These poems are from Anxiety Myths, trans.Andy Fuller, Jakarta: Lontar Foundation, 2013.
Stove wick in ear canal
yellow radiates from my heart. why did you arrive too quickly and use a yellow ear? no. i didn’t arrive and not too quickly and i don’t use a yellow ear. i am just the yellow in your heart.
why do you call me that way, letting time’s needle place the stove wick into my ear canal. give me one more minute to light the match. give me time to clean my feet before i leave. a moment to buy some oil. just a moment to see the flame light up my dark ear canal, to see the fall of the needle into that dark hole. time smelling of raw meat in that dark hole.
no, i will not let you go. i also won’t let you arrive. i am just looking at a burnt stove wick in your ear canal.
i am just looking at the age of fear that has lived for too long in that dark hole.
small knocks upon my knee
i knock on my knee, some soil is falling. listen. the soil is like a dead saturday night. like a river walking along a bridge. a knee is not like the city you built at the mouth of the exhaust pipe. not a kind of happiness, like a noisy plastic bag, where people throw away the night talking, looking for small embraces, relief from the usual loneliness. ordinary embraces. to hell with it. a smashed plate leaving behind a black hole. then i get up. my knee is no longer. i throw away my knee-less body. i throw it away near the window. i am shocked. where am i now outside or inside the window. who has been thrown away? have i thrown my body out the window or has the window thrown me out? how can i work out my direction without my body? the cats partied on saturday night making a nation from smashed plates. i see the smashed plates on saturday night. i see saturday night smashed in the black hole starting to be muscled. i hear my knee hide everything. about the soil falling upon your pillow. about the match in your body.
i just mopped the floor
i just mopped the floor. i walk on the tip of my toes so that my clean floor isn’t soiled by the soles of my feet. in the room, i see in the room that your body is now a deep pool of water, the base of which i cannot see. how can i hug you if your body has turned to water? how can i kiss your brow? i’d have to become a fish and swim inside you. but i am not a fish. and a fish realises it could not be me. a fish cannot mop the floor or walk on the tips of its toes. i can’t be caught, then sold at the market and fried. no fish could imagine mopping the floor or crying at the bottom of the sea. i also think no fish live in my thoughts.
i am not the sea. i am sure i am not the sea. no fish will ever think of ending its life in my body. but i hug you. i keep hugging you. i hugged you that morning. and then i drowned. i drowned. take care, let me drown. let me be the water calling you.