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Thread: 3 Poems about 3 Cities: Barceleona, NYC, Belfast

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    Greymure
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    3 Poems about 3 Cities: Barceleona, NYC, Belfast

    GAUDI’S BARCELONA

    Barcelona with
    Gaudi’s buildings twisting unfinished carved into the sky
    And cars,
    Cars,
    Cars, cars
    Restless streams of cars
    Around and around Plaza De Catalonia
    And thunderous
    Badly made European motorcycles zooming zipping up your arms
    So much for America’s big metal machines
    That swims around and around your navel
    Down your back vibrating like chewing tin foil with freshly minted teeth
    People, people, people walking in and out of cheap coin slotted peepshows
    Out of my ears mouth and ******* like rushing ants chaotically running
    Up past the unique sidewalk cafes of Las Ramblas
    To get to the Hard Rock Café,
    In case they miss the 20 ounce American Hamburger
    With an extra side of fries with that
    And walking across
    The Miro inspired sky
    And buses and motorcycles and people weaving in and out
    Around each other
    Never really touching
    Some stop to watch the boy in the horizontal stripped Edwardian bathing suit
    Skateboarding agile across the sidewalks
    And in and out through traffic
    I know I never told you about the boy and how he died
    Alone in an opium den with a needle in his arm
    That story would have troubled you
    Just remember
    The sweet smell of the flower sellers on Sunday morning
    The overpopulated marketplace and the stink of fresh fish aging on the ice
    To where I bought that bottle of Absinthe and Sangre de Toro
    Europe’s new roads and highways keep moving the air into trembling heavens Accomplishing with a pen what Franco couldn’t do with an army
    The ground swirling and falling through the planet
    The Basque mountains keep rumbling with all the angry threats for independence and the sky-swallowing waves rushing
    Women topless on motorcycles
    Reminding me that marriage can be so-oo-oo sexy
    With it’s flash floods of sperm making babies
    Zooooaring, zooooming energy
    Trying
    To buy one of those cutesy hot beautiful trendy tapas
    Straight out of the oven in confusion of aggressive Spaniards
    Debating old themes of revolution under an onslaught
    Of American Tourists in search of McDonalds
    They’re so wonderful and - and
    You can't get your hands on a proper pizza because
    The Italians lost to Real Madrid
    4- Nil sparking up a riot outside the stadium
    I've lived in New York, seen the Yankees lose
    But New York is tame compared to these Picasso inspired firery Spaniards
    Hopped up on fine black hashish
    And smooth tequila drinks served in cold liter bottles on the beach
    Tourists try uprooting them from the earth throwing them into the skyyyyyyyyy the skyyyy the
    skyyyyy
    the skyyyyy
    I love the Spanish sky,
    Can I tell you?
    When I first saw it, and the segregated prostitutes
    I wanted to piss screaming words all over that ever present azure sky,
    I wanted to be naked with pink flesh blanketed in that sky
    I want to grab Barcelonan sky with both my hands to copulate
    And forget that nightly phone call..
    Just to say goodnight…. Goodbye
    To make me realize in those warm Barcelona nights
    The earth will
    Surround me
    Always
    In the coming eternity of nothing. . .
    My visions of that Moorish city massively swirling
    Around my claustrophobic room
    Music deliriously sings from across earthquake centuries
    From the apartment across the alley of my hotel room
    And I,
    A swarming Poet
    Open my mouth to hurricanes of mournful color
    To face music like a restless Flood
    In the rivers of the wandering streets of the Spanish University Quarter
    North of China Town just a few blocks from those same streets
    That Hemingway and I once stood
    To marvel at the smells of habanera and other spices masking peasant cooking
    My monsooning words swirling in my neon brain
    The only TV channel I can get in English is porn or CNN
    Yet, I reach out to that Picasso sky and begin talking to myself
    I hear erratic violas and violins painting all my drifting misery. . .
    And shoots a highway across to the Amazon rainforest
    The moon falls up into a round-about dream
    And another
    Highway swerves out and crashes through the
    North American continent
    The George Washington Bridge
    Leaps to the Dominicans in Harlem
    Dancing salsa
    And New York City - Brazil = Spain and Picasso into a big boiling pot
    The Poet jumps out hands you the naked body of a screaming poem
    Then you
    Turn a squirming oozing poem to the erupting sexual music
    The women of every hue and race imaginable are all smiling
    Like Rosetti nudes I read about in Gardner’s
    I get drunk and fall into a burning beautiful hell of millions of
    Beer bottles
    As Matisse is painting the world naked over the walls on buildings in every city on the planet...





    A MODERN DESIGN FOR MODERN LIVING:IN MODERN AMERICA

    In modern times
    Of colossal righteous anger
    When
    We are forced to choose between
    Right and wrong
    And what is almost right but also almost wrong
    We pride ourselves on
    Our false sense of Freedom
    Which only amounts to the choices that they’ve made
    That they told us so
    We think we’ve made them too

    Through all this arbitrary
    Raison d'être regarding liberty
    Or defining of our freedom
    I must say
    Still
    Only exists within our reconditioned minds
    Programmed to believe we are not fault
    As long as CNN provides our modern heroes

    Has Reason... again come of age….
    Like after the Sun King stripped France of all her gold?
    Where is Voltaire or Robespierre leading us to the barricades?

    How can we be satisfied with
    Things the way they are
    With all the lies that surrounds us
    And so much much much more
    Remains inside the dark embrace
    And lies straight into us as we beg for more
    As we beg for more
    So we can feed it to our children
    Before we send them to Iraq

    Our voracious thirst for power has made
    Idols out of mortals
    Turned all our gods into clay
    Teenage soldiers into plastic heroes
    Our children into slaves

    While because of
    All damned desires
    Their future hopes betrayed

    Who will suffer under law
    As The State decides our
    Children’s education
    Unless,
    We pay the price?
    Unless they pay the price
    In the long run

    Who will suffer the laws that will keep us all from Dancing?
    Who will suffer the mind of an idiot from Texas who was never really elected?
    Who will suffer to hear the words of a self imposed impotent demi-god?
    Who will suffer the ugly designs for the whole modern world?
    They could never ever truly understand

    But hey,
    At least my stock went up a 1/4 %



    Events at Holy Cross Catholic School North Belfast: Two Sides of Human Nature

    06/19/01
    RUC line up to protect
    A group of Catholic school children
    Holy Cross Girls' Primary School on the Ardoyne Road, North Belfast
    Attacked by
    Protestant stone throwers
    Described as "vicious"

    06/20/01
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School
    In Ardoyne
    Forced to close
    When Protestants from Glenbryn
    Blockaded the entrance of the School
    RUC officers advised children not to enter the school


    06/21/01
    Another blockade of the road to
    Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School
    RUC advised children not to attempt to enter the school
    60 of the school's 230 bravest pupils entered
    Sinn Féin said,
    "It's like America Alabama in the 1960s"



    06/22/01
    Another blockade to the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School
    RUC prevented children from entering
    The front gate
    The pupils entered
    Through grounds of another school



    06/29/01
    Protestant blockade of the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School continued
    RUC officers prevented children from attempting to enter through the front gate


    09/03/01
    Catholic schoolgirls faced protests from Protestants as they attempted to enter Holy Cross Girls' Primary School
    RUC and British soldiers cleared protestors
    Attempting to blockade the school

    Crash barriers erected to
    Allow children to get to school

    Protestants jeered
    Shouted sectarian abuse as
    Children, As young as four escorted by Catholic parents to school

    As children entered the gate Protestants threw bottles stones
    One woman
    A Catholic hit in the face with a bottle

    Most of the pupils
    As young as 4
    Wore proudly the brand-new red uniforms –
    And Fashionable Fear’s wet tears, from Holy Cross Primary School

    A fleet of Catholic-run
    Black taxis ferried them past lines
    Of police
    With helmets and shields
    While many Protestants
    Shouted curses and insults

    The Ulster Defense Association attacked
    Catholic homes in Ardoyne told the owners
    They had to move

    UDA said the British government
    Should build a new school for the Catholics
    In their own area

    In their
    Own Area

    Their Own Area

    "Why was this school ever allowed to be built here in the first place? Protestant children should be allowed to use it instead.”

    Northern Ireland's police vowed to protect Catholic children
    Regardless of what entrance choose they use to enter school

    Red Hand Defenders warning
    Parents and children should stay
    Away from the school on Ardoyne Road

    During,
    The evening widespread disturbances
    As youths attack security force patrols and the RUC



    09/04/01
    50 children
    Together with their parents and Bono,
    Attempted to enter
    The Holy Cross Girls' Primary School
    By the main, hand in hand
    To
    The entrance
    On the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast

    Protestant protestors blocked access
    Shouted abuse
    Threw stones at children

    Forced to turn back from their school
    From the right to be educated

    Even under the eyes
    Of a heavy security force presence
    Early morning secure a route to
    The front door of the school

    RUC officer injured when a blast-bomb
    Thrown from Glenbryn Parade to school grounds



    09/05/01
    Protestants threw blast bombs
    Towards Catholic children attempting
    To enter Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School

    Panic a device exploded
    Four RUC officers injured by the blast
    A woman collapsed from shock

    Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility

    In the evening
    Protestant residents
    Catholic parents
    Held separate meetings
    To discuss the dispute
    And violence


    09/06/01
    Protestants held
    Another protest
    On the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast
    As Catholic children
    Made their way to
    Holy Cross Girls' Primary Catholic School

    Used air horns
    Blew whistles
    Banged metal bin lids
    As the children passed

    The 'Right to Education' group
    Warned of death threats made By Red Hand Defenders
    They would be killed
    If they were seen taking Catholic children to school

    Three men arrested
    As a blast bomb was thrown at
    Police lines
    While Catholic children passed on their way to school

    Two police officers suffer
    Shrapnel wounds
    Others treated
    For minor injuries
    As Violence
    Erupted
    A police dog was hurt in the attack

    Children
    Some as young as four
    Burst into fearful tears
    Parents and teachers rushed them into school
    Through the screaming Protestant enclave

    Secretary of State of Northern Ireland
    Cut short his vacation because of the violence In North Belfast



    09/07/01
    Protestants held a deathlike silent
    Protest turning their backs one at a time
    As Catholic children
    Passed along the road
    Past a security cordon
    To get to Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School


    09/08/01
    Catholic Newington Avenue primary school in North Belfast burned due to an arson attack


    09/10/01 Monday
    Protestants resumed their protest at
    Holy Cross Catholic primary school
    Students began their second week of term
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School
    The scene of Angry
    And abusive demonstrations

    As Catholic parents returned from the school
    Protest turned noisy more abusive
    Protesters used
    Air horns
    Blew whistles
    Banged metal bin lids
    As Catholic parents made
    Their way back the Ardoyne Road
    Protestant protesters shouted "Fenian scum"

    09/11/01
    7:30 am Belfast time
    Protestants demanded a "peace wall" be
    Erected at Ardoyne Road to protect them from Catholic republican reprisals



    9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
    Hijacked jetliners hit the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington.
    A fourth hijacked plane crashes in Pennsylvania.
    Trading on Wall Street is stopped.
    The Federal Aviation Administration halts all operations at the nation's
    airports for the first time.
    U.S. military is placed on high alert.
    President Bush addresses the nation
    Hundreds of New York City firemen and policemen sent to rescue WTC workers are lost when the Twin Towers collapse.

    09/12/01
    Protest at the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School

    Before going into the school
    The children and parents hold a prayer service
    And a minute's silence for the
    Victims of the terrorist attacks in
    The United States on 11 September 2001

    09/13/01
    The protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School followed the pattern of hate

    09/14/01
    Protestant protesters at the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School
    Will call off their protest
    For one day only
    As a mark of respect
    For what happened in America 9/11/01

    09/18/01
    The protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School continues
    The Protestant protest was silent
    As Catholic children and parents
    Entered the school

    Protesters jeered
    Shouted abuse
    Waved flags, held up banners,
    And whistled
    As parents returned from school

    12:00 AM Belfast time
    Belfast United Mosque burned to the ground
    No fire services or police responded until 1:35 am

    For the first time:
    United in one action
    IRA and Ulster Defense Association take responsibility

    09/19/01
    Protestants threaten to step up protest
    Outside Holy Cross Girl’s Catholic primary school
    After eight Protestant men were arrested


    09/20/01
    Protestant protest at
    The Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School continue
    Protesters revert tactic of noise as children passed

    The British High Court
    Banned six men from taking part in the protests at Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School

    Belfast Magistrates ordered the men to stay away from the Holy Cross School


    09/26/01
    Protesters at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School
    Threw fireworks at children returning Home
    From school during the afternoon

    The Red Hand Defenders renewed its threat against parents taking their children to school


    09/28/01
    A concrete block was thrown at a school bus
    In North Belfast
    Seven children were injured
    The bus was taking children to school
    It was attacked at Skegoniel Avenue



    10/09/01
    The protest continued outside the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School
    Fr. Aidan Troy said “he was considering taking legal action to try to end the protest:
    "The weeks of suffering for these small girls were never justified. ...This is no longer a legitimate protest; it is a form of child abuse."

    The cost of this protest reported As having reached £1 million.



    10/10/01
    The Protestant protest at the
    Holy Cross Girls' Catholic Primary School Resumes
    Protesters held a noisy protest
    Threw balloons, filled with urine, at the children

    Ulster Unionist Party, Social Democratic Labour Party said
    “There was no excuse for the on-going protest at the school”

    "Child abuse is being inflicted by protesters”, Northern Ireland Human Rights chief commissioner


    Many of protesters have begun to hide their identity
    And some were wearing masks of characters in horror movies


    10/11/01
    The Presbyterian Church in Ireland calls
    For an end to Protestant protest at the
    Holy Cross Catholic school


    10/14/01
    Fr. Aidan Troy of the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School, called on Protesters to immediately end daily protest
    At the school

    Fr. Troy speaking from his homily during
    Sunday mass
    “The only other country where girls are prevented from having an education is Afghanistan”


    10/15/01
    Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, said:
    "The treatment of these children is inhumane and their right to effective education is being affected."


    10/17/01
    Loyalist paramilitaries exploded a bomb
    Close to where children were returning from the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School
    The bomb had been placed at a house on Alliance Avenue
    It exploded at 3.10PM
    Causing extensive damage
    School children in "shock"

    Children had just completed the afternoon
    From Holy Cross
    When the explosion occurred


    10/25/01
    In contrast to angry scenes earlier this week, the morning's protest passed without incident, demonstrators remaining eerily silent, most with their backs turned

    The same day, the anniversary of the Shankill bombing -Red Hand Defenders issued a threat against parents participating in the school run


    10/26/01
    A British Army soldier seriously injured when
    Protestant paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at soldiers at 9.00pm

    The RUC claimed the soldiers had been lured
    To an ambush
    Ulster Defense Association was responsible Several RUC officers were also injured

    Protestant Loyalists had tried to block the road and prevent parents and children from gaining access to the school




    11/05/01
    Loyalist protesters at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School reached an "understanding"
    With the Police Service of Northern Ireland
    As a result of which the police were not wearing full riot gear when protest took place
    A representative of Catholic parents on the Right to Education Group said: "The police should have sat down with both sides to talk about this"

    11/07/01

    The mother of a child
    Attending the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School began legal proceedings in the High Court against Secretary of State of Northern Ireland, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland

    The mother said that the police had not given adequate protection to her daughter and had failed to identify, arrest, or prosecute protesters, who broke the law in full public view

    Archbishop Tutu, from South Africa
    Met parents and children at Holy Cross School
    Bishop Tutu also met those involved in protest

    11/09/01
    Protesters called off their blockade at the
    Holy Child Girls Primary School for one day

    Some students of the school-
    sat for their "11-plus" transfer examination. Mary McAleese, President of the Republic Called for a complete end to protest

    Catholic parents and children today took an alternative route to school after Protestants called off their protest

    Instead of walking up the Ardoyne Road, Pupils sitting their 11-plus exam went in By a back entrance

    The move provoked dismay among the
    Protestant Glenbryn Estate
    Who had called a one-day suspension
    To the 10-week picket Because of the crucial test

    Residents' spokesman said:
    "Walking up the Crumlin Road is them saying we will not accept your charity. It's childish."


    11/12/01
    There was a change in the policing tactics Instead of
    gathering together all the Catholic parents and children and escorting them as a group
    The Police Service of Northern Ireland Specified a time period in which parents
    Could walk to the school

    Approximately 400 police officers
    One in eight of the total in Belfast
    Were present to ensure the children were able to get to school

    The day's operation cost over £100,000

    Catholic parents complained
    The new police tactics left them more exposed to protesters
    Police arrested a nationalist who was taking a video of Loyalist protesters


    11/15/01
    The Holy Cross school run once again passed off
    peacefully Catholic parents walked their children
    To class in small groups
    A heavy security presence ensured protesters in the Ardoyne district remained quiet

    The stand-off in its 11th week, has cost more than 3 million pounds


    11/19/01
    The Catholic father of a girl attending the Holy Cross School
    Begun a hunger-strike
    The man said he felt so frustrated by the protest at the school
    He was refusing food in an attempt to end the blockade


    11/23/01
    The Protestant residents of the Glenbryn area announced the protest at the Holy Cross School would be "suspended".

    Approximately 500 people attended the rally in the centre of Belfast in support of the pupils of Holy Cross School.
    .

    11/26/01
    There was no Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. Catholic children and their parents were able to make their way to the school with a very much reduced security force presence

    01/09/02
    "we could be back to square one again".

    To ensure the safety of the pupils, they were taken away from the school by bus rather than run the gauntlet of hatred

    Sinn Fein said
    Protestant loyalists were deliberately trying to raise sectarian tensions by verbally and physically abusing parents and children at Holy Cross

    Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland Education Minister,

    "I am profoundly disappointed at today's developments and I would urge local political and community representatives to engage in an honest dialogue to prevent further escalation and to resolve this situation."

    Meanwhile, a schoolboy was being treated in hospital after the school bus on which he was being taken home was attacked as it passed through North Belfast.

    The youngster, from the Boy's Model School in Belfast, suffered injuries when the bus was attacked at a roundabout in the Ardoyne




    01/10/02
    Violence spread in North Belfast today
    17 vehicles were attacked in a school car park

    They were damaged by four men who smashed windscreens and doors in the grounds of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School

    Shocked parents claimed their children were in hysterics and had to be taken home.

    Petrol and acid bombs as well as bricks, bottles and fireworks were thrown.

    The Holy Cross school was closed today as staff held talks to decide when classes should re-open, but the attack at the neighboring school confirmed fears that the disturbances will
    Spread

    Meanwhile Protestant loyalists attacked cars at the Catholic Lady of Mercy Secondary School in the Protestant Ballysillam
    North Belfast.

    Sinn Fein North Belfast Assembly member said
    The attack on the secondary school was an obvious attempt by loyalists to escalate the violence.

    "We need to calm the situation down and try to draw back from this. I assume that loyalists have done it and I do think that in the middle of all this and throughout last year sections of loyalism are intent on attacking Catholics."

    "People need reassurance whatever happened yesterday that we are not into a blockade situation. That question needs to be answered for people both in the Protestant and Catholic communities,"

    01/11/02
    Tensions eased in North Belfast as the children of the Holy Cross Primary School returned to class without any protests by loyalists.

    A number of other schools, Protestant and Catholic, in north Belfast which were forced to close early because of the disturbances also re-opened on time today.

    Right to Education Group, welcomed the absence of a protest and said this could do much to help restore order on the streets

    01/12/02
    A Catholic postal worker was shot dead as he arrived for work at a sorting office on the northern outskirts of Belfast

    The murder was claimed by the Red Hand Defenders

    An anonymous telephone caller, purporting to represent Red Hand Defenders, warned of action.

    Representatives of one teachers' union also warned of possible strike action unless the trouble which forced the closure of the
    Holy Cross School ended

    Classes were also halted at a number of other schools in the area because of fears for the pupils' safety.

    01/14/02
    Martin McGuinness, the Northern Ireland Education Minister, demanded the immediate lifting of the loyalist death threats against staff at Catholic schools in Belfast.

    The minister, who had talks with unions and management from the education sector, said that schools and all those associated with them must be regarded as sacred.

    At the Catholic Holy Cross primary school a notice of another world in times past was pasted to the front door greeting parents collecting their daughters today

    "Ardoyne is one of the few places in the city where sanity reigns, and where Protestant and Catholic live in mutual trust and confidence", it said.

    It was a quote taken from Belfast, An Illustrated History, as reported by the Irish News on 19.07 1935


    Teachers across North Belfast were living in fear but they went to school as normal despite the threat by the Red Hand Defenders that teachers and all staff working in Catholic schools were "legitimate" targets" from today.

    An armored police Land Rover stood guard in the playground beside the front gates.

    Engineers finished installing CCTV camera's around the perimeter of the 600 pupil school as the day progressed.

    01/13/02
    Protestant Loyalists carried out arson attacks on St Bride's Primary School in south Belfast and on St Patrick's High School in Lisburn.
    Both schools suffered substantial damage.



    01/14/02
    Nearly 750 "commandos" took up position around
    Catholic schools in north Belfast. The move came in response to attacks on the schools, to the RHD/UDA/UFF threat against staff at Catholic schools, and to the murder of Daniel McColgan.


    01/16/02
    Face-to-face talks were held in north Belfast between Holy Cross parents and Glenbryn residents in a bid to find a way forward after serious rioting the previous week. The parents said that the fact that the two sides were meeting face-to-face was a positive move.

    The Department of Health announced a pay out of £100,000 to develop trauma-counseling services in north Belfast's interface areas.


    01/28/02
    A trip to the west of Ireland will play an important part in the "healing process" for the girls of Belfast's Holy Cross Primary School who suffered at the hands of protesters.

    The Catholic youngsters have been invited to County Galway at the expense of a hotelier who has promised to show them the better side of human nature

  2. #2
    High Falutin' Demeter'sDauter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I love all 3 of these pieces; they surround you with the city and put you square in the middle of it. Wonderful, wonderful work!

  3. #3
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    I wish there had been a lot more editorial work on these. As it is, it felt as if there hadn't been any. I confess that even part-way through the first one I stopped paying close attention, images racing by as if I were on a tourist bus exceeding the speed limit. The art of poetry or fiction lies as much in the rewriting as in the writing itself.

  4. #4
    Greymure
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    I agree with you editing is important, however my intention with Gaudi was to write a poem which reflects the spirit of Gaudi and capture the expansiveness of Barceleona.

  5. #5
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greymure View Post
    I agree with you editing is important, however my intention with Gaudi was to write a poem which reflects the spirit of Gaudi and capture the expansiveness of Barceleona.
    I should apologize then because I have never been in the presence of a Gaudi-designed structure but I am not attracted to what I have seen in photos of any of them.

  6. #6
    Greymure
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    In person they are incredible. Imagine a building designed to never be finished they keep working on it and it continues to change.

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