Kill the Radio
fragment 2

after the last song finished, we changed stations,
still listening to the beating of our hearts counting out our
one silly story after another, with only empty chatter in between

the same song again and again. the same person, left alone
in a corner of the room —
counting out one sad moment after another. wearily you measured
the passing hours and how far we still had to travel.
outside the rain fell.
the same monotonous voice, which would not keep quiet.

tomorrow, as always, we will meet again. even before you awake.
we will meet again. life is built from many wounds
and many sorrows. they help you not to choose
when you have no choice. somehow, the eyes always see
what they pretend not to see; the ears
always hear what they pretend not to hear.

after the first song finished, we turned off the radio and enjoyed
the silence. it was easier than staring at the reality
wide-awake all around us: as we waited
for dishonest hands to stitch the shreds together again.

bandung, 1998

Kill the Radio
fragment 9

i thought it was beethoven, reaching out:
silence had frozen around the door. the embrace
was perfect.

i was not yet asleep, but very tired.
i heard steps approaching,
they were too soft to be loneliness

the room was distant, sad: kilometers
away a car roared, half-way home.
then the silence returned — the old silence,
dancing alone.

but it was not beethoven.

jakarta, 1999


Kill the Radio
fragment 21

the sound was quieter than the distant wind.
he, the man, had died forty or fifty years ago,
and stood in doorways, singing of old wounds.

close the curtain. let longing grow cruel. wait
for the old trees to shed their leaves. let
seasons of dishonesty pass.

we can listen to his voice fade, say nothing,
pretend to be deaf or just ignore him.

yogya, 1999

Kill the Radio
fragment 22

someone sent you a garland of grief: sweet sorrow slipped through
the lock on the window, or the sharp whisper of the wind,
or in some other way — each flower gray like a corpse.
someone spoke to you through the beating of your heart.

we sat, arms folded, some old longing flowing through our muddy blood
through the screams and moans caught behind our closed eyes.
followed by a tiny cough. i wiped the sweat from your neck.

i brought you a basket of confused love, filled with faded leaves.
you accepted whatever, however it came, through the keyhole
or your breathing: a silent humming
far into the night, before the windows closed again.

someone sent sweet words, and all sorts of nonsense
to fill the empty hours.

magelang, 1999

Kill the Radio
fragment 23,  for XG

perhaps all you could hear were the wings of a bird
wanting to escape its cage. wanting to fly home
to the forest, even though it knew
that predators and hunters waited in the bushes.

there is nothing to discuss. change places with me.
the cage is empty. let us prepare the bed
for the sleep we have long waited

be honest, what are we fighting about?
we are tired, worn out,
by our empty hopes

we are simply fighting for a place
on a page in a history book. the one
we write and only we can read.

jakarta, 1999

Kill the Radio
fragment 24

sometimes we need to unwrap our memories
and enjoy the times filled with a thousand different things.

sometimes we don’t need to tell lies to keep our self-respect.
there is still time to plan for the future.
to wash the dust from our feet so we can go forward again.

but sometimes too, memories hurt.
like the sound of a door late at night, the shrieking of an insect
in a dark clump of weeds, settling on the window,
then crawling slowly into our warm, restless bodies.

magelang, 1999


Kill the Radio
fragment 25

it was late at night, someone was busy
talking about time. i said nothing, refused to listen
while you kept talking about something which didn’t matter.

wild dogs barked in the distance. perhaps
it was a group of ghosts, or things you feared. or it was hatred
which had slipped past the curtains and spied on you.

you heard whatever you wanted to hear. saw
whatever you wanted to see. i could not understand
why you curled up under a blanket of doubt.

jakarta, 1999


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