aksara : 대본

Di negara di mana kau tidak mampu bicara bahasanya,
setiap aksara hanyalah kebisingan.


-Gyeongsan-si, January 2018, bahkan setelah sebelas bulan berlalu


Grammars are all over the place

Grammars are all over the place and words are repetitive, you said as you judged me with your perfect non-native accent and near-infinite vocabulary. Your tone was as scathing as ever, I don’t think it ever truly changed. You are the reason why I’m so scared to show myself into the world, or even to you, because you make me feel like I need to always be inferior to you.

You undermine people because you hate yourself too much to admit that you’re scared of people undermining you.

I wish to be free of you someday. I wish you don’t have to always be around everywhere I go. I wish you weren’t my reflection of everything I wish I could be and everything I’m glad I’m not. I wish you weren’t part of me that I can only repress but can never get rid of. And most of all, I wish I was stronger even with you within me.



A Meeting At A Hotel Lounge (feat. Blanchot and Cummings)

Monsieur Blanchot and Mr Cummings were waiting for me. M Blanchot was staring out of the hotel window at the lush and green garden and Mr Cummings was reading a magazine behind a puff of smoke. I apologised for my tardiness and took a seat in front of them. M Blanchot nodded, his suit seemed as stiff as his chin, but his smile was friendly. Mr Cummings flashed me a tiny smirk and flicked his cigarette. The corner of his eyes crinkled.

“I did have the naive plan of arguing with Aristotle, and Montaigne, regarding their conception of friendship. But why bother?” (Blanchot, “For Friendship”34)

I thanked them for having inspired me to write my theses. I explained to them how much I admired them. They gave no response, but they appeared to be listening. And after some silence Mr Cummings chuckled. M Blanchot cleared his throat.

Image result for e e cummings
“”Good” and “bad” are simple things. You bomb me = “bad.” I bomb you = “good.”” (“Foreword to an Exhibit: I”, 1944)

I politely asked them to begin their conversation together and requested that they pretend that I was not there. And they did just that. Because I was not really there anyway, and they did not see me.

I whipped out my notebook and I listened intently to everything that they were saying among themselves. They were not talking to each other. They were not even in the same room together, as was I. But still I listened, and still I paid attention.

M Blanchot had an angular smooth face with a soft but piercing eyes. He talked to me about his reading on Hegel that he often quoted in his writing. He talked to me about silence, space, author, literature, and death. He talked to me about his friendship with Dionys Mascolo. His admiration of camaraderie.

I looked at Mr Cummings, and for me he was oozing masculinity as much as he was reeking of tobacco. His voice was melodious and he might as well be a swing singer or a newscaster to some extent, maybe. He did not look bathed or washed, and he was probably in his 40s, but he has this irrefutable charm that made me could not stop staring and listening. I scribbled on my notebook, dividing my attention between the two. M Blanchot kept talking without pause, but Mr Cummings liked to light a fresh cigarette between each pause. Mr Cummings’ vocabulary was mesmerizing, like a labyrinth of mind game I would be willing to get myself lost in.

I could listen to them all day long, although sometimes I could not help my mind to wander. But the day was ending soon, and the sky was getting dark, so I packed up my notebook. I sometimes still wonder how these men can manage to inspire me this much. I thanked them. They were there and then they weren’t. But their words resounded inside my notebook and inside my head, and I carry them everywhere with me.



I knew that since the first moment I met you, I didn’t want to let you go.

On the rooftops, I see you. I touch you. I listen to your voice I the wind. I see your tears in the waves. Your hair is the ocean I sink myself into.

The road I travel is the breath that you take. I taste, your blood, I walk, in your smile, your pain, my agony.

I hold you and you disappear.

I remember the music inside you, when we make love to the melody of the moon. I remember the stars when I sleep in your whispers. The air, our air, the dream, our dreams.

I never want to let you go. You fly away.

I catch a glimpse of you in the crowd. I don’t want to get lost in your lullaby. You are the one who first makes me. Creates me.

There is that river peeking in the corner of the street. You are the hill I surrender myself to. I surrender myself to you.

I will hold you again. Someday. Everyday.


The Clearing


In the clearing he stumbles on a tree trunk, but he does not fall. He sees a spring, crystal, quenching, not unlike the brunette girl bending over it. She drinks, and sees him. She runs. He tries to go after her, but the only thing he catches is her shadow and the fragrant whiff of her figure.

The next day he comes back, and the girl is there too. But this time he tries to talk to her. She wants to know about her. The girl looks disconcerted, anxious, but she answers him anyway. He asks her name. “Drucille.” She looks as lovely as the first flower that blooms in the spring. He asks about her age, and she looks right at his eye, smiling sadly. “Follow me.”

He is captivated. He does as he is told. She walks really fast, he almost can’t keep up so he jogs. He remembers his mother and little sister down at the hillside, fire blaring, pot boiling, waiting for a fat deer or juicy sluggish rabbit he hunts for supper. Then he smells the air around her hair. The day is old and the branches of the trees are long sharp fingers of the Devil himself. The moon peeks from its hiding. He follows her deeper to the calm darkness.

She takes his hand in hers. He shivers. “Welcome to my home,” she breathes.

Inside of the shack is warm and balmy. Her father, mother, and two little brothers sit around an empty table. They all smile, he smiles back. “Welcome to our home.”

Drucille must be an angel. She comes from a family of angels. The shack is so warm and comfortable, and the warm chocolate drink her mother gives him makes him all giddy. The aches on his muscles disappear. He even forgets about the bleeding cut on his right forearm caused by the thorny plants he passes on the way to her house. It throbs, but his head is too light and his insides are too warm. The pillow on the table would look out of place if he was sober, but it just seems so nice to rest his head there. So he does. He doesn’t see the glint of the knife on his side, or the glint in the little brothers’ eyes, but he does notice Drucille’s sad smile. Why are you so sad and so beautiful, angel?



Waktu itu, Bandung pernah berbisik kepadaku: Hey, aku yang membesarkan kamu.

Kemudian, Erfurt dan saudarinya yang mungil elok dan pendiam, yang kucintai, yang aku tak tahu namanya, dan ayahnya, Frankfurt, dan ibunya, Kassel, melambai kepadaku: Terima kasih sudah mengizinkan kami memelukmu.

Lelaki itu, namanya Jakarta, tangannya meremas rambutku, menarik kulit kepalaku: Kamu itu kutu.

Aotearoa datang kepadaku seperti selimut di hari hujan. Istirahatlah, dan selamat mimpi indah.