Number (for Myanmar)

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I wrote this poem a while ago, but am posting it up now in honour of Myanmar’s historic 2015 election results.



I will stop being a number, and start being.

20102010 was the first World Statistics Day, and I learned that
1.03 billion people are undernourished and 1.15 billion people are overweight.
1.4 billion people don’t have clean drinking water, while 80% of the world
believes God exists; it must be all those who have clean water.

For once, the number crunchers could slice a perfect pie chart
Of how many soldiers it takes to overrun a country and keep
Statistics unknown. But we do know that
Numbers are the natural fall-out from any disaster.
When Cyclone Giri landed in Myanmar right after World Statistics Day
It took out 100,000 homes and affected a quarter of a million people.
UNICEF still needs 2.1 million dollars, but that’s one number people are quick to forget.

I will stop being a number and start being.

32 per cent of the people in Myanmar walk below the poverty line,
Villages take weekly turns to have electricity in their homes one week out of two.
Temples are plated gold with millions from rulers who own the natural gas reserves
and elections are nullified with the third largest standing army in Asia.

Because numbers only quantify, they can never measure the degree
of joy to hear someone say, you are free, or a father faded like
a photograph of a better country, or simply speaking of peace to
the crowd who cannot be counted, whose numbers reach for the right

to stop counting the number of decades a country has been
downtrodden, to change hearts and raise people on their knees,
to build together a bright collection of strange victories,
which is the translation from Burmese for Aung San Suu Kyi.

I will stop being a number, and start being.

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Private Citizens

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I’m super stoked to be headed to Amsterdam to perform and exhibit poems together with three other amazing artists on 9th and 10th October at A-Lab in Kulter.

I’ll be exhibiting haikus and photographs from a series titled ‘A Rush of Caffeine to the Head’ and performing a spoken word set around the theme of ‘Private Citizens.’

We are also raising funds to pay for things like transport, equipment rental and exhibition costs, so do contribute if you can!

Private Citizens on Indiegogo

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This is a homage (or not), to the etiquette that binds us when we communicate. It might be more informative to say, ‘I hope you’ve enjoyed your lunch. I had a sandwich, what did you consume?’ instead of the mundane, I hope this finds you well…




Dear reader,

I hope this finds you well.

I hope you’re not sideswiped with a sore throat, or frazzled with flu.

I hope a fever is not bleaching your brain, every sentence broken and out of joint.


Dear reader,

I hope this finds you well,

Or maybe not, you might be shot, caught in a bear trap on the rap for bad debt, or straining to take a crap, I don’t care, though politely I must peel a piece of personal trivia to show empathy. Something about your passion project on 3D printed condoms for third world countries, how’s it going? What do you call it? Rubber meets the road?


Dear reader,

You aren’t really my dear, any more than a deer in the woods is no closer to a MacDonald’s drive-through, Any more than btw fyi imho rtm could also be a line of spam, or a message from your boss.

We say these things out of etiquette, coded alphabets, a best of slow rock album that has to have Bryan Adams and Scorpion. Our tongues are fine tipped lines of poison. These are the songs we have chosen, to sell you spells in thoughts of hell, silver bells and cockeyed shells. I hope this finds you well, please don’t tell, because you only get one exclamation mark. It could be used for the obligatory congratulatory sub sub point, or to feign interest in a well curated Pinterest.


Dear reader,

You told me to please revert, so noted, with thanks.

On my flanks, in my shanks, noted with thanks

Close the ranks, run the banks, noted with thanks

Let’s be frank, need a spank? Noted, with thanks


Dear reader,

My bullets points are leaden with leading lines, my subtext an incendiary mine, my signature speaks in sine wave, my drafts autosave. I will not hire or fire or wire money via this message, but I might quote you a line from a Wordsworthy passage:

And now I see with eye serene 

The very pulse of the machine


Best regards… What exactly are best regards?

Do they have little booties on them, a bow tie? Discount codes?

Just wondering, no response needed.


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