Who will stand up for Myanmar

Largest book in the world is contained here, at Kuthodaw Pagoda (ကုသိုလ်တောဘုရား) in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Dedicated to my
friend Marshall,
my friend Dennis,
my friend Leo,
my friend Stanley,
my friend Maung
Maung;
all the friends
of Myanmar,
especially every
single student
that I ever
taught.

Folks of the Ayeyarwady River (ဧရာဝတီမြစ), near Mandalay, not far from Sagaing.

Who will stand up for Myanmar

when life itself has been gunned down?

Who will stand up for Myanmar when

Being is held in such low-standing,

who will stand up for Myanmar, who

            believes Western democracy is real,

            who believes the West is real.

Who will stand up for Myanmar

            who would stand up herself

            if not for the Golden Triangle,

“[F]or the poppy rules the world”[1]

as the whole world is colonized.

Who has stood up for the memory

            of the 8888 Uprising,

Who has stood up for the Saffron monks,

Who has stood up for the murdered

            and raped Rohingya,

Who has stood up for the million

            who’ve been displaced.

Believes that sanctions will,

            or ever have done anything

                        about this

And who enable the proliferation of

            military dictatorship the world over?

Who will

            stand up for the tortured

                        denizens of Insein Prison,

Who will read the

            interminable discourse already produced

                        on this subject,

And who will read this poem.

Who will protest nonviolently

            to the end global capitalism,

            with the indomitable spirit

                        of a Theravada monk,

And who will unite across

            every religious division

                        arm in arm, who

Will give up the religion of

            global capitalism.

Who will

            wake up to stand up

Dreaming in their violent mythologies

            to know who wrote

                        Burmese Days,

            let alone there’s a country

                        called Myanmar?

Who will stand up for what

            they regard

So cheaply to be bought

Turning the entirety of their backyard

            into a sweatshop.

Who will stand up for the workers

            of Myanmar

Who will stand up for a nation

            not their own

Who will give up the violent dominion

            of all nation-statehood.

Who will stand up

            for Marshall

beat repeatedly in the head,

threatened with firing squad

For merely spitting on a police car.

Who will stand up for Myanmar.

Who will stand up for the migrants

            of Myanmar,

            of the World

forced into modern slavery,

And who will stand up for this fact

that slavery is worse than it ever has been,

            throughout the entirety

                        of your so called progressing of Civilization,

            democratic values!

Who? How?

            When.

Cow outside a temple near Bagan (ပုဂ).




[1] (Jim Morrison, Paris Journal)

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