Japan Sinks: 2020 and the Loss of a Nation

When I first heard Masaaki Yuasa became the director of the Netflix original anime Japan Sinks: 2020, I was intrigued. Masaaki is well-known for many of his quirky anime like Devilman Crybaby and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (which I think deserve a dedicated long review on itself)—the kind of anime director who can surprise viewers with his perks and experimental style. As I have watched Masaaki’s previous works, I do not expect something straightforward from his latest series. I always like the ways he plays with the visual style and the pacing. And I looked forward to his collaboration with Science Saru as the animation studio, and Pyeon Gang-Ho as the series director. But after watching Japan Sinks: 2020, I got utterly confused. What did they actually do?

The anime itself is the latest adaptation of a famous novel by Komatsu Sakyō, Nippon chinbotsu published in 1973. The first adaptation was a movie title Tidal Wave (1973), and the second adaptation was Sinking of Japan (2006). The story remains the same and straightforward: Japan sinks, but the stories of the people (and, of course, the contemporary context) are starkly different. Japanese Sinks: 2020 starts shortly after the Olympics 2020 (which in reality did not happen because of another COVID disaster *sad*) and focused on a small group of a family unit, the Mutou family. After the huge earthquake, each member of the Mutou tried to find each other, and the anime will take you to their journey and struggle to survive. Death (of your favorite characters) is inevitable, and in ten episodes, the anime will give us a portrait of conflict beyond the disaster itself.

taken from Netflix

I watched it impatiently as I got frustrated with many distractions in the plot: silly deaths, hidden community (that was surprisingly survived), hi-tech (and rich) YouTuber based in Estonia. I like many aspects of the anime: the storyboard, back sound music, the soundtrack (the opening is legit, “the calm before the storm” elegantly put), the racial representation (although bare minimum), and the visual execution. But the story and the supporting characters are quite random and, again, silly. I was questioning the creators’ intentions and their creative decisions. Are they trying to lure us into looking at the unexpected within the “expected” disaster, to see the sinking of Japan as the remark of everyday death caused by not-necessarily a “huge” sudden catastrophe but by remnants of war, comfort zone, love?

On another note, Japan Sinks: 2020 also gives us a space to think about contemporary Japan—borrowing from a brilliant video essay by “Pause and Select,” to see the anime as the product of confronting social anxiety. What is Japan? Would there be any “land of the rising sun” without the land? And if Japan is not about the place but about the people: who are the people, the “Japanese”? Disaster, often seen as a critical point in popular cinema, escalates this question: how to address the already existing crisis within the newly emerged crisis? Disaster movie provides not only sci-fi explanations and heart-warming scenes of family, love, and loss but also the conflict of hierarchy (class, race, gender, age, ability). In Japan Sinks: 2020, we can see how the creators deal with this conflict, especially on race, in multiple scenes, for example, the annoyance of an elderly against an English-speaking kid or gaijin; or when a bunch of survived Japanese chauvinists only let the “pure Japanese” on-board with their boat; and when the kids were sitting together doing impromptu hip-hop rap and debated strength/weakness of becoming Japanese.

It forces us to see not only the conflicted state of a nation’s cultural loss—the very essence that makes Japan, well, Japanese—but also the dis/continuity of social conflict. The son of Mutō, Gō was a representation of a young generation of Japan (bi-racial and often code-switching to English when talking) who felt that he did not necessarily belong to Japan; and another character, Haruo Koga, represents another young generation who was the opposite of Gō. When they rap-battled (yes), this tension was spoken out loud, and Ayumu, Gō’s big sister, was the bridge between them. The disaster embraces the old conflict but also makes peace with it (not offering a solution for sure).  

Japan Sinks 2020 gives us the escalating conflict of losing one’s identity and what remains after that. But the final conclusion, in my opinion, only repeats the old narrative of the rise of Japan. When the narrative tells us that the sinking disaster was temporary and the land would finally rise again, it follows with the snapshots of another Olympics event where Japan already sent their best athletes, the preservation of cultural memory, and the advancement of Japan 2.0 as an archipelago. I appreciate the humanitarian sentiment—the perseverance of community and also the subtle poke towards the people who exoticize Japan (or East Asia in general) as the land of rich tradition and thousand-years-of- civilization, but when it comes about their people, the story could be different. But at the same time, it also preserves a narrative of Japan’s superiority of survival. Japan can be sunk into the deep down of the sea, but it is “destined” to rise and rise once again to be a better nation (not sure in what way) with a great culture. This narrative might not be the core theme of the anime story, but I wonder whether this conclusion maintains the recurring problems of Japan’s nationalism. (I might be wrong).

For an anime that does not give the best first impression (at least to me), Japan Sinks: 2020 is worth watching. You might hate it. You might love it. It does not matter. A brilliant anime always gives us space to rethink many things—even changing opinions—and not be settling too soon.

Dorohedoro dan Ekspektasi Kekerasan

Seorang manusia berkepala kadal memasukkan kepala seorang penyihir ke dalam mulutnya. Lalu sebuah kepala manusia akan mengucapkan satu hal, “Bukan kamu.” Rekan penyihir yang lain mencoba melawan dengan mengeluarkan debu sihir dari ujung jarinya, tapi manusia kadal itu tidak mempan dengan debu itu. Perempuan berambut pirang berlari dan segera mematahkan jari penyihir. Dan ketika mulut hijau melepaskan rahangnya dari kepala penyihir, dia bertanya, “Woy, apa yang orang di dalam mulutku bilang?” “Bukan kamu.” Dan manusia kadal itu segera membunuh penyihir itu dalam tebasan berkeping-keping, sebelum potongan jari penyihir mengeluarkan debu untuk menyelamatkan rekannya. Dan manusia kadal bernama Kaiman dan teman rambut pirangnya, Nikaido, harus melepaskan penyihir itu. “Sial!”

Tidak banyak adegan di awal episode pertama anime yang bisa menarik perhatian penuh penonton. Jika kamu penonton anime reguler, kamu tahu episode pertama jarang menentukan apa-apa. Akan tetapi jika ada adegan awal yang bisa kamu ingat di episode pertama sebelum lagu opening mulai, maka anime tersebut berhasil menyita perhatianmu (salah satu yang sangat kuat adalah adegan awal Attack on Titan season pertama epidose 1 “To You, After 2000 years”: adegan burung terbang, waktu seperti terhenti, dan tangan merah besar titan di balik tembok). Meskipun efeknya tidak terlalu dominan, adegan di awal episode pertama anime Dorohedoro ini adalah salah satu pembuka yang solid: cepat dan efektif. Dia menyimpan misteri yang menjadi penunjuk plot cerita (“Siapa laki-laki di dalam mulut Kaiman?”) dan juga memberikan sedikit cuplikan tentang nuansa anime ini: absurd violence.   

The Dorohedoro anime announced to be one 12 episode cour : Dorohedoro

Di awal tahun 2020, penonton anime dibuat mengharubiru (jika ini ekspresi yang tepat) dengan Dorohedoro yang merupakan adaptasi dari manga berjudul sama. Hayashida Q, mangaka Dorohedoro, memulai publikasi manga ini di akhir 1999 awal 2000, dan berakhir di tahun 2018 dengan 23 volume. Sebagian komunitas pembaca manga melihat proses pengerjaan manga yang panjang ini dengan decak kagum, karena hasil gambar, cerita, bangunan dunia, dan humor di tiap chapter selalu memuaskan. Pun mereka sering menduga-duga sekaligus menobatkan manga ini sebagai salah satu yang paling sulit diadaptasi menjadi anime. Maka ketika studio anime MAPPA memproduksi anime ini dan akhirnya tayang di musim dingin, series baru ini disambut dengan antusiasme. Sutradaranya, Hayashi Yuichiro, bersama dengan beberapa key animators membuat dunia manga Dorohedoro hidup dan tidak kalah menariknya dari manga. (Jangan pernah bertanya ke saya apakah adaptasi animenya sesuai dengan manga. Pertanyaan itu membosankan).

Dorohedoro menceritakan tentang Kaiman, manusia berkepala kadal, dan teman perempuannya Nikaido yang sedang mencari tahu siapa penyihir yang mengutuk Kaiman sehingga kepalanya berubah. Keduanya ini tinggal di dunia semi post-apocalyptic bernama Hole yang di awal cerita menjadi tempat para penyihir bereksperimen dengan kekuatannya. Hole sendiri digambarkan sebagai kota reruntuhan, abu-abu, dengan banyak lorong dan sudut gelap. Penyihir dari dunia lain dengan mudahnya dapat pergi ke Hole dan “bermain-main” dengan tubuh manusia. Dan efek debu sihir hitam yang dikeluarkan oleh penyihir tidak hanya memengaruhi manusia tapi juga lingkungan Hole. Hujan menjadi salah satu bencana bagi mereka yang tidak punya kekebalan terhadap sihir. Namun kondisi Hole yang terlihat menyedihkan ini menyimpan kejenakaannya sendiri: Nikaido masih bisa membuka warung makan dan memasak gyoza andalannya, dan Kaiman bekerja paruh waktu di rumah sakit untuk membantu mengurus manusia-manusia yang bentuk tubuhnya sudah tidak karuan terkena sihir.

Dari Hole, Kaiman dan Nikaido harus berhadapan dengan para penyihir dengan struktur hirarki yang absurd. Penyihir yang selamat dari serangan Kaiman dan Nikaido ingin membalas dendam kematian temannya, dan kemudian beraliansi dengan En, salah satu penyihir terkuat, dan anak buahnya, Shin dan Noi. Kabar soal Kaiman dan Nikaido sebagai pemburu penyihir membuat mereka tertarik untuk mencari misteri di balik kekebalan Kaiman dan kekuatan Nikaido. Dengan gerak cerita yang cepat, Dorohedoro membangun relasi dunia Hole dan Penyihir yang menarik—aliansi dan kontrak dengan setan, misteri penyihir bocah bernama Ebisu yang mengutuk Kaiman, dokter di rumah sakit Hole yang menyelamatkan Shin.

Kekerasan dalam bentuk pembunuhan dan mutilasi memang mendominasi Dorohedoro, namun yang perlu dicatat dengan hati-hati, dia tidak pernah menjadi sesuatu yang betul-betul mengerikan. Humor selalu hadir bersamanya. Hayashida Q sebagai mangaka memang memiliki selera humor yang baik. Humornya tidak sok pintar, dan lebih mengandalkan celetukan-celetukan konyol percakapan sehari-hari. Di animenya, eksekusi humor ini sangat didukung dengan karakter yang sering bergerak acak dan serampangan. Bahkan dalam adegan yang bisa membuat kita ngeri sekalipun, kita bisa sedikit berdecak geli dengan kelakuan karakter-karakternya. Lalu bagaimana caranya kita memahami kekerasan absurd dalam Dorohedoro?

Petunjuk kita bukan Kaiman atau Nikaido atau En atau Shin maupun Noi. Tetapi Fujita dan Ebisu, dua penyihir kacangan yang mendapati diri mereka di tengah konflik antar orang-orang kuat. Karakter “basic” anime di mana seorang protagonis laki-laki ingin menjadi lebih kuat (Fujita), ditemani dengan perempuan lucu manis (Ebisu), bukanlah karakter utama di dalam Dorohedoro, meskipun kehadiran mereka cukup menjadi penentu. Dalam lingkar keluarga En, Fujita dan Ebisu hadir untuk menunjukkan sisi konyol dan emo kekerasan. Karakter-karakter utamanya adalah mereka yang sudah terlalu kuat dan bisa melakukan banyak hal untuk bertahan hidup. Sedangkan Fujita dan Ebisu bernaung di bawahnya. Kekerasan absurd bukan hanya pada level potongan tubuh bagian mana yang kali ini lepas, tapi pada penyihir mana yang menangis karena sudah lapar lagi padahal baru saja makan. Tentu dalam kehidupan nyata, mutilasi adalah hal yang sangat mengerikan. Dorohedoro tidak menyangkal itu (digambarkan dalam komedi slapstick Fujita dan Ebisu yang gampang mual melihat Shin atau Noi membantai musuhnya). Namun konteks dunia Dorohedoro membuat kekerasan menjadi kekonyolan. Mundane. Banal.  

Rasanya terlalu jauh untuk memikirkan apakah kekerasan dalam Dorohedoro menormalkan aksi itu. Kekerasan absurd dalam Dorohedoro menjalankan plot misteri dan bangunan relasi antar karakter. Dan sesungguhnya yang bisa menjadi perhatian bukan kekerasan dalam bentuk pembunuhan, tapi kekerasan yang lebih subtil: kemiskinan dan kerusakan ekosistem di dunia Hole. Kalau adegan mutilasi di Dorohedoro menjadi fokus utama kita, kita sebenarnya melewatkan Hole sebagai tempat di mana Kaiman menjadi “korban” uji coba. Kelindan dunia Hole dan dimensi Penyihir juga sejarah di mana kedua kelompok saling memburu satu sama lain memberikan fondasi penting soal kekerasan sebagai siklus melampaui aksi bunuh membunuh. Inilah salah satu hal yang membuat saya berpikir bahwa Dorohedoro menjadi salah satu anime baru terbaik musim dingin kemarin (selain juga absennya kekerasan seksual di anime ini): di balik kekerasan absurd adalah kekerasan yang riil.

Kekerasan, betapapun absurdnya, akan selalu mengganggu. Penggambarannya dalam visual anime tentu memiliki lapisan-lapisannya sendiri. Dorohedoro paling tidak memberikan kita ruang untuk menertawakan dan mengejeknya. Jika pengulas anime pada umumnya melihat Dorohedoro sebagai cerita tentang pertemanan, saya sepakat. Tapi pertemanan ini lahir dari dunia di mana darah, daging, dan tulang berceceran di jalan dan tembok kota puing-puing. Loyalitas Kaiman/Nikaido atau Shin/Noi tidak hadir di ruang damai–terus menerus bergerak ke mana konflik membawa mereka. Dan bersama dengan jamur-jamur En (hehehe), kita bisa sedikit bermabuk dalam dunia abu-abu Dorohedoro.

Opening Dorohedoro

One of Us Read “Hurricane Season” and Couldn’t Sleep Because Patriarchy is Terrifying

One of Us Read “Hurricane Season” and Couldn’t Sleep Because Patriarchy is Terrifying

Some books last, some books are forgettable, and some books make you obsessed. Hurricane Season (org: Temporada de Huracanes) haunted my sleep and got me thinking a lot about it wherever I go. There is something about this book that keeps me coming back, checking the words and details as if I wanted to make sure that I definitely had read those words correctly. It takes a full strength in me to read this book, colored by graphic details of (sexual) violence and obscene words that mainly refer to the characters’ ableism, homophobia, misogyny, and transphobia. After I finished the first three chapters, I needed a break for two days because I was quite dumbfounded by the gruesome tale of a women-hating society.

La Matosa, the village where the story unfolds, is a claustrophobic place. I will try my best to summarize the novel in less than 150 words. The book tells the story of a murdered witch whose life is only visible and hearable through tales, whispers, rumors, and gossips. She is a witch because she dresses all-black and has bits of knowledge about alternative herbal medicines. Her killing opens layers of violence upon violence not only to her, but to La Matosa as a whole, or womxn and the femininity of La Matosa. Hurricane Season has seven chapters, and each of them has its own narrator, that is the central character in the murder. Each chapter also uses interchangeable degrees of pronouns.

Hurricane Season might be the more grotesque, literary, version of Bjork’s Bachelorette. The Icelandic singer starts the song with a lung-depth breath of “I’m a fountain of blood, in the shape of a girl.” Melcher doesn’t waste any time to open the book with such a hook that details the death of the witch of La Matosa. All in black clothes, the body’s bloating because of the irrigation canal where the killers dump the witch’s body – but her corpse smiles. I remember I had to lie down for a solid 10 minutes just to process the introduction.

[Hereafter contains spoilers]

The rest of the story doesn’t get any better, albeit it illuminates us who the killer(s) might be and why they kill her. We will know the details of the people of La Matosa and the witch from these narrators: Yesenia, Munra, Norma, Brando, and later on, the gravedigger. Through them, we also understand Luismi, the central character in the killing. Yesenia hates Luismi, who is her cousin, to the point she wants to throw him in jail, if not kill him. Their grandmother loves Luismi a bit more, for she loves men in the family – who bears the family name and will pass it. She loves Luismi and other men in the family so much, she doesn’t care that the men are good for nothing. Luismi’s father is a failed and useless busker and a convicted criminal who lives on sucking his mother’s hardwork. Luismi himself is a local hopeless drug-addict and partygoer.

Munra, Luismi’s stepfather, is a disabled man who often drives the boys of La Matosa to the nearest city, Villagarbosa (the pseudonym for Veracruz, a capital city of the state Veracruz in Mexico). He happens to have a really outstanding oral sex, according to Luismi’s mother, Chabela – who is a prostitute. Norma is a runaway from her stepfather who raped her and made her pregnant. She then stays with Chabela and Munra, falling in love with Luismi. Luismi, in the story, albeit his complicated relationship with the witch, sounds so platonically in love with her as well. Only then we learn that Norma is a 13-year-old, pregnant because her stepdad raped her and just had an abortion after being forced by Chabela. Chabela pushes the witch to give Norma’s the abortion herb. The witch insists that Norma should stay at her place so she can take care of her, Chabela refuses and ignores the witch’s plea. Norma, on the other hand, is scared and believes the witch more. The witch is right, Norma suffers from horrible internal bleeding that Luismi and Munra have to run her to the hospital. But as soon as Luismi and Munra find out that Norma is an underage, Munra convinces Luismi to leave her, which Luismi initially refuses. Luismi only agrees because he has something else in his head.

However, Norma could be in jail. In Mexico, abortion is only legal in two out of 32 states. Abortion, constitutionally, is only permissible when it is a case of rape, the negligence of mothers, and if the mother’s lives are in danger following the pregnancy. Veracruz, through the Supreme Court, just rejects the state’s bid to decriminalize abortion. The decision is just out, two hours before I wrote this sentence. And like a sensible girl she is, Norma dreams to run away from the hospital and comes home. Norma is alienated from her own “sex that [she] no longer recognized as her own” (p.93).

I think no one in the book is more hateful than Brando, Luismi’s porn-addict friend who tries his best to suppress his sexuality. Brando is never sure whether he wants to kill Luismi or fuck him. Only in the last sentence of his chapter that I can grow a bit of sympathy for him. And as I believe, it is not ‘hate-fucking’ that drives his feeling towards Luismi, but love. A very problematic one. Brando, as a matter of fact, is the most forceful voice in the book. He is so hateful, and he has no regards for womxn, and only uses womxn as a vessel for his unresolved issues and suppressed sexuality. He hates the anatomy of a pussy – which is understandable if you think about it. So hateful, he has a conflicted feeling about beating up of a girl in the back of a van for peeing when they have sex. Yet, he is a bit thankful to her for that because he cannot possibly cum with womxn. Thankful, because during the sex, his friends watch him over and encourage him to get the girl “cock overdose” (p.162). Yet, he expects a gay mining worker to suck his dick but gets furious when this worker asks him to give a head. He punches the gay man, who also Luismi’s lover. Luismi is the worst-case scenario imaginable for me of internalized homophobia.

I need at least two and a half days to get over Brando’s part. I just can’t with the violence and the hatred.

Sexism is a transforming air. So banal, so ordinary, so violent, but still it is going to drive you insane. It is not without reason why the depiction of violence in this book is so repetitive. Even in one chapter, one act of violence is retold over and over again (like in Yesenia, Norma, and Brando’s part). We understand, again and again, that we fail and hate womxn. And interesting enough, the killing takes the life of a transgender woman. We later find out that the witch is a transgender person who just loves loving and throwing a nice party. Luismi misunderstands that the witch causes Norma’s abortion and pain, therefor Luismi wants to take revenge. That plan finds its home in jealous Brando, who is desperate to run away from La Matosa with Brando – to start somewhere new. Throughout the book, the pronoun of the witch doesn’t change even as the sexist and transphobic Brando realizes that fact; a testimony that transwoman is a woman is a womxn. That also serves as an eerie reminder that patriarchy will betray you if you cling onto it, manifested on a rigid gender order of (heterosexual/heteronormative) family, transphobia, and homophobia. Brando is the exemplary manifestation of that betrayal.

I keep asking myself why this book, a condemnation against violence against womxn but with an unwavering depiction of it. A lot of people on Goodreads (I know GR is the last place you want to see to review books) say they can’t stand the violence. But I’m steadily reading this because my body remembers the grammar of violence against womxn, and its unflinching pictures are just so ubiquitous without any attempts to demean it. Writing this quasi-review/reading experience is even confusing to me because I’m still questioning my fascination; what is so grappling about violence? It is also the way Melcher deploys the concept of witchcraft to open the overdue wounds afflicted on womxn that catches me off guard.

Or, ironically enough, it is the way how serenely the idea of death is told in the last chapter in the book. In the words of my good friend, Kitkut, death becomes a matter of people waiting for their turn to board on a train. And for some womxn, death is as regular as patriarchy. Womxn’s life perseverance becomes a matter of politics of death in the hand of wounded and unhealed men with their patriarchal violence.

Lima Puisi Soal Jebakan Betmen Bernama Hidup/Lyfe

Lima Puisi Soal Jebakan Betmen Bernama Hidup/Lyfe

picture taken by Nike

a bad poem at twenty-eight

i play hours of mindless game to get by.
sing nggawe game e nggapleki.
procrastinating, a weapon of the not-so weak.
my work is waiting, it surely can wait.
i dance to my lover’s whistle.
“my baby girl cute! cute! lalalala mirai e”
i kiss my bestfriend because she is
crying for cried too much
longing for the past I’ve never had.
reading is not for the intellectuals.
books stacked. mascarpone, 
no mascara. tick-tock which series of time.
searching for the-ways-in-which.
dream nothing,
wishful whispering.

Koi-Koi Elektrik

coba kita ingat sepertiga malam di Saidi. gak nyebrang kejauhan, kita pergi ke jepang. dengan celana lari warna hitam dan kaus putih kebesaran, kita merambat ke atas menara televisi di Tokyo. makan tokyo banana. mampir kejauhan di sinshaibashi. ada banner lelaki memakai jumpsuit yang kukira sedang berdansa way-em-si-ey. vey bilang mau kemana sih mau kemana, kita di sini aja kita di sini aja, tapi dedaunan yang dirawat bu tina berubah jadi sawit. bibirku gemetaran, dan aku bisa melihat bayi-bayi orangutan yang kehilangan ibu memelukku. seketika badan terhampar selayaknya papan cucian di pinggir kali. gemetar. akhirnya diselamatkan koi elektrik lampu neon yang kurasa juga seorang drag queen dengan nama Jizzney Princess. beberapa kali kudengar kepalaku memaki diri sendiri, makanya yang natural-natural aja goblok.

Yaudahdeh

Credit title: EA Haloho

Yang terjadi sebelum kepanikan selama 14 jam adalah
pasokan satu pak silet merk entah apa dijual Rp 500 rupiah sebuah
seprai basah karena darah, membangunkan nyawa yang menolak pergi
ia mengejekku, “Kayaknya lo emang bego aja sih,” angkuh.
penyayi pop bohong waktu mereka bilang yang tak mebunuhmu membuat lebih kuat
oke, pertama itu bukan Kelly Clarkson, itu Nietzsche
duh siapa peduli sih, malah it makes them both a liar
tapi yang terjadi justru—ketika nadimu gagal putus, kamu lahir
menjadi orang yang baru; bergelantungan di atas gedung, 150 meter tingginya
kaki ke atas dan tertawa-tawa entah karena apa
seseorang memanggil ambulans
buat apa? mending panggil GoFood atau GoMassage
bisakah kepalaku di GoClean?

Flu pilek

My nose runs like a flood. Reddish but not Rudolph the reindeer. Paracetamol these days are weak. I always remember my mama, who doesn’t want to treat me like a kid. Sana makan minum obat. My face muscle hurts. And the buzzing on the right ear …. Listen to the heavy inhale, open the mouth a bit, someone needs to breath properly. Why is it hard to sleep. Oh right someone on twitter posting their failure so they can brag about their professionalism accepting rejection. Lol what a spoiled brat. Why do I need to do all this, working until four, trying to be sane. Sayang, istirahat. No I can’t, I … *sneezing* lemon shot bam bam bam. 

Peratap Muram yang Sendu (PMS)

bangun 4:30 pagi lalu tertidur lagi karena
-2 derajat celsius tak pernah pada
Punggungku
ingin Ingin sekali mengerjakan banyak hal
Pertanyaan demi pernyataan
ibu, aku kangen
naik CTA untuk menyendiri dan menyadari
kalau jendela kereta bukan video music
di mana kamu berlari di gorong-gorong
dan ada sosok yang menyelamatkanmu
manakah lelah yang lebih lelah
selain mendengar seorang suami memukul
istrinya karena mereka tak ada uang
adakah yang lebih dari air mata
ketimbang tetesan darah petani
mati diseret pasar saham dan spekulan
yang lebih dari semua itu adalah menjalaninya
sepi adalah pulang tanpa pandanganmu
setelah sebotol pilsener 600 ml buyar dalam ingatanku
cikini 1, componistenpad, angsana 428, west fargo av.,
dari rimba sawit ke hamparan rawa aligator di selatan sana
aku tidak mau semua ini berakhir
karena ketiakmu adalah cumbuku
dan yang kita butuhkan adalah waktu

Two Insignificant Obsessive Friends Found Journaling

Two Insignificant Obsessive Friends Found Journaling

Nike & I brought a bibliophile journal when we went to Women & Children First bookstore. And for someone who reads a lot of literary work, indeed, that was the lousiest opening line ever. Anyway, it was actually Nike’s idea to write down the journal together. The journal’s name is pretty obvious; it’s about a journal in which you write down your impression on books you read. The illustrations are dope, and it has lists of book recommendations, and some random facts about famous fictions.

My first entry is Sandra Cisneros’ zine Puro Amor(Pure Love), a beautiful homage for Frida Kahlo (Missus Rivera!) and the idea of home’s generating eternal flame of love. Excuse my exuberant word choices; clearly, someone is inconsolable these days. The zine captures Frida’s love for animals in the most exciting, subtle, and unconditional. Unlike what she has for ugh Diego Rivera. The story is full of kisses, compassionate ones for womanhood and solitude. Frida’s creativity is a room of one’s own filled with her animalitos, passion colors and fruits. I really miss the juicy mango that I used to pick from my late maternal grandma’s home after reading this.

Nike is interrupting here

I first thought it was cheesy to have a journal together. What next, #BFF #ILOVEYOU3000 in our self-delusional tweets or captions next time? But then I realize, huh I’m that cheesy. Not sorry, because when it comes to friends and reading and reading with friends, I’m emotional. Pepe’s comments on the journal are accurate.The book is colorful and has illustrations. Pictures of cats and foods in fiction are a good incentive. But in my case, this book is also a site of interaction (ceileh) because I’m bored with WA and twitter and Instagram, you name it. 

My first entry is a novella by Hiroko Oyamada The Factory. I finished it three weeks ago. And not yet reading any novels after that. Damn. I should pick up another one. Winter break datanglah! 

the handwriting of the greatest loser alive

What have you and your friends been reading lately?

Laman Awal | Introduction

Halo. Situs ini dibuat agar pengarsipan karya tidak berantakan. Salah seorang dari kami adalah sejarawan. Satunya lagi adalah tukang cari masalah (baca: sosiolog). Kami punya mimpi dan pemalas. Sekolah doktoral berat, tapi musim semi adalah tujuan hidup.

Selamat datang.

reg amountoffucks totaloftrees chocopuff amountofkisses reading

We’re building the website ‘cause we need a hub. We make a zine—or zines. Mind the plural, sis. We’re lazy. We dream big. One of us loves the drama; the rest is just a catastrophic napper. We love citation softwares. Gradschool is eating us alive.

Welcome.