TANJUNGKARANG GHOSTS

(klik di sini untuk versi bahasa indonesia)

1

what is it now that makes you tremble
night is just something that often passes by
what is it that you don’t know about pain –
spiteful lovers, friends that vanish in space

you’re the one who never finishes anything
because everything is torn apart in your head

what is it that makes you irresolute
in the presence of the past
regret is a strong beast
with its claws walking under the skin
and makes you hurt

now, suffer the scratch
suffer the vague scratch in your blood
hatred for father and jealousy for mother
odd sensations amongst your brothers and sisters
houses that burn the despair

the lamps have faded, my love
let me end the night
by writing down these lines
and sail your body into dreams.

2
how am i going to miss you after this
living amongst ghosts and hometown
there’s nothing i could leave behind –
the light you turn off
the sound of your stomach in the morning

or my own despair
when i leave home secretly
and realize: there’s no one after me
but the breeze, beside the rain spots
that last in my head for quite some time

i always wanted to return from that junction
and to cry to my heart’s content
i want to hit you hard
because patience explains nothing

now that i might love another
would you love me again
love me in between your awkwardness
and love me in between the shadows
that you might not be able to bring to life anymore.

3
the faint death close to my neck
who does know you?
your eyes are always shut
the books inside your body, full of notes
that i could never read

names, lies
i just don’t want to hurt anybody
not even myself, with your sadness, your fear
and my fear of sadness

i’ve quit praying
and i can’t possess you suddenly:
drizzle in the morning; your broken-heart
how your possessions will let you down

i count on the cooled-heart and the weather
i survive by sleeping and loving what’s vague
and i can’t lose you suddenly –
your slow love; the verses
that make me recollect every god.

4
how much can i take
from tanjungkarang drizzle
which building talks about myself
which road leads to the house of the past

i can’t find my grave in every hallway
my mind becomes a ghost, can’t return anywhere

the air is my holy son
that i inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale
from the distance he’s now carrying his mother’s sins on his shoulders;
polluted by grief and bringing me back to life again
to be dying again

if only i were a son
if only i were just beloved

see, how much that has been taken away from me
i can’t even possess my own tears
that fall swiftly and get the whole city drowned.

5
i’m grieving for the dry station
and supposedly nobody cares
a piece of used ticket; full of my scrawls

once i loved you everyday
with a green body and a bruised mind
admiring the small crimes
: original love signs

but where do i go today where do i go
a bag of the same old clothes and books—

in illness i have changed every label and title
so that everyone gets wary, so that you get suspicious of me
so no one would believe:
within my heart nothing has changed

the last dusk enters the station
across the old church you appear
bringing the same yesterday longings
; holding my name aloft

your lips open
i rush to you without shame:
holding you i hold the air.

6
i heard your voice once
long before we met and never saw each other again
distance has frozen the spaces; my heart’s filled
with fake questions about the world

tonight the echo of the voice
paralyzes the negative thoughts about fallen leaves;
making me limp and long for home

where am i
apart from vanishing in unsuccessful fiction
about families; where are you?

how could someone understand the sadness
that one is not familiar with?

everyone is a messiah for oneself:
there’s no way out.

7
you wake me up early in the morning
with your real and definite hands—
no longer i have that habit

come under my blanket when the dawn’s breaking
and be my dream while i’m asleep
the worse the better: i’ll be living with no surprises

“mama is crazy now; better not to see again
and besides she’s beautiful and hurt – she’s perfect
i’m walking out: that’s a habit”

so i take a walk in a winter outfit
looking for some flaws to note down
rain is just drizzle; i can only remember numbers
nobody’s named number

only the drizzle; i walk like a calendar
it is neither ex-lovers nor old friends:
the whole city has become remnants.

lampung – yogyakarta, 2008

UNTITLED

you do not see me
a little girl from un unknown town
thrown away from sea to sea
and wet your bed with her dreams
 
you do not see me
a beautiful curse
spat out of my mother’s tongue
and the fire in my father’s hands
 
you do not see me
a mistaken lover
wandering through a harsh winter in her head
leaving you forever guilty
 
you do not see me
a shivering mother
crushing the train’s wheels
crumpling her heart in a plastic bag
 
you do not see me
a hungry pigeon
strutting away from its crowd
into the dust, into the dust
 
you do not see me
until you see the last light over saint-séverin
and gulp the parisian rain
with joy, with joy
 
paris, 15 sept 2016

THE LOST FERRY OF CHILDHOOD

from gentle and merciless light
darkness will take you back
you’ve forgotten how comforting
home can be when everybody’s left

love can be so threatening, you know
that’s why we keep it in our heart
and not hold it in our hands

must you go on that ship
just to prove you couldn’t swim?
a bag of tomorrow’s lunch
and lifetime supplies of sadness

the horn was blowing
there was never another shore
you close your eyes
though there’s no shame in losing

dorset, october 2015

UNLOVE

Processed with VSCOcam with q4 preset

When I’m hurt, my typical initial reaction will be to call a friend avoid people. I would even leave my habitat and start over, meeting new people until I’m hurt again. There is a reason for this, at least. There is something about pain that makes you crave for it. You see, for me, like love, pain is a life’s gift. you get hurt, you want to feel the pain, to celebrate it. Sometimes you do it by hurting yourself. But, unlike love, pain is not limited substance – it grows. Sometimes it’s not enough to hurt yourself, you hurt another person because you cannot contain the over-growing pain within yourself. I seemed to understand this mechanism hence i kept running away. Continue reading

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAUTIFUL MIND

no, this is not my birthday. today i am mourning, i have been mourning. today i feel at a loss.

have you found the god that’s been hiding in your biggest fear? have i become your enemy? have i become your sinful pharaoh, little moses? if so, at least come and confront me. i who once grew up with you, how did i become a ghost? if your mind simply changed, where did the old mind go?  Continue reading

PLATH: THIS IS NOT I 

SONY DSCSeven years ago, I was invited to perform my poetry in Jakarta on one of the two nights of a literary venue.

I just finished, at that time, a poetry performance project with some young musician and artist friends and had successfully performed in two cities. However, the committee of the venue in Jakarta wanted me to perform alone, just me and my poetry, or in the man-in-charge’s own words: “could you just come without your boyfriend?” He sounded bitter, and he was wrong – my then boyfriend had nothing to do with art except that of making me cry. Love, love, love. Continue reading

FRIENDS

pnhb dina stasiun ratu boko 2009-07-30 1

What are friends? It’s an idea that excites my spontaneity and shakes my deeper layer of being at the same time. I don’t know where to start or why I am talking about something I don’t quite understand.

Where do you start when you talk about friends – do you start from regular hangouts, endless supports or traumatising betrayals? Continue reading