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


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


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i have no memories
to start a conversation
there were only thrills that grew
while the chances had begun to paralyse

they say silence means yes
but you’re not asking any questions
except about the wind, except about others
i don’t have the answers

i still often hang about the kitchen
pretending to cook yet sobbing
only because we were not talking
as if we were a couple of burdens, as we are now

they say if you love you remember everything
every kiss which if discussed
would wound the meaning of ‘ex-lover’
while being kept would turn into bruises

the night has stopped by, “another cigarette,” you said
a fire squeezed my hand, twice
i thought time was up, although time
has nothing to do with my heart

yogyakarta-dorset, 2014


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a golden light through the farmer’s window
a song from the war as i pass under the abandoned railway bridge
a field of rape rising up from behind the young hedges
none of it touches me

i am breathing scars in my brain
my heart is useless
it is so worn out i can’t walk in it!

papa would you love me if i befriended your god;
and mama would you ask how i am if you were not dying?

there is no road kill from somerset to dorset tonight
but they’re all dead in tanjungkarang

the wind is waiting, i suppose
nothing am i fearing

dorset, 2013


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nobody knows how much i loved him
since the night i opened every door to my dreams

there was a space bigger than the sky in my heart
for him, forever became him, forever was him

i ran to catch him, i smelt his skin
knowing not when to stop or how

i took off all my clothes, i was naked before him
knowing not when he’d understand or give up

i made love to him, from skin to blood
i let him kiss my scars, he made me leave god

i was overjoyed with all the flowers and the strife
i used to smile and laugh until i cried

then i sat there in the garden, in the rain, raining
the wind changed for me, so i changed for it

he was blown away from my nerves
he was gone before we said good bye

the sand in the beach i want to forget
the letters at the door i have swept

nobody knows how much i loved him
nobody knows how i stopped–i can’t explain

yogyakarta, 2011


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people used to say olfato and i were good friends
even though we just loved each other
i was the heart, and olfato was the instinct

i loved the anguish that fell from the rain
and dropped from the wine

because they were clear and fresh like a crystal of age
–-you could live in the past forever;
because olfato hated the tears inside me
i could throw them away every time the rain came

but i could not understand
why olfato preferred a happy woman
who was always dry and well
who could see what was right or wrong in love

on the day we said goodbye
i kept the rest of our wine for our old age
because, as people used to say, olfato and i were good friends
even though we just loved each other

but olfato came early
he came with the woman: his reason
and i had only two glasses
so i served them only with my words
until they left:
that woman could not steal what was mine anymore!

luckily, it was raining then
i gulped the wine all by myself

yogyakarta, 2006


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ied eve
i fold the worn-out sheets
and you don’t like this kind of celebration

you are no longer entertained
by dirty clothes on the hanger
or tales about gods in asian romances
all the things that suddenly seem too simple and personal to you

but i don’t have a vehicle to take me to athens
and have been left far behind the conversation trends
the ships have already sunk in the neighbour’s ponds
books on how to make friends have become unaffordable

would you like me to put the words ‘radio’, ‘cogito’
or ‘agoraphobia’ into our sunken room?
the children prefer flowers and the sound of geckos on the roof
they can sleep in my womb if your eye bags
aren’t warm enough for malaria sufferers

we, with a jolly crowd
provide a sanctuary that’s never been offered by
action movies, let alone the ism of existence

“come home, papa
the rain is harsh, the roof is leaking and we cannot catch the thunder”

stop trying to sell us to bookshops
or pawning the house over some post-hastina gambling
we need money to pay a roofer and to cook rendang

yogyakarta, 2003