Midnight Malarkey

a peek inside the poetic freak



Once again I find myself
Sprawled on the floor
My tears, turned ink
Staining parched paper
Forming itself into words—such a painter

Once again I’m startled
To hear the grandfather clock strike
Hours past midnight
And my rhymes still unfinished


You are the picture I paint with clear
Water running down my cheeks
Your name, a silencing word
The face I’ve come accustomed to seek

May you be a lesson well learned
To find the good
In finding peace when I’ve failed
Gaining for what I yearned
So I may say my byes

You’re a word I write over and over again
Not quite getting the curves round
The North in my compass
Set forth did my heart
To you it was bound

I pray I find my peace soon
Too long the clouds of gloom have loomed
And I know you’ll be a sweet memory
Somewhere in the future
Somewhen far

A little treasure I’ve held on too tight
I gave myself a fright
Not sure if my brain thinks you’re worth it
But fate thinks you are

Have been
Had been

Now, still…
My love


I’m short out of words to describe how I feel
To explain to myself that this is real
That everything, in the end, it’s worth
The wallow and sorrow that doth girth

I’m short out of luck
Trying to get out
Trying to stay in
Trying to stay put
Trying to make you
To stay

I’m short out of reasons to keep on going
All the while knowing the ending
Every possible way this concludes
Will never include

I’m short out of faith in you
Of all the sweet nothings
All you say or do
Is sweet
But it
Is nothing I want from you

This shortage, if it continues
Would leave me at the end of the sinuous
My options dwindling down
To one

To stop all of this
Because your heart’s not mine to be won

I’m short out of days to spend
I fear what will come with the end
Because you were my dose of happy
Now I’m at a shortage of ways
To feel love


Aku menemukan seseorang yang baru. Aku kehilangan rasa sepi. Heran. Keduanya terjadi di saat yang bersamaan.  Bukannya menjadi netral, sepertinya hidupku malah kehilangan keseimbangan.

Dalam cara yang paling membahagiakan.

Aku kehilangan waktu untuk diri sendiri karena terpana pada angka dua. Kehilangan waktu tidur, terkejut akan perubahan yang begitu akut.

Aku kehilangan kewaspadaan saat berkelana di malam hari karena menemukan pelindung. Kehilangan bantal empuk karena dimonopoli kepala yang bersandar di atasnya. Di sebelahku.

Aku kehilangan inspirasi melankolis, digantikan sendu bermimpi dalam rindu.

Aku menemukan kebaikan dalam kehilangan. Sesungguhnya, tak semua kehilangan tak baik.


Aku kehilangan kebiasaan “satu” karena menemukanmu.

How You Remind Me

I miss feeling my heart beat
Responding every time you’re nearby
And how it reminds me
That I’m still alive

I like the way my head goes quiet
When we just lean against each other in silence
Or have small chats
When I remember the words they give me a fuzzy feeling
Like looking at pictures of cute cats

I remember your skin’s slightly stinging scent
How it pierces through even your cologne
I’m reminded that you’re one of the increasingly few
People who stick to being you

I miss your hand against my head
My head against your lap
I’m ever reminded in your absence
I’ve memorized the ache

I miss feeling your warmth
And my warmth when I’m with you
I don’t think I’ve ever liked better
The number two

I remember feeling alone
Before you came along
Just as I’ve often felt before
But I don’t think I’ve ever recalled by
Being left
Being so forlorn

I like to remember how I felt
“This is nice. I could get used to this.”
I remembered my fears
I remembered that little voice in my ear
“This won’t last, do you hear?”

I’m ever remembering how much you mean to me
And yet, I ever wonder
How could you come into the life of a being
So used to being
And leave me feeling lonely

On Using and Being Used

I’ve had my share of using people and being used by people. I know how annoying it is when someone depends on you too much for help, and I know how reticent yet desperate one can be to get help.

For my part, I’ve also had people who shut the doors and say up front that they’re too busy at the moment or they’d rather I try to get help somewhere else for a change. I’ve also been on the other side—trying to sugarcoat rejection (a habit which is slowly diminishing, thank God), trying to come up with an explanation that won’t get me in unnecessary drama with people who take everything personally, you know the likes.

The thing is, being in a (still relatively) new environment reminded me that lots of people try to beat around the bush. Recently someone’s asked me for help. She wants me to check her materials and whether or not the way she brings it during class would be good. I’ve been doing that since junior high, so that’s not really a problem.

During the actual meeting, though, that’s not what happened. I checked her materials, asked her what she’s come up with. Then she asked me to present it. Then she asked if she could record me saying it. Then she asked me for more arguments (the task was a debate that would later take place during class). My patience grew thin, but I still kept it cool.

Eventually, a sentence slipped out. One that says she actually wanted me to make all her arguments, and she’d just practice saying it for later. If only she were more perceiving, she would’ve seen the change in my expression.

Then, she asked if I could help her again the next day. I said I couldn’t since I already promised an old friend to check on another assignment (it was later on cancelled, but that’s not my point). What pissed me off was the two sentences that came next.

“Why would you help that friend of yours? Aren’t you being too nice?”

My reply: “Well, it’s my old and close friend. If I wouldn’t help her, why would I do such a crazy thing as helping you?”

The girl made an attempt to gain social pardon from me, but the damage is done. I’d rather have someone ask for a favor from me. You know, quid pro quo. Trying to be sly or sweet talk me won’t do any good to how I perceive you. In fact, it’ll probably backfire. A simple thanks is all I need.

I have a friend who’s awful at saying no. A few days ago she was slightly annoyed because she didn’t want too many kids copying her notes (and blaming her if it didn’t match the test questions). So after a kid came up and saw me holding a summary of the materials and asked if she could copy it, I pointed to my friend. She gave me a “WHY DID YOU PUT ME IN THAT POSITION!?” look. Lesson learnt—some people are too afraid of social pressure to say no. Even with me she needs to sugarcoat a subtle shake of the head with multiple apologies. That makes me uneasy. Meh.

On the other hand, yet another friend of mine (sorry, gotta protect anonymity, ha!) would gladly make me sulk a bit when she feels I’m taking too much advantage of her notes. Given, I’m disappointed at times, but not at her—it’s only because I have to do more effort to gain whatever it is I need.

In fact, I’m most comfortable with that last friend of mine. She’s quite the “no bullshit with me” kind of person. You won’t see it at first glance, and it doesn’t come out in her attitude, but in the way she deals with things and people.

Personally? My kind of person.

I really do wish people would be more direct when they ask for help or favors. It’ll save me a lot of trouble with social norms that just aren’t practical and exhaust me of what cheerful energy I managed to muster for that particular day.

Well, it’s in line with my lifetime resolution—being direct with people as long as it’s suitable. So that’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Goodness, I’m complaining again. *sighs* Well, what’s new with the world? (Or me, for that matter.)

Menyambut Kawan Lama

Halo, Cinta.
Senang bertemu

Benar-benar tak terduga
walau masuk logika.
Aku sudah mulai
merasa lalai
kau hadir
dan menyergapku.

Sepertinya kau suka
pada tragedi.
Atau apa itu hanya
hasil imajinasi
dan dramatisasi

Kau memilih jatuh
pada orang yang membuatku
merasa nyaman.
Padahal kau tau
dan dalam doa tak terucap
aku sudah memohon
padamu. Aku
tak mau
ingin mengecap
dan berharap
yang lebih.

Kau memilih luluh
dan berkomplot dengan hati
dan segala macam emosi
dan mendaratkanku dalam
yang tak terperi.

Tak heran banyak yang memujamu
mencoba mengendalikanmu.
Kami hanya
makhluk hina
yang takut terhadap
yang tak tedefinisikan.

Tak apa
kau bisa kurasakan.
aku bukan orang bodoh
yang suka mencemooh
apa yang sebenarnya suci.
Kau akan ku jaga baik-baik
selama kau tinggal
di sini.

Akhir kata,
selamat datang, Cinta.
kali ini menyenangkan. Baik bagimu
maupun bagiku.

Jakarta, 5 Maret 2015.
Kala mencari kata
untuk menyatakan rasa
dan hampir lupa
untuk menyapa.

Ternyata, sekitar setahun lalu, gue sudah sempat menonton video dengan pesan untuk menyapa cinta.

I don’t want to be the clueless one, slowly but surely twirling into the abyss where people who realize it too late go.

I don’t want to be treated as an option, when the truth is you picked me because I’m your best chance of temporary solace. That kind of desperation doesn’t help to make a choice in the same way I choose who I’d like to be close with. It doesn’t really count.

But I don’t want to keep myself shut down. I’d rather put myself out there in the open. That way, as vulnerable as I am, I’m prepared to pick up my pieces when the hammer goes down and the arrow shoots me.


Di tengah malam
Kala membuka gerbang menuju lembah kenangan
Kau menyelinap bagai bunga liar
Kuntum yang tak ingin ku petik
Mau ku cabut namun tekad tak terbersit
Maka ku tinggal di pinggiran
Untuk bertumbuh, berakar

Mengingatmu merupakan perkara pelik
Dalam tiap pengertiannya
Aneh, jarang, rumit
Oksimoron… seperti adanya
Apa kau ingat?

Semua tentangmu
Tersimpan rapat
Bagian terisolasi dan tertutup waktu
Tetapi apik bagai kotak deposit baru

Di bawah kata “rindu”

Acap kali menulis tentang apa saja
Dua ujung lengkung di wajahku terangkat
Heran dan diam-diam menghujat
Diri sendiri
Karena kau masih menjadi alasanku menulis

Tahukah kau?
Kendati segala
Hati tetap mencinta

Dulu kamu
Lalu kau yang lalu
Lalu imaji yang terbentuk oleh bunga tidur
Sekarang akan pengaruhmu padaku

Karena dalam konteks kepemilikan
Aku ini

Dan kau… dengan segala kebebasanmu
Membuatku ragu
Karena bagaimana caranya menyebut kendali
Tak ubahnya sangkar
Bila rangkulan bisa menyentak
Menyadarkanku akan jantung yang berdetak
Dan aku merasa hidup?

Kau membuat definisi bebas menjadi sukar
Membuatku suka
Pada gagasan
Menjadikan hidup
Tak berpias


Tulisan ini berwatasmu**
Seperti banyak hasil guratanmu

Kau ini pujangga
Bagian berima masa lalu
Yang terkadang terngiang-ngiang secara samar di telinga
Tercium sekilas bagai bunga yang ku temu
Saat berjalan lalu

Tulisan ini tentangmu
Terlebih lagi tentangku
Yang kecewa sekaligus lega
Menemukan tak sekadar sarafku yang bisa merasa

Tulisan ini surat untukmu
Yang menumpuk
Tak akan pernah sampai
Karena si penulis
Tak mau menutup amplop yang terbuka
Mengirimnya untuk kau baca
Dan membuatku kehilangan
Satu lagi arsip
Lamunan tengah malamku
Kala mendamba masa lalu

Tulisan ini kutaruh
Di bawah kata “rindu”
Dalam pusat poros angan
Dari distorsi ingatan

Tulisan ini kutaruh
Dalam kintaka
Di bawah kata “cinta?”
Dan di bagian “hal-hal yang membuatku tersenyum”
Dalam sebuah berkas tebal
Bertuliskan inisial namamu




*kintaka: arsip
** watas: batasan


I try to move my fingers. They do. Just not the way I want them to.

I want to write. They tap themselves. Moving, but making my mind stand still. The idea then disappears. Dispersing into unfathomable scrapes, unable to endure the hollow that’s occupying me.

I want to type. They tap themselves. Pressing, but hitting all the wrong keys. Anything I want to pour out freezes. Dissolving into a distant thought, a fragment of what could’ve been written, unable to endure the frustration.

My fingers… they’ve gone stiff, I fear.


Help me.


From time to time I’m only scribbling the same rhymes
From day to day I’m only living the same life
Over and over and over again
The same song on replay from start to the end

Same rhythm and beat
Different day, identical me
Repeating every single decision based on what I know
Rarely giving a new option a go
So here I am, here I am so

Stuck on repeat, looping and never a leap
To commit to break out then cave in
To another routine

But if there’s nothing new under the sun
Then what’s left that’s there to do
That hasn’t been done?

Tentang Waktu Sakit

Hari ini gue sakit. Setelah sekian lama bertahan melawan virus dan kuman. Entah mengapa, tapi gue menyesal gak sakit sejak beberapa minggu lalu. Gue malah lebih memilih sakit saat UTS.

Alasannya? Mudah. Saat UTS ada banyak waktu luang. Banyak waktu untuk sakit-sakitan. Banyak waktu untuk pemulihan.

Kenapa gue baru sadar bahwa penyakit begitu memakan waktu? Selama ini gue mengira penyakit hanya akan mengganggu. Baik menjalani aktivitas atau sekedar berpikir jernih.

Tetapi penyakit juga menyita waktu.

Sebagai anak keras kepala, perlu waktu yang lama agar gue mau memakan obat saat umur gue masih belia. Dan sekarang pun demikian. Sepuluh menit termenung menatap sebutir kapsul yang tak kunjung ditelan walau gelas sudah di tangan. Kalikan tiga kali sehari memakan obat. Setengah jam sudah terbuang.

Saat memilih menu makan ada banyak yang harus diperhatikan. Akankah penyakitku semakin parah? Atau malah menyembuhkan? Atau daerah abu-abu–tak memperparah namun tak juga membantu?

Belum lagi kelambanan dalam melakukan segala sesuatu. Mengulangi apa yang salah dan memastikan semuanya benar. Sedikit lebih lama berjalan, sedikit lebih lama berbicara, sedikit lebih lama untuk mengerti apa yang dijelaskan.

Yang terakhir, menanti kesembuhan. Karena menantikan sesuatu yang tak pasti membuat tiap detik terasa begitu lama. Ingin kulanjutkan rentetan kata ini, namun penyakitku sudah membuang cukup banyak waktu. Masih banyak hal lain yang harus kukerjakan.

Andai bisa, andai mungkin, kan kupilih sendiri waktu untuk sakit. Luangkan waktu untuk merasakan waktu sedikit lebih lama.

Mungkin sakit tak selamanya tak menyenangkan. Setidaknya gue masih cukup sehat untuk menulis, bukan?

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