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)”

The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (2)


(Part 1)

The Kei Rani Memorial building, in the Bundleworg district, in this Municipality of Triij, on the planet of Amphitran. A case containing my effects hung from one fist. The other fist did not know what to do with itself, and was therefore deeply uncomfortable, as I stepped into a rotating door, two-stories high and sleek in glass and chrome. It seemed expressly designed to be intimidating; in response to my approach, its soft, whirring movement began at the precise instant that I began to panic at its not budging. There was not a single smudge or fingerprint to be seen, and halfway up the glass was frosted with the Amphitran globe, so large that it could swallow my head fifteen times over.

I knew before emerging from this door that my stirring resentment would not be helped by the sight of the lobby. Wide, and long, and low, far off to one side I could see a spot where the ceiling rose, and light poured in, and a living wall of plants basked complacently. But I knew I would not be going that way. Directly before me was an expanse of grey carpet, a few lone, two-seater couches set like islands for confidential conversation amid the vastness, and the distant vapour and blinking lights of gates through which only those endowed with CAMFT passes could go. Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (2)”

The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Do Not Mix) (1)


Some things in the Huniverse simply don’t have any explanation, as some beings are so fond of saying. However, in my experience, such things are uniquely related to human behaviour. In this particular case, the humans involved were myself, my direct supervisor, and the over-stressed officials in one small part of the Central Amphitran Ministry of Finances and Taxation.

Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Do Not Mix) (1)”

A Stay More Exotic Than a Treehouse


Image result for underwater room fantasy art

An underwater nook, arcing

Glass and steel telemetry

A wetsuit about my ankles

But no tank to breathe the sea

I came with a flock of parrots

Where I expected to be alone

To hide and write and miss you

Stranded where the coral blows

Instead feathered cacophany

Around neck and wrists and feet

While the fishes flicker silent

Outside my enclosure, watching me

The weight of blue is astounding

And among the parrots I cannot speak

I sit and wait for this glass arbor

To surface from the deeps

Image by Julie Dillon

Castle Rabbit


You built a wooden castle

Where pool fell into pool

And the trees clambered into sanctuaries

Where no one could stay for long

I caught a black rabbit in those halls

A baby, nothing more

Than the length of my palm and delicate

Breaths through trembling fur

It had been on the doorstep

Of your haunt of wild cats

Of the hall of hawks and owls

Of your ego left ajar

And when I lost hold I did not wonder

Any longer how to leave

I made doors of your wooden castle

Until the trees lifted me free

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