Disco Emergency

Jimi Multhazam


Double discman. AA batteries
Active speakers. Modern life
Green mixing desk. Second-hand
Lighting rig. 17th of August
We dance

Disco Disco
Emergency! Disco

Mozilla and CD-Rs
A cramped bedsit 3×4
A school corridor late at night
Art openings we nearly miss
We dance

Disco Disco
Emergency! Disco

No house music hey na na na na
No breakbeats fa fa fa fa
Jolts of the eccentrics
Fun of your antics
We dance

Disco Disco
Emergency! Disco!


no that’s not the way a story is told.

when he stops he’ll think about things and then he won’t be able to think about anything

smell the roses and the dung and the dharma bums

his hand hot on her wrist running towards the lake

silvery from the young moon

that hangs in the sky like a hairpin.

I Walk Amongst Them

Chairil Anwar


I walk amongst them

They who cornered me
Into a face/off
On the side of the street.
I see the world through
Their eyes. I follow them
Through the crowd spitting their guts out.
The reality as they see it.
(The Capitol is playing
American flicks,
We dance
To all the top ten hits.)
We go home
Not a hair out of place
Though death
In all its guises
Is all around us.
We huddle at a stop
Wait for the City tram
Into the deep of the night.
I pray for those who read
My scribbles out of love.
I pray for syphilis
And leprosy (and
The simple matter
Of the atomic bomb).
This is the proof
Of our independence:
I open my arms
To the living:
Those who can see
The darkness I see
And the darkness
In me.


the same old places. narrow alleys cobbled out of chinese gravestones, the nicer, coloured ones cut carefully into narrow steps up into the home, the doors open to let air in into the dark inside, the smell of 4 o’clock, of the sun dribbling a plastic soccer ball into corners and the damp rubbing hands in the dugout.

he stands in front of the old house where his father grew up, subdivided into a pink miniature of of a wog mansion and a warteg serving cold gudeg and bright red krecek hard as bricks. he can hear the chatter of old women investigating each other, “payu? payu pira?” their great old breasts sag like the ripe, unsold mangos scattered in front of them.



corncobs, i miss the smell of butter.

streets, leave a heart-shaped sweat mark on her bum.

ex-girlfriend, go away on a holiday to fiji.

daydreams, scream, “fine!”

heart, arse about.

encounter, type words excitedly on new second-hand brother with the missing : key.

susan, meet me this arvo on that hilltop.

c’mon, ask me how you were.

lies, be funny.

cold hard facts, be ironic.

hard, be iron-y.


the trunks of the sawo trees,

the cold black sand,

the old burnt palace,

the dark pendopo,

the watermarked angels and goddesses,

the white eyes,

a brazier of glowing charcoal,

pretty shop attendants,

brief obi like an afterthought,

you would believe in anything,

a lake under the midday sun,


He and I

Chairil Anwar (for L.K. Bohang)

It’s late and and we’re still walking
Through the mist
The rain soaking us through
The ships frozen at the docks

Blood thickens, my body is solid iron

What was that …?
Nothing’s left of you but cold bones
The rain has stripped everything else

What time is it?

It’s very late
Nothing means anything anymore
Even the way you move.

North Freedom St., Jakarta

F. Rahardi


on the kerb
mahoganies stand with the raintrees
the angsanas in coats of black exhaust
and watch
suits and ties
bulging suitcases
shiny shoes
polished everyday
the bowing drivers
and the bodyguards
erect like pencils
lift their heads up
let the wind hit
and the tamarind leaves
fall like snow
on sweaty faces