Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fantastic lead sentences--

Attn writers and "journalists"--here is an example of an excellent leader or lead sentence from CNN today--

(CNN)Disrupted terrorist plots. Increased police presence. Warnings to stay alert.

Fears of terrorism and stepped-up security provide a sobering backdrop to planned New Year's Eve celebrations around the world.

In the United States, federal and local security officials are tightening security in high-profile locations, including New York . . .

Like miss big bust Hpin Karr Sway telling me she wanted to talk to me and taking me into the cafeteria, where she told me she never ate proper meals, she just ate snacks (and drank, I found out).

She then laid out the popcorn she was eating in a triangular pattern and said I must write that way.

Showing me the crocodile king the ways of the water.

So now I writing something in the form of her swaying buttocks.

Take that.

Portfolios of Hot Air--
Life and Art--12-31-2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quote from my novella Black Rice

Quote of the day--from my novella Black Rice--

Black Rice clenched his fists and got up rapidly from his chair, determined to kill his father.  "You're the one who's the son of a bitch, married to the bottle!"  His father laughed derisively, and lunged at him, but he was too drunk for his left hook to land accurately on Black Rice's chin.  Black Rice dodged and he punched air.  His mother ran between them and hugged Black Rice protectively.  From behind her huge bulk, looking over her shoulder, Black Rice told both of them, "That's it. I'm leaving.  I'm damn tired of both of you.  I'm not eating your rice a minute more than  I need to.  I'm joining the army."
That sobered them both up.

You may buy Black Rice on Amazon.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Positive reviews for my novella Black Rice--

Impt post--Images--Saw Ohn Nyun by Sir Gerald Kelly

Important post--images--Sir Gerald Kelly, Saw Ohn Nyun--

You won't like to hear this, but I have to tell you.

1. The family never got any of these 5 or 6 fine paintings but only reproductions--maybe only one reproduction, and in those days before World War II, reproductions were not very good.

2. A crony has bought one painting and taken it back to Burma.

3. Shan Chief's lost everything, including their home and States.

--I feel there should be a movement to get these important paintings back to the family of Saw Ohn Nyun.

I feel they should work with the lawyer who got back Klimpt's The Woman in Gold for Maria Altman, the original owner.

I have already given this info to the family, but I cannot spearhead this myself as old and too much to do.

Good luck.

Something like a Go Fund Me acct should also be set up for expenses, like air fares and research, and phone calls etc.

Good luck.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My novella -- The Rider of Crocodiles --

Good reading for the winter will transport you to a warm or hot place, where, in the words of Carl Sandburg, "anything can happen."

Two reviews of my novella--The Rider of Crocodiles by KM Kaung--copied and pasted from Amazon--

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A very engrossing book
By MW on June 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Ms. Kaung's new novella "The Rider of Crocodiles" is a very engrossing book following in the footsteps of her previous novellas, "Black Rice " and " The Lovers". It is a true story based upon actual events and people. I highly recommend it to readers who are interested in the history of Siam and Burma.
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It sounds like a Believe-It-or-Not for us
By Khin Pwint Oo on April 27, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My Review on K M Kaung’s Novela “Rider of Crocodiles”

I remember the fictitious story, I must say, which our kyee kyee (my father’s elder sister) relates to us. It sounds like a Believe-It-or-Not for us, (as we were quite young to comprehend), on hearing that they descended from Zinme, Yodaya or Siam in those long-gone days [now known to many as Chaingmai, in Thailand]. We know where Siam is [we learned in school days].

Kyee Kyee seemed to be conceited saying that their great-great grandfather was once from a Royal Palace (he was brought to Burma as POW and said to be relocated in one part of Pakkoku). Later, he was married to a “tain taja kjaun: ama kji:” literally, it means - a well wisher/benefactor of a monastery built on/with a hundred pillars; and finally settled in Pakkoku [not remember the name of the village], Burma and so the story ended there.

Anyway, I love so much to listen to her stories, whether it looks fictitious or not, and also on this story…which really is a nice story to find out about compassion between the father and the son; and the days of yore in Old Siam.

When I grew up, I become knowledgeable about the POWs. I came to understand the situation of suffering…when King Manuha, in his incarceration, had lived on exile till his last moment. I had been to his Stupa in Myingaba in Bagan, sad to see the reclining Buddha statue, lying in extremely tight position…depicting the suffocation ‘mun: kja’chin:’ as of oral history I was told.

I find many things which take me along with the story on ‘Rider of Crocodiles’… where the author gives the feature of Commoners and Royal Family – the “Lords of Head and Hair” in her words – or - the’ u:-hsan-pain shin bajin mja: (the absolute monarch); her sharing to the readers…. the love and affection - as a father [crocodiles eggs collector] towards his son, the boy who only has a father and not his mother… on how he brought him up, the concerns he has for his son’s future career; and a good knowledge of the father, bestowed to his son on handling crocodiles.

The story was said to have no intention on any political motive, but she - as the author - has given the readers - a taste of imperialism; a disgraceful experience of war, the circumstance of those ‘Conquerors’ and the ‘Conquered’; and to me I can sense the fretfulness as being a POW; the emotional feeling it can have as a living being, on the lost of a life of one’s attached family member – here, Saman towards his ever companion Nga-yeik, for instance; and his country of origin where he grew up and live a happy life with his own people.

So the whole story strikes a chord on me of the ‘Nature’s Law’, which I remembered what “Anantathuriya”, a tutor to the King Naratheinkha, about the time of his death spake four stanzas “lin ga”.

Khun Oo
Yangon, Myanmar
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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Poem--Here come the Burmese--by KMKaung


Here they come with their little cookie cutters

their yardsticks literally much shorter

their tunnel vision

their preconceived notions

their biases

their racism
their xenophobism
their anti-Westernism
their extreme nationalism
their sexism

their snobbishness

their great Burman policies

their central control

their all round nastiness.

What else?

Their illustrious pasts
their great religion
their great history
their generals

What else?

Their betel spit saliva
their small mindedness

their lack of true education

their constant meditation.

Their military.

Their paranoia.

Their "I am better than you

and we are all shwe (gold)"

and you are pe "pair" beans

especially if you are Hispanic.

And then there are the whites

some of them

who want to be more Burmese than Burmese--

who mostly marry Burmese--

It is not amazing

that some people I know

have given up

this part of themselves entirely

and started learning

French, German, Mandarin--


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Marie, Marie, a poem by Kyi May Kaung--

Quote of the day--from TS Eliot's The Wasteland--see link below--

And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

TS Eliot, The Wasteland.
Marie Marie

For Marie who needled me and needled me, for maybe 3000 miles.

You don't know anything about me really.
You often bark up the wrong trees.
But I can't waste time correcting you or arguing with you.
I have more important things to do.
Most of the time I pretend not to hear or to be asleep.

Lately I have started, taking off
my hearing aids in both ears.

And as for your devilish delving
into my marriage and my life,
you will find nothing there--why
muck around in an empty grave.

And I will write my memoirs or I probably won't
but in any case
I will only write what I want to write.

Don't get too curious.

If you wish to know you can read my fiction.

I won't give you any free copies of anything anymore either.

You who cut up frogs for your cutting pleasure.

Even a dead frog can only give up
what it wants.

Don't waste your time

and don't eat when you get bored.

It's not my job to entertain you, though it was nice to be driven around by you

so long as you don't drive me crazy.

It's a long haul and you just can't make

snap judgements in 2 minutes

as you do.

What can you know?

I have lived 2 times longer than you,

and at the very least

read more books, while you,

hide the titles of the bodice busters

you borrow from the library.

Oi vey

hard to see you pushing your mother like that

but one day

there will be no one


to push.

Too bad.


Death Fugue by Paul Celan

Important post--Death Fugue by Paul Celan--

his best poem, certainly the one I like best.

FGM--one of the worst abuses of women possible--

My novella--FGM--about Female Genital Mutilation, the worst kind of abuse possible--

Again, this is a novelistic--i.e imaginative treatment,

on why maybe some women/mothers go along with it.

It is NOT a comprehensive report, and my aim was not to provide information, I am not an expert on it, but to get you to thinking, and in this I think I succeeded.

I cannot help it if you think it is "not well written"--I write as well as I know how and I don't know what your standards are for "well written"

So that's that.

If you wish to read/buy it, it is available here in different formats.

In the new year, we should concentrate on things that are wrong with this world, right? and what can be more wrong than FGM?

And you can't expect a medical report, or a social report from a $6 novella or short story.

For those who did buy it, read it and went to the trouble of thinking about it and posting a comment on line, Big Thank You.

FYI, specialists reports are commissioned for tens of thousands of $$$ and as this is a short slice of life story, by one writer, this is all I can do and intend to do on this subject.

Hemingway once said he only wrote on one theme once--

That's all I have to say right now--

you can buy it here--

It is what I say it is A story--about the mutilation of women, it's not an encyclopedia article nor a comprehensive medical and social economic report on this issue.

It's your job to find out more if you are interested in this issue.


Important post--Burma, Political Cancer Grows by Roland Watson of Burma Watch--


By Roland Watson
December 9, 2015

The National League for Democracy - that’s right - “Democracy” - has just
won an election in Burma, and by a landslide. Real freedom and modern
democratic governance therefore must be close at hand. So, what possible
reason could I have for using this article’s title?

The six Burmans

In the last two weeks there have been a number of meetings, none of the
details of which have been publicly released. All of these meetings have
involved Aung San Suu Kyi, who can now safely be characterized as the
country’s new “democratic dictator.” Prior to the election, many
well-qualified individuals who wanted to run under the NLD banner were not
selected, and some people were actually expelled from the Party. The
reason: They did not toe her line or accept her absolute control. (She has
also refused to develop a new generation of leaders.) She then ordered
everyone in the country to vote for the Party, meaning her, and not the
specific candidates. She announced that she would be above whomever is
selected - whomever she selects - to be the new President. And, she has
demanded that all NLD MPs commit to an oath of fealty, to vote on
legislation as she decides. Through these and other steps Suu Kyi has
cemented her intention to become the new ruler of Burma.

She is further a member of the Burman ethnic group. While the vast
majority of Burmans are not racist, at least knowingly (some have
unwittingly succumbed to decades of propaganda), the Burman-led military
regime that has oppressed the country since 1962 (and which is responsible
for the propaganda) most assuredly is. This follows a colonialist pattern
of internal domination of other groups by Burman Kings dating back
centuries. To be generous, one could say that Suu Kyi is still a question
mark on the issue. However, her words and actions (or silence and
inaction) regarding the Rohingya, and the country’s other ethnic
nationalities, suggest that she is a racist as well. The idea that she
would insert herself into the nation’s civil war - and peace negotiation,
an area that she has studiously ignored, is therefore problematic at best.
While the Rohingya people are hoping that she will finally act on their
behalf, this is also wishful thinking. She no doubt considers them to be
“Bengalis” - “kalars” - as well.

For the meetings, Suu Kyi met the dictator of Burma, Than Shwe; his
puppets, Min Aung Hlaing, Thein Sein and Shwe Mann; and his grandson, Nay
Shwe Thway Aung. It is clear that a grand bargain is being struck. Suu Kyi
will leave the military and the police alone, and not seek to prosecute
them for past and ongoing atrocities. (Of note: The worst of these crimes
have been perpetrated against the non-Burman groups.) She will also
protect their economic interests and those of their cronies, even though
this represents the stolen wealth of the nation for the last fifty years.
In return, she can be the “leader,” and fulfill her belief that she and
she alone knows what is best for everyone, and without any input from
anyone, or discussion. Through this, she can continue to satisfy her
seemingly bottomless narcissism and megalomania.

(For the observation about narcissism, her sarong collection now matches
Imelda Marcos’ shoes. This is relevant! She’s showing off a new silk
sarong every day, in one of the poorest countries on earth. Could she
please just have a little humility?)

In summary, six Burmans are deciding the fate of one of the most
culturally diverse nations on earth. What could possibly go wrong?

Two other notes: Suu Kyi considers herself, as Aung San’s daughter, to
have essentially unlimited privilege, and which has been reinforced by her
long and favored residence in England (one of the world’s most class
conscious societies). As an analogy, think of the self-image of the
children of U.S. Presidents, times ten. At her age she is also clearly
undergoing the hardening of views that some elderly people experience,
whereby they become increasingly autocratic. To summarize: An unprincipled
and for that matter unskilled leader, with a background of extreme
privilege as well as dictatorial tendencies, and a racist to boot, will be
the new and unchallenged leader of Burma, to work hand-in-hand with a gang
of war criminals.

Again, what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, there’s a seventh Burman as well, the individual that Suu Kyi
intends to install as President - her own puppet!

One country, two governments

In theory, what is being done in Burma is almost acceptable - another
Asian Values version of democracy. (International diplomats and businesses
certainly think that it is.) Suu Kyi will run a democratically elected
Parliament, which will work alongside the military. She in turn will
oversee the many ministries not constitutionally-granted to the military.
(The military controls Defense, Home Affairs - this includes the police,
and Border Affairs - meaning the ethnic nationality homelands and
commercial development therein.) The idea seems to be that Parliament will
focus on social services, while the military manages large development
projects, external defense (Burma is subject to no such threat!), internal
security, and its favorite cause - “non-disintegration of the Union.”

While this setup may seem reasonable to some, in reality, it is
preposterous. All democratic societies subsume the military under the
Executive. This is the only way a democracy can be conducted. Otherwise,
the military has too much power, and is a threat to the nation.

In this type of arrangement, one would expect the Parliament to challenge
the military again and again, demanding that it end its abuses and accept
a reduced role. But, this in turn could lead to a coup, with the generals
attempting to reclaim unchallenged power.

Suu Kyi is apparently afraid of this possibility, and her fear lies at the
heart of the “Six Burman” deal. She will not interfere when the police
arrest students and other protestors (continuing her current practice).
She will not object when the Burma Army launches new assaults against the
ethnic nationalities (again, her current practice). She will not even
complain, at least not strongly, about corruption and the military’s total
control of the economy. (All her talk about the Rule of Law was just for
show.) This is - she believes - the only course that she can follow if she
wants to maintain her standing. To preserve the illusion of real
leadership, she will kowtow to Than Shwe.

Three Rohingya individuals have been murdered in the last week, in
separate incidents (a pattern that has been underway for years). They
include two men, with one killed by the police and the other by Rakhine
racists; and a woman, perpetrator unknown, who was also likely raped as
her body was found naked. There was not a peep about this from Suu Kyi or
the NLD. Do they track crimes against the Rohingya, or any other group for
that matter? Do they even care?

The military cancer

A revealing way to think of the Burma Army is as a political cancer - a
racist, political cancer. Just as real cancerous tumors are supplied by
networks of blood vessels, so the military in Burma is a collection of
cancerous tumors - its bases and outposts, connected by rivers and roads.
And, just as a biological tumor kills the body, so the Tatmadaw has been
killing Burma, and in innumerable ways, from the just illustrated direct
murder of its citizens; through imposing poverty, which disproportionately
kills children and the elderly; to the decimation of the natural

Nonetheless, as bad as it has been since 1962, the military cancer in
Burma can get much, much worse. Cancers need oxygen and nutrients to grow;
the Tatmadaw - money. In the past, it mainly relied on the sale of natural
resources, including oil and gas, timber, minerals and gems. But, after
huge personal thefts by the top generals, and the pursuit of a
never-ending civil war of aggression, this actually left little surplus.
Burma is a “least-developed” state. What this means is that the tumor in
the country is still limited and clearly defined. While it is true that
every soldier, police officer and bureaucrat has sworn allegiance, the
actual dictatorship, both political and economic, is quite small. Because
of this, surgery to remove the tumor - a popular revolution - would be
straight-forward. Were the people of Burma to rise up in numbers even a
fraction of those who have just voted, they could cut the dictatorship off
at its head and begin a real transition to democracy.

Than Shwe’s strategic goal is not only to maintain the status quo for his
lifetime, or even for that of his grandson. He wants Burma to be a
military dictatorship in perpetuity, like China. He will be the Burman
King that established the new dynasty, and perhaps just someday his
grandson will be King as well.

His genius in organizing this has been through cultivating his most public
enemy, Suu Kyi, and turning her into an ally. Through careful management,
mainly by Thein Sein and Shwe Mann, but also with the backing of the
International Community, he has transformed Suu Kyi from a revered and
legitimate pro-democracy leader, into a spokesperson for the regime.

Furthermore, the main real-world consequence of her willingness to
overlook essentially everything, will be greatly increased commercial
development in Burma - as has already begun since her surrender in 2011
(when the NLD re-registered as a political party). Moreover, almost all of
this development will be owned by current regime figures and cronies. The
economic foundation of the Burma dictatorship, and through this the
military cancer, is about to expand exponentially. By the time Suu Kyi
dies, or otherwise leaves the scene, such that new and real democrats can
finally take over, economic dictatorship - feudalism - will be so
entrenched in a new generation of princelings that the challenge of
revolution will be a thousand times greater.

It’s also worth commenting on the basis of her well-recognized opposition
to public protest. Were a popular revolution to succeed in Burma, her
iconic status would degrade. The new democratic leaders would be selected
from among the individuals who led the uprising.

Suu Kyi has said that the people of Burma will have to wait a very long
time for real freedom and democracy. Through her own actions, hers and
hers alone, she is guaranteeing that this becomes true.

This is her legacy.

Popular responses?

With the deck so stacked this way - Suu Kyi, the generals and the
International Community are all against them - what are the people of
Burma to do? For the general public, the answer is obvious. The people
need to continue to demonstrate for democracy and against any infringement
of their rights, from the repression of students, to unacceptable working
conditions, to land thefts, to environmental travesties. The regime will,
of course, continue to make arrests, and the number of political prisoners
will grow. Nonetheless, there is no other choice.

For the ethnic nationality resistance groups, they need to maintain their
guns and not yield an inch of territory. They need to fight back against
all Burma Army incursions, in particular those in support of environmental
crimes (e.g., new dams and mines). Also, it is worth remembering that
ethnic turncoat Mutu Say Poe will not control the KNU forever. A day will
come when he is gone, and new leaders can resume the Karen Revolution, and
re-establish unity with the other resistance groups.

Finally, the ethnic resistance may also need to reconsider two things:
Their long-standing unwillingness to engage in offensive operations; and
their opposition to separatism. For the second, the Panglong treaty
clearly gives the ethnic nationality peoples of Burma this right, and
frankly, life under the new Suu Kyi-Than Shwe regime may prove to be
unbearable. (It is possible to create a new country out of Eastern and
Northern Burma, and which would even have access to the sea - at Dawei.
Remember, the age-old conflict in the Balkans ended when Yugoslavia was

Even Suu Kyi would have a hard time opposing this, since Panglong was her
father’s achievement.

The threat of separation - just to discuss publicly the possibility, e.g.,
at UNFC and EAO meetings - is the ethnic nationalities’ strongest
bargaining card. For one thing, it would stop large developments in their
tracks (including what has begun now at Dawei). No companies will invest
in long-term projects in the face of this risk. Even more, though, the
ethnic groups need to anticipate future threats, foremost that the
Tatmadaw will use development proceeds to rearm, with U.S. and Israeli
weapons, and launch a full-bore multi-front offensive, and with Suu Kyi’s

In conclusion, since Suu Kyi has rolled over, and real Burman
pro-democracy leaders have been imprisoned, the ethnic groups must
continue to underpin the entire national resistance, by refusing to yield.

Elephants on the Mae Rim Road--poem by Kyi May Kaung

Working elephants on the Mae Rim Road.

The famous writer Ludu Daw Ah Mar said:
Where the great elephants go

Convinced she was right, she started writing -
in the vernacular
not in stilted flowery
traditional prose.

She threw away in full view of everyone, a ball pen, given to her
by the supposedly moderate general, now deposed
since 2004.  He's now himself
under house arrest. (Khin Nyunt, released in 2011)

An internal power struggle, in the junta
the permanent purge.

On the Mae Rim Road
the elephants 
no longer do
real work, lifting, pulling
pushing teak logs, worth $10,000 each
in 1982.

But now I no longer know the price --
as am considering divorce and no longer
to the teak man.

Since 1988, Thailand has had
a teak export ban.  The Thai general immediately
an agreement, to exploit, neighboring Burma's
teak forests.  Suited everyone fine
except the Burmese people; the students who fled
to Thailand after the army clampdown of 1988; the ethnic peoples
on the border.

On the Mae Rim Road
the elephants entertain tourists
going around clumsily in circles, holding each other's
tails, gingerly in their trunks.
The mahouts are all Karen1
have given each elephant
a Karen name. 

The younger mahouts are
kinder.  An old mahout
has so struck at his elephant
with his chun probe, the edges
of the elephant's ears, are in tatters
storm tossed
banana leaves.  Maybe only I
see this.

Everyone else is too busy
rushing around taking photos
and clapping.

I've read, before captive elephants
were taught, to paint
they were so bored
in a western zoo
they masturbated and tried
to fornicate
with the red fire hydrant.

On the Mae Rim Road
the elephants no longer
do real work, but it's not bad
my tourist guide says:
Easier than hauling logs.
My guide Tang who speaks

I am exploring
retiring in Thailand
but it might get
too sleepy, too boring
too political and
too dangerous.

The elephants on the Mae Rim
Road, no longer do real work.
They entertain.
Maybe some have been extras
in the film

Kyi May Kaung
Chiangmai, Thailand.

1 An ethnic group living in Burma and Thailand called Kayin or Karen.
2 A popular film, sponsored by the Thai royal family, edited by Francis Ford Coppola and allegedly very anti-Burmese, but I did not find it so objectionable.  To me it appeared to focus more on the court intrigues of the Ayuthia royal family and to blame them for the Burmese invasion.  Suryothai was a Thai queen who went to war on an elephant to help her husband and was killed.

My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--