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April 19

"I have something in common with
Franz Kafka," Franz Kafka wrote
in his journal but didn't say what.
He had agreed to cover the hooker olympics
in Las Vegas for a glossy magazine.
He marveled at his luck: he, a sickly young
boyo specializing in worker's compensation,
had been granted the opportunity to gamble
using the house's money. How could he lose?
But what he liked best about the myth was that
sooner or later he knew he would be
desperate to lose the Midas touch
like investors in a panic to dump their stocks
last Friday. As one stock jockey glumly noted,
"we need the greed line to exceed the fear line."
America spread out before him like a field
of goldenrod with aproned women stooping
to gather the fruit under the apple trees nearby.