“Indonesian literature is gaining traction. More slowly than we might want, but it’s an upward trajectory.”

By Intan Paramaditha
Essays    Reportage    Marginalia    Interviews    Poetry    Fiction    Videos    Everything   
Fiction

“The ecology and economy of the region is under threat. This Transpacific Literary Project folio, Monsoon Notebook is for these essential, vanishing, and unruly waters.”

Poetry

At fifteen Nani shot a / tiger. A big gun in a girl’s hands; I’ve seen the picture.

Poetry

At this / moment there are more than two dozen / revolutions occurring around the globe in / Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong, France, Sudan.

Poetry

When my harabeoji died / last spring I thought I’d move to California, convert / to Catholicism, kneel beside my halmeoni at early Mass // become student of those hundred and three / Korean saints though I can’t name more than one.

Poetry

On the screen, an old man is dying in his bed. / The adults are talking / loudly, two feet away from each other. / From their voices, I can tell their hatred / for that old man, a thin blanket to his chin.

Poetry

Perhaps for you a minefield’s / just a field, for you a mother tongue / is not some rune that breaks your mouth / and heart.

Poetry

If I have a son / with his mother’s eyes / then will there still be room / for me under his tongue?

Poetry

My mother, / a prophetess of God, my father, / village shaman / preaches all disasters are natural, / all of them tests from hananim / to test us Because / so don’t ask why Because.


Poetry

They’re a stretch, / these contiguities between land and mind— / but consider the speed limit: / over a hundred the whole way back / to Hope

Poetry

paperless people / of the earth say,
/ “this place is mine, / can you not see we birthed it?”

Poetry

Build for money, swim for money, plastic money. For the / love of never sinking. Sunk cost, efficiency bots. With best / with best invest.

Poetry

My family has legends in the form of a spider’s legs.

Poetry

This little ocean has a way / of submerging everything behind its mask. And Lam, / it has swallowed you whole and I could do / nothing.

Poetry

In our home we brewed ginseng tea to battle unnamed / diseases. We held hands with health. I was never good at it, of course: / always too bitter, oversteeped. Always the universe mocking me / from the sidelines.

Poetry

Older now, the sparrow God / gave my grandmother in place /of succulence.

Poetry

the heft and cleave required / of living / with a nation on your skin / under the broken yellow toenail / of the forgotten

Poetry

She waned in the neighborhood of my first love, like some sounds that turn mute in/another language.

Poetry

Your knuckles are furred like my father’s, / balling his socks one inside the other / and tossing them on the bed.

Poetry

How small a man is after he’s come / The size of a pinpoint of blood on a strip of plastic

Poetry

我忽然屏息 / 是風吹開妳襯衫 / 一顆煙彈正微微露餡 || as if with prophecy / wind peels back your shirt / a teargas gives away its shape

Fiction

“The ecology and economy of the region is under threat. This Transpacific Literary Project folio, Monsoon Notebook is for these essential, vanishing, and unruly waters.”

Poetry

Build for money, swim for money, plastic money. For the / love of never sinking. Sunk cost, efficiency bots. With best / with best invest.

Poetry

At fifteen Nani shot a / tiger. A big gun in a girl’s hands; I’ve seen the picture.

Poetry

My family has legends in the form of a spider’s legs.

Poetry

At this / moment there are more than two dozen / revolutions occurring around the globe in / Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong, France, Sudan.

Poetry

This little ocean has a way / of submerging everything behind its mask. And Lam, / it has swallowed you whole and I could do / nothing.

Poetry

When my harabeoji died / last spring I thought I’d move to California, convert / to Catholicism, kneel beside my halmeoni at early Mass // become student of those hundred and three / Korean saints though I can’t name more than one.

Poetry

In our home we brewed ginseng tea to battle unnamed / diseases. We held hands with health. I was never good at it, of course: / always too bitter, oversteeped. Always the universe mocking me / from the sidelines.

Poetry

On the screen, an old man is dying in his bed. / The adults are talking / loudly, two feet away from each other. / From their voices, I can tell their hatred / for that old man, a thin blanket to his chin.

Poetry

Older now, the sparrow God / gave my grandmother in place /of succulence.

Poetry

Perhaps for you a minefield’s / just a field, for you a mother tongue / is not some rune that breaks your mouth / and heart.

Poetry

the heft and cleave required / of living / with a nation on your skin / under the broken yellow toenail / of the forgotten

Poetry

If I have a son / with his mother’s eyes / then will there still be room / for me under his tongue?

Poetry

She waned in the neighborhood of my first love, like some sounds that turn mute in/another language.

Poetry

My mother, / a prophetess of God, my father, / village shaman / preaches all disasters are natural, / all of them tests from hananim / to test us Because / so don’t ask why Because.


Poetry

Your knuckles are furred like my father’s, / balling his socks one inside the other / and tossing them on the bed.

Poetry

They’re a stretch, / these contiguities between land and mind— / but consider the speed limit: / over a hundred the whole way back / to Hope

Poetry

How small a man is after he’s come / The size of a pinpoint of blood on a strip of plastic

Poetry

paperless people / of the earth say,
/ “this place is mine, / can you not see we birthed it?”

Poetry

我忽然屏息 / 是風吹開妳襯衫 / 一顆煙彈正微微露餡 || as if with prophecy / wind peels back your shirt / a teargas gives away its shape