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


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.


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.

Lara yang mengusik tertutup pelupuk, merembes lewat titik-titik tetes tinta, tertoreh tertata di atas kertas. Aku tak pernah menyukai duka kendati selalu menerima dengan tangan terbuka. Ia bagai tamu yang memecahkan barang, menyuruhku membereskan, tertawa kala aku tertusuk.

Nyeri yang gaib terkurung dalam bisu. Apa pula guna membagi pilu? Pun semua punya miliknya masing-masing. Hanya tubuh yang tahu, maka biar tangan bercerita apa yang ditimpa hati, didetakkan jantung, mengalir dalam pembuluh dan meyebar ke seluruh tubuh.

Lupakan ucap siapa yang mengaku ada untukmu. Niat boleh kuat namun apa mereka cukup sigap mencerna tiap kata? Aku memilih menulis. Meramu cara membuat orang lain tahu dan menjaga agar informasi ambigu. Tak sulit. Sungguh. Ada saatnya seseorang perlu menelan bulat-bulat, namun apa untung memaksa mengerti saat yang kau perlu hanya menyuarakan benakmu? Biar ku jawab: tidak.

Lara yang mengusik tertutup pelupuk. Biar jangan ada yang melihat air mata lalu bertanya-tanya. Jangan ada yang mencoba membuat lega hanya agar mereka sendiri tak perlu repot mengurus sakit.

Dua tangan ini—ya, mereka saja yang melantunkan nada rasa di atas tuts. Mereka saja yang menyebar kisah di dunia maya. Kisah beratapkan rima, beralaskan rasa, dan berdinding enigma.

Aku membiarkan bibirku menipu dengan senyum. Lebih mudah menjaga rahasia dengan begitu. Lebih hemat waktu. Kalian yang membaca ini: kalian yang “beruntung”. Kalian melihat risauku apa adanya. Kalian melihat sepotong diriku yang sepenuhnya jujur.

Percakapan dengan Hati

“Ini,” kata hati. “Ambil aku dan hancurkan. Tak apa. Dan setelah itu, kau bisa menulis.”

Jangan. Bukankah kau sudah cukup tersakiti? Bukankah baru saja kau kembali patri?

“Tugasku pada tubuhmu dan padamu. Pada tubuh, untuk detoksifikasi dan menampung racun. Padamu, membiarkanmu terkena toksifikasi dan menampung rasa terkena racun.”

Aku terdiam. Betapa tabah si organ. Tak heran ia menjadi sorotan hidup banyak orang.

Bukankah kau lelah? Apa kau tak takut mati?

“Kurasa kau tak mengerti,” katanya, tergelak kecil.

“Semakin kau merasa, semakin aku ada. Baik senang atau sedih, tawa atau sakit.”

Dasar, kau, masokis! Tawaku sendu, dengan berselimutkan haru.

“Bukankah aku mencerminkan dirimu, sayang? Berhenti menyiksa dirimu, maka kau akan berhenti menyiksaku.”

Diam. Senyap beberapa saat sementara kata-katanya kuserap.

Namun, bila tak lagi bisa merasa siksa, lalu bagaimana?

“Maka kita bernyawa namun tak hidup, dan jiwa kita mati.”

Saya Memerlukan Seorang Guru

Dibuka: Lowongan untuk menjadi guru bagi anak bebal ini. Anda akan mendapat kesempatan memarahi dan mencaci, melebuh* dan membuat bertumbuh.

Gaji: Anda bisa menabur dan akan menuai kebaikan. Anda bisa merasa bersyukur dengan membandingkan. Anda akan mendapat teman berbincang yang cukup menyenangkan. Saya bukanlah anak berotak gemilang, namun saya bisa memberi perhatian dan menjadi pendengar. Sesekali, mungkin kita bisa bertukar bacaan. Lebih jarang kali, saat sedang beruntung, saya bisa memberi traktiran.

Kriteria: Cukup Anda hidup. Cukup dengan mau meluangkan waktu. Mengosongkan jadwal untuk satu sesi curhat panjang, atau setiap hari bertukar pesan dan menyelipkan nasihat sebelum malam menarik paksa dalam lelap. Saya tidak membatasi kriteria fisik. Saya tak peduli bila Anda baru berumur sepuluh atau sudah uzur.

Yang penting, Anda bisa mengajari saya sesuatu yang baru. Lebih baik jika ada dalam daftar di bawah garis berikut.

Ajari aku mencintai
seperti pasangan tua mencintai.
Dengan cara mereka sendiri
namun dapat membuat semua orang iri
karena semua mengetahui
apa yang mereka miliki

Ajari aku memaafkan
tanpa perlu
melukai terlebih dahulu.
Untuk mengingat
tanpa tersengat
oleh rasa sakit yang sama.

Ajari aku menghargai tiap detik yang telah diberi
tanpa merasa diburu-buru
atau harus menghabiskan setiap waktu
mencoba membuat atau mencapai sesuatu
hanya agar merasa diriku
produktif dan berharga.

Ajari aku hidup dengan integritas.
Supaya aku bisa hidup dalam batas
apa yang kutahu adalah benar, apa yang kupercaya.
Supaya tak menyeleweng ke dalam apa
yang bisa
membuatku mati binasa.

Ajari aku mengelola apa yang ada,
bersyukur atas apa yang aku bisa,
belajar dan berharap untuk apa yang kudamba.

Ajari aku mampu menerima sakit hati
dan bisa mempelajari
dari pengalaman
tanpa menutup diri dari
lain yang ditawarkan oleh kehidupan.

Ajari aku untuk peka akan hidup.
Untuk berani mengambil loncatan
dan keluar dari zona nyaman
karena aku pun bosan dengan keseharian
tanpa variasi
yang berarti.

Ajari aku untuk mengontrol emosi
tanpa mendiamkan apa yang diutarakan hati.
Aku ingin bisa menemukan titik imbang
antara perasaan dan akal pikiran.

Ajari aku menulis dan beropini,
berkata-kata apa adanya
dengan jujur.
Ajari aku agar bisa berkarya maksimal
tanpa membuat keinginan menulis menjadi binal.
Ingin aku bisa mengukir rima bernada
yang tak hanya puisi belaka
namun juga ada pesan di dalamnya.

Ajari aku itu semua
dan lebih banyak lagi.
Tentang apa yang seharusnya aku mampu
apa yang sebaiknya aku tahu
dan cara membedakan keduanya itu.

Ajari aku.
Tak apa bila akan memakan banyak waktu.
Aku memiliki seumur hidup untuk belajar,
jadi aku akan sabar dan menunggu.

Aku ingin bisa melakukan itu semua. Aku memerlukan guru untuk mengajari itu semua. Dan tanpa guru pun, hidup akan mengisahkan rahasianya padaku. Namun, alangkah baiknya jika aku sudah tahu terlebih dahulu.

Jadi, apakah Anda tertarik menjadi guru saya?

*lebuh: jalan besar (melebuhkan: membuka jalan)

How It Feels

It feels wonderful. Like having a new pair of eyes that see the world through colour-tinted retinas. Even the weather becomes pleasantly biased. Usually blazing sunshine feels just right, and gloomy rain becomes a reason to snuggle in blankets and daydream.

It feels magical. Every bad thing coming my way doesn’t look scary. I know I’ll get through. I know I’ll make it. I know I’ll be okay. I have more faith that everything will fall in place at the end of the day. I’m at peace.

It’s such a pure and precious thing. It’s sincere and comes from the heart. So intense, yet calming at the same time. Bubbly yet tranquil. Such a fragile thing, but so pleasant to carry around.

I never want to let this go.

And that’s exactly why it sucks so much. My gut feeling tells me this won’t last as long as I want it to. Reality brings too much pain for me to enjoy the full exquisiteness of it. My head says it’s okay to feel this way, but I have to brace myself because the shattering truth will come with an impact that’ll crush me into unrecoverable grains of ache, what once was, and what I hope could be.

As if what I’m feeling is an illusion that sucked me out of reality, while in reality, as abstract as it is, I can’t deny that it’s so. very. real.

I’m scared of it coming to an end. Still, since it’s bittersweet, it’ll probably end only if the former overwhelms the latter. I’m scared of that too, I guess. I want to enjoy this while it lasts. I wish it’ll last long enough.

Every beautiful thing reminds me of how fleeting they are. Bliss reminds me of how we look for happiness in the emptiest things, ways, or state that we’re in. It becomes a constant annoying each that you can’t reach and won’t go away. It ruins the feeling.

I’m ashamed at myself because I’m unable to muster up this kind of happy on my own and it has to come from an external factor. Then again, knowing social contact has exclusive perks is quite nice. And by “nice”, I mean both in the archaic and modern sense of the word.

Maybe this is just a waste of time; writing about this kind of thing. Then again, if I don’t, I won’t have an outlet to keep myself from the bad kind of insanity.

I’ll just focus on feeling for now, while I still can.

Fuck, I’m such a mess.

Oh well.

Aku hanya mencarinya saat susah. Aku membuangnya kala hidup terasa mudah. Aku menudingnya hanya ada di saat susah karena kasihan, membuangnnya saat senang, mengatakan pada diri sendiri bahwa ia memang tak menyenangi apa yang aku senangi.

Padahal kau tahu minatku dan tentang minatku karena memang itu pula minatmu. Aku tak pernah tahu karena kau diam, menganggapku memang tak memerlukanmu.

Kamu hanya mencariku di saat senang. Kau menyingkirkanku kala hidup terasa suram. Kau menudingku tak mampu menghiburmu, menyingkirkanku dari seporsi hidupmu, meyakinkan diri sendiri bahwa aku tak mengerti apa yang kau pahami.

Padahal aku tahu masalahmu dan tentang masalahmu karena memang itu yang sudah ku alami. Kau tak pernah tahu karena aku diam, menganggap kau memilih berceritera pada yang lain.


Yang tak terucap tak dapat dikecap, karena manusia tak bisa membaca dari mata saja. Untuk itulah manusia perlu berbicara.

Yang terdengar tak selamanya diserap, karena manusia tak bisa mengerti tanpa mencerna. Untuk itulah kita memiliki dua telinga—satu untuk mendengar apa yang dicakapkan, satu lagi untuk mendengar suaramu sendiri.

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