by Maung Day
The sky used to be our artwork.
Today it’s industrial waste and scrapyards.
Horses march to the sound from our rib cages.
The lunatic owl sees everything.
Someone jumps from a bed-shaped cloud and freezes in midair.
The lunatic owl has learned clouds are not imaginary.
We have Polaroid pictures, but it’s not the same as having memory.
But memory can disappear like a blue ocean.
Quite often it is quiet here; you can hear a needle drop.
It is quiet because we are way past New Year’s Eve
Or because one or two of us are confused.
We drink blue, piss red. We drink red, piss blue.
What can I say? We are happy idiots.
Maung Day, a Burmese poet, translator and artist, has published six books of poetry in Burmese, his mother tongue, and a chapbook in English. His poems have appeared in international magazines such as The Awl
, The Wolf
, Bengal Lights
and International Poetry Review
. He has edited several Burmese literature and art magazines and is the translator of a number of books. He has also translated the works of Burmese poets such as Aung Cheimt, Khin Aung Aye, Moe Way, Yoe Myay, Dlugalay, Mae Ywayy and Cho Pain Naung. Aside from literature and poetry, he has also been active in the arts scene in Yangon, where he co-founded Beyond Pressure International Performance Art Festival
. His artworks have been showcased in Poland, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand. A book of his poems in Thai translation is forthcoming in February 2017.