Midnight Malarkey

a peek inside the poetic freak



Dearest Confidant, #1

Maybe the reason I love you is because you’re the me I never could be. Half the thoughts and double the action, you have more capacity to execute, while I’m just good at giving reactions.

Maybe the reason you love me is because I’m the you you’ll never be. Half the emotional investment and double the rational force. I know you envy my ability to not feel guilt and think myself out of remorse.

Maybe the reason we love parts of each other shouldn’t matter. You still find me adorable and I find you lovable. The parts we want go with the parts we found and I don’t think I’ll regret anything if we’re ever in any way bound.

I love your heart. I love me loving your heart. I love me loving you heart enough to let me make word art.

You love my brain and the way I think. How I scoop you and won’t let you sink when you overthink. How my brain rationalizes rue and you see my logical links can be true.

Maybe the reason we love like this is because we’re each other’s counterpart. You, the wanderer who knows you need to travel to find answers. Me, the wonderer who answers and wants to question through travel. How I can calm some of your anxiety and you deepen the shades of grey to my reality.

Maybe that’s the reason we love each other like this—love really, never truly. And truly, I’d rather not have it any other way.


On a plane, 20th April 2017

8.11 pm


Today I saw someone
arm just like yours.

Made me think back to the very first time I noticed
dangling by the window.

You’ve come a long way.
You’ve grown
than winter,

Reality has sunk in
deep in your bones
you feel
this is all life is.

But you forget
one person, dear
is enough.
One person near
unconcealed, unseen.

“We” is a word for you not found
in the dictionary
defined as
meaning to you
with another,
without me.

And you’ve gone
as our proximity grew
to saying goodbye
for good
I shall try to win
you back,
is it a mere dream?

We shall see
each other
with another
I shall find
“We” defined:
You, me,

Path to You

There’s this path I’d take from my home to yours. It’s a winding road so long I’ll always be exhausted afterwards. So glad that at least you’re in reach, so sad that it’s rare we could meet. But I’ll be happy enough as long as you’ll wait, for I think of you each second—both in dream and in wake.

There’s this secret door I’d sneak through to get to you. Apparently, your parents are too ignorant to lock it after noon. So there I’ll wait, while you wake a flutter inside. It sends chills down my spine and trembles to my thighs.

There’s this look you give to me. I never knew what it could mean. Was it love, hate, or curiosity? But you saw me, and that’s enough. Your eyes are enough to calm me.

There’s this touch you do while grinning. I knew what it could only mean. A secret for others, for us alone it’s seen. I love so much of this of you. I go bonkers after this—your touch is the thing I always miss.

One day, I travelled that road. I snuck through the door and sat like a toad. I was in wait for you to come, but what I found was what would seal my fate.

You came out the door, knelt in front of me. Your parents came too, and I was so weary. I thought I’d be dead, a damsel deemed dirty.

But… no.

They smiled and greeted me “daughter”. They asked if I’d accept their son. I asked with my eyes if this is something you’ve done. You laughed and took my hand. That’s when I knew. They’d let you take my hand. They let me have you.

Now, I go down the winding road each day. I close the door behind my way. I’m never again exhausted by this winding path, it’s true. It leads me to home—to you.


Inspired by a piece from Lang Leav.


I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. So I explained how I feel to myself, trying to get an epiphany.

I felt like sinking. I felt like running on a treadmill set faster than any man could run. I felt like in space–floating, unable to breathe.

I felt like someone dangling off a cliff, grasping for someone to pull me up.

That’s it.

No matter how close we were, you’d never reach for me. It takes two to hold on to each other, two to close the distance. And I’m one short of the one who would love me back. The one who’d save me from myself.

So I fell off that cliff. I didn’t die, of course, because the fall never kills. It’s the impact. But my head’s so high up in the clouds I end up falling into the neverending space.

Now I long for that impact. But it’s not coming. At least no time soon.

And that, I fear, is much, much worse.


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.

Kasih, sayang, dambaan semua orang. Kala suram membayang, rasa itu mengalahkan. Sulit melupa dirinya, sekalipun sudah lekang.

Belum lama memudar, kau menghampiri lagi. Heran. Apa kau rindu dirindukan? Lalu mengapa kau kerap hinggap hanya di seorang insan? Untuk dua saling memiliki, mereka kudu memilikimu. Barulah bisa disebut pasangan.

Tertarik tidak, tapi tertarik juga. Memang kau bagai tali tak kasat mata. Mengikat, membalut, memaut.

Ah, yang terakhir itu. Pantas, banyak yang mati demimu. Aksi bodoh bertajuk heroik. “INI DEMI CINTA”

Dan saat menemukan aku telah terjun, baru kusadari: kebodohan itu terulang juga.

Dan demi apa?


And I loved you with fire, burning my cheeks rosy.
And I loved you with air, daydreams a floating.
And I loved you with ice, cold tears fallen now freezing.

Loving you was being, letting go never a thougt. Release came with deceasing, putting delusions to a stop. 

I love you in the ground,
with all hopes buried.



A letter. A rhyme. A means to say and still be silent.

When people are in love—when we, human beings, experience this wonderful chemical reaction—we often become poetic, associating how we feel and who made us feel that way to a beat.

We say our heartbeat races, two beats of the same heart calming to the same melody of the soul. They’re the beat to the song that makes us move. The beat that makes us feel oh so alive. Or live, even.

Likening you to a mere beat, beloved, would be a sin for my part.

You’re so much less, yet more.

You’re a pulse.

Unromantic, eh? Soundwise, poets would agree. But do bear in mind that they too would ask the meaning of this unrhyming metaphore before discarding it into the pits of condemnation.

If your eyes ever lay on these words, I beseech thee to do as such.

You are a pulse, my love. You don’t make my heart move, but you show that it’s working. A lack of you won’t show I’m dead—simply, I may breathe—yet, neither living. To say you give me life is lying. God does that. Anything meaning otherwise means I’m a con, condescending what we both put faith in. A con, descending myself to a bag of meat in need of you. Condescending you to a need, a means to feed my greed.

You are a pulse, my dear. You don’t put me to work like a song. Loving you has never been work all along. Relationships are, one with you would be, but to love—loving you—is simply me. Not that you’re never a burden, but one I’d take. I’m not perfect either, but I’ll do the best with what I could make.

You’re a pulse—something I feel. A beat lies deep, buried in warmth of the chest. A pulse runs deep, running everywhere else. So much so, for how do I hide what I have for you? It comes out so clearly, others feel it too.

Like a pulse, I feel you. Each layer of my skin, each vein craves the oxygen you bring. You’re the one who sends me fresh air to breathe. You’re not the only one coming through, just the one that matters.

You matter. Like a pulse, you’re the one I check. If you’re healthy, I’m happy. A beat can always be manipulated. Not so with what I feel for you.

This is amazing. You’re not that much of a mystery. Like a pulse, I can learn your inner workings. And yet, everytime I feel you, I feel me. Each night before I go to sleep, I feel you in my body. I pray to God when morning comes, I feel you’re still with me.

A beat can always be felt, though concealed. A pulse, though known, is only felt by the most delicate. It’s not merely fierce. It’s less, yet so much more—a beam, a warmth, a glow. Don’t you like that my love? To be with you, I’ve evolved, and I actually like it. I like the way you make me feel—delicate, alive, unreal.

Do you see how wonderful now a pulse could be? How you can be?

I’ve wrote this though you may never see. I hope these things won’t leave me dead, still unsaid.

It is late, beloved. Now I shall go to bed.

I pray to God, when morning comes, I feel you as I wake.

Jakarta, December 2015
!!th @ 23.19 — 12th @ 00.39
[with some editing]


Sedikit Lebih

Sedikit lebih kekanakan suara ini terhadapmu
Sedikit lebih sendu
Menjadi manja dan merajuk
Lebih ketara saat membujuk

Sedikit lebih sering bibir kutarik
Keatas, kebawah, mengucap larik
Dalam diam
Tersirat lewat
Sedan dan senyuman

Sedikit lebih lembut mataku kala menatap
Sedikit lebih sayu
Hasil dari tertumpuknya rindu
Dan segala kata yang tertelan oleh bisu

Sedikit lebih enggan aku meninggalkan lelap
Hanya di sana hinggap
Kenangan baik mewujud
Yang bagi realita
Kelihatannya terlalu absurd

Sedikit lebih keras aku tertawa
Mencoba menghilangkan sedih dengan canda
Sedikit lebih banyak menulis
Sedikit lebih keras menuang isi hati
Memikirkan majas yang menggambarkan perasaan ini

Sedikit lebih sepi hari-hari yang kulalui
Sedikit lebih hening
Lebih banyak berpikir dalam sepi
Apa tentangmu yang begitu penting?

Sedikit lebih sayang tiap waktu berlalu
Sedikit lebih bingung terhadap diriku
Sedikit lebih sering bertanya pada waktu
Kapan semua dapat kembali seperti dulu?

Sedikit lebih bijak karena ini semua
Aku teringat sebuah kutipan yang kudapat saat bersekolah
Lama-lama jadi bukit”
Dan itu yang kualami sekarang

Satu perkenalan
Sedikit lebih merasakan kedekatan
Sebanyak ini kau akibatkan perubahan

Suatu hari nanti
Mungkin aku sedikit lebih membuka diri
Menceritakan padamu apa yang sebenarnya terjadi
Isi pikiran dan hati

Untuk sekarang
Aku harus masih berjuang
Memulihkan diri
Walau terbantu dengan menuliskan puisi ini

Hanya sedikit


I sleep a lot these days. I make time to take naps. I lie awake at night waiting for slumber to embrace me, suffocating my consciousness into its sub, sending me to dreams I’ll forget the minute it ends.

I sleep more these days. Even when I wake up, I force my eyes to shut the light out. I try to ignore the light that tries to tingle my skin. I grasp my blanket tighter, as if it’s going to shield me from everything bad the light could ever do. As if the slightest exposure would give me cancer.

I want to sleep all the time these days. I like being unconscious. It means not remembering. It means not having to do anything. Just breathe. Just relax. Just feel your body working—feel you’re living. Sleeping means no drama, no pain, no responsibility.

Some people like to sleep because dreams can be so much better than reality. But my reality is worse than having no dreams at all.

My reality is me oozing in and out of sadness. And I try to get away from the madness by sleeping.

Sadly, I forgot something—when you sleep, your memories become long-term. And like many people feeling their days are heavy, I too sleep with thoughts so weary, waking up dreary.

So sadness saddened by sleep suffocates serenity daily. Thus is the wheel that keeps on turning. And I have no idea how to stop this thing.


People who don’t know won’t see. But I do.

By the way your lids droop just the tiniest bit and the slight flutter of your lashes. Your gaze looks down and your lips frown for just a split second before starting each sentence after the last quiet. Your sentences fade into the quiet. They stop halfway, disconnected from your thoughts, your thoughts disconnected from the present. You become disconnected from the present. Then the gaze slowly comes up to a blank spot on a surface so you can reminisce.

Lots of people have lots of giveaways. Most of them are clichés. Like how the eyes are windows to the soul? In your case, it’s your heart’s way of opening a window and shout its contents to its content.

You’re still in love. I can tell.

By how you become so gentle. The way you hesitate talking about her and what you two have been through. What you had and still have.  How your voice comes from somewhere deeper, pushing the corners of your mouth slightly upwards. Then you snap back to reality. I can tell by the way you glimpse at me, absentmindedly trying to convince me you’re paying attention before going through the cycle all over again.

I know because you look to me for comfort.

People who don’t get justice get angry and disappointed. They don’t need comfort—they need revenge. People who need comfort are sad. But you’re not the kind of sad that kids get when they lose candy. Your kind of sad is from what ifs and wishful thinking. And that sad never needs comfort for consolation.

You want comfort for replacement of what you wish you hadn’t lost.

That’s why you become—dare I say it?—(slightly) sweet. Why you suddenly want extra company. Why you suddenly get touchy around me. For whatever reason it is, you need someone to run to.

I know you’re still in love. You stutter each time you start to utter about her. You repeat the end—first to me, then to yourself, then in thought.

“Well, that’s it.”

Yeah, that’s it. But that’s not the end of it to you. And maybe to her too.

Whatever you had was real and still is. Part of it, at least. And there’s still residue. You’re still letting go, and the time to move on isn’t yet due.

I guess the signs are going to stay awhile more. The random serious moods and pauses when you hesitate to bring her up. The incessant mumbling afterwards that never then suddenly stop. The little details that come out. They’re all still here. For just a little while, maybe, but still.

A Different Kind of Lonely

This is a different kind of lonely. One not so bitter, hardly as sweet. Not the same alertness at night, no crazy thoughts revealing themselves to my sight.

When I’m lonely, I communicate. My lips stay sealed, my fingers create. Nothing much, just a word or two. Or a page of sub-par poetry, posted to be read by you.

My kind of lonely is just right. Just like how I like coffee. Bitter enough to flatten my lips as though awkwardly receiving a kiss. Sweet enough to tingle the tongue tip’s taste buds. Bitter enough to make me fill hollowed. Sweet enough to know the hollow will be filled.

Or hearing a single howl of a wolf that knows somewhere, something heard it make a sound.

My kind of lonely is beautifully painful, painfully hopeful, hopefully beautiful in its end. My lonely is not alone in the world. My lonely is not lonesome. My kind of lonely has company—not to fill it, but to share it.

My kind of lonely is longing for people. Glimpses of the past. You know you can’t cure it, but you can subdue it. It’ll heal with time and grow better with the bitter it contains. Like how grapes with dust-like fungi make the best-tasting wine.

But this new kind of loneliness? It’s this one:


It’s the kind of lonely grown from non-consented silence. It’s the kind of lonely that spurs hatred, as the feeling becomes a tyrant. It’s the kind of lonely that chains your mental tongue to the back of your mental mouth. It takes the will from fingers to caress the keyboard, reluctant to press its calloused tips on the stem of a pen.

This type of lonely is when you open your mouth and try to scream. And even if the words do come out, it never lands on another’s ear.

This is a different kind of lonely. One I’m not accustomed to. I’m still learning its ways and starting anew. I’m still comparing it with coffee and little things I do. Just so I can get back and type again and pour it all down to get rid of my frown.

This kind of lonely is laced with laughter amongst friends. That seeps as an afterthought in every tear when something beautiful ends. This kind of lonely finds me lost in nostalgia of longing for something I actually know.

This kind of lonely will take some getting used to. New, different things do. Adjusting will be the only part of this that’s not new.

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