am writing twelve ghazals based on Schaefer’s 12 string quartets.And there will be some pictures as some work gets shown, presented and taped for later use in our Canada Council supported LOOK show, that has been postponed because o0f “the incident” as I now refer to my near death experience. Though Dr. John did point out that “life is a near death experience” is his later album about the disaster of Katrina and 9/11. I am writing this as a good deal of the southern coastal United DStated is being ripped apart by a hurricane. STOP. ALL ASSOCIATIONS AND DIS/ASSOCIATIONS. PLEASE!!! STOP!!! ok how about some poems then?


When I am nowhere
dissociating in a crowd
next to you is safest
relocated again.






December 24, 2021

The first 12 books that I remembered in the order I remembered them, revised.

The first 12 books that I remembered in the order I remembered them, revised.

The Bible – though I believe and say shit like “I’m such an atheist, I’m not an atheist,” and “God is dead, but sometimes I miss him,” the Book is the mythology I cut my teeth on lies under my writing like a buried bone
Little Lord Fauntleroy Gotta get out of this place! (Gretna) “Maybe I’m adopted and my real parents are English nobility.”
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce), reinforced by the inspired reading of the opening passage by Joan Baez on her Baptism recording.
The Energy of Slaves – (Leonard Cohen), stripped down, whether laconic or angry, right on the money. It’s the only book I ever tried to shoplift. Tried, the keyword. Poor U of M Bookstore security lady felt so sorry for my 18-year old ass trying to steal a book of poetry,
she held it until I had the money to come back and buy it.
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Michael Ondaatje)
The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) mostly because it was a damn fine novel about places I knew in my own country, but also because it was one of my mother’s favourite books that I saw her readings some Sunday mornings when she could have been in church. Also because she thought if Margaret Laurence “could use words like that,” I could too, when my Dad discovered Jimmy Bang Poems.
Field Notes (Robert Kroetsch)Still have a first edition of Seed Catalogue, but am particularly found of The Sad Phoenician, and The Poets Mother, the poem envoi (to begin with) the seed for the new envoi literary foundation or ELF (stayed tuned)
The Edible Woman, What’s not to like? I was in university, what it lacked in subtlety was mostly lost on me because of its clarity, and for god’s sake it was FUNNY. Insert Canadian Iron Man Contest joke here.
Under the Volcano (Malcolm Lowry), best description of leaving the garden for the abyss ever written. I’ve stopped reading it every October, my favourite reading of course on an October Ferry to Gabriola in 1979.
Ada Or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (Nabokov), I may have read Lolita first, but this is definitely my favourite Nabakov, introducing me to my lifelong fascination with “the family romance,” and a novel way of story writing.
Mad Shadows by Marie Claire Blais. Cohen and Blais introduced me to new writing and new ways of writing by Canadians.
The Waves by Virginia Woolf tied in to a rhythm of language that I love, pushed harder by Cohen and Blais who came after, but could be much angrier than Woolf, which also appealed to me in the seventies.

THE BOOKS ON THE LIST ABOVE fueled my desire as a writer from grade school to University. Especially University. I still opwn all these books many now 50 years later wh9ch I mention because I couldn’t attend the 50th Reunion  of my Grade 12 MCI Graduating class, with one or two exceptions I spent more time with any of these books than my classmates. To be fair, I have been back in touch with some with a hearty LOOKIE HERE! listing the books that I’ve written and have been published. The deadine was at a bad time I was busy NOT DYING for two weeks. The black white and red cover is from the 1940s but not quite a first edition. I have a poem. 2 actually.

Losing Malcolm

I’m sorry, Malcolm. I left you
 in the dim light of a Winnipeg bar

looking for the beauty
you said I would see if I drink

as you do, and I do
Malcom, see your beauty

Under the Volcano, towering above
he shabby Dollartown pier. I don’t remember

where I left you, or how much I tipped the waitress
who never ran after me, leaving your book

on the counter with my anti-depressant
slipped inside.  


Finding Malcolm

So I stop at the smoke shop to buy a cigar underground
after my conversation with George laying down my hardbound

Sourland. Joyce Carol Oates a guilty pleasure, part of my secret
ife like my conversations with George or with women

telling them they are beautiful, and they are, but unlikely
my dear wife would understand. She knows

there is not an unfaithful bone in my body. She does not know
I lost Malcolm in what I thought was the bar. So I can not

tell her that the clerk, noticing my book asked if I liked to read.
“ Why yes,” I said “I read a lot.”  He rummages under the cash register

and drops my 1947 Reynalds Hitchock Under The Volcano on Sourland,
and asks “You know this book?” “Yes,” I say, “it’s mine.”

He and Malcolm waiting me to make a counter offer. I accept, leaving
 an extra ten bucks for this year’s Day of the Dead, holding on

tight to the escalator railing, steel tongued steps
moving me and Malcolm to the light.








I was debating whether to use all caps; ghost-towns being too small, unworthy of ALL CAPS.
A New Yorker reviewer used a fine bit of word play with allusions to place before it was empty.

This phrase “ghost-town in waiting”  seems aptly suited to some-one like me,  my brain toying with undiagnosed  early stages of dementia.

I have suggested I would be happy to be “MINISTER OF EMPTY SPACES”seeing as there were so many during COVID. The spaces would be Covid free, and I would work from home. Nothing doing. 




wrong time says the doctor not time nyet says doctor Jonathan Dr Jon Kabat Zinn from the MIT Mindfulness Meditation Body Scan side one victorenns9 is just another victor to the negative power and a nod to cutting his teeth on German and erasers.

right yes there’s too much information for me and for you no time to check it through it’s time to make it smaller all that information that’s putting the boots to you and to me yeah let’s get tired your mind gets tired your hands get tired there’s nothing you can do about it. So much to put down. Too much to put down. So much to put down down. Next line next line there is information here there everywhere I want to run on empty except for the words I choose my friends right the cat just come from nowhere but maybe they don’t mean shit anyway where is where is this

I want no information from my clock or from my watch or on my watch. telling time like telling stories is by Far enough. I tell it off. This time. this watch refuses to tell tales and takes it time with the rest.

it was the wrong time wrong time it’s the wrong time to say what I want to say I insist. He was the kind of guy who developed his own unique forecast. “Tomorrow looks like mostly Monday, giving way to overcast Saturday with a hint of cleaning. Soon Saturday periods will clear bring Sunday with roast at dinner. Expect to see Monday again in the evening, showing annoyance at being neglected, so much left undone.” Time to leave my desk.



I take risks. I used to call myself a risk manager getting things done despite being afraid or taking a chances that could Adam coming back to fight. Dictating this my hands hurt too much I’m not quite sure where my brain is not as a premedicated but I want to start working on this idea my persist manifesto. The first manifesto is always read area in my life perseverance has been a primary method of achieving success despite lacting a complete toolbox whether it’s intelligence or logic are inability to colour between the lines to stay inside the line. I have failed big. The poetry conference poetry festival called on boy as a good example leaving my job and investing $30,000 in my retirement fund to pay artist fees because the Canada council rejected twice. The festival anyway nobody came. I persisted I raised not enough money anyway dictating with my eyes closed now as if I can understand better what it is you know what I’m reaching for in the world it feels like dipping a bucket in dark water. Then watering the seed notes with my eyes closed or recovered.

I have beewn called a “force of nature,” only to have it qualified, ‘like tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes, droughts, floods, famines, earthquakes, and Manitoba blizzards,  You get the picture” Then  being sent to coventry by the speaker.

I have been married four times I have been divorced three times. I have submitted grants that is grand application 14 different Canada Council deadlines now that I have had three successful applications years apart in this century I’ve been told I’m a lucky man. That I’ve had a windfall mostly just persisted someone I know submitted their manuscript of their first novel and when it was turned down by McClelland and Stewart decided it was no good and they would never try again I don’t do that manuscript out right now had they’ve been poetry books insignificant perhaps but I persist writing having a published and sending workout sometimes pretty strange places for the B list poet. Next pack

I’m opening an art installation exhibition and screening next fall as early as September the 29th and I’m still writing for it still hiring people for it art made I’ve persisted these images I’ve had in my head for quite a long time. I have presented it in many different ways. One of the things I’ve done is work on something called the object alphabet abject that’s it object alphabet abject damn you that’s it. Letter Zeta Fr finished but maybe as many years get done because I’m losing my mind. Persist the ultimate loss if all you’ve got left always breathe I suppose I shall say breeze I persisted breathing just make sure I die before my insurance policy is invalid which is 100 years. I have raised 3 successfully lost children also sometimes called launched what a lucky thing I did the credit you see is OTHERS don’t wanna give me the credit or havedone a things they found it hard.

 Next paragraph my fourth wife Michelle Hewlett is a big help tells me how strong I am and I keep working despite my pain or loss of sense. And right now I’m working on two senses for projects call to look show the other listen here how do I persist with the object alphabet well I can’t recognize my chin my children. This is page one and then I’m gonna have to strip a whole bunch of shit away but at least with dictation I have some words to start with always breathe should be changed simply to breathe persist pain I don’t know if pain is a manifest maybe it is just breeze and persist and create breeze persist at create my message to the world. Once again that’s breathe, persist, create. OK I’ll turn that around just one I think it’s better to say: breathe create, and persist. Time for meds.





I before O, U!

Episode 9 in the Abject Alphabet is brought to you by the letter I.

I is for injury, for interloper, for infatuation, for imagination.
For some impossible thing. For inspiration,

I is my personal pronoun, except when
I’m plural, which has been happening a lot lately, CGI or no CGI.

I is for Indigenous, independent and ingenious.
I is for India, infidel, for Icarus in flight. For investigate.

I is for ignorance when there is nothing left to know.
Ibsen gone for a walk, stroking his beard.

I is for immune, for icon, for insane,
I is for incarcerate, incinerate, inappropriate

I is for idea. As in “what’s the big.”
I is for indiscriminate like my posts from now on

Today is September 21, 2022. I’m making notes
for my GP. Happy to have one that calls me Dear


Never been heard or sceened
before I have seen it. Awe shucks,
almost heard it, but I’m not wearing
my hearing aids. Nearly caught
a glimpse but I’m not wearing
my looking glasses, so lie to me instead.

I’ll believe you.

I is for “IN THE TIME ZONE” Episode 9 when we catch up to the ABJECT ALPHABET, but right now it’s in front of U and Oh, VOWELS on the run.


Can’t get this can’t have that
All I get is pain in no time flat.
Nobody knows my racing thoughts
my Beck inventory, no cartilage in stock.

Can’t get this can’t have that
all’s I got is this pain in no time flat
my spine and my shoulders my thumbs
my fingers my hips my knees my ankle

one left is the right for the accelerator oedipal
I sit in my mother’s lap driving she lets me
hold the wheel, Camus relives his childhood
a passenger in 1960, there is nothing he can do
overpowered Facel Vega loses the road
slams into a tree his auto-fiction complete

Nobody to know my racing thoughts
about my Beckett inventory. Yes, I’ve got
no cartilage in stock, this pain all
I own in no time flat I can get into that.



I is for in-service, intimidate, invisible, ink, yeah you
I can’t sign what you can’t see and I am going going gone.
I is for intubate, Intubate, a hose down my throat to suck out the food trying to kill me.




He was the kind of guy who created motion artifacts during his MRI by falling asleep and snoring in the machine.
He was the kind of guy who learned to fear his food when it nearly choked him to death confronting respiratory depression.
He was the kind of guy who preferred to sleep in bed. There was still plenty of time for sex.
He was the kind of guy that would make a big noise when he crashed out of bed.He was easily confused, having more shoes than feet to wear them on.
He was the kind of guy several months behind on his Made-for-Grandpa home calendar.
He was the kind of guy who regretted telling his insurance agent he had smoked one cigarette in his life, 
burning down the house. He supposed they thought him insane because he laughed
when his feet hove into view under his belly. Little did they know he had them right where he wanted them.
He was the kind of guy who understood Berryman’s kind of guy with no Inner Resources.




A place to hang my gray fedora

Jazz:    A push against the dark, making it up as you go along looking for the truth blowing hot and cool  in a room full of smoke and action under the tables thinking about something else sunlight or suicide fingering your horn.



I am distressed, as I believe chunks of my remembery are falling into the sea much sooneer than I allowed was poassible before moving to Kelowna to marry Michelle Hewitt. She, as we joked has “just MS” which is an unpredicatble disease, without a cure, but with manageable, (to a point) symptons. She drives and thrives in a power wheelchair.

I have “just osteo-arthritis,” recently becoming the owner of my own power wheelchair, whith sea-foam-coloured trim. Learning to drive it may turn out to difficult for my brain, as any occassional twitch may cause the machine, or worse, my fingers to smash into a door frame, still waiting for a diagnosis. That’s my brain, not the door frame. I just tried to save this document at 134 words in, but can’t remember how.

Fortunately I live in British Columbia which has a Community Support for Independent Living program which allow me and my wife to stay in our house and hire our own staff, provided we do all the paperwork, personnel and financial management required by all government progerams to provide transparency for the public. The paper work is just an inch or two short of making it impossible, though there is a plan for that too. Clients can set up a community committee to look after themself.

I need to economize my writing, often short already, for clarity. To remember the idea of the paragraph before I get to the end of it. Or to remember whas I was after in my first or second draft as I revise again. But, that’s writng and telling stories. More concerning is forgetting what I’m up to in the world around me, often bringing me down in the dumps.

Today, for an example I’m trying not to feel wretched for having twisted and turned an errand into a pretzel on my way home from the rhuematologist. There is nothing the rhuematolgist can do to help me reduce my symptoms or my pain. Thiis was expected, but having moved into a new valley; from ther Red River to the Okanagan, I believe I should establish benchmarks with specialists where I live now.

The errand was this. The last name of my caregiver, whose first name is Jayden, in another one of a con tinuing string of coincidences, my son is name J.Alden Sefton, well her last name is Ryga. She is George Ryga’s grand-daughter. She is happy to have a part-time job looking after me. I am grateful for her help. So now about the errand.

After my appointment we were to drive to the hopital and drop off my (Holter?) Heart Monitor. My brain associated this task with my visit to my new GP Dr T. Wells, because she ordered the test a few days ago. The Office she was is within less than a block of walk distance from the rhuematologist, though I was in my manual wheelchair. This meant no driving for new parking to drop off the monitor.

My care-giver may have been a little confused, but I was very confused. We went to my new GP’s office and proudly presented the heart monitor to reception staff who were puzzled as why I was giving them the monitor. Though I managed to persuade them to keep it, we hadn’t reached the elevator before one of the staff stopped me to clarify. The doctor’s office didn’t need the heart monitor, it was to be returned to the hospital. They alreadsy had the results said the GP’s assistant. So ok, lets do this again, and we did return it easily to the hospital. And that was that.

Jayden drove me home, where one small wall of the living room was covered with blood pressure results on a flip chart, two reps, twice a day. We had been doing these for a week, and Michelle took another reading in late afternoon, and then faxed (actually she took a picture with her phone’s camera) um…sent them tlo PRIME Medical. I had thought these numbers were just verifying the heart monitor reading.THe heart monitor readings on the heart monitor we downloaded and emailed to my GP. This was to checxk out my arrythmia. THe blood pressure readings we copied and emailed to my brand new GP, to see whether my claims of low blood pressure were accurate.

Michelle clarified this for me.

[ If you can remember what the actual task I did, or expected to do, on my excursion yesterday, you are doing better than me now and yesterday. ]

Here’s poem called Arythmhmia, found in Love & Surgery (Radiant Press, 2019.)


You have taken
the rubber mallet
to the cracked wall plaster,
dusting the hardwood
under your knees.

I’m looking to name
your epithalamium
 & all I can hear
is the banging of your
hammer, angry with me.

I am not a carpenter,
not handy with much

but the turn of a phrase,
you don’t want my
fine excuses, in writing

or in law. Too late
for apology, I offer
my irregular heart.
Just a little jazz later
tonight, Moonglow plays

quietly, with soft touch,
my hope & my wish
for you to love me
without good reason;
My Crazy Love
Your Blues in the Night.




Swallowing is more important than getting dressed in the morning; and essentially connected to always breathing.

My altered breathing at 4am alerted Michelle something was wrong. She tried to wake me and I was unresponsive so she called 911. Michelle saved my life, beginning a horrifying two weeks in the hands of our overworked health care system. Excellent  doctors and nurses, just not enough of them.

When the fire truck, paramedics and ambulance arrived, my blood oxygen level was 80% and my blood pressure was dangerously low. When I arrived at ER Michelle was asked for permission to intubate me (put me on a ventilator).

A new medication, begun at too high a dose,  had put me into respiratory depression. None of the food from the previous evening had been digested and there was a small bleed in my stomach. All of this had to be suctioned out. I was transferred to ICU, on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma. The respiratory depression had also caused aspiration pneumonia.

I was in the ICU on a ventilator for 6 days, tied to my bed so I wouldn’t choke or dislodge the tube, and spent a further week on a regular ward. During that time they tried to reintroduce some medications and I had a second respiratory depression as I was only breathing 6 times a minute. “Studies show” drive me nuts, but to get it down, recovery is considered to take one week per day of intubation. This is to recover basic physical strength and mental clarity. I re-entered consciousness frustrated beyond belief.

LOOK is connected to my manuscript ALWAYS BREATHE, and the poems I have in my notes strengthen my manuscript. I now know what it’s like to really have my breath taken away. There is a large backstory, my wife is talking to the Director of Primary Care, Central Okanagan, trying to find a Family Doctor (a GP) to guarantee consistent care. I am also committed to finding a Dr. Psychiatrist who will be as comfortable with psychotherapy as prescriptions.

LOOK show has been postponed and potentially changed. We’re doing the production bits first and collecting everything we need for the show to go on, virtually for certain and physically most likely in April 2023. I’ve seen some of the work, one piece actually finished, and it’s disappointing not to exhibit October 1st as planned. Waiting is not one of my stronger virtues.

All artists will be paid their commissions, and their work will be exhibited potentially imagined shown in several different ways.  My writing for the “show” won’t be finished until I examine my swallowing as well as my breathing. I was pleased to read” Victor is a 67 year-old- poet and writer,”at the top of my discharge papers recognizing I work.

I am back at my writing desk today Wednesday, August 10th, after being admitted to Kelowna General Hospital on Tuesday July 19. A long time, especially if you are trying to complete the Abject Alphabet In the Time Zone. Making choices is even harder now, a problem born out of depression. Do I rewrite the 500 words about lungs in Pieces of My Mind/My Body in Parts, Or do I add a sequence to ALWAYS BREATHE, oh, and then there are those pesky Dead Mennonites. May my muttering and choices never cease.



Try my first name as a password. 

Kevin Nikkel tapes Rachel Braul who provides American Sign Language translation to improve the accessibility of this video. They did a great job. This was a test piece, and I’m looking forward to working with them on other pieces for LOOK show as a priority and on more of my own videos on my website. Thanks to AMANDA LOCKITCH for shooting and editing the original footage.





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