Poems & Prose

NOTE: Best read with an attitude of an Italian mob boss.

Yegor, listen to me, Yegor. Don’t you frown your face and think of me like making you my dog. Listen. I not push you around, Yegor. You got your freedom, you do what you wanna do. You got your freedom to choose. You’re my man, Yegor. Not my dog. You have what they call … “free will”.

But why you use that “free will” to make me sad, Yegor? You not following my rules. You disrespecting me. You not paying your dues. You making me lose my face in front of everybody.

So what you give me is no choice but to let my dog Diablo get you. Men who not please me, who not worship me, who not talk good things about me – I send them to Diablo.

You see, Yegor? No, I no pushing you around. You just got to make a decision. Make a conscious decision to make me happy. If you just make me happy because I ask you to then I won’t be happy because I can see that your heart is not true. I save you from the street so that you make me happy, Yegor. Make me happy with your true heart. It must come from you yourself. Your “free will”.

You see my son? My only son? I gave him as good, good example. I told him to come to you, to act like he no son of mine, then to become scapegoat, so that you all can put all the blame on him, and I see him as a mistake, and I send him to Diablo too. Because I wanna show you that I am fair, I am just, I am the boss.

Different is, my son can beat Diablo. Can escape from Diablo’s turf. No, he don’t kill Diablo. He cannot kill my man nor my top dog. But he beat him to pulp.

Now my son, my only son, sit right next to me.

Are you my son, Yegor? You believe you can beat Diablo? What is making you believe you can do what you want in this world I created?

You have your freedom from me, Yegor. Use it wisely. Use it to make me happy. And I make sure your business is secure and nobody giving you trouble.

I love you, Yegor. As long as you please me with all your heart.

Something like this:
Conversations with the Gatekeeper
A Conversation with the Gatekeeper
Caged Bunnies


The Gatekeeper has this lovely job of waiting the gate that will bring the souls of the dead to the afterlife.

Dead Pious: So, Gatekeeper. You must be the one who is keeping the balance between my good deeds and – well – the things I did unintentionally.
The Gatekeeper: You’re definitely not the first one to think so, and – yes – you might think that way according to your belief, or religion. You want to know how is your performance during your life?
Dead Pious: I surely do.
The Gatekeeper: I can say that out of ten things you’ve done in all your life nine of them were praise-worthy. If their weight were measured, your good deeds and unselfish acts of charity will be around ninety kilograms, while your wrongdoings will be no more than a few hundred grams.
Dead Pious: Ha! So I will get to Heaven, right?
The Gatekeeper: Well, the thing is, there is no gravity here. We do not measure or scale your deeds.
Dead Pious: What? So?
The Gatekeeper: Whoever told you that your good deeds in your life will have any value here must be the stupidest and most moronic persons ever lived. No. Any of your deeds have no afterlife value. They are nothing. Even if you’ve raised a hundred orphans – no. It’s nothing. You’re dead now. None of them matters anymore.

Dead Martyr: They promised me Heaven if I blew myself in a shopping mall.
The Gatekeeper: Yeah, it’s like they promised that you would shit gold. Na’ah. Ain’t gonna happen.

Dead Recycle: So, what am I gonna be next? I’ve meditated in total silence for the last fifteen years in my life. I’m gonna be a dragon? Or, stars in the sky?
The Gatekeeper: Naaah. You’ve done nothing, so you’ll be nothing. Go on.
Dead Recycle: But, but, if I had done anything then it would be nothing to. So, what was the point of my existence?
The Gatekeeper: What made you think it had a point? You were just an accident.

Dead Sunday: Is my Savior your Big Boss? I am His disciple. I lived in and by His name. I will get to Heaven and rule with Him, right?
The Gatekeeper: Do I look like someone who works for a boss?
Dead Sunday: But, but, but … I’ve made so many other souls to believe in my Savior as well.
The Gatekeeper: Yeah. Stupidity is the main commodity in multi level marketing.

A Conversation with The Gatekeeper
The Rules of the Game
Caged Bunnies

Settling down is as idle as fitting in. It is a product of a long period of repression – a series of identity loss, peer pressure, the call for normalcy, the tiring years of rebellion with no clear direction that ends up in the comfort of taking the mainstream track. We think we are tricking it, but later on we realize that it is all a compromise.

The youth was so full of ideas, and brimming with dreams, and passion. We thought we needed some clear direction to make sure that those ideals would somehow land us in a better life. Yet, it is a better life in a universal definition: a property, a family, a long time investment, a cup of coffee every morning, and a good sleep every evening. We started wild, then slowly, and sometimes unconsciously, stripped off all the things that made us exceptional to join the crowds.

For generations the exceptions must follow the rules. For generations the rules have threatened us with the notion that defying them means a life of unhappiness. For generations we have believed, and have tried to convince the next generation, that happiness equals comfort, certainty, and security.

That happiness is a good status quo.

We have denied that evolution is part of human nature. We seem to be receptive to the idea that men should reinvent themselves and welcome changes. But we place all those wisdom inside a huge box of comfort zone. And, to break the boundaries of comfort zone is unwise.

A comfort zone that says that men should marry and settle in a family; men and wives, men and husbands, women and wives. A comfort zone that is principally built by what we should own as basic needs: a roof above our heads no matter how small, two or three meals a day no matter how humble, and people who pay us respect when we rest in peace no matter how few.

And based on those minimum requirements of a happy life we are encouraged and motivated to live happier and happier. To be happier than the person standing next to us. And, that means to have something more than just a proper roof above our heads, better and “healthier” two or three humble meals a day, and more people we call friends and families. These ideas are advertised in all their glory, and mold the basic pride of humanity.

Oh, the pride of being normal. The pride of being the fittest. The pride of settling down in the most comfortable way.

The pride that keeps on minimizing the essence of being evolutionary. Even kills it completely.

When did you first compromise your dreams for a monthly salary to pay for your studio apartment? When did you first see that the idea of being what you have always wanted to be will not end you in a happy life? When did you first push the exceptional you to fit the box that your parents, friends, families, and society design for you?

Thousands of years ago civilization was built on the grounds of savagery. We used to dance with the lions – well or not. And now we turn the mighty king’s head into a logo of a hand soap. We have lost our respect to the wild, and automatically to ourselves as part of it.

We are nothing but tamed beasts. Caged bunnies.

The standards of good and bad are our prison bars that we made ourselves.

It is once again time for us to question normalcy. When in doubt ask differently. Should you really find a good person to settle down with? Should you really secure your future by a piece of property? Is ownership a solid rock to build your life on?

Is good good, is bad bad?

It is once again time for us to reevaluate our daily thinking. Is it natural for men to repress his desire?

Roam wild. Evolve. Stay restless. Or, just rest in their definition of peace.

Something like this:
A Conversation with the Gatekeeper
Conversations with the Gatekeeper
The Rules of the Game


taken from

Among my favorite tenants in Pasar Santa is POST – a quirky and friendly corner tagged as “books, gatherings & all things creative”. POST is the creative mind of Pasar Santa. The clean cut space makes it versatile for new ideas. It is magical how the boxy POST can generate out of the box thinking.

POST displays neatly curated books by independent publishers. POST has been a space to launch new ideas; from a new discourse on feminism, to a showcase of musical talents, and from sketches of Jakarta’s transportation system, to visual documentation of the city’s awkward personalities. And, last night, POST transformed itself to become a writing corner.

taken from

taken from

I decided to join a gang of writers sitting together. There were eight of us, working on different things. We were given a challenge to finish our projects – whatever they were – in four hours. Project proposal, novel, short story, feature article, and – for me – treatment for a movie script.

The idea of this writing challenge might sound simple. Yet, when it was happening, and I became a part of it, there was this huge magical sense that I never thought I would experience.

From the inside, the communal writing activity with a clear goal boosted our focus and courage to achieve our objective. We wrote almost with no break. We were not even bothered by the noise coming from the people and other activities happening around us. And, yes, there were no walls to protect us from those noise.

From the outside, the view of a small, independent book shop transformed into a display of how “books” were done – the process of writing. It was a sight that you wouldn’t normally see every day.

taken from

taken from

Every writer that was involved in this writing challenge were occupied and busy with their own world. There were worlds gathering inside POST that night, making the place felt like a borderless universe.

When one of us declared the task was completed we cheered and clapped together, making a genuine celebration of success. There were many small, genuince celebrations that night, creating a joyful spark inside the traditional market. And, yes, I also accomplished my goal, and finished drafting the treatment of my new movie script.

Thank you very much, Maesy, Teddy and Steve from POST for arranging and initiating this writing challenge! It was an experience I will never forget!

Follow POST on: Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr!

“Help! Somebody please help me. I’m down here in the hole. Help! Anybody? I’m down here in the hole. Somebody please, please, please help me.”

“Hi there. Are you alright? Are you hurt?”

“Oh, glad that you hear me. I’m not hurt. I’m just here in this stupid hole.”

“Can you climb?”

“It’s about ten meters deep. I don’t think I’m strong enough to climb.”

“Okay. Here’s a rope.”

“Oh, good. Thanks.”

“Hold it, and I’ll pull you up.”

“I’m holding it.”

“Can you help me, and crawl a bit using your legs? I’m just alone, and it’s too heavy for me to pull you up.”

“I’m too weak. I’m down here in this stupid hole. Can you help me?”

“I know you’re down there, and I am helping you. But you have to help me help you.”

“Oh, can you really, really help me?”

“Oh geez. Okay. Here’s a ladder.”


“What do you mean? I’ve given you a ladder.”

“But I’m down here. In this stupid hole.”

“You can just climb the ladder!”

“Can you really, really help me? Come down here, and help me climb the ladder?”






“Are you still there?”










“Help! Somebody please help me. I’m down here in the hole. Help! Anybody? I’m down here in the hole. Somebody please, please, please help me.”


I once met a boy, seven, whose magic hands could pick a star from the sky. One night he took the brightest one, put it in his pencil case, and brought it to his school. His peers looked in awe at the cotton-like, glittering star. He was soon known as The Boy with a Star in His Pencil Case, and gained many friends. But, the star stayed bright for seven days only. Soon it faded away. As the light was dimming, so were his friends leaving. With no bright star in his pencil case, the boy was left alone.

He grew up, and learned more.

At fourteen, the boy caught another star. It was bigger and brighter than the first one. He put it inside a clear glass, locked it, and hung it by the window of his bedroom. The star shone bright, and made his home look so special. Soon, he was known as The Boy with a Star by the Window of His Bedroom. Neighbors flocked in awe, and wondering who the boy was. But, the star stayed bright only for seven months. Soon it faded away, and soon he was left alone again. Everybody forgot who he was.

He grew up, and learned much more.

At twenty one, he built himself a big air balloon. The carriage was good for two, with some extra space. One night, as the sky was the brightest, and all the stars in the universe were shining, he prepared the air balloon to take off. He made an announcement to the people in his town.

“When I was young, I kept the love in a pencil case. I was brokenhearted soon. As I grew up, I tried to share it with many. Still, I was not good enough to do it. Tonight, I want to fly up there, and live among the stars. It might sound crazy, but this air balloon that I built is good for two. If you believe in me, come and join me. We may not live long up there, but we’ll be among the stars.”

Another prose: A Conversation with the Gatekeeper
Some poem: The Nine Kisses
Some poem: That Old Wretched Train
Something light: So, Tell Me Why Do You Want a Divorce?

it’s twenty minutes past you
the night fell on to the mem’ries
the silence that tells the stories
of frozen hearts turn blue

it’s twenty minutes past you
again i remember the pain
again i recollect the rain
when we denied what’s true

in the name of decency
in the name of chivalry

it’s twenty minutes past you
no regrets, nothing left to wish for
it’s hollow, it’s deep dark blue
there won’t be a knock on that door

there won’t be anyone to open it for
there won’t be a key to unlock it too
there won’t be another time anymore
but this twenty minutes past you

Another poem: That Old Wretched Train
nother poem: The Nine Kisses
Some prose: A Conversation with The Gatekeeper