“When they hit you on the bone
you limp the rest of your life”

-Krzysztof Kieslowski    

1. Taken from class
Their rooms taken over
Lines drawn

down book-spine
and text Between threat
and dare, it’s so

much a game,
all join in! All-y All-y in free!
Math and grammar

on the run. Cutting class
for Follow the leader.
Skipping grades

for (“do this!” “Do that!”)
Someone says. Tongue-tied
and finger-pointing

taught. Answers sworn
to a stammering halt
the…, the ... lesson learned:

no one to answer
for it. Shouts and slaps
spat out from above

You duck you hunker
You slip away.
Martyrdom, the Prix

de Triumph.
Death -- a graduation of sorts.


2. Questions hurt
The answers… to put hurt away
But Hurt hurries hides

holds back
Not just knees

and bridges,
but buttressed belief,
all ties

to a wider world
House full, kerosene lit,

rises on hind legs,
bares its teeth.
Rasped breath resounds

under ground
No helping hand
pulls you free. Hillbilly,

no odyssey
brings you back
to set things

right. Dragged
from a soiled blanket of roots
and stones,

a youth no one claims


3. The Museum
(of the Insurrection)
houses: the cries

of the bereft
On alternate Tuesdays,
at midday,

in the inner courtyard,
actual participants
reenact (with assistance

from the audience)
a Maoist public execution
Drawn out with khukri

Or the military’s
clandestine rapes


4. Everyone knows
where Abel is.
When Cain stands near

who dares say?
Rumor has it –
among the ash and gristle

there’s a list
with names entered

Rumor has it --
with only one killer left,
all killing will cease.

Ashes, ashes, we all…
Bow down to the Killer-in-chief.
Brother to us all

-Nepali Times #357, July 13, 2007


Copyright @ 2001, 2002, 2004 by Wayne Amtzis. All Rights Reserved.