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Rollercoaster Highway: A poetic Diary

We are still, at this point, far from a properly human relationship, let alone the larger one of community. Their relationship is one of sexual conjunction, which is to say, an animal function. What transpires between them on the essential level, at least for the male, is the expulsion of a primal animality that creates the space for a possible humanity, a death unto life.

The critical passage is, as so often in Lyacos, grammatically indeterminate: It is, rather, set aside so that another space can be cleared within the speaker, the space for a person. I take this scene to be particularly critical in the poem, because it suggests its process as a passage, by no means guaranteed or identifiable with a progress toward civilization, but rather as a constant toil, now advancing and now retreating.

This is the saeculum, the order of the world that cannot be its own salvation. The Hebrew Testament is the story of an unconsummated pilgrimage, in which a single tribe of people, distinguished from yet symbolic of all humanity, seeks a Promised Land, loses it through iniquity, regains it through renewed exile and struggle, loses it yet again, but never abandons the hope of a definitive return.

It is the single most abiding myth of the three great monotheistic religions, whose founding faith has, thus far and against all historical odds, kept it startlingly alive in the modern political world. Lyacos adapts it to his own purposes, and universalizes it as an emblem of the human condition as such.

Judaism has no final eschatological dimension; there is no transcendence of history, but the People endure. This connects Judaism with Hellenism, with its implicit notion of the cycle in which the human city waxes and wanes in a perdurable round. We seek, that is, the final accounting which the New Testament promises us as a blessedness beyond time, but we remain in the saeculum, a condition in which hope rises and falls to define itself anew, and names are forgotten only to be reinvented.

In the Hebrew Testament, the most potent symbol of this experience is the Tower of Babel, in which human aspiration exceeds its limits in the hope of provoking a final reckoning through supernal knowledge or empowerment. As this is a repeated experience on the collective level in the saeculum , so too it is on the personal one. The latter portions of Z are preoccupied again with the problematic of individual consciousness.

Our inability to fix reality is, as Lyacos points out, a function of our most defining cycle, the biological one that alternates our lives between sleep and waking, memory and loss:. We are both more protean and more believable to ourselves in dream: Or so it seems, for what appears change is only the changing face of continuity: Z ends not with this solitude, however, but, in its penultimate scene, with the most primitive assertion of human community, a detailed depiction of the slow butchery of a lamb.

The lamb is the symbol of sacrifice par excellence, of course, but there is no sense of ritual here, merely brutal slaughter. The coda to this, a single long sentence that starts without predication, appears to take the perspective of an animal hunted down to sheer exhaustion and surrender. There is no moment of recognition between predator and prey as death presumably comes: If, however, we must begin with the individual as one who fails to remember himself, so, Lyacos suggests, fraternity begins with the simple objectification of the other on the most primitive, even cannibalistic level, as a source of alimentation.

It is the labor of each day, individually and collectively, to go beyond this point, even if what is built is only a new Babel. With this in mind, we may turn our attention to the second volume in the trilogy, With the People from the Bridge. At the same time, Lyacos exercises a firm mastery of these disparate materials; nothing in them seems arbitrary or wasted, and the sense of atmosphere they build is cumulative and compelling.

It is this atmosphere that creates such stability and focus as the poem is willing to entertain, and enables us to consider it as presenting a social image rather than a kaleidoscope of personal extremities. The unifying symbol of the poem is the bridge, a concrete as well as metaphoric image of passage. As it appears, however, it has no indication of traffic and is perhaps a derelict structure. The people who live by or under it, like any homeless population, are seemingly cut off from any economy beyond scavenging. On the other hand, they are not people under or of the bridge, but from it, which implies more than a transient abode.

Perhaps it would be better to suggest that it is a situation, comprised of an indistinct past and an uncertain future, and that the bridge itself is the emblem of a journey with no sure promise of destination or arrival. But they also have possession of a working television and the cast-off technology of a video cassette, and books and newspapers are occasionally brought in from outside, primarily for fuel. The suggestion is that some kind of modern civilization is still going on outside, but it is also true that past and present seem permeable, as if time had been beaten flat.

At its most exalted, the Christian vision had been one of a kingdom of souls, living, dead, and yet to come, all comprehended in the eternal gaze and embrace of God, but torn, too, by the competing empires of Heaven and Hell. The vision, that is, was at once unitary and fluid, and deeply penetrated, as historical Christianity was, by the darker intuitions of folkloric myth, of wandering spirits, of vampires, of unseen presences just beyond the campfire.

A quotation from Mark 5. What Jesus seeks to expel here is not a single spirit but a figurative host, and it is not clear how he will prevail. The dogs whose barking is invoked throughout the poem are symbolic both of the underworld Cerberus and of the animal alertness that detects the presence of the fearful and the uncanny; they are, too, emblematic of the feral creatures of social decay. Speech and action are repeatedly broken off, and circumstances seem to grow progressively more dire.

Fires will not stay lit; wounds will not heal. Seagulls that swoop to peck at exposed flesh seem to indicate a city under a particularly intimate and malefic siege. It is rather, in the deeply Christian signification of the poem, to suggest the possibility of redemption.

In Lyacos, however, such a moment is experienced not simply on an individual level, but as a collective crisis in which personality and community are inextricably interwoven, and each person, even in solitude, experiences in and for the whole. Lyacos suggests this, finally, in a latter section of the poem:. At the same time, however, the journey is incomplete: But in the divine instant in which act becomes coterminous with desire, the observer himself is discovered before he can reach out. The three tense instructions indicate the condition of simultaneity, of time as overcome.

The observer belongs to the flock, which is incomplete without him; there is no kingdom but that all must belong. At the same time, however, there is, as Lyacos says, both a column of cloud and a column of fire, a pillar of many and a pillar of one Z, Thus, With the People from the Bridge appears to end with its last remaining voice, that of the Narrator, offering the assurance of a resurrection in the flesh:. On the facing page, however, we read this final text: This gruesome tabloid bit serves to bring us back to earth, to the abiding reality of human depravity and the distance that separates the saeculum from salvation.

His translations of modern Greek literature include Thirty Years in the Rain: And as soon as they brought me I stayed for a while and then they took me it was a building of four wards large yards and rooms the rest of the people were there four wards separate not far from the sea. And we would eat together sometimes and in the middle a log with cut branches on top over it an opening for the smoke, and ashes spread out on the floor black stains and ashes.

And they were saying goodbye to us now I with all the others saying goodbye to us and the place sounding with their goodbyes. And then they would come out go into a car and round the back there was the sea and they were going. And as soon as they would come out you could hear now people shouting and from that place in a car from the back to the sea it was not very far it was from the back where they dug pits and sometimes the water would reach there and the town was woken by this noise.

And they would lower them down into the pit. This is what comes to my mind most of the time. And to hear them cry as far as the last houses of the town where the wall was and everybody understood. A whole town just about. And that moment indescribable moment when I went down past midnight and saw bringing them in that truck down to the sea. If I could, only from that place he told me about, that gallery which leads behind the wall to the abandoned fort and the tunnel through the mountain. Because all other roads were guarded to prevent anyone getting through. Lights overhead broken apart from one at the far end.

And then that skylight, an open hole in the dark. Going inside that way you leave the city behind, the passage which narrows and narrows, you go up, hear sudden flutterings. Hear like a river flowing somewhere around. Soon you make out the end, light, you come up trees drizzle, leaves spilled at your feet. Voices and footsteps draw near then away.


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Then you start going down again as fast as you can, get there before break of day. More would die tomorrow. And some will know about you. Night cut in two by the yellow strip running through it. And he had told you to wait for the time they come and the way out is easier. And many were falling into the sea or stumbling and the rest trampling on them. And I wore the cross like he had told me and passed by the side of the tower and came out on the road for the station.

From there you could leave. If I could take a train from there. But I sat down then to recover for I was in pain. I got up, wandered about quite a while, then walked to the first platform on the other side. I went, pulled out a pair of trousers and a jacket, eyes shut, a little blood under his nose, he raised his head gently, wiped it off with his sleeve.

I returned to the toilets to change, came back left my clothes on the heap. Eyes closed, a drop of blood under his nose. I looked for a pair of boots from the kit-bag and put them on there, sat down beside him. Bent double, his side on the half-empty sleeve. A red beam held us inside it for a while and went away again.

It must have been already past six. Cold, keeping my hands under my armpits, something hard, the little Bible in the pocket, I open the pages blank here and there a few notes, somewhere else parts written clumped together, could not make them out. It had almost got dark. In one and a half hours. Turned off the light, pulled the curtain, passed a strap hanging there two or three times as tightly as I could around the door handle in case someone came.

Sat for a little, no one, went out again walked up and down the corridor, no one, lit a cigarette, it would be nearly time. Went in again tied up waited inside, a jolt in the dark, another one after that in about five minutes when we set off, one more cigarette, laid down, better now. As if I were awake and as if I were sleeping, suddenly something beside me, inside me, awake, asleep, dark changing landscape, day breaks, you turn your back to the light.

We stopped, early morning, a little water from the tap in the toilet, then outside. Blue, and around the slopes of the hills. Someone came out told us to get on again, same man came up to do the check, the papers were fine. First light that opens your lungs all around and above and from here onwards the strong smell of the landscape goes with you all along.

A few hours more, station, deserted, a dirt road leading into the town, mud, mud, blankets outside, mouldering corrugated houses, the shattered pylon further behind, not even a car, rubbish, two children setting fire to a heap, two or three other fires on the horizon, houses, the smell even more acid, tarmac pieces and pieces, concrete block houses, few people, half-open doors, half-light, the mattress as if it were soaked, that milk, the cramp in the stomach and dizziness, when I awoke, I hurried to make it before it got dark, a little by chance and from what I remembered, asked questions, the other side, back to the bridge, murmur of water, trees turning black but I could still see, it was in front of me almost as soon as I entered.

What are you doing here, sit for a while beside you, if you could also back then, did someone bend over, hear you while still you were heard, your eyes that were gleaming, eyes growing dim, pain growing dim, with how many more did they bring you, the bell, silence as they lowered you down, stifled song and a pause, murmur of water. I am cold, I walk away through other names, photos that look at you and yet they cannot, the sun now again at its end.

Nobody is coming after me. Surely they have forgotten about me. Nobody will ever come here to find me. He will never be able to find me. They took no notice of me no one cared no one remembers. Now they will remember neither when nor how. Tracks only, a hazy memory and those images when I look at what I have written, tracks of footprints in the mud before it starts raining again.

Or the rhythm of the steps that sound behind you, the rhythm of your own steps, which occasionally you think follow you, they stop when you stop, or for a moment you think he is coming behind you, or you think that someone is breathing behind the door and will now come in. And then nothing, and then back again, and you suddenly turn your head as if you had heard him. You are far away, no one knows you, no one wants to find you, no one is looking for you. And tomorrow you will be somewhere else still farther away, still more difficult yet, even if they would send someone.

And even if they set off from somewhere they will still be quite far. And they will not be many. One is like all of them together. Same eyes that search, same mind that calculates the next move. Same legs that run same arms that spread wide. Ears straining to listen, nostrils over their prey. Always acted like that. Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two arms, two legs. The symmetry of the machine that pursues you. A net that thinks decides and moves ahead. The head a fishhook the body a belt.

One behind the other. Forward back further back, to follow the road. Sooner or later he comes. And sometimes there comes a hand taking you by the shoulder, or a worm that climbs up on your hand. It rolls on a pillow of saliva. And as it rolls it is growing and wrapping around you. A flat tongue on its saliva with two eyes that rise up to peer at you. Maybe not you, they check for a confortable place to start from. Like him that, that night we were hungry, that had etched an open mouth on his stomach. Likewise this tongue is also stomach and mouth, always open. From there you go somewhere else, on the inner road opening up, in the twists of the gut, there of course you are unconscious by now, unconscious you take the road of return and when you wake up they have brought you inside there again.

You sleep at night. At night you wake up. Not even the shadow of a tree, a sign, something standing upright. Like you they are sleeping. Every time you get up you expect daybreak, it is night, you sleep wake up it is night. That continues many days while you are travelling.

As if you were pursuing a light which recedes with the speed you advance. For days it is like this. Then it dawns a little, a little. A line on the horizon, light, sky or sand or ash, more light, you do not know where from, goes on for a couple of hours, then again night.

And then all over again, you can no longer keep count how long does it last either the day or the night or the light. At first, each day almost the same then shorter and shorter, in the end it seems to you that the sun rises and sets within a few minutes. As if time fading out as if nothing perishing here. Day like a train moving in front of your own, waits a little, then slips away ahead. You just about hear the whistle ahead like wind that goes through a pipe. If things are different when you woke up just now, it could have been different before and you might not have remembered.

What have you done, if it is indeed what you remember. Who is to tell you. Or even your story to now. Anyway, if I can think of myself right here, there ought to be something else outside, some place else. Something outside of myself. Thought by itself tells you. I am here, I am not there: It began with something like drowsiness. I could see what was happening but could not move, not even open my mouth. Not even think about simple things, where, what day or what time. I was not sure. I was very hot. I wanted to take off my clothes.

I lowered my trousers. There was someone stretched out beside me, fallen down, I wanted to piss on him as he was fallen there. I went and kept trying but nothing would come. Could be from something in the food, could be from something we had inhaled. But nothing smelled bad. I was beginning to see in a blur. Suddenly my heart was beating louder and faster. Skin burning and growing red. We were madly thirsty. And a weakness and arms and legs not to obey and not to coordinate.

Two letters the second Z, I think, and then some numbers. Why do I remember this? Could be simply the way they had divided us, the section perhaps and number of people in there. I crawled to a corner and was looking around. And came out, he, of a manhole cursing and had burst into laughter. And then took a stone for a pillow and fell down and slept at my side. And like a tooth that was sprouting from his head. And the sun went down red and giving off smoke. And we woke and a beam of light a ladder that was coming down from the clouds down to the earth.

And it had like feet, as it were, braced on the earth and a head in the sky. And they were going up and down on it. And they were going up and down on it, angels with the faces of our own. And behind me he said: And angels were going up and down. Everything will burn to the end, you suffer, but nobody is punishing you, they are just setting your soul free.

Only calm down and you will see the angels who are setting you free and then you will be free. And he took the stone and poured oil on top. Then my own turn. Days came and went and they were staring at me eye to eye. Night had already fallen when I crossed to the other side of the station and came out on to the road. It was still raining, a little.

JPR07, September – Journal of Poetics Research

I would find them in one of the arches under the bridge, as he had told me. I would see light. I arrived outside, I waited. We were given a handout. Inside you could see up to a point, then dark. I sat on the dirt floor among the others, ten, more or less, some of them with their dogs. On the left the wall crumbling. Two more coming from there. Lights, high up opposite blue, green on the right and white lamps hanging, five or six, from the ceiling exactly above us, lit except one.

On one side the women. Three around a cut-down oil drum, another one fetching newspapers. They tore some up and threw them inside. When they moved back for a moment, close to the wall, you could hardly discern them, was it their clothes or the light that was making it look like that. Now this man, passing them naked to the waist with a broken brick or stone? A scar like a word on his chest, from his neck downwards. Sits down, takes two pieces of wood, hammers, he made a cross. Sticks it in the mud. To the side a glass and a bottle. Further back, the shell of a car half-buried, front door missing.

On the bonnet a cassette-player and a television, the wind-screen covered by a sheet of iron. A woman comes out from the car. From her nose down, like a mask made of earth, mouth hardly visible. Goes inside again, pulls a wooden cover in front. Old bits of iron around. And another man walking about, coming to us. Haggard, torn pullover, book in hand, some papers inside. Four names on the handout they gave me: Turns the cassette-player on and off. Goes and helps the women. These were the names.


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  • That is how I remember the name of the station, vaguely somehow. Another hum, louder, going on from the time I came in. Turns on and off, goes away, comes again opens the Bible, tears pages from there and goes and glues them on the wall to the right, one beside the other.

    With his back turned, almost. On one side and on the other crosses sprayed on the concrete. He comes here to read. Lights above turned out. Afterwards, though, comes the day they come outside you wait for them in the house. Same day every time. Sometimes in the morning when you wake up it is as if you are stuck and you prise yourself off them. You turn look right left in case they came.

    Another year gone by and we will. Narrator wipes his hands on his pullover, signals to them, they stop, they would have continued. As if he smiled. LG, with the cross, him also with papers, reading from there. Bent over then leans on his elbow, as he reads he stretches out on his side. I was coming and going. I found a cloth and wrapped it around my feet because they were swooping down and pecking me. I got up again to go. Going as far as I could. They were pouring in water on top.

    They were taking it off. Then I could I breathe for a while. Then they would leave, the others would come. Long shadow with an eye behind it looking at me. Digging again A little beyond. Narrator, goes and stops him. Someone comes in, sits beside me. We go on, LG down on his face now. Gets up puts his hand inside his trousers, sits down again. Takes off one shoe. Takes the glass from the floor and drinks, leaves the papers, now by heart.

    My head aches since yesterday, today no water at all, nor did I eat anything. Stops and starts again louder, pacing nervously up and down, close to me something like laughter, but it was not. Narrator, interrupts him gives him another piece of paper prompts him: And those at our side and the others on top. And us in between. Smoke coming in from above. They will start to take them out again. Eventually they will get to us. He comes our way, they fill his glass, returns sits down and drinks. Comes and gives us to drink as well, I drank a little. A body swept here and there on the rock like seaweed or a lifeless tentacle, fruit of a womb ship-wrecked by the winds, ensanguined and flesh-filled mire.

    Dimitris Lyacos is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy Z So far translated into six major languages and performed worldwide, Poena Damni is one of the major examples of postmodern literature in the new millennium and the most widely reviewed and best-selling Greek literary work in translation of the past decades. The second English edition of Z Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his life in England where he has worked as a university instructor, archaeologist, and librarian.

    He has a special interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry and was responsible for setting up the Modern Greek section at the Brixton Tate Library. See Part One and Part Two. Head bashed in, guts falling out, Pieces of limbs scattered in a puddle of blood, And chunks of meat still dangling from her mouth, The poor creature lay on the ground. My boyfriend screamed and then he wept. Since he was a six-year-old boy, he has always believed People need to hate cats in order to love them. When he was young, cats would jump onto him Even though he anxiously tried to cover his body With his two little hands.

    He would cry when cats snatched fried fish from his plate. You must not fall for that. They will stare at you without blinking. It means they are up to something. He wept thinking about witch cats that eat their young. When he wept, I just looked at him Praying I would never have a son with a morbid fear of cats.

    At that exact moment, at our door, On our furry carpet, on our sofa, On our bed and in this world of cat-fearing people, The pieces of fleshes from cats went scattering about. My boyfriend became a cat and a cat became him. They looked so identical like those doubles in the films Produced by Twentieth Century Fox. But I am not sure if the cat entered his body Or he morphed into a cat.

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    Anyway, they became remarkable allies. They jumped out of the window and ran away. His debut poetry collection Marketing was published in He currently lives and works in Yangon. A girl puts on a black dress and looks in the mirror. She takes a quick selfie. She posts it on a social media website. We all have this problem: I feel sorry for the girl in the black dress. The girl throws herself on the sofa and puts her hand where she wants it. The society has progressed.

    My mind spins like crazy. Old movie scenes flicker on my eyelids. A cat runs but not on piano keys. The girl in the black dress puts on glasses with big round rims. She looks in the mirror. She wishes her hair were three or four inches longer. She wants it to be as long as that of the actress from a movie she saw. She wants to live as freely as the woman from a novel she read. The girl in the black dress gets on a train. She thinks about reading a book, but takes her phone out of the pocket instead. This happens to people all the time, especially men. If a woman experiences such moment again and again, it means that woman is wishing she were a man.

    She posts that thought on the social media website. She takes off the black dress. I am not sure what kind of dress you see in your mind when you read about this black dress. So she undresses and looks in the mirror. The mirror is strangely large. She thinks about taking a photo of herself, but decides against doing it.

    Her bra and panties are also black. She stands in front of the mirror for a long time. Then she goes to the living room, pours herself a glass of wine or whisky , lights a cigarette and stares out the window. All these things happen simultaneously. She picks up her phone from the windowsill and takes a photo of herself staring out the window. The smoke from her cigarette wafts away in front of her eyes. When I check my phone, I see many new emails. I reply them as fast as I can, but it takes a year to finish. Then I sit in front of my computer and join a web conference like in a Hollywood sci-fi film.

    A year later, I buy a roast fish. But I forget about it because I am too busy. The fish comes back to life. I put it in an aquarium. Then I buy a bottle of liquor and invite friends to drink together. One of them keeps going on about something. I hit him with the liquor bottle. One of my cats dies. I meet a woman during a train ride. She is wearing a black dress.

    We start talking and she asks about my work. I take off the condom and leave the hotel. I start to drink every day. Knocking back glass after glass with a friend, I wait for the return of another friend from overseas. My friend goes back to the country where he works. That day, I am traveling on an express bus on the highway, apathetically watching the shitty film they are playing on the bus. She then brandishes a gun that she has hidden on her thigh and shoots me several times. The woman sees me smiling and asks: I can feel the warmth as she wraps her arms around me.

    On the highway, trees move backwards and the darkness settles in. But I know it for a fact, that her eyes will be gleaming in the dark. I tell her that I want to sleep a bit. She strokes my hair with her fingers. His poems have widely appeared in local magazines and anthologies. People sitting in the open pavilion are not talking about it But it burns. But it burns, sir. It burns poor quarters, it burns villas. It burns streets, bars and hospitals. It burns military outposts, buildings and everything else. Legs, hands, heads and hair are on fire. In villages and in cities, it burns and burns.

    It burns the whole wide world. It devours everything it can. It crawls like a snake and burns. It glides like a bird and burns. It swims like a fish and burns. But people sitting in the pavilion are not talking about it. After all, you yourself are aflame. The city is swarming with crows and foxes Hanging about in their t-shirts and jeans.

    Sitting in the theatre watching a play, I feel queasy. The hand gestures of the actors are in complete chaos. Well deep down, both you and I know whose fault it is. We keep saying we are going eastward. And we keep crossing paths in the west. Happy or not, we keep singing songs, we keep weeping. The flying bullets, I mean. Our brains should have grown much bigger. These days, the wind carries the smell of money Through the window in the evening light.

    I wonder what our gift boxes will bring with them. Good news or condolence messages? Lawoon Yan grew up in Monywa, Sagaing Region. His poems have appeared in several poetry anthologies. Smells take me back to where I was in the beginning A hand grows from a cigarette that is almost done And in the palm of the hand, a small chamber of broken deserts Flowers bloom from the wrist The body leaning against the wall is dark as tears.

    Words lose their colors Hurry back to the previous decade And stare down at the blue curtains. Khon Shine is a poet from Monywa, Sagaing Region. One holds a rose. Another sings a rap song. Our eyes are filled with prayers. We imitate the sound of trains and weeping. The road to the hospital dons a thick robe of slimy tar. She took liquid insecticide. Is now in the hospital. Her ward has the same window, the same curtain And the same view that I saw when I was here last year.

    A life that wants to end jumps with fright, again. My body temperature is uncompromising, And I measure the width of my face with razor blades. Our parents got those roses from a local market. Her mother is holding them in her hand. I have half a mind to put my earphones on her father. We two dance to a rap song on the hospital floor all day long. I sing a song Which illuminates the light bulb on the ceiling.

    She looks happy when it starts snowing. There are small holes in the walls Which would suck in everything. Elongated shadows move across the floor. I love her laughter because it chimes lightly. The cold feeling starts in the soles of my feet. Then the sound of her laughter starts to tremble.

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    Then I realize the town is located in the path of earthquakes. I write down the sentences That I have left unfinished in my head. She is entirely made of those strands of hair. And it came flying out of her laughter. I look at the ceiling And continue singing song after song. I also have to bring myself to tell the clouds to piss off. I harvest the hair that floats. Crops wash up on the shores of this year. Bashful mountains hide behind fog. Softly, I kiss the wall with my lips On which pictures have been painted all over. Cryptic upside-down lip pictures. In the river tainted by orange-colored lies, Water flows with numerous life jackets Into the expansive waters of time.

    One of us climbs a stupa And another one shakes a bell secretly. We feed our sins to the pigeons. The dentist pulls out my aching tooth. He is wearing a gas mask. In this movie about a psycho killer,. I go to a late-night bar And buy three or four more colors. I am going to put these colors on my quilts just by myself. Ma Thout is a poet and seaman based in Yangon. He has published two collections of poems. This poem Written in one sentence Is about black roses Hidden from sight On the dark side Of the earth.

    Tha Kount Tharr is a poet, translator and musician living and working in Yangon. His poems have been published in local magazines and poetry anthologies such as Nje and Revo Cat. Burmese Flag, since An old man is playing a piano. He is playing the piano because he lost his left arm. He is playing to his dentures that he has put on the piano. He is playing to a canon shell vase on the shrine. He is playing hoping his left arm grows back. And thanks to the music, he can already feel that his arm is about to grow back.

    I will do you. I will do all of you. I will blindfold you and do you. I will do you in the kitchen with pots clanking. I will do you with words. I will do you with cameras, lights and reflectors. I will do you with stories. I will play loud music and do you. I will open a book and do you.

    I will do you in splashing water. I will do you by pointing a knife and pulling your hair tightly. I will do you while pressing the piano keys with my left hand. I will do you in the middle of a meeting and while watching a film. I will do you across from the dhamma house behind the brier bush. I will do you in whatever way my wild imaginations dictate. I will do you in September until you become many colors. I will do you to burn my calories. I will do you during a class. I will rub you with olive oil and do you. I will do you whenever I get a minute. I will torture you, pound you and do you.

    I will do you with a big smile. I will curse and scream. I will do you until the whole neighborhood knows I am doing you. I will do you after everybody goes to sleep. I will do you using all kinds of theatrics. I will hang my portrait on the wall and do you. I will stuff you like a pie.

    I will stop the car on the way, fill the tank and do you. I will do you, rain or shine. I will do you as if I were climbing a mountain. I will do you until people get shocked and awed. I will rub you with ice, put cream on you and do you. I will do you with a masked gang. Her poems have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation and local magazines. She is a teacher at a local school. I accidentally deleted some data from my memory.

    Slight traces of your laughter were also gone. I took a glance at the old ghost on the wall Before I said something really important. Some of the lines in my poem are dedicated to him And some other lines are dedicated to myself. I know it has to be a joke coming from a siege mentality When someone says they will start living for themselves.

    Your future, a crowded street, is my guide map. When I really need someone, I find no one around me. Now I have resorted to laughing at my own misfortunes. The allusions in my poem have become actual things. My index fingers stare at me bewilderedly.

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    Here I am, summer. You will just try to cut my branches And sever my limbs at the time of a heat wave. Han Lynn is a poet and translator living in Yangon. He is the author of three poetry collections and translates international poetry into Burmese. He edits Be Untexed , an online journal of new writings and visual arts.

    If I decide to live like a ghost, most people will not see me any more. Someone must have smoked in the elevator. The mountain goat will be hopping around on the edge of the mountain. Sometimes a crocodile may come out of the lake backwards, and without having caught any fish. Is there a cat in a tree?

    A cat climbs a tree. There are giant sumos on TV. They are pushing each other out of the ring. Have you, by any chance, seen a cat climbing down a tree? When I finish speaking, people at other tables turn their heads and look at me.

    Deaf Poets Tour Diary, Part III

    I wish they did. A waiter closes the window. We needed to find his star. This time around we needed to fulfill the prophecy. So after a few blocks of walking on what felt like Ocean Drive very touristy and ratchet part of South Beach x , we found what we were looking for! After that very important stop, we hit up our friend and fellow Miami native, Corey Perez.

    We were hoping to just run into it while we drove on cliffs and beautiful homes that oversaw all of L. Once we gave up on the sign, we wanted to see the sunset on top of a cliff so we asked him to treat us like his date and take us to a romantic spot. Accidentally we found a path to a cliff that had a view of Los Angeles.

    We all fought the urge to make out with each other that spot was that powerful. We closed out the night with In-n-Out. First time ever for us and OMG! Ever since seeing The Big Lebowski and the way Donny was hyping it up, I knew that we were meant for each other. Felipe took us to the most fire late night Mexican spot called Cinco de Mayo. I had the California burrito with french fries inside…Fuego! She happened to be traveling for business so it was cool that we were able to line it up and have most of the crew together.

    Driving through the city is amazing! We of course drove through Lombard Street which was cool. The next day we visited China Town for most of the afternoon. It was cool to see all the authentic food and the different markets. After Chinatown we paid a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. What an incredible structure. We also saw a seal in the water…super cute! We headed to Elbo Room where we performed with Rad Dad. Turns out that we went to High School with their guitar player, Siggy. He was a year older and we used to gig together when we were all