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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
Timothy M. Leonard's books on Goodreads
A Century Is Nothing A Century Is Nothing
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.50)

The Language Company The Language Company
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

Subject to Change Subject to Change
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Ice girl in Banlung Ice girl in Banlung
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Finch's Cage Finch's Cage
ratings: 2 (avg rating 3.50)

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mouthful of pay

The publishing world is a crapshoot, said literary Agent Orange. A casino. After expanding the narrative working the brothel angle give me mythical cold blooded sadistic mega maniacs, corrupt politicians, civil servants, millions of poorly paid laconic Asian teachers, nurses, doctors and financially motivated international bankers, politicians practicing fraud, sexual harassment and NGO graft under the auspices of organized crime charities.

Give me gloom and doom global financial collapse with character arc de triumph and a fairy tale happy ending with revolutionary caviar and champagne.

Establish a narrative flow line where heroes or heroines conquer their unconscious fears, demons and symbolic metaphorical archetypes.

Keep it simple. Woman writer meets man. Woman faces obstacles: ice, money, sex, love, compromising her values, morals, ethics, principles, publishing her story etc.

Woman loses man. Woman sells more ice, gets more money, fucks man out of loneliness during a 5-year courtship, (he will save me) discovers blind love exchanging one form of volunteered slavery for another. Man promises her BIG money.

With resignation she gets engaged accepting that sex business is money business. She keeps writing. She sends her story out. She becomes an independent author/publisher after multiple orgasms and form rejections from blind agents. The independent woman gets her man. She introduces man to her poor family and eleven siblings. Family demands $5k as a minimum down payment. She is a valuable child bearing resource and baby production machine.

They give their daughter an engagement t-shirt.

My body is a work of art.

It’s for sale and it ain’t cheap.

Man facing family greed suffers an internal crisis of fear, uncertainty and doubt. He agrees. He goes to the crossroads at midnight. He sells his soul to the d-evil. If you want to play you have to pay.

Man pays for family engagement party. Man pays local greasy greedy officials for marriage approval documents. Man pays local shaman for blessing. Man pays for her sibling’s education. They are excited to learn how to read. Man pays for a water pump. Man pays for solar panels. Man pays for her grandparent’s medicine. Man pays for rice seeds, rabbits, vegetables. For eternity.

Parents give expensive village party impressing everyone how rich and popular they are with gleaming scheming status. Mother coerces daughter to produce many children and propitiate their poverty cycle. Give us someone to love. Someone who will work, breed and get slaughtered. Someone to take care of us. Someone to bury us.

Someone to feed us incense, said dead relative ghosts.

Ice Girl in Banlung



She spoke with her hands, wings. Short, fast and deadly.

She dreamed of writing a short story, perhaps flash fiction.

She made a pot of green tea.

She selected a fountain pen.

She unscrewed the black ebony summit.

She opened a black notebook.

She started with flowing calligraphy forms.

My life began in a village. I don't need to leave my village. My village is the world.

She created 5,000 year old Sumerian script.

A dreamer with controlled imagination.

SLOW CHILDREN...words, lightning bolts -

Blue butterfly, white sky, green flowers, red leaves,

Songs of invisibility, piano shadow.

How do you spell loss?

What she called memory contained an entire world.

A blind painter paints from memory. A blind writer. A blind poet.

She painted words of yellow laughter.

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.

A little voice.


her eyes are the world

A voice was missing.

Dozing, it concealed inherent pixel images of sad-eyed curious Chinese children trapped behind educational gates near women struggling behind plows and oxen or bent over Butterfly sewing machines threading conversations and manufacturing tongues in Maija village shoe factories years away from wealthy cities and dummies in display windows. 

One joy was selecting the cover photograph. The girl’s image expressed emotional honesty with natural innocence.

She was trapped behind a hard steel grate-full educational reality.

Her eyes held world secrets and unlimited potential. She’d stared at a professional stranger and an aberration in her universe. Her sisters and schoolmates pushed against her. She was trapped against a locked gate. He was on the other side.

He raised a small black machine to his eye. She heard a subtle click. A shutter opened and closed freezing time, capturing her soul on a memory-fiction card. He smiled, thanked her and disappeared.

She had no way to know her child eyes would grace a book cover for everyone to see, breathing her immortality in alchemical manifestations.

He’d visited her primary school speaking strange unintelligible words and singing and dancing.

His laughter and smiles were a relief for the kids after the autocratic, punishing manner of bored illiterate women teachers. They didn't want to be prisoners any more than the kids.

No one had a choice here.

You did what you were told to do in a harmonious society filled with social stability, fear and shame ordered from Beijing well removed from a world where farmers followed oxen in rice paddies.

Green rice stalks revealed their essence below a blue sky in mud and meadows of reality.

A Century is Nothing



laughing children

maintain their honest true
emotional awareness
in the moment
before artificial social conditioning 
destroys their fragile innocence

humor and curiosity

crimes against humanity

fear is a killer

mai's hearing evaluation -
anthony from NZ came, met, talked,

promised the world, took her out, tried to seduce her, failed, he left
mai has a black belt in karate
she's killed more men with silence than you can imagine
she is resigned to her life

massage and laundry scrubbing under the paternal gaze
of her older sister who sits in perpetual admiration of her mirrored reflection

how does her awareness register POTENTIAL for unrealized dreams
how does her silent resignation
understanding comprehend one single lost chance,

all the complexity w/o expectations

in the false dream of star rain

they moved a wooden toy pawn,
salad bar in silence
welcomed cool air from a brown river,
children pressed noses to a rolling window, laughing

an archeologist skips through star puddles into 8th Century excavations
freedom sings stones,
selling a Blue Pumpkin to a Cambodian land mine amputee
w/o a left leg selling DVDs to fat tourists
talking with their mouths full

an Enfield rumbles in Pokhara
spinning the Wheel of Time
rejoicing in miracles, small ones
sit in meditation 

we do laundry by machine, said language animal

3.8 billion years ago a black hole captured a star the size of our sun
sucked the star into its empty mass the star exploded the black hole
escaping energy created, released streams of light we see today

at that moment 20 raindrops trusted your intuition
to travel is to feel

indonesia asked you to return
two years ago you said thank you to orchids
goodbye to gardens

orchids remember you
the apple tree

you planted at Gardenia

grows strong
roots buried deep below blossoms
fragrant with memory


Street meat in Quanzhou, China


short odds

kick boxers attack green mangoes

chopping white ice while

shifting gears after school in wind

cradled infants

dying of malnutrition

wail at the cambodian hospital

for a free blue placebo pill

(an orange pill is $1.50)

smelling charcoal fired waffles

a boy pedals his bike seeking

recycled trash

before wicker baskets say hello

spare change searches for user value

collecting cardboard images in a squall

red ink meets onion paper at an intersection

whispering secrets without speaking 

Reading in Mandalay