Writing as Resistance

“The Goal: an era of investigative poesy wherein one can be controversial, radical, and not have the civilization rise up to smite down the bard. To establish and to maintain it. POETS MAY REMAIN IN THE RADIX, UNCOMPROMISING, REVOLUTIONARY, SEDITIOUS, ABSOLUTE.”
—Ed Sanders, 1976

The Powerless
               by Zo

We were born into this–
toils of tangled gods’ maws
gnawing us raw
as we wiggle and crawl
on top of each other
like fish out of water. 

Nothing sprouts from our barren faces
no eyes to cry, no mouth to shout
and wail as the gods’ acid spit flays us alive,
naked red ready
for an eternity of their vicious brute bites. 

Shrieks of pain caged inside our larynxes
eat us from within;
our blood and self
chewed and churned to nothingness
whilst outside, our bones and flesh
crushed and burned into disfigured mash. 

Then the gods feed
on the juice their teeth have squeezed
out of every fiber of our meat.
our blood and tears, bittersweet
with the futile hatred for them we bleed
A gory feast that goes on for eternity. 

Then here we are—
a mammoth mush of battered bodies
and dismembered hands, feet
wrenched dry of any humanity
Our gods’ grisly feat. 

But we don’t die like free men do
in this teethed pit of spit and bodily goo.
That’s how these gods torture you.
We bud again from our broken bits
to be bitten and chewed anew.

Overthrowing Fists

Part 1 : LakePonder

Soldier of self-abuse,
Used by the frog chieftain
among frogs in the lake,
               ripples made;
on the silver sheen of the surface like gunmetal
burn subtle the souls of brutes in battles of lakeside,
while a frog jumps in,
               & swim to the middle

The size of the waves looked like a knife
               used to cut off the legs 
Only dead rot the amphibians
               and frog chief wouldn’t care less
Generations of the gentle creatures had become
               foam in the belly of
               a monstrous crocodile. 
Lines of each individual’s
               freedom crossed 
Captain frog head
               in the clouds fogged 
Thought everything can be bought like a boss 
Sought he not in his own frog’s belly
               and ask what’s lost

Contemplation half-way jumped the crocs
               at the entire army of frogs
               till chieftain realized
some thing cannot be bought.
What violations of serenity in a pond
               where green was once the color of life, 
yet too many green frogs suffocate the very life
               out from under yourself,
and an infinity of soul-crushing soldiers as frogs
               would never be enough, to squash
               our freedom-loving struggle,
this blood-thirsty ignorance shall see nationwide reverse. . .

Converse the universe of brutality
in the heads of frogs with weapons
               in lake pristine
               near those mountain
ranges by the river of life
Till all their thoughts flow out
               in the open water
               defenseless yet serene
The mountains reflected in the sharp knife
               of the lake upside down became
               jagged rows of the dictatorship
Commander lost-marble gave out command :
               lunatic fickle in the face of religious label;
               brutally, heads penetrated by fire metals
in concrete jungle, yet army-owned news on TV
               one-sided fabled

Rainforest tropical from the south to the west
               up the ranges to the north till we go east
and also in the middle : said playful otters to each other. .
going further, frogs know not better;
               for the rightfulness of mind and act is best together


Strategize, neutralize damage in water,
otters scattered networks of defensive
& offensive packs in the lake green shore,
though it not clean leading foul water to the middle
               yet if need be there could always be battles,
settle differences and all unjust acts through the right tactics
               rather than might mad click of metal amid misery

Misery, like the kind hovering over mass graves,
               a bloody massacre of their green bodies ripped to shreds
in a bloodlust rage of the crocs; 
Hushed not by his own FrogConscience,
general power-thirstFrog fat flat sat
               on his butt yet let the other frogs rat-tat-tat-tat. . .
met croc the brute mess not in water made foul
               so oiled-skinned otters pack up
yet fatso FrogChiefGenerals led by TheUnscrupulousGeneral,
               Ruthless. .

               were days on end,
not only this cycle that fattened the stomachs
               of a regime gone blood-blind; 
but so too to accuse electedButterflies of fraud
               on baseless blunt cockiness, O. . . .
FrogGeneral wanna-eat-power, voracious. .
               moral fibers & every molecule
               lifeless in shamelessness.

Only problem was
with this characterization of butterflies,
               numb-nuts and the full power
               of its propaganda machine
was goin’ around sayin’
they were actually Death-head moths.
See the thing about that is
every single fucking creature on the planet
especially anarchist frogs or at least
the common peace loving people
have goddamn fucking eyeballs.

Yet to make brutes see beauty in truth
               ain’t always been smooth;
nonetheless, sight we have not
               even though no one’s life’s futureproof?
               “Exterminate all the brutes,” has always been
a common maxim among the ruling class box of tools,

and “do we not see cruelty with every creature?”
               should be asked often to ourselves if we ain’t fool :
said the FrogChief to his army
               An army’s an army.
               Hence all the world
must bow to our own conception
               of human nature. 

               Right, human nature. . .
what do you think of us, peculiar savage nature :
ChieftainFrog retorted unnurtured
The untutored, the unwashed,
Bags of theft-cash packed
FrogChieftain thought he might have left,
swag yet croc & otters ain’t done having frog-snacks
soft splash in between jaws raw fat exploded,
               oily mouthwash

               in There was the Lake,
how to fight against its swelling waters in the monsoon 
As frogChief panic, butterflies in its stomach
               one thoughtless traitorFrogSoldier
gave an unexpected bullet penetrated
               the Chieftain’s right temple
through left, putting the GreedyGeneral
               to eternal rest. . . . Hush. . .

billions of lifeforms sprung up
               in a rainbow formation.
We are the regiment for Life.
We shall be taking over now,
dear sweet corrupted General,
               how sad.

               ripped and swallowed,
numerous frogs in serene water
               near many rocks,
advanced otters & croc,
met not chieftain for he
               marbles lost and hop. . . hop. . hop.
Till he on his deathbed will he stop . . . . Aye. . .
what the fuck the deceased gon be if he still hop
               not sleep stop? : asked a loco mob

Frenzied like the monsoon waters, 
Nah. . . Chieftain exported byRussianMobAs
               toastedAmphibian to ChinoShop :
said a RedMofoLunaticBliss at the bus stop.
Awaiting a signal like them trains
which always run on time in Western Fascisms, 
               Panic ensued GreenFrogChief
then got swept away by his own greed
to leave no print in the sands of time;
Organized otters, however, glide with ease
even in filthy water

               dark green polluted by dead frogs
and found themselves exhausted;
flock above the lake were famished vultures,
occasionally snacked down along shoreline
               of lake on dead frogs ‘fore they rot,
or just when they’re rot enough as the birds’
               snacks in filthy water broth.


Cult of a Colonialism called “Liberty”

               Our life
is your entertainment,
we are the lumpenproletariat.
We are the refugees
               of endless wars,
we are the rent paid
               to your mortgages.
We are the disempowered
we are “we the people”
               with an asterisk,
Human in quotation marks.
We are the loose change
               donated that relieves
Protestants of guilt,
we are the infinitude
               of suffering on display
at a never-ending protest.
We are the bums of global
We only ever get heard
               after we’re gone,
After the illegal operation
               wasn’t explosive anymore
               & got declassified,—
we’re the ones who
               didn’t get a memorial
               after we were bombed,
we are the ones who
               you refused to say
               even got bombed.
We are the refugees
               of the bomb,
               of our circumcised
               peace movement,
Of executed civilians
               who are terrorists
Because we don’t have
               a State.
I am a refugee of your State,
               O Lady Columbia, you cult!
And what else is a cult,
               but a conspiracy?
Ms. Columbia, you greatest
               of conspiracies;
Stealing the land right
               out from under
               Life’s nose,
With the ideology
               of a war machine
               from overseas!

When a throbbing fear invades my mind, 
Roses of divine, in time,
               bestowed thorny rhymes;
Structures like a shell spiraled,
Deconstructive at sea viral
Waves of the hand, pearly nets
Though stormy the fisherman drag
A lone crab. Jellyfish sparkle
at sea deep, no hurdle. . .

for a sun blooming red
               above the twinkling sea.
Dark blue dotted by colorful diamonds
               framed by the sky, free
in the times before history began,
               a value higher than currency, 
truth be not in part of nurturing minds;
               the mightier, legendary?
Textbook hypocrisy or red book theory!

All text is a double value,
memorization is indoctrination,
theories are statues made of the once living.
Who could force the youth to conform,
and all their hopes and dreams, on an exam,
on the tyranny of social status,
               be based upon?
As in a harp played by a lady in Bagan,
strings don’t begin to make mellifluousness
unless struck by individuals
               with manual dexterity;
How then can the poverty-stricken golden land
               of Myanmar ever be sweet again?
              will we ask our teachers in exams?

It is the divide between teacher and student,
the singer and the song, for all are one;
no sweetness can come out of a singer
imprisoned for singing out,
               not in beauty alone,
but in speaking these truths. That
if you divide us into privileged classes
               and race, poverty and misery,
though wealth and power,
               do follow. 

Hollow in universe of learning
be the freedom of curious minds;
indoctrinated are we much
by the dead through time,
‘fore we resign from the diverse earth,
what do we genuinely feel at heart
after being poured with old ideas
               in the dark?

How ultimately be human
               race saved at last?
               We are vessels,
like the cosmos itself is,
               empty like a cup.
Bottomless potential for creation,
stifled by the Pharaohs,
who rule us by death
               through their Legacy.
Are their dusty wraps as real
               as the Statues proclaim,
or does it all fall to dust
               but return again.

What returns being potential to build it up.
But manias for Legacy govern us,
               as always. If we Fear,
that death will come,
               and remove us
               from our Mummies.
Hence stripped every pyramid
yet do we find kindness
               in humankind?
ask the thorny roses
               to whoever is divine.

Cruelty we find among the so called gods,
               a human is a rational animal,
so the ancient Greeks supposed.
If we can’t show compassion
               to every creature,
from the smallest flea,
to hugest divinity,
               what Good are we?
Within our own selves,
               does divinity not exist?
ask the fisherman to the sea
               sparkling with jellyfish.

A baby dolphin keels over in blood.
The fisheries fatten on change,
the human diet craves its holy menu.
Are they not beings as we are beings?
Whose net but the net of industry?

Slash of robbery on the blue planet
witnessed by some yet greed
               blanketed the truth;
Hush not truth by the bloody nets,
for in every soul there’s a seed at rest.
I eat myself, thinks the Dragon
Self is this selfsame illusion.
And the net of industry transformed
               into the net of Indra.

For “I” is a mere speck of dust
               in the sands of time:
said the fear of Self at sea
               to the rest of burnt cinder
on many boats been afar. . .  . . .

“Arrogating to themselves the resources that are the common wealth of our planet, the capitalists grind us into a poverty that denies us the right to live. Not that the State punishes them for it: worse still, it protects them through a battery of laws. […] Without the State and its laws, we would have real freedom: without the capitalist class, we would have real equality. Friends of the world of labour, can you see just how free a society rid of all authoritarian power would be?” Ba Jin (巴金).