the pickpocket who got in our pants

Writtten by Inthuch
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham

Tote bags from “Write the Country” initiative by Common Sense Poetry Network

[คลิกที่นี่เพื่ออ่าน “นักล้วง” ในต้นฉบับภาษาไทย]

The phrase “I don’t need sex because the government fucks me every day” has resonated with Thai people on both sides of the political divide over the past ten years, depending on who’s in charge of the government at each point in time. The following poem by Inthuch takes the theme and wordplay further by exploiting the Thai verb ล้วง (luáng, ‘manually insert’), which can be used to refer to pickpocketing, fisting, as well as probing for private information. The poem was first read in January 2022 at a performance by Common Sense Poetry Network at Manycuts Artspace | Ari in Bangkok. The extended analogy between political overreach and non-consensual fisting results in a disturbing imagery that makes clear, should a charge of obscenity come up, who is the offending party, how is the offense committed, and for whose pleasure.

damn it

goodness has been snatched from us

good people, that too

certain colors vanished from us

gold and silver, all of that too

i used to think a modicum of truth remained with us

unaware somebody had pinched it off

meaning, logic, regime, system, lover, family

the home of that old man, snatched

even the bus where she and i kissed madly on the last ride

some friends nonchalantly disappeared

love wrested away from us

a movie

a book that never smiles

a couple of letters, even that

i cant breathe

is my breath being snatched away now

is there anything more

what more is snatched away

is there anything left

almost nothing means what textbooks say

19 years gone

is this country still ours

since when did it vanish

the anger-spawned hope in our pockets

by the pinching of a blood-stained hand

the pickpocket no longer hides

rough fingers slip inside   rifling through us

he inserts the index finger of command

the middle finger’s filthy vile swearing

the ring finger of slavish loyalty

the little finger of a promise in sin

and the thumb for approval and pushing execute

the whole fist sliding inside

of justice   gaping, torn

he snatches away our horniness

in order to masturbate a certain someone

stick a hand inside their deep, crusty hole

is there anything more

what more is snatched away

is there anything left

our voice, snatched away now

is there   anything

what else is snatched away

is anything   left

time   the only residual thing

however many watches are on that wrist

will not manage to snatch it from us

damn em

One thought on “the pickpocket who got in our pants

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