Monday, September 30, 2013

LIFE OF A POET - BRIAN MILLER

Kids, just as I promised, we are featuring a very special poet today. Brian Miller, of Waystation One, who is also one of the admins at the popular dVerse Poets Pub, agreed to chat with us, and I am so stoked. Brian is low-key and never toots his own horn, but you cant travel around the poetry circuit without coming across his encouraging, positive and supportive messages everywhere. The man has a very big heart. I thought it would be nice for our members to get to know him a little better.



P.U.: Brian, I’m so thrilled to be interviewing you!! (What a total scoop.)Would you set the scene for us? I know you live on the East Coast, but what general area, and do you live an urban or rural lifestyle? 




Brian: smiles. you would think by some of my writing that I live in the city. I do love the city, but I live on a little over an acre at the base of a mountain just outside of Lynchburg, VA---the other irony being that Lynchburg is quite conservative, and I am not.


Lynchburg by flickriver.com

P.U.: You write so wonderfully about your wife and two boys, who obviously mean the world to you. We all LOVE the poems that are your conversations with your sons. How did you and your wife meet and how long ago was it?

Brian: my wife and I met in college in 1993. it snowed the night we met. i had recently been to the hospital for an anxiety attack (the only one I have ever had) spurred on by running myself down with a very unhealthy lifestyle. i was sober. she walked through the door as the date of one of my better friends in college. i turned to the friend sitting with me on the couch and told him that I was going to marry her. I never had thoughts like that before so I was as surprised as he. by night's end I had her number in orange colored pencil on an old receipt.

I did not even need it. I ran into her at lunch the next day and the rest is history. smiles.


P.U.: Sigh. How lovely. Where did you grow up, Brian?

Brian: i grew up in Roanoke, VA and spent most of my teen years trying to escape. we grew up on a hill surrounded by woods and extended family. the woods were my refuge and we would travel for miles in those woods as a kid. my first best friend was a hound dog. most of those woods were destroyed putting in a beer distribution plant.

P.U.: Sad to lose those childhood haunts. Were you exposed to poetry as a child? Was there  a moment, when a poem or a book had such an impact on you, you said to yourself: “I want to do that!”?

Brian: my mom was a school teacher, 5th grade. but I don’t remember poetry until college. I had two poetry books---the complete works of Poe and American Night by Morrison. in high school I did write songs and play in a garage band, so you could say that was my first flirt with poetry without really calling it that. in college I wrote a handful of verse in a notebook and then did not write it again until 4 years ago.

truthfully the only reason I started writing poetry is because another blogger, poetikat, challenged me to write a poem as she enjoyed my prose.

as to a book that really shaped me or my poetry, it was probably Spoken Word Revolution…an anthology of spoken word and slam poetry. it exposed me to another side of poetry and I began to understand how words sounded together to provide rhythm to a story.



P.U.: Brian, you have the most beautiful family! As you are now a teacher, when you look back, was there a teacher who inspired you, or whom you admired and think about now that you are the one standing at the front of the class? I know you work in special ed. Tell us a bit about that,  if you like. What do you most hope the kids in your classes will take away with them?

Brian: Oh yes. mrs. Callahan was my English teacher in 9th and 12th grades. she was a crush too. ha. and it was not because she was particularly hot, but because of her mind and because she believed in me. she pushed me to write. back then it was short story and fiction that I wrote.

it’s funny I never really thought about being a teacher. I love what I do, but it is just the texture for a greater mission. I have a huge passion for teens. it was the hardest time of life for me and where I made some really poor decisions based on the emotions that I was unable to really understand. working with teens and kids brings me a lot of satisfaction. I love to help them see things that I was missing and help them live through it you know.

P.U.: What is the hardest thing about being a teacher? And the best?

Brian: the kids will break your heart and make decisions that you can not control or save them from. I lost several students last year to two car wrecks. one was a boy that I shared a bit of my lunch with every day. he was always hungry so I always saved him something and we would sit together and talk.

the best is when the light bulb goes off and a kid gets it. they may not even notice it, though I try to point it out to them. and celebrate it with them.

P.U.: Your students are lucky to have you, Brian. In your writing you reveal you left a six figure income for a life in the ministry, followed by teaching and counseling.  (This sounds like a really significant life choice and, from what I know of you, it makes TOTAL sense. You cant put a price on meaningful work that makes a difference.)

Brian: smiles. it is part of my story for sure. I lived very comfortably once upon a time. I was the golden child of business. in seven years I went from working the front desk in a local office to working directly for the Senior Vice president and being in charge of training across north America. I made 6 figures. I travelled all over the country.

the last year i was doing it I had a strong sense that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing. I ran from it for some time and then a pastor called me on it. he had the same feeling about me and over lunch one day I decided to quit my job and start working with kids.


Tara

it was dramatic. I took a 70K+ cut in pay, but we never went hungry. I would do it again. ministry lasted about 5 years until I lost sight of that ultimate mission and passion—working with kids. when I got away from that, it dried up.

I went into counseling then and caring for kids and families and then last year on to being a teacher. the biggest difference to me is the feeling of being a part of something bigger. and something that will touch lives much more than selling money and collecting payments. maybe that is a passion for someone. I am where I need to be.

P.U.: Awesome, Brian. On behalf of the entire poetry blogging community, I want to thank and acknowledge you for how you somehow manage to comment on everyone, everywhere with such warm and encouraging comments, while running the wonderful and busy dVerse Poets Pub, working full time and being a great dad and husband. We all wonder: how do you do it? (However you manage it, we so appreciate you, Brian.  You are a man with a very big heart.)

Brian: I outsource to a call center in india.

ok, just kidding. that is what I told Claudia a few years ago. haha. I manage. I do it here and there, not all at once. I will say I don’t comment on everyone anymore. ha. maybe one time I did but I have trimmed back a bit because of balance.

I would love to encourage everyone. you never know who your words will touch, you know. again it is seeing the light go on in poets/people. if they are willing to put their heart out there and take that risk I want to encourage them.

I def don’t expect people to comment on everyone, but there are those that just drop a link and run. often I will say something to them to see if there is a reason. if they don’t respond and keep just linking or not responding, those are usually the ones that I let go and don’t visit. they are making a decision and so I am making one as well.

P.U.: Well said, Brian. When did you seriously  begin to write?  When did you first know: “I am a writer”?

Brian: I have known I was a writer for a long time. a poet? well I still struggle with that one a bit. I don’t want to give off a sense of arriving you know, because I don’t know that I am there. It’s all about the journey for me.

it’s one of the reasons you don’t see a book by me. I have several completed manuscripts saved on the computer but have not done anything with them. I have seen too many poets fall prey to a book. they publish…then they disappear. I’d rather sling words for those friends I have made than do that.

there was a point a few years ago where I turned a corner and really started to think about how I write as opposed to just writing. I was in a crit group for short story that really challenged me and I began to observe and study how people told a story creatively and how they used different approaches.

P.U.: What do you love about poetry?

Brian: that it is unpredictable.
and messy.
ha

P.U.: Who would you say has been the single biggest influence on your writing?

Brian: oy. I would say one of my greatest encouragers is Claudia. we crit each others work, several pieces a week…and challenge each other to do better…or she challenges me at least…ha. poets that have challenged me are nikki Giovanni, saul Williams and quite a few of the slammers I have met that no one would really know because they are not necessarily in book stores.

P.U.: Do you try to interest the kids you teach in poetry?


Brian is so busy, I had to take this shot
on the run :-)

Brian: I actually run a poetry club that meets once a week at the school, after school. last year we had about 8-10 poets and this year I think that number will double. next Wednesday is our first meeting, so we will see.

word has gotten out about me at school this year. I had a kid challenge me in class to a rap battle, so after a test we laid it out and I think I earned some props. in another class I told them I would perform for them if they did well for a week behaviorally. on Monday I performed the piece I wrote about the kid that almost OD’d in my car a few years ago.

I used it as a point to talk to them about the decisions they make.
so yeah. I do. smiles.



tell me what you took

some x, some perks, some

red lights are pauses and pushes,
blurring street lights and bushes
& he's half in the seat
half in my face
fingers tracing things i can't see

oh yeah, and some

and i half expect him to grab the wheel,
kill us both
or get pulled over as tire squeal
around corners

"yes, officer the pills in the bag are what
is left of whatever he thought might make life
better, simpler, faster, slower
up, down
six feet lower"
& he's
all
over
the
place

telling me how much he loves me, doesn't
want to die, then starts to lose his shit,
a beligerant spider monkey, all arms
& legs trying to escape, bites & i hit repeat
on the door locks, eyes crossed to keep
one on the road and one on him

eighteen will an orgy with the grim reaper,
& he's still got three months til he gets there

'we're here'
door open as the car stops rolling
at the front of the ER and i catch him
before he can puddle the sidewalk,
slippery in sweat & spit

HELPHELPSOMEONEHELP

nurses, guards, cops, through triage
to a bed, crash, talking craziness, the bats
have flown and the belfry is empty, watch
his skin crawl by the look in his eyes,
shakes---

don't leave me, don't you f''n leave me

i
am sorry sir, you are not family
you will have to wait outside

& i wait
until he can no longer see
me,
before i cry into furious fists
for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die



P.U.: Wow, Brian, this is so powerful. I'll bet you reading that poem to your class stopped at least some of the kids in your classroom from making a similar trip. 

I usually ask how blogging impacts your writing.  It seems redundant to ask you, as you are  such a huge presence in the blogosphere. But when you first began blogging, how did it start you on your path to where you are now? Did you ever dream you’d be running one of the biggest and best-supported (and most supportive) online poetry communities?

Brian: ha. no. I did not.

my first year of blogging I had like 30 followers and a good day was 6 comments. I did not know any better and I just wrote really poorly written stuff about what was happening in my life. the first turn was when I started honing my memoir writing a bit and thinking about how I wrote.

once I started writing poetry, I hooked up with Leslie, Pete and Adam and we founded One Stop Poetry---that was the first venture into poetic communities. it lasted a bit over a year. we won an award. it was cool. many of the poets I know were a part of that.

when it dissolved I asked Claudia to be my partner in starting dverse. we wanted a laid back atmosphere. my original plan was called dverse poets café…Claudia suggested we change it to pub…and off we went. we gathered a great staff which has grown and morphed over the years. I could not do it without them. we really have some great people that write prompts and visit and encourage poets.

P.U.: One Stop was great. And so is dVerse. What would you say to someone newly tiptoeing into the blogosphere, testing the waters?

Brian: run away. run far away.
ha.

ask yourself why you are here. that will determine a lot.

find a pack and run with it. make friends. read things you never expected you would read. return comments, dang it. ha. seriously, if they are visiting you, why not? make friends.

P.U.: What are your goals for your writing over the next few years?

Brian: move people, challenge them, shake things up. do things different. help them see the world a bit more. stop war. feed the hungry. you know, the little things poetry can do. smiles.

P.U.: What non-writing pursuits are you involved in?

Brian: I am an elder in a church start up. I have a family. I write poetry. I am in grad school. I work. that is about all I have time for. unless there is key lime pie involved. key lime pie changes everything. actually we are in the initial thought process on an overseas trip to do relief work. we have done some here nationally up and down the east coast, but we are potentially going to either India or Africa in the next year.

P.U.: Oh my goodness, Brian! That blows me away! Tell us more!

Brian: We most likely will end up in India...i so want to go to Africa...but i think we will be working with an orphanage in India...we have a long standing relationship with a doctor there and have sent teams there for some time. it is so important to have contacts with indigenous people and develop those relationships...far too many just do quick hit relief trips and while they do good work it is not a long term commitment and the relationships never get a chance to develop.

i did relief work after hurricanes in north carolina and new orleans...i also spent a summer doing work in pittsburgh with inner city kids and community redevelopment....and in harlan, kentucky, a really impoverished area, building houses. in the past i have also worked with a group that goes into bars in thailand and buys out the child prostitutes and teaches them trades and micro business to recreate sustainable income that allows them to live a life outside of the sex trade.

P.U.: Brian, you are my hero. You are really making it count. Making a difference. Your sons have a terrific dad. Do you love music? Do you play?

Brian: I love music. I have an eclectic taste. right now I am spinning john mayer/jack white/Jason mraz/jayz in the cd player…lots of j’s going there. I like rock, metal, rap, some limited country (mostly older), classical, blues…I can play just enough guitar to get me in trouble….and hot crossed buns on the recorder.

P.U.: Is there a poem, written by you, that you feel is representative of you as a person, or one you just plain like a lot, that we can include here?

Brian: the absolute favorite poem I ever wrote was… 

girl on the 7:15 train

across the body packed aisle
of the 7:15 train,
unbelievably, our eyes meet
and i read a poem,
in their endless green.

i would write it for you
but then it would be
open for interpretation,
twisting what makes them
truly spectacular, into dross.

that's what we do
with poems &
other beautiful things,
deconstruct them until
all that's left is old
shoeboxes full of
miscellaneous parts
and no way to put them
back together again.

doors swish open with a hiss
of compressed air & we
exit, going our separate ways,
me to work, you
snuggled tight to your
mother's shoulder &
i twiddle my fingers,
deciding to keep your eyes,
an unfathomable green,
only for me.

P.U.: Sigh. Absolutely beautiful, Brian. Anything else you’d like to say to Poets United?

Brian: have fun. writing is a gift. don’t compare yourself to others. let your heart out the cage of your chest. it will get smashed either way. think about what you write. find your voice. say what needs to be said and learn to shut your mouth at the right time. hug your kids & if you don’t have one hug someone else’s (but you may want to ask permission first) & the secret of the universe is hidden in mudpuddles.

thanks for the opportunity, sherry. I am honored. smiles.

P.U.: Thank you, Brian, as busy  as you are, for taking the time to visit with us. I am the one who feels honored.

Isn't he great, kids? A man with a gi-normous  heart. Be sure to come back next Monday to see what's up. Mary asked for a turn at this spot. I think she has something up her sleeve for us. I wonder what it is! Clue: there just might be cackling!

120 comments:

  1. Very nice interview, Sherry! Brian, I enjoyed learning more about your poetry history and also about some of your other interests. What a wonderful experience it would be if you and family would go to Africa or India to work with an orphanage. It would just be an extension of the kind of 'giving' you are involved in, I am sure. Enjoyed reading the poems you shared. I really DO like your 'absolute favorite' poem as well. You have a beautiful wife & family. Thanks for ALL you do to foster poetry online. You give SO much, and it is indeed noticed and appreciated by me.

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    1. hey thanks mary...i have fun with it...its funny too, when we did the interview like 10 days ago we were pretty sure we were going to india...but just this week it looks like we have settled on Uganda and are working toward that in April...which is pretty exciting....

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    2. YAY! I cant wait to hear all about it. Have always wanted to go to Africa and help people there.

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    3. yeah africa is a place that has been on my heart for some time...i have kids that i worked with that are over there now giving back to the communities....

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  2. Hi Brian,
    Thank you for accepting to be in the spotlight for us. I enjoyed reading more about you and your family. I liked the story of how you met your wife, including the detail about her phone number "in orange colored pencil on an old receipt".
    Your generosity comes across in your comments to us and therefore I was not surprised by some of the things I learned about you: your switching from a 6 figure job to a job working with kids for instance and your plans to do relief work in India or Africa.
    I liked the poem you shared.
    Thank you also for all the good work on dVerse. It is a wonderful community with a great team. I want you to know that you all do there is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you also to you Sherri for a great interview.

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    1. smiles....thank you gabriella...i def love my details...i wish i would still have that receipt honestly but i can see it plain as day....it snowed that night too which was cool...i dont think we got into it in the interview, but she was a ballerina...and so i have 6 college credits in ballet...and danced in performances at the college level...love will make you do crazy things eh? smiles.

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    2. OMG! I SO wish I had known that - are there photos? LOL. I think that is terrific, Brian! True love.

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    3. ha. all pictures have been destroyed...lol...i am sure there is one around somewhere...not sure i want to go looking for it...haha....

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  3. Sherry~
    I am so grateful that you highlighted Brian today. He is an inspiration on nearly every level. I felt encouraged by him when I first ventured into the cyber-poetry world and that feeling has never waned. He is one of the really special people who is making a difference with every poem, every bit of prose, every comment. Hearing his story is a blessing in and of itself. Thank you, Brian, for all that you do and for all that you are. We are so lucky to connect.

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    1. smiles...thank you much kim...
      we are all here for each other....you know...you never know what kind of day the person on the other end is having...and i try to respect that in the comments to them...

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  4. Gotta respect a writer that makes the world a better place both on and off paper! Thanks for letting BBC us get to know you better, Brian!

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    1. i try...mayb just a small corner of the world you know...ty...

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  5. What a wonderful interview, Sherry and Brian. I'm sending some key lime pie vibes over the air waves... enjoy!

    And thank you so much for all your support Brian. You are a good man and I'm happy to call you friend.

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    1. i am happy to call you friend as well...smiles.
      key lime pie is the bomb...i ask for it for my birthday 'cake' every year...its one thing i miss from our time living in Florida...because we had a lime tree in the back yard...and i could make it fresh any time....probably better for my waist line that i cant do that now....

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  6. ha smiles... i remember when you said that you outsource the commenting to india...smiles.. and still think you have some secret recipe to be able to be everywhere at once... it is amazing how many things you do..you're a wonderful husband, father, teacher and poet of course - and you have a beautiful family. i think i like your poetry so much because so much of your heart shines through -- it is humbling to see how you pour your life and heart and talent into the life of others to make a difference... how you give so freely-- and you do make a difference...and really-- it is a big honor to serve in the pub with you-- smiles

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    1. ((blush))
      thank you friend...i could not do it without you...that is for sure...thank you for the constant encouragement....

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  7. A wonderful interview. Nice to get to know Brian better, and I feel like I already know him through his creative poems and encouraging comments. His work is so honest and personal, delving into a lot of important issues. I don't know how he does it all either. So inspiring. Beautiful family and life story. Thanks for sharing. Smiles :)

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    1. smiles. i write what i got...which is usually real life...which is sometimes messy as well...its a journey for sure...thank you L...

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  8. This is an excellent insight and interview with a remarkable poet and man. Brian is always full of encouragement and his perceptive comments are always a joy to receive. His faith comes through everything he writes and he lives out the grace that he has received. Unique and challenging he has a powerful voice that deserves to be heard and appreciated. Brian is simply a treasure.

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    1. thank you sir...def have received much in the way of grace...so i do try to give that back...you are all not that much different...and i am one step removed from a homeless man, so i can relate to him too...its like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon...ha...we are all just one decision away from most anyone...

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  9. dang. what a cool guy...ha....
    hey just got out of school and popping in...will reply to everyone here in a moment...thank you sherry for a wonderful interview...i had the easy part with such wonderful questions...

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    1. It was entirely my pleasure, Brian. Was just stoked you made the time to do it. Thanks, kiddo. I am SO EXCITED about you going to Uganda. Africa is one of my spiritual homes that I never got to see this lifetime. When I was a teen I wanted to be a missionary and go there and actually a college offered to train me. But I got cold feet, wasnt brave enough. Close though.

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    2. i will take plenty of pics for you and leave your name there somewhere as well so you have that connection sherry....

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  10. I have had the privilege to read Brian's works, so I was extremely happy to read this interview. His elaborate comments are always encouraging. Nice to get to know him more through this interview. He's truly a man with a golden heart....Smiles.
    Brian, next time when you are in India, do come over to Kolkata and be our guest-I mean it!
    Great job done, Sherry!! Thanks for featuring him...
    Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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    1. thank would be great...Shashi, another blog-poet invited me as well...it would be so cool to be in a foreign country (to me) and yet still know people...and i love meeting other writers...i have met about 13-15 poets from the online community in real life so far...even had one stay at my house two summers now...

      it looks like i may be in Uganda next...in April...if i can work out the details...but we will see if i make it to india this spring...

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  11. though I am not able to read his work regularly, but whatever I have ever laid eyes on has proved worth spending time. And he is such a generous person when it comes to reading other poems. God bless him.

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  12. Sherry and Brian! Both of you inspire me to open my heart and gut in my poetry. Thank you for doing this interview. Brian. Your poems expand territory for me so I see beyond edges of people and ideas and moods. Take "girl on the 7:15 train"--did anyone imagine her to be a baby? You gave her to us whole in an armful of philosophy and shoe boxes of spare parts, none of them hers. What goes in your senses comes out woven in braids of new sensations. And so, how nice to hear your other voice talking here and to look onto pictures and there it is--Brian in motion. uhuh! Believer/builder/sustainer of community. Thank you for taking the time and all.

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    1. smiles...thank you susan....i have def developed poet eyes...but also eyes that view the world in its ugly and beauty but try to always view it throught he lens of love...its what makes the world go round you know....smiles....

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    2. In a nutshell, Brian, you have just said what it is about you that makes us all love you - looking at the world through eyes of love.

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    3. I just love hearing that from you, Brian. Sherry and I have seen your eyes of love. Remember to nourish yourself and keep yourself strong, which includes taking a break when you need to, my friend.

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  13. I'm in awe. Always have been of his energy, his heart, his talent. His writing is full of deep truths and not doesn't always shine a pretty light on things. I appreciate that. I just want him around the blogosphere for a long time - so take care of yourself, Brian - if you don't read EVERY poem I write, I will know you are spending time with your family and relaxing. Seriously, you have encouraged so many people. Thank you.

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  14. smiles...i def try to find the grit in life too...its funny that was a turn for me...much of my early writing was just on the beauty of the world and it felt out of balance a bit...i have learned to enjoy getting in the grit of life and finding the things that do not always go noticed...thank you margaret....smiles.

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  15. Sigh. I am a happy girl. What a love-fest in here. I have the best job ever!

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  16. PSYCH! I am so glad you did this- I wanted to ask him for an interview but figured I would back up his superman speed in the blogosphere! It's a bird, it's a plane- no it's Brian Miller sending smiles everywhere in the blogosphere! Great interview and rich with details and bonus: poetry. So Brian, I confess that Jim Morrison was one of the reasons I think I wanted to write poetry as a teen...course the giant crush on a dead rock star made the writing...um reflective of that season. Your wife looks like the perfect match for you. You are such a blessing- to many as well as me personally. Thank you for that- so when will the memoir be out? I am all over that - launch team, please? Thank you so much ...this was such a great interview, of a well loved, respected friend to Writers!

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    1. oh heck, i had a morrison crush too...maybe it was his zaniess...smiles....craziness...and hey anytime you want an interview let me know...i got plenty of stories up my sleeves that have to make it out somehow....

      its funny i used to write memoir prose all the time...little short stories....i need to get back to that....

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    2. Memoir writing is my very favorite reading and writing genre. I'll line up for THAT book, Brian!

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  17. Sherry, scoop indeed!! Nice job of drawing the best from our fave poet in the blogosphere. How many people have the flat-out courage to walk away from a lucrative career and follow their heart? Not too damned many.

    Brian is EVERYWHERE on the 'sphere and always has a kind, encouraging, or constructive word to offer. I told him I suspect he's been cloned. And Lynchburg, VA? I mean, the first syllable says it all, and I'm so happy he's able to find a balance there... I never could.

    Sherry, you too bring out the best in folks. This interview was a match made in heaven. Thanks to you both! Amy

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    1. ha. its a scary place amy...smiles...i dont quite fit the mold here...i am learning to live it as i tried to escape it...smiles....

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  18. Sherry, thanks so much for this lovely interview ~

    Brian, always a pleasure to read your work ~ By this time, I have already piece together your journey (have now been following you for 2 years) so I am happy to read this latest development ~ You are a giver - not only of words but encouragement and spirit ~

    And I think its fun that you are starting or running poetry group in your school. Those young kids are so blessed to have you as a teacher ~

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    1. its cool...i have a great mix...i have this one kid that is street...he's a rapper...i was telling mary that it was so cool to see this tough guy critiquing a girls poem about princesses and castles....he did it with such charm...so always looking to expand the world view or others....but they are a blessing...as are all those i get to hang with online...

      shalom grace...

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  19. Wonderful interview. Brian is one of my favorite poets and I always look forward to reading his work.

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    1. wow you just made my night Lisa...smiles.

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  20. Wow, you sure had a lot to say here today haha let your inner blabber loose. The cat likes that. Uganda now you say, sure that will be a one of a kind experience. And use your gawker powers to write months worth of posts. Awesome all you do and agreed, ignore those with link posting and crap that come and try to just spam away each day.

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    1. ha. i will use my time there to gawk for sure...it will just be a different herd...and after a week gone i will probably need just as much to catch back up...you will probably have published 5 more books...smiles.

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  21. Brian, what a fabulous interview. You are truly a kindhearted human. I am so glad our paths have crossed. Thanks Sherry and Brian, for this.

    Pamela

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    1. i am glad as well pamela...you are good people as well...smiles.

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  22. Really good interview!!! Ayo Brian, you are indeed one of the most sincere and supportive poets in the blogosphere...nuff' respect to you and yours brother...ONE::

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  23. Sherry and Brian... peace, happy trails, and vitally cool. And when you get to Uganda... jambo bwana... hibari, misuri sana (or phonetically there abouts.)

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    1. hello back...and i am sure i will be doing well...ha
      it was close...nzuri sana

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  24. A very nice review of Brian! Thanks for hosting one of my all time faves! :)

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    1. hey and she is my sister...just not by birth...smiles

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  25. This was wonderful to read.
    And what a beautiful family you have Brian.
    I love the mountains and how awesome you live on an acre of land at the base of a mountain.
    What a treat to get to know more about you.
    You are such an encouragement to so many people and they are blessed to know you.

    Great interview, great poet!

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    1. thank you margie...the mountains are beautiful especially this time of year...all the leaves are changing...and the squirrels running amuck to get the nuts...

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  26. Thanks Brian and thanks Sherry! Brian truly fits the bill, one dedicated to his calling. Dedication comes with sacrifices. Sacrificing the good life for community service is fantastic and now cross-border. Brian has been an inspiration to me from day one that I started blogging. I learnt a lot in following WaystationOne and d'Verse (not forgetting Pat Hatt though) The community is extremely lucky and blessed. Thanks again Brian,Sir. I just wonder where you get all the energy to sustain yourself!
    Great interview Sherry Ma'am!

    Hank

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    1. key lime pie...that is where the energy comes from...its my secret for staying young...but shh dont tell anyone....thank you hank...you have been a good friend...i have the picture you drew of me on the fridge even still...

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  27. alright, time for beauty sleep...i'll swing through again tomorrow...smiles.

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  28. great interview Sherry......First a belated happy birthday to your youngest Angel and an advance happy birthday to the Eldest (not sure about the date but this oct. right?)..now i know the source of that wonderful flow of words...a golden heart & a beautiful family.....God bless

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    1. ha. yes you got it...cole's was sunday and logan's is 5 days after so it will be friday...and def that is where my words come from...smiles.

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  29. Brian so happy to learn more about you! You have a beautiful family and a generous spirit! I have another blogging friend who lives in the same area-Vicki Sheehan. It made me wonder if you knew this family-it is sometimes a small blogging world. ;D
    I have been tempted to hit the Pub-thank you for all you do! ATB

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    1. Sherry great job as always! :D

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    2. hmmm i dont know that i know vicki, but i will have to drop in on her blog and see...smiles...i am sure there are others nearer but the closest blogger i know is about and hour away...

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  30. WOW!! a roller coaster ride just so much like you, yourself, Brian!! Good to know you and so happy to have connected with you and many others here and dVerse. A lot has changed in poetry for me, thank to you and your ability to pick out words and phrases - sure shows your involvement. Kudos!! to your social involvements and now that you know many bloggers here in India we could well plan to meet up, all of us! whenever you are here!! :) Cheers to you, your poetry and to your cheers that you pass on to ppl.

    Thank you Sherry! for a wonderful spotlight. Ha! man!! you are having fun!!! :D

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    1. smiles....that would be great fun to meet up when i am in india.....
      a rollercoaster is def a great description..haha

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  31. This is wonderful, We all know Mr. Brian Miller as a poet and an encouraging person. Apart from this he is a nice human being and very courageous also, after all one needs guts to give up a 6 figure salary job and do what heart wishes to. Kudos! You are an inspiration for all of us.

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    1. ah i dont think it would have let me do otherwise...i was uncomfortable enough in what i was doing....smiles...thank you vandana...peace to you

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  32. Brian, you are my hero. You make a difference every day and write beautifully while you are doing it.

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    1. i will be happy to be friend over hero anyday....smiles...

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  33. I have been waiting, forever ... for this interview.

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    1. whew....we got you just in time then....
      smiles.

      hiya helen

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    2. Helen, do you have any other requests? hee hee!

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  34. Stellar interview Sherry. I too am completely amazed at all Brian accomplishes. Brian, I'm convinced you are Superman of the blogosphere. I know I am just one of many who have been continually encouraged by your words and support (so much more than you know!) and enriched by your poetry--which of course rocks. It's obvious how much you care about people...your beautiful soul shines through. Thanks Brian, we're all better for knowin' ya.

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    1. like superman i have my kryptonite...lima beans....yikes...its the one thing in this world that i can not eat...and saps me of all my powers....smiles. you are good peoplej...its been great to watch your own transformation in poetry....

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  35. Sherry and Brian, this was a wonderful interview. I'm impressed. I like the story of how he met his wife, well, sometimes fate will do that to you. And I also can't help but wish I had a teacher like that when I was in school, I'd needed someone to encourage me. Kids are lucky to have him ;) And I like how diverse his poetry is, very colourful.

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    1. i wish i had a teacher like that you know.....mrs callahan was that person to me for a bit but...i def needed someone when i was that age....

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  36. Great interview, well deserved kudos. Beautiful family .. long may it all continue. Oh, your writing is canny too :)

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    1. canny....ha....nice descriptor...
      and thank you....

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  37. I'm so happy to see you featured here, Brian. Your comments on my blog have always been valuable.

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    1. why thank you....smiles...i had fun with it...sherry was great!

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  38. Very cool interview. So nice to get to know someone like Brian a little better. It is definitely something that I noticed about him that he is able to comment everywhere. Sometimes with poetry, for me it doesn't always breed discussion, sometime it just leaves me with a feeling that I enjoy, but Brian always has something intelligent and encouraging to say, and that is very cool.

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    1. most def...poetry hits us all in different ways...the way i look at it...if it moved me in any way, i am sure the poet would be encouraged by hearing it...

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  39. Such a sweet interview--thank you, Sherry and Brian. K.

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  40. thank you Sherry for this interview with Brian. now we know a bit more of him. :)

    and Brian, there's something i do not quite understand. you 1) tend pub at dverse, 2) post a very high quality poem almost daily, 3) reply to every comment in your blog 4) visit the blogs of your readers and leave comments. where do you find the energy to do all these things in addition to being a teacher, a husband and father? it's just awesome! sometimes after a day's work, i don't feel like doing anything else when i reach home, and i am just a techie in a telco.

    it's my great pleasure to know Brian and his poetry.

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    1. its a huge house of cards you know....it could fall at any time...ha....i def have those days as well....its a pleasure to know and ready you as well...you are always so consistent on mondays...

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  41. ...need i say more? everything i liked 'bout Brian seemed to have been said here... well, you know me Brian... if i'm not missing i'm either late or just too slow to what is currently happening in the world... hihi... you are the poet of the people for you always know how to tell this story of us.... & you, as well, are a poem we all enjoy to read for you always bring cheer & inspiration to many of us who are hungry for acceptance & company... & don't you ever change Brian... always make love bigger than your ambition & desires in life... we are many out here & there rooting for you... smiles... GOD Bless your beautiful heart... GOD Bless your beautiful family... smiles...

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  42. thank you my good friend...i will try not to change...at least in ways that would change that....i thrive in community...and love all of my fellow poets....think of you often friend...and always a pleasure...

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  43. Am kinda new here and Brian is one of the few people who comment on my blog. I am so humbled and blown away that such an accomplished poet, teacher, humanitarian and all round good-sport human being visits my tiny blog to comment on my scribblings. Thank you Sherry for conducting this interview. Awesome sauce.

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    1. alright not sure on the accomplished but....smiles...i def enjoy meeting new poets...hey i was one once...i still am in a sense....and hey the first year of my site i was very small as well...stick around, you will be just fine...smiles.

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  44. Amazing interview wow! The poems were incredible the first one gut-wrenching, tragic, breaks the heart and the second beautiful, really beautiful. You really are a hero and thank you for all your encouragement =)

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    1. smiles...thank you...i enjoy your thoughts on my poems every day...smiles.

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  45. The people's poet - that is who you are, Brian. I love this interview, love you more than I did before.

    And I congratulate you for the wonderful family that you have! That is what makes it all worthwhile. The world is such a crazy place, you have certainly made a HUGE difference.

    Sherry darling - thank you for bringing Brian closer to all of us…great interview, one of your best I must say.

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    1. ha. i would def rather be of the people than most anything else...smiles...
      thank you ninot...humbling...

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  46. What a great interview - Sherry and Brian.
    What a great poet and human you are Brain. And also an impressive with time managment.

    The one question Sherry didn't ask that I always wonder is: Do you ever sleep?

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    1. i do...more than ever these days...usually about 6 hours a day...but drifting more and more toward 7....smiles...

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  47. Brian and Sherry,

    At last I now know who you are...A very busy man in all ways!! Thank you for the times when you visit my Blogs, which are always appreciated.
    Nice that you share so much time, right across the world:)

    Thank you Sherry for this great interview.

    Best wishes for the future with your writing Brian,
    Eileen:)

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    1. hey there...
      i think in being busy you find ways to maximize the little bits of time you do have you know...its pretty amazing when you think about it all the people we meet from all over the world...

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  48. Hi Brian! Hi Sherry!!

    Thank you for this interview--I have been dying to know more about you Brian--you are one of my favorites--and have encouraged me along the way--so thank you thank you!

    Audrey

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    1. why thank you audrey...
      feel free to ask questions whenever...smiles.

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  49. Brian, each time you are interviewed more of the Miller magic is revealed. I love your comment /find a pack of poets & run with them/ That is precisely what dVerse does for me. A year at the Pub, and hey, I feel like a new poet. How you find the time to visit so many sites God only knows. I remember that you used to drop by my blog, like for over a year, when I hung out over at Magpie Tales. Your comments and poetics were/are always so genuine, so encouraging, so positive--I just had to follow you home, and find out what the hell you were all about. Love seems to be the answer, brother. You seem to have a heart the size of the District of Columbia. My personal growth as an aged crusty poet, while running with the dVerse pack, seems
    phenomenal. You da' Man, Muse, Magistrate, Master, Magician, Mighty-Mohawk, and hundreds of us, perhaps thousands are beholding to you daily.

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    1. why thank you good sir...you def have encouraged me as well not only with your words but also with your own creativity when it comes to poetry...you try new things which for me is just inspiring...

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  50. A heart of gold, I have always suspected... but now I know it is even more true than I thought. A great interview, a wonderful chance to find out a bit more about the man behind the poet. Thanks, Brian, for all that you do, your encouragement has meant the world to me, and to many, many others I am sure.

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    1. smiles...well there might be some rust there...does gold rust? i dunno...smiles...thank you....

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  51. Sherry you really landed a journalistic scoop here. How wonderful to know Brian better. I thought I knew how awesome he is but now I know so much more. He is such a stupendous person. And yet so humble. I think Brian is tired of my thanking him for starting me in poetry. Without his encouragement to start I never would have tried.
    I am utterly convinced he has found the secret of the universe, but not in mud. In his heart. This could be the only explanation for his 24 hours being so much bigger than mine. I struggle to write to everyone, yet I don't get near the number of comments he does. What a mystery.
    Brian, sorry to talk behind your back. Ha. My best wishes for all you hope to accomplish. And thank you always.

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  52. smiles...when i find that secret i will surely share it...then we would all have more time to hang out....thank you myrna...you are as much an encouragement to me as well...

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  53. Not surprised one bit by all the wonderful comments. Brian certainly commands response and respect for his work because he shares it so fluidly with others. The poets, writers and readers of all who gather here have influenced me in ways I would never have imagined just a few short years ago. Brian is a shining example atop the crowd. Brian, your poetry and support of others will establish you as a champion among anyone who carries a pad and pen for exercise. Good luck and best wishes to you, your family, and your future.

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    1. smiles...thank you...and for the best wishes to the fam...i give what i have been given, you know...smiles...

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  54. Really nice to 'pad out' the person. Thank you.

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    1. hey i dont mind being padded...smiles.

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  55. I can only echo what everyone else has said (reading all these comments was almost as much fun as reading the interview) but I'll say it anyway.

    Fantastic interview! Thank you both vey much.

    I think Brian is a unique and amazing poet with a brilliant style all his own as well as that "full of heart" quality. He is inspirational and very encouraging — and I too wonder how on earth he finds the time!

    The poem about the boy in the car made a huge impression whenI first read it, and has the same impact now all over again. And I loved the other one. (Babies are such great communicators with their eyes.)

    Wishing you well, Brian, in your Uganda venture ... and I'm thankful for the internet and the global village, which hopefully will allow us to continue enjoying your work.

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    1. thank you rosemary...i am def looking forward to uganda...and i like how you say the village here online...i like to think of it that way...everyone in the village adds a little something no one else can...but its in all of us being together that we see and accomplish so much...

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  56. Sherry this was a fantabulous interview. I have no problem telling you that Brian is absolutely my favorite poet on the Internet. I am not a bit surprised by anything in this interview. Joy oh Joy I loved the photos of his beautiful wife and kids. I guess that he is such a great poet because he is such a great human being. He is a kid (next to you and me) but he is a whole human being early on in life. And a great poet to boot. It is in his love of giving that some wonderful poetry is born. Thank you both Sherry and Brian!

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  57. shucks liz...you got me blushing as well....smiles...

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  58. It was a blast working with Brian at One Stop Poetry. I loved the energy that would generate in a simple phone conversation.
    You have a big heart Bri and you are loved by sooo many
    Keep that vision alive my friend for the next gen!!!
    ~Moonie

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    1. thanks moonie..you know i love you...smiles

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  59. Brian is on of the good ones - great story. Peace and thanks from a fellow teacher.

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  60. How wonderful to get a glimpse into Brian's life! He is even busier than I thought!! Thank you Brian for the encouragement you give us all and for sharing your heart with the world. We need more people like you.

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  61. I'm a little late here - only just now seeing this. How v. interesting! What a fascinating life you've had, and have. I guess you must never sleep. ;) How wonderful that you follow your passion. It sounds like you're just where you're supposed to be. I'll have to take a look at DVerse sometime !

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  62. What a wonderful interview to read....thanks Sherry & Brian! Love your "smiles" & very good advice to new bloggers.

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