Ahad, 8 April 2018

of here and other thoughts

I have not been writing for quite a long time. At least, this kind of writing here where I am not subjected to any scrutiny; nor do I have the obligation to be responsible for it. This is where I write to myself, and probably to some of you who still have the interest to read this.

I have many thoughts, yet I am not able to pour them out. It frustrates me. I am very cautious with my words, obviously only in writing; for they are always written for the basis of consumption. Thus, the habit of self-editing as I go paragraph by paragraph. A fifty-page academic article took me a year to finish.

Whether it is academic, popular, or just a 800-word book review, they were all for a measly amount of payment (or prestige, if you would be so kind not to judge me).

It is truly where the medium becomes your first concern when it comes to writing. 'What should I write' is dictated by 'where would I want my writing being published in', or specifically, 'who is the person I want to impress'. 

"The medium is the message," as coined by McLuhan. It truly is, indeed.

In this turbulent time, you are shaped (and define yourself) by the medium that you use. You identify yourself with it, along with the circle it nurtured. It is practically the same with the phrase 'you are what you consume'. Not in a narrow sense of food, of course; but in the consumption habit that you developed in formulating your own identity.

However, we should extend the phrase, with a little tweak: 'you are what you portray yourself to be'. This is the kind of zeitgeist we live in now.

We have way passed the age that contemplates art against the condition of infinite reproduction through mechanical means. This is the age where, to steal Benjamin's phrase, the works of arts are conditioned by its most primordial setting: the medium where it is portrayed to be.

But the holy place of art today is very much different from the way it was back in the Victorian age (in a sense, the Western art). A painting in a gallery or national museum, that is a high art. A wall painting on the street, that is street art or common art. Now, the latter was supposed to be, during its inception, a statement inspired to break down the wall built by the Modernist that is formalism. The Dadaist took refuge in their 'playfulness', and the contempt they slipped in their works as a manifesto to pave a new narrative for art. But now it is pretty much just a shape (or scribble, or doodle, or whatever it may be) that does not have any form, accompanied by whatever gibberish the artist wishes to put in the catalog as a justification for his/her work of art.

Without a proper form, there would not be any meaningful essence. For in the form lies the very tradition where such and such works of art were to be made upon.


I am currently nibbling a bit here and there on photography, mostly for an assignment purpose. And of course, it does not concern anywhere near the  technique, composition, or so and so.

What comes before the digital is the ability of one's 'eyes' to capture one's reality. 

What it means by "one's reality" and not the definite article of Reality? Simple. A photograph is kind of a statement from its photographer that persuades us to gaze upon what he or she deems worthy to be looked at. It is not an invitation, but a declaration that my reality is worthy of your attention.

In photography, however much the technology has advanced, the eyes of the gazer is an intrinsic ability that would immediately inform us whether this person is a genuine article or just a poseur equipped with a gadget(s).


Agitation often comes from an uncontextualised statement, whether it is a conscious provocation or blatant stupidity. The latter proves to be more dangerous.

Truth can only be found in the most banal condition of reality that requires our consideration on its historical, the context in which it resided in.

Ahad, 10 September 2017

cat is dead

I saw a cat;

And what happens when a cat
is dead?

The rats came out
abandoning their crouch:
they strutted
while noisily muttered,
"The cat is dead!"

without the slightest of fret.

Isnin, 21 Ogos 2017

seorang gadis yang ingin jadi penari

Tidak lama dulu, ada seorang gadis yang berhasrat untuk menjadi seorang penari.

Ketika cikgunya bertanyakan tentang cita-citanya, apa yang tergambar dikepalanya ialah bayangan dia sedang menari di atas sebuah pentas besar sambil liuk tubuhnya diikut tanpa kelip oleh pasang-pasang mata yang diam-diam mencemburuinya. 

Setia dengan citanya, dia tanpa jeda membalas pertanyaan cikgunya, "Saya mahu jadi seorang penari."

Dan cikgunya, seperti sekian orang-orang yang menganggap mereka sudah cukup makan garam, pantas mengajukan soalan kedua.

"Adakah dengan menari boleh memberikan kamu wang?"

Gadis itu tetap tidak berganjak. "Kalau wang yang diperkirakan, sudah tentu cikgu tidak menjadi seorang cikgu. Kerja cikgu ini tidaklah boleh beri banyak wang."

Cikgunya naik berang dengan jawapan gadis itu. Ujarnya, "Kamu biadap! Jaga tuturmu dengan orang yang lebih tua, tambah-tambah lagi cikgumu."

Dia langsung dihalau berdiri di luar kelas sampai habis waktu pembelajaran.

Ahad, 24 Julai 2016


Sesederhana rindu ialah rindu seorang nelayan terhadap rumahnya sebelum petang mampir; dan rindunya kepada laut ketika musim tengkujuh hadir.

Jumaat, 22 Julai 2016

the clock that runs out of time

"Honey, wake up! It's 7 o'clock!"

I desperately cling to the sheet as she pulls it with tremendous strength, a strength not of a woman nor man but a protective mother who just gave birth to a beautiful child.

"Honey!" she yells in a pitch that would make a soprano bows her head in embarrassment.

"Yes, yes. I heard you the first time. Just gimme five more minutes."

She shook her head in disbelief and went to shower. I continue my every bit of second left shutting myself to sleep.

In what seems like a mere five minutes, I then woke up. Darling is nowhere to be seen; probably she had took off to work while mumbling how hard it is to wake me up everyday. It's not an easy task really. I always work until late at night, sometimes until the sun silently peeks over the horizon towards the moon, too shy to put a word to her.

I look at the wooden owl clock, a gift from my grandpa before he went on his last hitchhiking adventure and eventually died somewhere in the middle of a desert in Africa. I've never been close with him, but yes, I'm still his only grandson; and the clock, it was his only possession since he sold everything to pay for his adventure. Mum's freaked out when she heard of grandpa's grand scheme, yet she reluctantly agreed. Dad... well, dad's a dad. Kept his cool, fixed his gaze over the newspaper in his hands.

I stared at the clock; a long, hard stare. I noticed something was off with it. The hour needle was gone!

Now, it shows 45 minutes past... goddamnit!

I reach for my phone on the bedside table. Strangely enough, it shows 00:45:34. Again, I curse.

Wait, maybe if I wait for another fifteen minutes, the hour will appear. I went to shower.


I was talking to myself, arguing whether it is possible for things like this to happen or I just haven't woke up from my sleep--that darling is still in the shower, cursing me while she's at it; that it is just past six and the alarm I set last night just screamed. So I took my time.

When I was finished, I quickly got out and took a glance at the clock.


It was quarter past zero. I took the clock from the wall and gave it a hard, long stare. My eyes didn't deceive me; the hour needle was gone. At first, I thought it just fell, and that darling might just fooling around with me. That's it! She probably reset my phone clock.

I grabbed my phone before let out a loud sigh. It's still the same with double zeros at the front.

Ahad, 29 Mei 2016

requiem for the lost soul

"Every angel is terrifying."

Rilke wrote this in his long Elegies, repeated several times as it moves from one part to another. One, two, three, four... I lost count.

Every angel is terrifying. I am making Rilke's word as my own. Alas, aren't we all thieves? For words, scribbles, paintings, even thoughts are all stolen from one another. As some may put it, nothing is genuine since nothing has changed. Humanity is a tragedy, while everything else is a farce.

In a corner of the world, someone is silently praying; and if I may steal Rilke's words again, it is a silent pray of a terrified soul; for every angel is terrifying.

I saw an old man standing in the rain, drenched. He was smiling while spreading his arms wide, as though he was waiting for the angel to take him away from this wretched place, as though he was embracing god, when god himself is nowhere to be found. The old man was not alone. He was surrounded by people; men, women, children, old or young, they stared at him in disbelief, like he is a madman. 

His sin? Drowning himself in god's arms. But god was nowhere to be found.

And what about the men, women, and children you ask? They were all in a great hurry, pushing one another, with their umbrellas held high, scurrying towards the shelter. I was one of them.

Then the old man walked away from the plaza towards the shelter. He then stood in front of the people, in front of me, and asked: "What are you afraid of my dear children? For the terrified is the most terrifying one."

At that time, the rain has already stopped. People started to gather back at the plaza to get the first taste of sun.

"Old man, we are terrified of you," said a woman in a bluish coat.

"Old man, you are crazy," said a man in a skinny jeans.

"Old man, you could catch a cold. Please hurry and change your clothes," said a cheerful little girl before she was hush-ed by her mother.

"Old man," I stuttered, "I could not find god. It's been a long time, yet I don't miss him; not as much as I miss my mother."

He looked at me.

"Are we not a god for ourselves? For every angel is terrifying; to not be afraid of them is to be god himself."

Ahad, 6 Disember 2015

as you listen carefully

And if you might listen carefully to their mumbling mouth, conversed in a dimly soft manner, you would notice that; in the end, life is a collection of tragedies, and what is the beauty of it? Life itself is a hoax, a dreamy dream in a sleepless night. The kind of dream that you desperately create in order to ease you to sleeping, and yet, it will only drags you, keeping you awake, sometimes for an hour or two, sometimes all night, and sometimes for eternity. You would be gasping for air, kicking ferociously in the depth of thoughts, trying to release yourself from it. Disdained, you wait for life to let you take a break, and it's a terrifying thing; for you do not know whether the break would be momentarily or eternal. And yet you still go to sleep, because you need it, and for the most part, because you had always believed that death would never betray you as life does during the day.