Midnight Malarkey

a peek inside the poetic freak




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]



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.

Dear Heart

Hello, little trouble maker.

It seems I’ve written a lot about you, but never really wrote to you. My, my, what kind of person would that make me? Beating around the bush like that just won’t do. So here’s a little letter (may not be the only one) for you.

You just love watching me get flustered, don’t you? Well, I do too—watching people get flustered, that is. So it’s not like we’re contradicting each other. But, in all seriousness, you got me pretty good this time. Kudos to you! A problem worth flustering over.

I know, I know. It’s not actually a real problem. It’s just a condition. Still, it’s an annoying one for me. A troubling one, considering how emotional I can get. But it’s what we both like about me, isn’t it? How deeply I feel is as much of a curse as it is a blessing, but even if it’s the former, it’s one I’d contently choose to live with. :)

Do you know what I like about you, heart? You never cease to amaze. How much you carry, how strong you affect, how big a portion you take in one’s life—it’s awesome, really. You’re awesome heart.

So, let’s get to the (somewhat) more poetic part of this letter, shall we?

Little trouble maker, here are my promises to you:

I promise to acknowledge you for your worth and never shut you out. I promise not to deny when I’ve been caught. I promise to let myself feel and not place a clot. I promise to live with you ’til the day I die (not that I have much of a choice, ha!) and never question you “WHY!?”. I promise to accept what you’ve chosen, I promise to tell when it’s appropriate.

When circumstances break you, I promise to let myself hurt to heal. I want you to remind me that it’s painful because it’s real. I promise to be thankful for sadness and happiness, love and hate, fear and courage, confusion and confidence. I promise to take care of you and pay attention to what you need. I promise that when I know you’re right, I’ll force my head to heed.

Little trouble maker, I’m sorry for the neglect and from now on I’ll repent. If I fall into the same hole twice, I’ll crawl out all the wiser and hope not to get tricked trice. I’m sorry for cursing and fretting and wishing you’d go away. As much as you could be bad for my health, I genuinely plead you to stay.

Thanks for staying alive, and fighting back when I need to see the things worth living for. My gratitude can never be enough.

I’ll stick with you (and my head too, but you know what I’m getting at),

1000 Ways to Love

I’m blue—a blue who’s still green when it comes to red. But you gave colour to get rid of my black. So many colours I can only see white.

And for that, I love you with a thousand ways. A thousand ways, all mine.

I’ll love you like a breeze that relieves you of life’s scorch. That way, the rays will still be able to give your bones the vitamins to grow strong, but you’ll be cool enough to keep walking along.

I’ll love you like how the stars twinkle through the atmosphere. They don’t dull their shine because we can’t always see it. They even assigned the sun so we know they’re there. Like how I’ll be there.

I’m here now, can you see me? Maybe not physically. And I know your cries won’t always get to me. But you’re here. In my thoughts, in my days, in my daydreams, in my dreams. You’d think one could get too much of someone. I need my space, but I want you to be near. Just a hand’s grasp away, do you hear?

I’ll love you like a first day’s whisper into your ear. Slowly drawing you from your dreams into a reality—your reality—that’s so beautiful no one could ever say you’ve imagined it, because it’s ineffable.

I’ll love you like how one wakes up naturally. Refreshed, rested, ready. To face life with all strife knowing there’s someone who supports and purports all the little mistakes just to make him better prepared for the day that’ll come next.

I’ll love you like a secret. You’ll be safe with me. Your name won’t be a careless whisper. I’ll say it like a sacred mantra—with care and pride.

Who else is able to love you like a puppy? Who looks at you with passion and emotion every single time your face I see? It may be love or hate or pain or joy—passion and emotion, like I said. But never will my eyes that face you be dead ‘til I’m dead.

I loved you long ago. I loved you still. I always will. People say love doesn’t always last an eternity, and I honestly agree. It just depends on what kind of love I have for you right now. But sometimes we’re expected to fall out of love. But how do I un-love you? Is that even something I’m able to do?

I’ll love you with the thousand words I’ve said, the thousands left unsaid, and the millions left unmade.

I can love you like all these things. A thousand ways to love to make life like a dream.

I can love you in a thousand ways, all mine. But no way is the right way to love you.

You’re not even mine.

To Who Once Was My Muse

Dearest muse of mine,

You were the first real thing that made my pencil move to write rhymes. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I do know why—you somehow drove me to it. I, who didn’t even know what I was doing, took my first step into the wonderful world of words. It’s been quite a ride.

Litter darling muse, you weren’t the first thing to inspire me. Art, nature, abstract things like ideas, even beliefs—all these things have inspired me before. But it’s always been just a jumbled mess of basic words like “bat” and “mat” and “cat”. When you came, my head went silent. I just closed my eyes and I felt the words. It’s magical. It was and still is. I’ll always treasure this. I wish I had the courage to tell you.

Precious muse, I found something I wrote four years ago. Have you ever gotten flashbacks of your early days learning the guitar? Placing the wrong fingers, getting the wrong chords, not even being able to strum properly? It must be embarrassing. That’s how I felt when I saw those cheesy lines. I still need to learn a lot. I’ll get there, though. I’ll make sure of it.

Lovely muse, thank you for five years of inspiration. Of poetry and imagination. With every “what if” came pain, but I also gained from it. I’ve created hundreds of lines and verses from strands of thoughts. Of you.

Sweet muse, I’m sorry, but I’ve started to forget little things about you. The stream from the river called Life has carried you a long way, and remnants of you shall remain, stuck in the banks. Yet, it’s only a matter of time before you’re carried off to the sea as a forgotten fragment from my past. These days, I can’t always remember your smile, your eyes, and even how you made me feel once upon a time.

I’m afraid, dear muse. What I’ll create with only thought could never compare to those carved by sentiments of the heart. The last two years, I’ve opened up my old wounds over and over again, fearing I’ll cease to feel inspired and the only thing I’ll write down are to-do lists and class notes. I was afraid the only stories I’ll write are for writing exams I need to pass. But I can’t live like that forever. I don’t want to. And as afraid as I am now, it’s even more terrifying to think I can’t find any other thing in this vast universe to inspire me.

Treasured muse, you’re a gem too heavy for me to keep carrying. I thought about throwing you away, but I never really had you, right? You’re a free creature—it’s why I, with all my insecurities (more than now, anyway), chose you in the first place. You see… a muse to me is a picture, an image, a being, containing what one doesn’t have but needs to see and feel and experience in order to create. You were just that for me. Yes—were. As in… past tense.

Glorious muse, you’ll never read this. You’ll never know. It’s frustrating but also a relief, since I know it’s not nice to barge in on someone’s life when you’re no longer a part of it. I didn’t know what we had—or if we ever had anything at all—but whatever it is, I enjoyed it.

Beautiful muse, I’ll never forget what you once meant to me. You simply see the beauty in everything, and I saw the simple beauty that is you. I’ve caught a glimpse of your world, and how wonderful it is! Now I have to make my own way. One day, I’ll see everything in its beauty just like you, just not how you do it.

Beloved muse, I’m running out of words again. For now, at least. They’ll come to me again, I’m sure. It’s sad, really—I’ve written thousands of words about you and because of you, but never once have I told this or shown a piece to you. And the millions of words still to come… well, some of them will be about you, but they’ll be about other things too.

I started this letter with the word “dearest”, and dearest you have been. But you won’t always be, sadly. This is my goodbye and farewell. Once again, thank you.

When I find my next muse, my next inspiration, whomever or whatever it may be, I’ll write better things in a better way as best as I can. I’ll have learnt more vocabulary, learnt to rhyme better, express myself freer. Still, remember this: you’ll always be the first one. And that can’t ever be changed by anyone.

Besides… who else can get me out of bed at 2.30 am to grab a pen and clipboard and start writing—on a toilet seat?

My love and prayers,

a shadow from your past

July 20th 2014

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