The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Most citizens of the LEZ, myself formerly included, know very little of the Government’s expenditures when it comes to its thousands of arcane tax measures. We hear about big ticket spending on things like Rejuv technology, or about money transfers from the Global Government to our municipalities, to help pay for our recreation centres and experimental bakeries. From time to time we even see a piece in the news about alleged over-spending on agricultural subsidies.

But we do not hear, for example, about the enhanced deductibility of Publishing Input Expenditures (PIE) for publications with at-least-80-per-cent1 Amphitran content, or the special advance tax refund for new, small, first-time publishers with qualifying PIE.

We remain unaware of the fact that, on Amphitran, those bardic gossips and newsmongers that call themselves “Crooning Roamers” qualify for a Global tax credit on expenses related to their cultural output, in addition to being eligible for an LEZ-wide credit that is almost but not exactly the same thing. We don’t see headlines to the effect that the Cultural Expenses Tax Credit will be raised by 10-per-cent, and made refundable, exclusively for the Crooning Roamers, who as a group have never been defined in law, and who have perhaps been receiving tax support to date solely based on the Bureau of Tax Collection and Enforcement’s (BTCE) unwillingness to contest their claims, which for a Government accustomed to accounting in the quintillions, amount to mere peanuts.

We do not hear that if one produces anything which can be argued to fall within the vague definition of Amphitran “cultural output”2, then, due to the overlap of various measures, you’re looking at about a 60-per-cent subsidy rate – even if the content is, objectively speaking, utter crap. Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)”

On Earth

She laid her head upon my breast

And interrogated the concept

Of Infinity

Atoms nor stars had the right

As if they were born to show us our

Frailty and scant drops of eons’ seas

The least her mitochondria could do

Would be to marry her more deeply to

Mirrored lives unfolding, compact

If brief and imaginary

Because the stars and atoms’ stubbornness

Would never see them move, she said

We should dismiss them for stars made instead

On Earth, in Finity

Mostly Rhyming


I’m really excited to say that I have completed my first illustrated anthology, “Mostly Rhyming”. This is a collection of my poems interspersed with black and white digital sketches like the bunny in the boudoir above 🙂

The e-book is on Amazon in Kindle format –  and the Kindle app is free!


Offer prayers to dispassionate gods, with the ground you walk and the blood you trade. Hear, in the calls of the night and the sighs of the snow, the silence in their answers.

I was fascinated; silence as a measure of something, or of nothing at all.

But Sato was shaking his head. “You have a strange sense of humour Gen, if you were trying to be funny. That is not a book I like.”

The worn cover might have indicated otherwise, but I closed the book and folded it into my lap. Beneath one hand I still traced the sword upon its bindings, thin and crude when compared to the graceful characters traced on the pages. Continue reading “Orison”

A parting still

My lady, a voluptuous sky her only rest,

The bedchamber become a bower, become a glade,

Sings fain to dampen cheeks and furrow brows

All her own

Of what she sees, I know nothing save

She bespoke rays cleaving Apollo’s dome

Antique palettes creeping ‘pon the clouds

Once, long ago

And here this mawkish discontent of mine

Amid notes spilling chamber to chamber

Amid delights dulled to erasure

Within my breast

My lady, an unseen sky her only rest,

Seeks strings over vanished, varnished wood

And burgeoning days of warmth gone by

Now lonesome


Elizabeth Cook, 2016

White crest

There must be

a longing for adventure

There must be

a longing for the sea

I waited where

you never thought to enter

I ran the sun

around a trinity

So I leave you

a sand’s spill from the ocean

I leave you

your still and tidy wings

There is the sound

of drifting silver fountains

And with the dawn

a distant bell will ring

Let the night

renew a course and chapter

Lest the earth

grow warm beneath my feet

For there must be

a longing for adventure

There must be

a longing for the sea


Elizabeth Cook, 2015