Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dear Readers, Contributors, Friends

With a heavy heart, I want to let you know that we have lost our dear friend Nobius Black, editor and producer of Calliope Nerve. In his honor and memory, I will keep the content up here as long as possible because I think he would have wanted it to stay and for the words he loved to be held in the places he gave them.
Nobius Black, Matthew, was a giving man with a generous heart, who touched many of us in different ways. Many of us were part of his creative world, his writing and publishing world, and we know how important this work was to him. For those of us lucky enough to call him editor, collaborator, friend... here's hoping that we can take pause and remember what he gave us and honor it accordingly.
When I think back on what he had to say about so many of you and the work that he was proud to include here, I wish that I could share his thoughts now, to you each- personally. Please know that he had so much respect and admiration for your work, and truly believed in our community of independent presses.
Thank you for your support of Calliope Nerve.
Lynn Alexander

Friday, August 12, 2011

Song for the Postmodern Void

I am playing possum,
indoctrinated by shareholders,
and corporate elite,
whose aim is to devour my soul.

I am alien to this body;
this fleshy machine of wilderness.

I serve, as a cog in their bomb,
which aims to destroy everything alive.

Humanity has adopted
this system of order
and exploitation,
which serves to maintain
the illusions it creates.

--Craig Shay lives on Long Island, NY and will be attending College of Old Westbury in the fall. He is currently working on his first poetry book titled Birth of Music. Samples of his published work are available at www.craigshay.wordpress.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aftermath

Bodies lie
beside each other –

Eyes peer up
through stony rubble,
glassy and dilated –

Staring through
a doorway,
towards the future –

Dreaming
of a colorful afterlife –

Steady pallid eyes,
concentrate
on the kaleidoscope
of possibilities
as they pass –

--Craig Shay lives on Long Island, NY and will be attending College of Old Westbury in the fall. He is currently working on his first poetry book titled Birth of Music. Samples of his published work are available at www.craigshay.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chain Gang


Let down
that curtain,
which shrouds
reality –


Reveal
these chains
around our
heads,
feet,
and wrists –


We are
incarcerated here,
in comfortable
cages,
which lull us
passively
into a state
of acquiescence –


Why is it,
that the circus
distracts us so?


Why is one's soul
exchanged
for a handful of ash?


--Craig Shay lives on Long Island, NY and will be attending College of Old Westbury in the fall. He is currently working on his first poetry book titled Birth of Music. Samples of his published work are available at www.craigshay.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainbows

Surprisingly, rainbows do not gush out of my ass
or any other orifice of my body
while I ride my unicorn Pony Girl to candy-coated Heaven
I smell like cigarettes and ride the decaying
public buses that usher out their very own shitty rainbow of
pollutants and I pop my lithium like candy corn so that
I don’t actually see unicorns strolling in the back alleys of
The local AA Social Club

Maybe it will pour down rain and wash my sins away
and a rainbow will shine brightly in the sky while
a Goodyear Blimp cuts across it,
magically giving my morning coffee a hint of pumpkin spice
and breaking my smoking habit for good
good sport I am I’ll have started a fitness program
for preteens who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster

No, rainbows do not gush out of my ass
or any other orifice of my body
while I tiptoe through the tulips
or in my case the thorn bushes
I prefer stargazing on LSD
and miniature people collecting.

--Kevin Ridgeway is a writer currently based in Southern California in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend, one eyed cat and old books. He studied creative writing at Goddard College and Mt. San Antonio College, at the latter of which he won the 2011 Writer's Day Award for prose with special citations for his poetry. He has most recently been published in The Left Coast Review and Insomnis Veritas, and is anticipating two forthcoming publications in Breadcrumb Scabs and Larks Fiction Magazine.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Verge


for Kathleen
The long dark tunnel
ends
in a pinprick
of light. [double space]
Deadly heliotrope pulls me
in,
too vast to slide
through the aura
calling out, [double space]
My own Siren,
sinking
my heart
with her dulcet tones
& echoes of ache. [double space]
I give in to the black
endless
ether drops
on either side.


--Suzanne Grazyna is a stage actor and poet in California. Though she may actually be a robot.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oo Triptych

1.
What doesn't kill us makes us stranger. Cracked hatched and eyelashless. We
need aviation here. I am fearful of heights. [double space]
He reaches across many streets, arm outstretched , to where I sleep. I am
carinate now. There are 3 fresh eggs in my nest. I didn't feel a thing. [double space]

2.
Clippings scatter; they spot the down cover. Wings flutter
with fanfare but I am no angel.
We aren't meant to be caged. Our path has been laid. [double space]
He breaks my ovaries with skill. Warms the skillet
to scramble my yolks. Mitosis with one hooked bite.
I consume my future. My beak is pure. [double space]

3.
It didn't make it.
The fledgling fetus.
Fresh from the shell.
Pushed.
Or fallen.
Carrion for vultures. [double space]
And I knew how it felt.
And my swollen heart broke.
And I saw myself.
And I knew what I was.
And I buried it in the hole
the vultures left in my throat [double space]
when they ate my song.

--Suzanne Grazyna is a stage actress and poet from California. Though she may actually be a robot.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vicodin Flytrap

Bitter pills. The bleating the bleeding the beading of sweat like dew. The ache to drip into the sweet abyss. Seal me shut, airtight, hermetic hermit in a hydro poison bath. Bathed in shivers. Awash in the tremors of desire of on-fire lust of needing to trust the hand willing to sew the lips shut. The prick of tiny unicorns with barbed wire treats that ping the meat in twitching legs. Needles like leaves dipped in sticky saliva lick my fleshy fat clean. Unhinged by twin horns by a devil's trick by a knight in nepenthe armour. Lancet on his white steed. He's found the Holy Grail. Swallow whole. Deep in the throat. Dissolve into bleating cells bleeding cells beating carnivorous bitter cells eating me complete.

--Suzanne Grazyna is a stage actress and poet in California. Though she may actually be a robot.

Friday, August 5, 2011

City Surgery

The imbalance of ancientness hangs heavy overhead-
dangling steel verticals, whom distilled in the ether
of new dead air, are wrapped by sterility:
the night smog wound illuminated by neon billboards
they cut through the alley night streets with precision,
slicing the bulbous tumour from her roots

--Jack Little (b. 1987) is a British writer who currently lives in Mexico City. When not writing poetry he edits The Ofi Press magazine and manages the Mexican national cricket team. You can find out more information about both of these ventures at: www.theofipress.webs.com and www.mexicocricketassociation.com.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The heart is five minutes long

Between a lung sucked back through love into regret of accepted lust.

On a blackberry-tasting tongue.

At a secret whistle outside the bedroom window
turning to a keening beside the quilt.

From the time of grasping fingers to the time of lowering blankly,

brows drawn black and grass departing you from all sounds

of tender and hardened loved ones.

From the anger at your father.

From the annoyance at yourself, the slamming of an object, the consideration
of cutting edges

peeling forth the red,
like a signal,
an ecstatic meeting–tears beating at the light
like the pulse of the soul–or
a rending,
a covering or an opening,
a faultless disclosure.

--Natalie Caulfield lives in Connecticut with her archaic typewriter and a river creeping up her back yard. Her work has been published at Ink Sweat & Tears webzine and is forthcoming in Penny Ante Feud.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The guest

I felt the day come
and settle back in
like a gore-full suitcase.
Heavy,
landing on my throat
like the careless step
of a stranger in a stampede:
here are my guts,
quivering with rubber
and electric wire;
my eyes
staring fleshless,
record expired
as old prescriptions.
Not pretty brown, just stark
as a child's horror story
from the dark of my head.
Hardened hands making
a last snatch at fading thought.
And when they tell you
it doesn't matter
say it back
loud
like a magnifying glass.
Like the painting of one.
Out back in the shaded
hollow by my house
it is blowsy and
I feel my own death
nudge gracefully at my skin with
promises of what may be.
Like a cat, urging on bird calls.
Forget wet flesh,
I am lemon cake
and a slow breath;
tea with a vanilla cloud
of oleander.
A pausing swell.
Sleep attractive as the promise of breakfast
and marital love:
the idea of you
all over me,
the idea of me
all over.

--Natalie Caulfield lives in Connecticut with her archaic typewriter and a river creeping up her back yard. Her work has been published at Ink Sweat & Tears webzine and is forthcoming in Penny Ante Feud.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Trying to get that adrenaline
Pumping; in stride with the beat
Of a drummer that marches within
But refuses to quicken on her feet

And sinks slowly like mellifluous quicksand
Stubbornly; into a hollow abyss
No extrication by Merlin’s magic wand
Or even Prince Charming’s kiss

Not every damsel needs a savior
Distressing; concerned by an unknown plight
That reeks of a sacrilegious flavor
And burns the eyes of foresight

And though this heroine may indeed be raving
She, in the end, must do the saving

--Adina Rosenthal's poetry has recently appeared at The Camel Saloon, vox poetica, Yes, Poetry, and Heavy Hands Ink. Her short story "Succubus-in-Law", will appear in Gus Ginsburg's forthcoming anthology Bride of the Golem. Her thoughts can be found at adinacate.blogspot.com.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Angel Wings

Angel wings twinkle with hope
Their caress feels electric
Caring for the peripatetic
Transients; helping them cope

By cleansing their wounds with pensive soap
To improve their hopeless aesthetic
Ridding them the label pathetic
Disappointments; removing the rope

That harnesses them to failure
Doomed to repeat past mistakes
Instead, accepting an evanescent cure
Allowing them to eat their cake
And have it to; they will acquire a heart pure
To finally rise proud and remain awake

--Adina Rosenthal's poetry has recently appeared at The Camel Saloon, vox poetica, Yes, Poetry, and Heavy Hands Ink. Her short story "Succubus-in-Law", will appear in Gus Ginsburg's forthcoming anthology Bride of the Golem. Her thoughts can be found at adinacate.blogspot.com.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Poetic Exorcism

In order to play lyricist
Like a game of chess
You need a strategy that
Bleeds memories and
Purges the ethereal soul
Of its demons, fears, and
Hesitations as they hamper
Even the best of exorcists

And make sure to exorcise
Through poetic exercise that
Rings out the soul in melodious
Cacophony and chimes a triangle
Of hope, understanding, and
Raw reflection; a dance with lascivious
Passion and a sprint
with modest
Rumination
To lift the
Weights off your back
And build the muscle
Of your soul

For even an exorcism most mellifluous
Requires an introspection, most meticulous

--Adina Rosenthal's poetry has recently appeared at The Camel Saloon, vox poetica, Yes, Poetry, and Heavy Hands Ink. Her short story "Succubus-in-Law", will appear in Gus Ginsburg's forthcoming anthology Bride of the Golem. Her thoughts can be found at adinacate.blogspot.com.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Warmth, much later

Sense (emotional remorse) without saturation
            sans
deplorable nuances of a deafening cheer.  Dimmed
                                                                                    flood
forgoing anorexic devotion
—thrills upon orated notions
         depicting cross and weight of transgressional circumferences

 

                                    wound of windy springs
clutching role and woven abjurations
premise-lung piercing veil of diligent coverings—
                                    pastel
positional worries highlighting
modular obscenities
delegating toward an ear’s most
anecdotal naïveté.  
--Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. For information, including his 44 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,700 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website: www.felinoasoriano.info.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sounds of Whispered Highlights

Framed
                                    angles
                        italicized an
hour’s specialized
                        engagement.
 Of frigid symptoms
            (Winter white
                                    arid
             circumference)
decomposes     entire
                        entities
                  and
      various interpretations
                        of day’s
obvious
                        serialized
abstractions.  
--Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. For information, including his 44 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,700 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website: www.felinoasoriano.info.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Missed Fortune

Trust manifest

            an articulated
fulcrum of verb and
   delineated
               delirium.  As
home and path re-
        create persona
            of
blatant absence

                        walk of
                    alphabetic
                             maze
ends as     antiquated
fences      broken by
weighted         deliberations.  

--Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. For information, including his 44 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,700 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website: www.felinoasoriano.info.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Move, remove

erracotta veins
path relevant relayed splayed conceptions of the walker’s
tamed consistencies. 
                                    With

                             appetite attractions hysterical methods

roam systems dis
locate
placeable rhetoric submitted
dialectical swarms of the mind’s compulsive addiction

blend               spasm              interrelated blame toward
constant

abdications.   

--Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. For information, including his 44 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,700 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website: www.felinoasoriano.info.

Monday, July 25, 2011

bodies of the random permissions

head in the eye of
3rd generational                        pollution
            pontificate       concise interpretational correctness

*
mood and elevated study
notes as studious components
devolve corrupt, and, elongate
stubborn sensitivity

|a|
birth reconfigures familial hearsay
verb as crown
                                explicates scent and moving assumptions
                                    full as thoughtful advantages
derisive upon extractions of an inconsistent philosophy
--Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. For information, including his 44 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,700 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website: www.felinoasoriano.info.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Speed at Which My Mind Travels

accelerated slow motion
you
are my best friend
you silly son of a bitch

with your optical illusions
that lead me
carefully
astray
sweetly

as if you know
exactly
what it is
that I want



but wish to never attain

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cleansing

after finishing up
some work in the garden
the serial killer
inserts his hands
below the sink head
to wash off the dirt

-Maxwell Baumbach is a manchild from Elmhurst, IL. He has authored the chapbooks "Suburban Rhythm" (Scars Publications, September 2010) and "You're Welcome" (Alternating Current, March 2011). His first full length collection, "At Age Twenty," is slated for a January 2012 release from unbound CONTENT. In his spare time, Maxwell enjoys watching unhealthy amounts of Sports Center and sleeping.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Taxi Cab Confession

I saw a taxi that had your name
on its driver side door
and I couldn't help but think
that if it violently collided
with my vehicle and I died
in a fiery blaze that there is
a good chance
that it would probably
be symbolic
somehow

--Maxwell Baumbach is a manchild from Elmhurst, IL. He has authored the chapbooks "Suburban Rhythm" (Scars Publications, September 2010) and "You're Welcome" (Alternating Current, March 2011). His first full length collection, "At Age Twenty," is slated for a January 2012 release from unbound CONTENT. In his spare time, Maxwell enjoys watching unhealthy amounts of Sports Center and sleeping.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Hand of Friendship

Now hear this, new neighbor! John and Linda Somerset have decided to combat urban alienation by hosting an open house for the whole cul-de-sac! We’ll be all moved in by Friday; come at six pm. The buffet menu is antipasto, chicken Tetrazzini, cioppino and black-bottom pumpkin pie. Kids and critters are welcome, but remember only the kids are welcome to our pool!

The note was put in the mailboxes of the other six houses in the cul-de-sac. Two of the houses were foreclosures, so long deserted that their “For Sale” signs had been stolen. The third house was occupied by a shift worker with a time conflict. The fourth house was occupied by a devout family who never fraternized outside their own church. The fifth house was occupied by a couple with dander allergies, who had to avoid animals. The sixth house was occupied by a registered sex offender who had to avoid children.

But the open house was not unattended. The city collected mail and circulars from deserted homes, and had no record of a permit for the Somerset pool. Therefore, at six exactly, a process server arrived with a court summons.

--Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. Two of his short stories are Million Writers Award Notable Stories, and his novel, Vow of Silence, was favorably reviewed by Publishers Weekly. His website is at www.pw.org/content/robert_laughlin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Transact

Come find us tucked within your concrete scapes,
Not flaunting our wares in wild merriment.
Nowadays, we take on different shapes
When we taunt and tease and tempt and torment.
We do not believe we are dangerous
Despite our customers' bleak track record,
And doubtless you have been warned about us,
Labelled more trouble than you can afford.
It is never our intent for your health
To suffer though, for where would we be then?
We are nothing without you and your wealth,
This goblin market in the hearts of men,
And from deep within each the ancient cry
Still resounds loud and clear, 'Come buy, come buy!'

--Ian Chung is Fiction Editor at The Cadaverine. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Foundling Review, The
Cadaverine and Poetry Quarterly, among others. He was nominated by Camroc Press Review for Sundress Publications’ 2010 Best of the Net anthology. Currently, he reviews for The Cadaverine and Sabotage. Since October 2010, he also edits Eunoia Review, an online literary journal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hidden Word

Making my way to you
across the room, throbbing
music pulsing, thumping
in time to the beat of
hearts all around, I might
linger awhile and speak
a casual word to
persons unknown to you,
insignificant folk
not worthy of your fears
and jealousies because
there is one thing we share:
a meeting of the eyes
perhaps, or even just
a chance fleeting glance
is enough to be sure.

--Ian Chung is Fiction Editor at The Cadaverine. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Foundling Review, The
Cadaverine and Poetry Quarterly, among others. He was nominated by Camroc Press Review for Sundress Publications’ 2010 Best of the Net anthology. Currently, he reviews for The Cadaverine and Sabotage. Since October 2010, he also edits Eunoia Review, an online literary journal.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vitamin C

I love you like an addict needs a high
To stay afloat, treading water until
The next wave of narcotic numbness breaks
Upon my brain-sands and washes away
The dank detritus that accumulates
Only in your absence. Can you taste me?
For I taste the loss of you, like a blade
Cutting lines on the table, on my tongue.
The tang of blood no longer bothers me,
Shed in brokenness but to heal us whole.

--Ian Chung is Fiction Editor at The Cadaverine. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Foundling Review, The
Cadaverine and Poetry Quarterly, among others. He was nominated by Camroc Press Review for Sundress Publications’ 2010 Best of the Net anthology. Currently, he reviews for The Cadaverine and Sabotage. Since October 2010, he also edits Eunoia Review, an online literary journal.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

TaNka+10: A Generated Experiment

the scent of mango
is fixed in the memories
of an old people
under an alien sky
trying to build a new life

the scepter of mangrove
is fixed in the memsahibs
of an old pepper
under an alignment skydiver
trying to build a new lifeboat

the sceptre of man-hour
is fixed in the menages
of an old peppermint
under an allegation skylight
trying to build a new lifeline

the schema of mania
is fixed in the mends
of an old percentage
under an allegory skyscraper
trying to build a new lifespan

the scheme of maniac
is fixed in the menials
of an old perception
under an allergy slab
trying to build a new lifestyle

the schemer of manic-depressive
is fixed in the mentalities
of an old perch
under an alley slacker
trying to build a new lifetime

the schism of manicure
is fixed in the mentions
of an old percolate
under an alleyway slag
trying to build a new lift

the scholarship of manifestation
is fixed in the mercenaries
of an old peregrination
under an allocation slander
trying to build a new light

the schoolboy of manipulator
is fixed in the mercies
of an old perfect
under an allowance slap
trying to build a new lighthouse

the schoolgirl of manner
is fixed in the mergers
of an old perforation
under an all-rounder slat
trying to build a new lightning

--Ian Chung is Fiction Editor at The Cadaverine. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Foundling Review, The
Cadaverine and Poetry Quarterly, among others. He was nominated by Camroc Press Review for Sundress Publications’ 2010 Best of the Net anthology. Currently, he reviews for The Cadaverine and Sabotage. Since October 2010, he also edits Eunoia Review, an online literary journal.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Safe Words

By now you must admit
Love is an arranging.
We tidy the attics
Of our respective lives
And present them, proudly,
As a fait accompli,
Trusting now everything
Must be pleasing, wholesome,
Fit for our consumption.
And have we not laboured
To learn our lines and play
The parts we were assigned?
There is artistry here,
In the way we choose words
To say or not to say.
Language will protect us
From the things we cannot
Bring ourselves to confront.
Love is our dialogue:
I won’t tell, if you won’t.

--Ian Chung is Fiction Editor at The Cadaverine. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Foundling Review, The Cadaverine and Poetry Quarterly, among others. He was nominated by Camroc Press Review for Sundress Publications’ 2010 Best of the Net anthology. Currently, he reviews for The Cadaverine and Sabotage. Since October 2010, he also edits Eunoia Review, an online literary journal.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

If You Want It To Be Easy

Don’t shuttershock light back into quarks.
Don’t have staring contests with the man on the moon
reducing him to a high-school nerd of an asteroid
fumbling all over undiscovered space and sky
until he crashes into adolescent galaxies
with all the debonair of a prepubescent black hole.

Don’t challenge the stars to cross their eyes when they don’t have any.
The next time you want to make a wish,
they’ll organize a meteor uprising
as a boycott against falling for you.

Don’t break men in half
when they are made of millions of atoms
and half-lives
and so half
is, in all logical reality, a half-hearted copout.

This universe is in love with disorder,
so why break
when you can be a ball-buster?

Fall together.
Come worldly as they come.

When the world tries to stop you in your tracks,
rewind yourself forward.
Finish in the past tense.
Love like you were dying.
Live as if stopclocks waited on your every gasp and heave
to declare mutiny from mortality.

There are formulas for forever hiding in your fingertips.
Swallow your shortcomings.
Act like you know.

--Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory (a.k.a. Phoenix) is a poet, scientist, editor, activist, life-lover, caffeine-junkie, and connoisseur of all things carpe diem and light. Editor-in-Chief of the online poetry journals Borderline and Anatomy & Etymology, she wants to change your world, one word at a time. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Four and Twenty, Troubadour 21, The Legendary, and Spoken War. For more info, visit http://phoenixpoet.info.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maps V

Mondrian life in Maple leaves
Strewn at the entrance of
Wal-Mart, written history in
The aisles and the sand around
A dying man like police tape
Under my pillow, "Dream no evil."
Low-slung bell bottom jeans
With a holster at your hip,
Fire no shots, I've thrown
My condoms to the ground!
I made you into art and all
I got was one more drunk
Pussy at four A.M. Buy
Pesticide, meet me at McDonald's,
Leave the back door unlocked
Mom will be home soon

--Charles Alexander Themar lives in Denton, TX and enjoys malt liquor and soap operas. He will trade a knight for a bishop and hasn't been to the dentist in years, but don't tell anyone that.