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Dreamed 1990/1/16 by Chris Wayan

It is said that the T'ang poet Li Po stepped into his cellar one night to fetch more rice wine, and he found it bathed in light from an open door in a wall where there should be none.

Now, the door led into another world, where live strange demons or gods who are eager to kidnap great poets and keep them as pets. And so, they brewed a vortex, a whirlpool in space and time, that sucked the poor poet into their spirit world, through a funnel of light.

And there he stayed, a prisoner, forced to sing like a caged cricket. They paid only in flattery, and their wine was abominable.

They kept him quite a while--but eventually, the policemen of the spirit world came and arrested these gods, and took them all to a heavenly magistrate, who ordered them to "Free Li Po and return him to his wine-cellar unharmed... or face my wrath." And as this was the God of Judges, with the face of a great, choleric frog, these gods took no chances.

The next morning, the poet awoke in his cellar. Even his wall was mended. Indeed he took it all for a vivid dream...

...until he learned his friends had been searching all week for him!

One detail, Li Po said, was curious: in the court of the gods, sending a whirlpool of space and time to suck him out of his own life was not considered kidnapping, but rather, the illegal practice of medicine.


Well... they had committed the crime of unlicensed Li Po suction.

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