Featured Poem

Lese Majeste: In the Back Room

Mise en scène: at the back of the mouth, a secret trial room, a room 
set in black and white, plywood over the windows and a single swinging light. 
The only sound is a muted thudding.
In this room, ordinary words are hanged from golden nails and blood 
drips down an anklebone under the cloak of justice—

And it continues in this backroom: the quiet thudding; the wooden frame, 
already painted, is grinning, and the tables and chairs, disgusted, 
still can’t refuse their part in the ritual; in this room where words are weighed, 
the scale of good and evil is always already tipped—

in this airless room at the back of the mouth, vulgar words shiver from their forms;
in this nowhere room, even death cowers on a wooden pew.
In this room, any words but silver words are hanged from golden nails,

and blood flows over ordinary anklebones, dripping under the cloak of justice.
And this is happening every day: a ritual in the mouth, a trial in black and white,

where thought is a gavel and ordinary words sentenced: left thudding in the throat.

Read Cutter Streeby's blog for MPT here.

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Zakariya Amataya
Translator:
Cutter Streeby
Original language:
Thai
Issue:
2013 Number 3 - Secret Agents of Sense

Original poem

About the authors

Poet

Zakariya Amataya

Zakariya Amataya won South East Asia ’s coveted Write Award in 2010 for his first collection, the first time it has been award...

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Translator

Cutter Streeby

Cutter Streeby is a recent graduate from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing program. He has been published inter...

» Read more

ในห้องนั้น

ในห้องพิจารณาคดีลับที่ถูกปิดตาย
ถ้อยคำนั้นตอกตรึง1ด้วยตะปูดอกทอง
เลือดไหลท้นเกินตาตุ่มเสื้อคลุมยุติธรรม

ในห้องนั้นกรอบไม้ทาสีแล้วกำลังหัวร่อ
โต๊ะเก้าอี้ปฏิเสธสังฆกรรมอย่างพะอืดพะอม
ตาชั่งนรกสวรรค์เอียงกระเท่เร่เกือบสิ้นบุญ

ในห้องนั้นแม้แต่ความตายยังอายที่จะตาย
กระทั้งคำหยาบช้ายังอายที่จะหยาบกระด้าง

ถ้อยคำนั้นตอกตรึงด้วยตะปูดอกทอง
เลือดไหลท้นเกินตาตุ่มเสื้อคลุมยุติธรรม

ในห้องนั้นห้องนั้นห้องที่ถูกปิดตาย!

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