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


(klik di sini untuk versi bahasa indonesia)


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 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
strange 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.

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 realise 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.

the faint death close to my neck
–who knows 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.

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 alleyway
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.

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.

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.

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 her 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
it’s raining drizzles, i can only remember numbers
nobody’s named number

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

lampung – yogyakarta, 2008