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Fine Art America
Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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Random addictions


Seeing the way she staggered he knew it was from a detox unit. Hard time. Being a veteran of a jungle war 10,000 miles away and the group he recognized the symptoms easily enough.

Her face was pale, shallow, pasty yellow. She looked like a zombie. She got out of the car squeezing an extra large jumbo plastic soft drink with a straw bent at an angle. She shuffled across the parking lot and disappeared into shadows leaving the sound of a slammed door in her wake.

A couple of days later while murdering words he heard her door slam downstairs. She passed into into view as her flip flop sandals flapped on asphalt shuffling along the white ward of her memory. She negotiated a flat parking lot full of rusty secondhand cars and trucks along the pebbled hard methodical surface of her nightmare. She went down the slope past prison guard cars, jalopies, trucks with high chrome fenders and expeditionary gas guzzlers out on parole.

She slithered her inconsistent way inside her alcohol addiction past blue trash containers heading to the marine dockside store. For years they sold bait, tackle, hook, line and sinker.

Facing flat growth they switched to booze bait business to meet the needs of thirsty public prison workers, island tourists or locals. Quick and painless for those needing a quick fix, a quick nip-it-in-the-bud Jack’s Daniel dancing all a round.

“Set’m up Mr. Bartender, one scotch, one bourbon and one beer,” sang Mr. John Lee Hooker. Line and sinker.

She weaved her way down and he knew where she was going. No doubts or secrets revealed themselves before torrential coastal rains swept the terrain clean as a whistle. She eased around the corner heading toward her salvation, escaping her self imposed prison of drudgery, boredom and malaise.

Her ghost staggered back uphill, her thin right hand grasping the message of her salvation feeling the crude brown paper bag texture covering a bottle of elixir. Unbroken seal of approval.

She slammed her apartment door on the rest of her day. He never saw her desire again but swears he heard someone on suicide watch banging their head against a wall screaming HELP ME!


chinese truck.jpg


Her new job


"I got a new job, my first full time job after graduating from a Chinese university," she sang while they shared spinach.
"Congratulations!" What's the job?"

"I decided not to go to Shanghai now. I selected a smaller company near here doing the international trade for export. They have a factory making Christmas ornaments and small plastic products. The environment and pollution is poor because of the chemicals they use in manufacturing but I will get used to it. The English skills of the other girls in the main office is not very good and I like the boss. He told me I will be the main contract negotiator. They do a lot of business with Korea."

"Sounds perfect for your translation and interpreting skills. The job market for new grads is tough. It's a good start. Did you sign a contract?"
"No, after three months probation I can sign. It's only for a year."
"Good. I know some companies require new hires into 3-5 year contracts. Too limiting."
"I agree. One year at this company will give me the knowledge and work experience I need. The pay is 1600 Yuan ($200) a month which, compared to other jobs, is good. They provide a dorm, food and I have one day off a week."

"Excellent. How's their growth?"
"Good. Annual sales are around 10 million Yuan."
"It's a fine opportunity for you. When do you start?"
"The day after tomorrow. I'm a little nervous, leaving my friends here at school."
"You'll handle it well, knowing your personality and attitude. You'll be ready to move on in a year. Stay in touch."
"I will, thanks for your help and support."
"It's been a pleasure, good luck."


plastics poster.jpg


Mobile Ear Cleaner


PS neighborhood55.jpg

In an amazing and toadily tech no oil logical brake threw a Chinese engineer operating at an undisclosed location for security reasons announced today he has invented the first mobile phone which, according to unspecified sources, cleans your ears during conversations.

A crack team of snoops tracked down the illusive scientist and filed this report after it was censored by nomadic sheep in Mongolia.

Mr. Lucid Lost, operating under the code name, "EarPhone" released the first verifiable circular data on his new invention.

"It works like this!" he yelled. "It works like this!"

"Wiley you is yelling into the small microphone, the high decibel level of your obnoxious voice activates a minute sharp spoon cylinder which unfolds from the phone and gently eases it's way into your ear channel canal.

"The louder you yell the deeper it goes until, WHA LA! your ear is rotated sideways into auditory realms of blind stupidity rendering your vocal chords insolvent, with starling effects. It's a clean machine and abuses batteries."

Sources indicate Phoneetechy, a hybride European communications company will consume the public on April 1 knowing that 600 million raving consumer maniacs will be holding their collective breath.





She remembers an old fable about a bird and an ogre telling his daughter where his soul lived.

“Sixteen miles from here is a old gigantic tree. Around the tree are tigers, bears and scorpions. On top of the tree is a huge snake. On top of the snake’s head is a small cage and inside the cage is a bird. Inside the bird is my soul.”


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Get a life


She kept talking to no one in particular, hoping someone would listen.
“Will you get married again?”
“No. I won’t get married again. Marriage is like a business deal with bad sex.”

old grey haired man
observes ghosts
dancing through soft shadows of night
curling dark thick shanghai

young lovers hide in shadows
fish seller sleeps
two boys dance in truck lights
a woman with three bags of rice
sits by empty fur coat store
counting a grain

chinese man trailed by wife
tired of the city
labors their belongings
in plastic bags on thin shoulders

incognito nature shadows walls

She took off her glasses revealing layers of dark smudged eyeliner.
Trucks loaded with cement, paper products and garbage
rumbled past the open door throwing dust into the air.

“Yeah,” she said, “well, my ex-husband works at the nut house
and he has trouble with them people so he’ll probably sue.”

They talked about everything but mostly he listened to her pain.
They shared emotions and feelings and she was surprised at his openness.
Their reality and distant security increased emotional truth and trust.
They spent hours in conversations full of laughter,
insight, confronting grief and loss and discovering themselves.
Their communication bills were staggering.

They were lost, looking, open and honest.
They talked about their dysfunctional families,
about the absence of love
facing sexual humiliations.

“I worked in a hospital once,” she said. “I hated the stress of working in an operating room during heart surgeries. The ancient surgeons were inept with their chauvinist attitudes.
“I felt uncomfortable working with an ex-boyfriend, so I quit.
"I’m not good at handling this breakup. I need to find a new job.
"I need to get a life."


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