I am Dialectic

Zeyar Lynn



Write me down, I am dialectic

Read me out, I am dialectic

Chests, genitalia, toenails,

Voluntary muscles, skins, teeth, bones, tandems

In the news of ‘Not a mermaid! It’s just a dolphin!’

I happen to be a trawl net

I’s bridge between the poetics

Of the senses and the poetics of the language

I’s cross that bridge

I’s drop dead and fill the gorge

I’s implode far too often

Fragments of I’s and I’s

This is no I-centric romantic lyricism

This is no sunning the sores of confessional poetry

My wet finger in the warmth of her mouth foams and froths with I’s

Haven’t I taken it for the illusion of self

Man is a little bundle of contradictions

I’ve read it somewhere

I sense with language

Language I sense

In the spectrums of language

There are more than seven colours of I’s

Between the two I’s

There are I’s who amount to nothing

There are I’s, neither fish nor fowl

I’s, no fisherman is able to catch

I’s, swimming against the tide of fish

I died of heart attack

Another I died of A I D S

Another I, of cerebral haemorrhage

Another I, of throat cancer

Another I, of Alzheimer disease

Hollow winds howl inside

My bag of bones I thought was my home

All that glistens is something that glitters

I am not gold however

Hand in hand with petit bourgeoisie revisionism

I go on a vacation on a fancy bohemian beach

My feet do not look peasantry

My hands do not look proletariat

Tell me, why should I be embarrassed about it

A warm-blooded animal I am

My bloods do not represent people

My mammalian heart just beats with

The conscience of a subaltern sympathizer

Not lucid, but there’s no way I can say ‘I am in love.’

Not lucid, but from the seemingly lucid fields of linguistics

They’ve produced I’s and I’s and installed them on me

They’ve set me up against I’s who are

Don’t move!’, ‘Don’t change!’ and ‘Don’t destroy!’

I am dialectic

Speak it out

I am dialectic

I am not a proposition

I am not a counter-proposition

Like you, I am a nobody

Like you, I have no less the value of an average human

Which ‘I’ of mine goes to bed first in the evenings

Which ‘I’ of mine gets up first in the mornings

Day in day out, I meet up with

A little marionette of mind, with tangled strings, and

With a machinelike penchant that calls for focus, while

Faced with the chainsaw of daily loka

What figure of speech was that

Another ‘I’ takes shelter in

The emptied shell of an old ‘I’ and

Gawks at me from the dark

I’ is an ‘it’, an animal, a person

I am contradiction

What I know I know is a grassland

Where not a firm shady tree grows

No ten thousand birds

Only ants, moths, termites, snakes and scorpions, branded under

trustworthy ethical standards, thrive with the inner self that

Pets on the fat roll of a nape

I’ve always been a standing passenger

On the classified file of sentiments, I see the high sign,

No Trespassing,’ into the privileged pleasures

Not that I want to express my pains

Yet the flesh and blood of pain

Have painfully landed again

You can read me ideologically if you will

I am not thesis

I am not antithesis

I am dialectic

Just a contradiction

Patched up in palimpsest.


Zeyar Lynn


Translated from the Burmese by ko ko thett.

Note: loka = the material and immaterial world as we experience it.



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