FABFICTION/ POETRY PAGE

 

WELCOME TO THE FABFICTION AND POETRY PAGE

This is the page where ArtiPeeps introduces you to some great new and established writers of poetry and prose, and a little about who they are and why they write. If you’d like to contribute do get in contact via the comment box or via @Artipeep. We’d be glad to hear from you. The more the merrier! Oh, yes, and feedback is always welcome.

FEATURED WRITERS AND POETS:

KATE GARRETT, TIFFANY COFFMAN, KARIN HEYER, SUSAN O’REILLY, SOHBET, KARA MONTEREY,  DAWN, POETRYNOVICE

CHARLIE ELIOT WINTERS, GARRETT ASHE

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KATE GARRETT:

Kate Garrett was born in Cincinnati, Ohio thirtysomething years ago, but after 13 years in the UK is proud to be an “honorary Yorkshire lass”. She has been published in Now Then Magazine, participated in 21 Poets for Sheffield as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Reading and Writing 2012, and is a regular on the Sheffield spoken word scene. Kate is a mum of three boys, and currently a BA Creative Writing student at Sheffield Hallam University.

  Why I write:

I write because it’s necessary. It’s what I’ve always done: even before I understood written language, I was telling stories verbally and in crayon drawings. My poetry is my attempt to combine a passion for the sight and sound of words with moments that stick with me, but might otherwise be lost. My flash fiction is usually an expression of things that are usually left unsaid within human relationships. I can’t separate life and writing. 

 kategarrett.jux.com

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Starfish

Every day I sit on the rocks and wait for the tide to come in and chase me inland. Clara says it’s because of the stars and where they were when I was born. Today she starts again, before I’ve even gone.

I think you’re actually a crab, Sunny. You skulk around at the edge of the water looking interesting, then you pinch people when they try to touch you.

She’s got a point, but I argue anyway. Why do you play with mud and fire, Clara, if you’re supposed to be a fish, little mermaid? Why not come down to the beach with me and let the tide carry you off?

She ignores my bite, and says working with mud and fire keeps her balanced, that when she creates with these elements she feels more complete. But she and I are soul sisters, she says. The moon rules the tides and it’s the reason I’m a moody bitch, and she wishes she would have been born on Neptune instead of Earth. I’m inclined to agree with the last bit. She says water is our intuition and inspiration.

I say, there’s water in the toilet, too, Clara, but it doesn’t inspire me. I pee in it. She says not to be facetious.

Clara’s new age ramblings are too convenient. I want to feel the things she feels, but like she says, I’m there on the edge between the tide and the rocks all the time, where everything’s in motion and changing. I’m studying the life in the between places, lives that non-biologists forget about. The crabs, the starfish, the gannets. It’s better than being in a box. If you put things in a box, they die. There’s no air.

So I say, all your star sign rubbish is a big airless fucking box, like any other social system.

Do you want to suffocate me?

She waves me away. Lighten up, crabby girl. I want to throw one of her hippie clay pots at her head.

Instead I tell her fish stink, and let the swinging screen door push me down to the water.

Stopping at a tide pool, I lie down at the edge and gaze in. Two little velvet swimming crabs scuttle around one another, retreating under stones, only to meet again and eye each other sideways. Watching them through the surface of the water is like Clara’s mystical mirror-scrying, only I see the past instead of the future. I see Clara embracing me for the first time, when we never had a row because she was new and soft and interesting, and I’d never been in love with a girl before. I can hear her cooing as her blonde waves blanket my shoulder, mingling with my own dull, pale brown hair as we sprawl on our backs on the sand, arms and legs entwined.

We used to see the same sun and moon as they changed places, after hours of salty kisses, and the sea foam caressing our feet as we dreamed out loud together.

The crabs are still sizing each other up. They’re so awkward, eyes on stalks and their own comfortable clumsiness. But even these crabs find lovers and manage to get along, at least long enough to fertilise the eggs and look after the family.

But I don’t want a family. I only want the sand and the rocks and the edge of the sea, and the little lives within that space, and Clara. Children are for other women, and they’re doing too much for the population already. Clara is one of those women. She wants a baby.

In the rock pool, a few tiny butterfish swim together. Their movements are smooth. They cut between the crabs and the crabs move back, dubious over these spotted interlopers. The fish are graceful, part of the water, accepting of the wary crabs, and the starfish clinging to the rocks at the bottom, accepting the microcosm contained in this pool. Awareness is unnecessary for these fish; they are experts at just being.

I lay flat, and it occurs to me the horizon is the colour of syrah rosé, and some part of me would like to be sharing a bottle with Clara. But wine loosens tongues, and she’d want to talk about things, and I’d want to hide with the velvet swimming crabs, peeking out with nervous red eyes. But not before pinching out at her, and without knowing why.

Darker violet encroaches on the sky directly above me as the sun changes places with the full moon. The tide is returning.

Kate Garrett © 2012

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TIFFANY COFFMAN

http://tlcoff.tumblr.com/

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The In-tent of Routine

My poetry is so harmed as a storm moves in, and I’m forced to crawl into the day pulling ceilings over my head, blocking my creative wind.
I cannibalized meaty words from days gone past to sustain myself through squared off avalanches of white blistering walls pressing up against my crown.
And yes, this intent works against me as I’m protected from primal sounds that would otherwise raise my skin into the unfolding of God and heaven and hell,
at which time I would compose in stone the whispers of ancestors past who rhythmically swim in my head in synchronized lines
canticling  for me to waste the day and bust the ceiling atop my head, pushing rubble into rounds that fire at the routine in it all.
Then with powder burned hands I’d grab kite-less string letting creative wind transcend and knock me back into poetic arms
out of harm’s way from a lacking day to let the welcomed storm open mouth wide for drops of stimulation to quench my parched words.

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KARIN HEYER

I was born on the 4th of November 1937, just one day before Gun-powder Day! So, I celebrated my entrance with a BANG, yet far away from England then, in fact, in Leipzig, Germany. After the end of the Second World War, Leipzig in Saxony became part of East-Germany, which I left, illegally, in 1953. My family and I settled in West-Berlin, where I went to High-School, when finished there I left Berlin for Cambridge, England. I was a student of English for a while, took a BA Honours Degree in European Thought and Literature and English History at Anglia Polytechnic University, where I also took a MA in Women’s Studies with a Dissertation on German History. I became a teacher of the German Language,Literature and History during my working life. I have now retired from teaching and find myself writing, reading and enjoying life to the full.

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Here’s an audio version of Karin reading her short story engaging with the ramifications of having personally lived through the second world war.  

You can find the written version below:

Fragments of Inheritance

standing in the shadow of Hitler

born 1937

condemned 1939, just two years old

attempting redemption 1983

living for the evidence of remembrance 1995

She was born with a heavy inheritance. She felt her moon-baked icy heart wanting to melt

the shock of recognition of deeds done between 1939 – 1945. That scar rested upon her. This bloody war weighed on her creating a violent hatred of war within her heart. This in turn nurtured a deep love of peace, and fueled her need to work for reconciliation between the two nations she most cherished, England and Germany.

Now, she lives in England.

It was a splendid, warm early spring morning when she looked around her sun-lit room, a milky way of memories rushing through her: her books standing upright as a witness of times gone by, like friends in certain hours of need; a still candle of remembrance burning; a piece of rock , insignificant to look at, but it is a tiny part of ‘The Berlin Wall’ coming down in 1989, a precious symbol of an irrepressible need for freedom. This forceful voice of resistance still echoed in her mind. ‘ Totalitarianism can only be defeated if many people unite and fight against it.’ The word-call still had meaning.

Much courage rushed through Europe and Germany on that day she never thought she would ever see. The 9th November 1989. Freedom had triumphed, ‘The Wall’ had fallen. The Berlin-Wall was a sight of joy. She witnessed the coming together of people who had been visibly forced apart for 28 years. These amazing days had an almost dream-like quality.

She suddenly believes in miracles! Leipzig, too, where she was born, had become an active instrument in the struggle for freedom. The ‘Monday Demonstrations’, which had began in September continue. The door of the ‘Nikolai Church’ long open to the people of Leipzig before the heated autumn days of 1989 had become the symbol for peaceful gathering of men and women. This House of God was: open for all After many years of oppression it was possible to say: we want free elections; we are the instruments of peace; we are standing here; down with the Stasi; we are the people; the ‘Wall’ must go. It was in Leipzig where history was turned up-side down. And it all happened peacefully. ‘I write and think as a woman against war, I write and think as a woman for peace’. The word-call still had meaning.

Yes, she remembered it all so well, these heady days. She was now able to return to the place where she was born without visas or other difficulties.

**

She is now sitting in a car moving forwards, being driven from a small town, Pottenstein in West-Germany, to Leipzig in the former East-Germany. The landscape near the industrial town Karl-Marx-Stadt, now Chemnitz again was grey, the fields with their products are covered by a faint, shadowy substance, which came from factories, where no concerns for the environment reigned. The smell of the ‘Trabi’, with its two-stroke engine hung in the air, but no Stasidogs were barking. She could not believe that this was real, but it was! There grew an awareness of time having stood still, arrested under a regime that thousands of people had fled from in the hope of finding a better life, like she had done. As a young girl she had left Leipzig illegally from East-Germany to West-Berlin, and later, moved on for England, off to Cambridge.

Now she returned to Leipzig after an absence of 34years. She is on her way to visit a friend to whom she only had written or sent parcels at Christmas-time, because that was all she could do. The car turned a corner, here she was: Karl-Liebknecht-Srasse, 91, Leipzig, Germany, we are one country again. One country. East-Germany had seized to exist, but the houses and the ruins told a different story. Hitler’s legacy was still visible here and she recalled the horrors of war, the Holocaust, the destruction of men, women and children of all races, beliefs and talents, whose lives she mourned.

This was not a country of which she could be proud.

She greeted her friend with a full heart. She talked, but she was burning to see the centre of the city again. She wanted to discover her childhood at will. She wanted to meet the long-buried other. She walked along the streets, where she knew she had experienced this architecture before, saw the trams rattling along, ‘kling’, ‘kling’. She does not take a tram, she savours the walk, she fathoms the atmosphere, slowly reaching the centre of her birthplace. She stands bemused on the Karl-Marx-Platz, the clock is on the hour, sombre bells suddenly sound, hit her ear: the bell-ringers strike the hour. Back, back, backwards I go. I stood here before! I have heard these bells long ago. Yes, when I was little, just seven years old, 1944. I remember this song, this melody of bells. I glide backwards into my past. It was war then, when peoples purple blood burst, bells weep, where she learned the meaning of ‘Angst’.

And there she was once again amidst a familiar sound-scape and heavy inheritance, facing her fears still living and breathing in the Now, still vivid, visceral…

…and all the memories and circumstance melted through once again…

Cellars of Fear

This 4. December 1944, NIGHT, sounds of sirens, get the children, house shaking, lights fade, people running into cellars, trying to save their lives.

I choke because of smoke in the cellar, the cellar an awesome place, huge pipes run through it, modern technology – a central heating system, it could burst.

It is utter darkness, will I get out of this cauldron of misery seven years old, having lost a just war against Hitler when I was born in 1937. Evil starting under the guise of progress in 1939.

I am still speechless now in 1995, thinking of cruelty, the holocaust, suffering that need not be.

My memories of war are horrific: stifling smoke in the cellar, my granny-aged, my baby-sister in pram not conceiving this lunacy or innocence conceiving lunacy, my mother trying to rescue some possessions from our home above burning. An old man – not fit for fighting in the war came to our cellar. He took me into his arms, carried me covered with a wet sack through the burning streets of Leipzig. All streets around us burning houses, full of lives trying to survive. Flying burning beams fell beside our distracted heads seeking safety in a street blocks away which did not burn yet. No thought of my mother, sister, grandmother, just being saved for some saner place in this burning inferno. My mother, baby-sister, grandmother were saved the same way.

All I can remember are cellars of fear, but escaping into what? What kind of life could there be after that.

Yes, what life? This burning inferno was deeply buried into her subconscious. But now she must live forwards. A sun-beam struck her, today there was a blue, kind sky above her, the dominant sky of the Fens of East-Anglia, where she now lived.

**

She needed distraction from her thoughts. She chose to go to the City of Ely and visit Ely Cathedral. Along the winding road to this ancient place, suddenly, this magical building rises out of the flat landscape on the right-hand side and after a while the road bends and then strangely the cathedral appears to be on the other side of the road!!! There she is, Ely Cathedral, story of survival, beautiful and wise. She enters with a serious heart, it is Remembrance Day. She walks to the Octagon, turns left into the heart of the place reaching the ‘Showcases of Remembrance’, where on this day the letter ‘M’ mourns the lives of soldiers who lost their lives in WW2.

She lights a candle and remembers them.

living for the evidence of remembrance 1995

mourning: the dead

madness of persecution

lunacy of war

the irreparable destruction of children in war

disrespect for the preciousness of human

life of all kind

forgive or not forgive

but tell your story of that dark time

for the sake of time to come.

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SUSAN O’REILLY 

I’m Susan O’Reilly, 44, from Ireland . I only started writing last April, and its my new hobby which I now love. My 1st poem won the photographer for my wedding a great saving. I’m a bit of a technophobe so blogs, websites etc (fear) haven’t a clue but I’m trying to learn. My poems are random and wrote fast so I’m often shocked by what I’ve written, I hope you like my poems, any feedback good or bad appreciated.’

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I write as I think

 

I write as I think

swim or sink

good days and bad

happy or sad

 

I write when I can’t talk

when I wanna run, but can’t walk

Releases inner pressure

a cossetted treasure

 

I write when I want to cry

On my soul I pry

my pen speaks its feeling

I’m often left reeling

 

I write because I have to

especially when feeling blue

its a salve to my being

provides emotional healing

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SOHBET


Sohbet is my twitter handle and a sufi word that roughly translates to, anomalous colloquy between kindred spirits. It also implies deep listening and speaking from the heart. I am a designer by trade and artist by disposition. For over 17 years, I have employed my design skills predominantly in three affiliated fields – information graphics, web design/development and currently, instructional design. I was born in a small state in India called Goa and 14 years ago had an opportunity to move to United States of America and change the trajectory of my life. I have spiritual temperament and for hobby, I belly dance and travel.

Why i write 

English is not my primary language and I recognized pretty quickly that in order to be successful in life (personally and professionally) I was going to have to hone in on my communication skills (and English). So I devoured as many articles, books, books on tape, seminars etc. as I could, to improve my written as well as speaking abilities. I am continually looking for new avenues to polish my skills. This is one reason I write.

 

I was also scouting for a channel to express creatively and landed on twitter by curiosity. Here, poets and writers inspired me, I was in awe of their ability to perform magic with words. When I truly understood the power of words to influence people, their emotions (and possibly affecting change), I realized it was a perfectly natural medium for me to paint with. Words have similar properties as of paint — color, tint, shade, shine, texture, viscosity etc. In addition, words have shapes and ambience. Painting (with words) but without mess in the sink or huge expenses, this is second reason I write. 

 

Finally, publishing a book is a line item on my bucket list. I figured, I needed lots of practice before then. This is another reason I write.

http://monkeyswritingshakespeare.wordpress.com/

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Missing Donna Paola

there
aren’t any old
fashioned
bakeries in this city
not like the ones
in my home town
where you buy
2¢ worth of pao,
and receive
10$s worth of wisdom
and 20$s worth
of rumors

i never
kept tabs
on whose
daughter
slept with
which dog,
but tias
fingers
told stories.
melancholy
stories.

her pao
always had
just the right
amount of salt
and a bite.

she craved a child,
so she couldn’t
have one.
(some unwritten rule.
don’t i know it now.)
then one day, she
adopted a son.
he just waited for
her to die,
so he could sell the
bakery. his fast track
to riches (and he did).


this city is full
of pale pasty loaves of
plasticky bagfullness,
perfectly sliced
slices of ostentatious
and no character.

i want a pao,
the kind that
counters your
chaw.

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KARA MONTEREY

Kara M Poetrya writer living in Indianapolis, Indiana with a great interest in books, films, music, sports, and a million other things!

 

http://www.karampoetry.blogspot.co.uk/

Check out Kara’s poem ‘CHANGING FOR SOMEONE’ HERE

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DAWN

dawnbytheriver

 [Bio coming soon]

http://memoirsofateenagemum.com/

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Other women’s men

Always in love with the men of other women
sitting in a stranger’s house
Surrounded by floral fabrics and a tidy kitchen
Cushions everywhere
Chosen by her
Unlike me who was chosen by him

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POETRYNOVICE

PoetryNovicePoetryNovice, or John as his family know him, grew up in south-west England some 40 years ago yet has spent over half of these in Scotland, Italy and presently Southeast England.  Music has always held a strong attraction to him and it was on a summer break in 2012 that lyrics began being committed to paper.  However the bulk of John’s scratchings were of a poetic nature and the PoetryNovice blog was ‘born’ soon after.  Support came from other writers on Twitter – Greg ‘Frenzy’ Mackie and Tiffany Colman – and Louise Hastings of Phases of the Moon fame, kindly guest blogged John’s ‘After the rain’ piece in September 2012 on her Wings over Water site; this piece remains his most viewed poem.  Still awaiting other ‘awards’ (tongue in cheek).

 Many pieces are written swiftly (often as part of a challenge of Greg et al) although more recent pieces are having a bit more TLC applied.  That said, John’s passion still takes him back to lyric writing and he is searching for a songwriter to co-write with.

 John remains happy to let readers decide if he should “drop the novice” and simply desires that those who take the time to view his blog enjoy his work.

 why I write:

A passion for music and lyrics crashed into poetry when ‘trying to hard’ to create verses and choruses.  Getting the balance back now, yet I find writing helps make me a happier and calmer soul and hopefully creative too.  I like to be challenged and improving my writing and descriptive prose brings a sense of achievement.

http://poetrynovice.blogspot.co.uk/

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Pick ME up 

A brighter day in many ways

Time to figure out what next

Kind words that tear at the heart

Support that confuses the mind

Values and to be valued, neither unique or isolated

Confidence and pride, once more gaining momentum

Finding footholds in the shell of wreckage
A new day, a rinsed dawn, eyes open.

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CHARLIE ELIOT WINTERS

bowtie- Charlie Eliot WintersMr. Winters is a self-professed gentleman of leisure residing in New York.  Though he possesses a couple of unrelated degrees, he greatly enjoys writing poetry and fiction.  He is currently working on a collection of poems and maintains the goal of eventual publication.  
 
Why I Write
 
genuinely enjoy writing and find it cathartic and essential to my well being.  Furthermore, I write because I am entirely incapable of expressing myself through interpretive dance.  I have hospital records to prove it.

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In a City Long Since Passed

 
would you be the sleep to my long sleepless nights –
the nights I only pretend to sleep
I would be the waking jolt to your nightmares
the resolution to your delusions
would you be the frost to my grass –
hold me cold, rigid, entranced
the apathy to my decay
the defining line between incubi and affection
just beyond our bed
I would be the grip to your addiction
the strain to comprehend
the danger in your veins
what you read, what you write,
how you hear my name –
would you be my thunderclap
my halfway house
my arctic tundra ice
my fallout shelter ten feet down
I would be your sonic boom
the subtle shake you just can’t sleep through
gum stuck to your shoe
adhering you to the here and now
for a day or so
then let you go –
would you be the filament
to my neon glow
the white-hot light at closing time
the reason to tug at my seams
the moonlit solution to riddled nights –
I would be the brushstroke to your blank space
a natural sequence to chemical events
the aromatic ring
drawing you in

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GARRETT ASHE


Garrett Ashe

Garrett Ashe is a recent college graduate living just outside the gridlock of Washington D.C. and focused on pursuing a passion for writing while weathering the obligation of surviving. With a background in Psychology and English, Garrett possesses a strong affinity for creative thought and expression.  He is a long-time writer and novice blogger, with a newly established goal of creating one new piece of short fiction every week. Garrett is currently working on his first full-length novel.

Why I write:

I enjoy creating fiction and I have a fervent passion for honest expression. But I do not write simply because I want to write; I write because I must. I have found that the very same fire that impels me to write, singes my mind and scorches my soul if I do not. I write to stop the burning.

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The other side of a Fairy Tale…

The Little Glass Lie

It’s your choice: You could have some invisible know-it-all up in the clouds tell you the story, or you could have it told by plain me– and I don’t much care which.

I had my eye on her my whole life, so I know she wasn’t treated badly as they say.  Sure, at times she quarreled with her step-mother, but the arguments were mostly harmless and mostly her fault.  She had the temperament of one who became too pretty too early in life, and that’s where most of the contention came from. I used to worship her from my little house on the other side of the old dusty road, and sometimes, in secret, from a little patch of butterfly bushes below her window. She had all the splendor of a delicate rose, but she also embodied the stinging bite of the hidden thorns hiding along its stem. I didn’t loathe her thorny disposition though. She was icy, and to me that made her all the more gorgeous. She was truly, truly gorgeous.  That is the one thing they get right when they tell the story.

She always told it that she wasn’t noticed enough by her father and stepsisters. I don’t know that there’s any truth in that. I don’t think that there was a parent, sibling, or soul in the entire world who could have satisfied her thirst for attention– certainly not a poor lad like me. Nevertheless, the time I spent keeping her under my eye was matched only by the time I spent toiling to gain a glance from hers. I made things for her. Fine things. I made her necklaces, bracelets, the most beautiful clothing I could afford. One night, I took to making a very special gift. I crafted for her the finest shoe that I had ever built, a slipper made of the softest squirrel fur.

Clear, cold glass would have been more fitting.  It was the biggest project I had ever undertaken. I labored tirelessly over those slippers. Days passed. Weeks and months went by when I never saw more sunlight than could be glimpsed through my dirt-blotched window. My eyes became red and tired, my hands arthritic and blistered, but nothing less than perfection would do for her– my wintry passion, my secret love. I :worked on, night after sleepless night, sewing and stitching with unmatched precision, hammering and needling until my fingers were raw and chafed. The string’s endless looping seemed to lace fabric and time together into one infinite and timeless undertaking. There is no counting the hours that passed. But I finished the slippers just in time for the big ball.

I had never delivered my gifts to her personally; it had always been a note on her doorstep, signed with my best penmanship. This night, I brought myself with the slippers. Her stepmother called for her when I came to the house, and I was weak with anxiety by the time she glided into the doorway.  The memory of her beauty is etched forever into my mind.  Golden hair. Golden skin. And a silver voice.

Hello.”

I could not find the language to tell her why I was there at her door. I held out my hands.

T-These are for you.”

She looked at me blankly.

I made them.  I am the boy from the notes on your doorstep.”

She took the shoes. She slowly closed the door, without so much as a thank you.

Somewhere I heard that she married a prince whom she met that night. I had my eye on her my whole life, and she was wisped away in an instant.  I harbor no rancor or resentment towards her over her heart; I never presumed to be loved by one so fine as her. But I did make those slippers. Recognition of a man’s labor should never be begrudged him. A man should never be robbed of his accomplishments, especially not by a Fairy Godmother. I made those slippers, and I made them with my own hardened hands.

That invisible voice that told you the lie- she invented it. That’s her silver voice. You can believe it or not.  It’s your choice– and I don’t much care which.

© 2012 Garrett Ashe

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