Cryptofiction

A language contact situation between the neural and digital realms: the Sandman learns hologlychics while the sprixels acquire glitterune.

The cyber ecosystem is populated by sprixels, basciilisks, centaurls, hypersphinx, softwerewolves, troglobytes, and unixcorns.

Across the Silicon Road, lapis languagi, oneiropearls, turqualia, mnemosilk, and imagopaz flow from the neural to the cyber realms.

The neural republics import silicon embroidered carpets, pixel oils, datacomb, tetriminos of gold, i-peacocks, wifi powder, and 1-UP teas.

Metadigital planes for an unsent message: the Garden of Edit/Parerase, the Undoworld, Cancelot, Isles of the Blankness, the Elision Fields…

Figure 3 shows an unaligned witch: note the aurora raveled hair, jeweled warts, mouthful of jagged gems, and lollipop eyes that swirl hypnotically.

Choose your haunted clock:
• hourglass with suspended neon sands
• digital clock displaying ∞ AM
• watch inhabited by cog sprites
• fluxing clepsydra

She’s traveled at high speed from a dreamtime zone. The colorful smears around her eyes look like fingerpaintings, or rainwashed chalk drawings, or melted sound.

৳♄ey thou૭ዡt it ဃ࿃Ⰲld be ᚩuคny to Ͼᒤ∑შፒ६ a pro₲ᖆ₳൲ for geאerating ဌ₤⚴tched humaກՏ.

“Gleow! Glyao!” your jellycat greets you. Its bioluminescent body slinks around your legs like a non-Newtonian fluid, and it glurrs deeply.

Lifehack: you can have florid wish-fulfillment dreams if you deposit wishcoin, a form of neurocurrency, into an archetypal holy well.

Cloud of Hyperphoria – $10
storm-gin • liquid ozone • glittersmog • housemade orgeat smaze • spiced rainbow contrails • whiff of mirrormist

My eyes are heterochromatic, blue and thwime. Oh… you’re lacking in thwime? Hmm, it’s like violet: a flowy, wavy, xenofluorescent violet.

apocalite: doomsday underling
Apocalité: wine fermented from wrath-grapes
apoca-lite: casual, chill apocalypse

A new underworldly river connects Mnemosyne and Lethe, flows in both directions, is simultaneously time-lapsed and slow-motion…

New pretentious rainbow: rubious, ochre, sulphureous, emerald, azure, lazulite, ianthine.
Children will learn the acronym “Rose Ali.”

My thought bubble is filled with hypnograffiti, alchemical symbols, glossolalia, word salad, protean equations, and alien glyphs.

As you wander the crypt-like passages of the underground lazarinth, its apparent dead-ends open in a bloom of light, as though sentient.

My hobbies are rune carving, wandering the sand dunes with my eyes closed, trance-like staring, murals of the Old Gods, chanting in unrecognizable languages, improv massacres, reciting riddles backwards, nightmare tournaments, playing the summoning horn, freelance ravings, and cattle collecting.

Liminal times: summer equinox, thrilight, Duodecimber, noonfall, duskbreak, sunflop, sunspiral, New Eon’s Eve, the vernal antiquinox…

Customize your eternity with our hot new themes for Aeon 2672: phoenicious, ourosboric, lemniscious, borjgalish, spherular, and ankhian.

Xylosiope, from Greek xúlon (wood) + siōpḗ (silence). Playing technique include trilled fermatas, glissando ghost notes, and vibrato caesuras.

You begin to realize that the crickets are chirping in Morse code and the mosquitoes are piercing Braille cells into your flesh.

Silly wizards, neglecting to encrypt their dreamportals. Anyone could hack into the neuronetwork, steal private memories, plant nightmares…

You move among the ghostly figures of holograms, shattered panes of electroglass, and damaged peacebots and peacedrones. What has happened…

Ghost art is maximalistic, featuring lush voidscapes of holes and hollows, whimsical aerial perspectives, and deep, oblivescent colors.

You shed rainbow vortices as you float behind her. “You can’t out-glitch me,” she laughs, disappearing through a pulsating cloudwall.

You fall asleep while pouring over topology papers and have many fanciful and inspired dreams about Limbo bottles, desideracts, cheshire cubes, Quixote quartics, rêvesurfaces, Lilliput manifolds, oneirotopes, Pangloss tilings, phantasmaspheres, lunaplanes, Cloud-Cuckoo foliations, Jubjub tori, chimerospaces, elysioknots, and Pandora groups.

She is simultaneously ethereal and dead. Her body glows deep blue as jeweled maggots slink upon her eyelids and ichor trickles from her nose.

She floats through pink wisps of virtual clouds as electrodes zap her tongue with cotton candy flavors. She attempts to snort the pixels.

The air of the ur-realm is thick with swirls of the sandman’s sand, clouds of phoenix ash, whirls of ghost-mist, and plumes of pixie dust.

Together, they find camaraderie instead of rejection: he hears the cloud-tones, and she sees the sky-particles floating like cubed pixels.

Song-trees absorb noise and release pure musical tones as byproducts. The wind moves through the branches, producing an aleatory dissonance.

The stars look denebonair in their fomalhaute couture and jeweled rigelia for this evening’s vegala event.

“Draw me like one of your French girls,” I hissed in my best human voice as my tentacles undulated around his chiseled buttocks.

“Everything will be okay,” I reassure my sapient crystal clusters.
“It’s all going to be fine,” the vaporous puffs of dreamdust agree.

Civil twilight, nautical twilight, astronomical twilight, Götterdämmerung (when the Sun is 18°-24° below the horizon), rebirth of universe, Gullaldr, dreamtime (after midnight), tohu wa-bohu (just before sunrise), Yawm al-Qiyāmah…

This is what is served at the Café for the Divine? Bifrösted cookies, camelattes, ys’d shangri-lattes? And does that say “cinnamon styx”?

Butterflies never die, they just create temporal portals with their swirled arcs into which they float down to where time flows.

Emerging occupations: peartisan, limeteorologist, plumberjack, mangoverness, lemoneylender, kiwigmaker, bananalyst, papayatollah…

I am a polyglossolaliac, fluent in Eastern Qlorococcoaea, Blortzkräpler, Renaissance Splütterglort, Babylonian Zazzijaʋa, and Ancient Glarf.

From photonic chrysalises, there have emerged partial patterns of butterflies, phosphene butterflies, floating in incomprehensible fragments.

A laugh like yours is a laugh that floats like a tune of a piano abandoned in a forest and grown wild with secret sets of keys. I’m not trying to flirt with you: I’m dead, and you were technically just my robot. What an odd couple we would be!

For beverages, you have a choice of entheogenic eleurotheriferous shaman-blossom, or our superfluid elixir served with auroral ice spheres.

We meet in a subconscious theta wave mirrorland enveloped in diffraction film where rainbows reverberate in self-referential echoes.

I scoff at your quasi-mystical golden spiral. All my spirals are spiritually purified and immediately attain nirvana upon being drawn.

The fluteflies flutter-tongue over the violinet patch, while bisbigliandos of breeze glide over the glockenspiel gloxinias’ glissandi.

Pythagoras’ “sublime triangle” vs. the fabled “sublimated triangle” whose side-to-base ratio is so perfect that it immediately etherealizes.

We sell strings, sealing wax, silkdewy pupae, snail shells, seaweed, salt grass, scented ghost-breeze, star simplices, and other fancy stuff.

I have ambrosia, parahōm, amrita, Greek golden apples, Norse golden apples, Goibniu’s ale of immortality, and the pigs of Manannan Mac Lir. But I need to pick up manna, alchemical elixir, pántáo, and a canteen of al-Khiḍr’s water before the party starts.

If you pop a Riemann zeta colored soap bubble, ephemeral rings of non-trivial zeros float momentarily in its wake.

I will aeroacoustically optimize my ghost in order to produce an odd flutter of eolian tones as I playfully swirl about your head.

One day I will bloom like bioluminescent phytoplankton and everyone will admire my weird blue swirls.

Something about the rainbow on the clock face is weirdly evocative. The following impressions come to mind:
• temporal gauge bosons that act as the force carriers of chronemes and have a color charge like those of gluons, except that this property is in fact related to visual perception
• the nascent field of chronospectography, which separates temporal waves into a frequency spectrum (in a universe where time isn’t an abstraction against which qualia unfold but is itself perceived as a form of sensory information)
• honeyed rainbows cached in the tombs of pharaohs for thousands of years
• rainbows from a deep elsetime preserved in amber
• distant laughter, lullabies instrumentalized for archaic tone colors, and something incomprehensible, like photonic granules or pixelated mist

Sophocles long ago heard it on the Aegean: the hollow roar of magic logarithmically spiraling out of the universe.

Dream of zodiacal mayflies, parhelic cicadas, circumzenithal grasshoppers, rainbow dragonflies, and auroral butterflies afloat in summer sky.

You find it difficult to breathe? Of course, you have an effusion of echoes inside your lungs… we’ll give you some samples of sound decay.

Now was the time but the time wasn’t now, so we added more chronosolubles to our orrery garden and awaited the fast-forwarded photonic rain.

Scentless deodorant, tasteless deflavorant, sightless devisionant, touchless desomaticant, motionless dekinestheticant, timeless dechronant…

You think that Lethe is forgetful, oblivious, insensate. You never really know what memories the waters have been seething with.

My face will baffle you like a synchronously rotating moon with a missing curve, which you will imagine as a perpetual waxing gibbous.

If grain of sand #108,203,799 in the Sahara spontaneously achieved a transcendental hypernirvana, releasing small shockwaves of dreamstuff and cascading cavalcades of muon-rain didgeridoo love songs, moksha mesons, karma isotopes, ur-languages, Freudian chimeras, and camel shit – what would you care?

I wrote my love a letter painted inside a 72-dimensional virtual hackspace in pungent ānuenue-scented photokinetic alien calligraphies; he responded with a dank meme.

My love! My French mermaid! My exquisite crapulation! How I expizzle myself for you! I prostrate myself before your buttered macaroons! I die nightly upon your radishes! My go-go gadget Venus, my sylvan luftwaffle! I scream and cry for you! I lactate upon your custard apples!

(noun)
1. The spontaneous desire to hug an internet acquaintance.
2. An exotic squid, native to the waters of East Qlurfefflezor.

Speak in whispers and riddles and foreign tongues. Create a musical code to cipher secrets into the piping of your handcrafted flute. Don’t be understood: it scares the statues and the trees.

Have you considered a blue? That is, a blue, abstractly? I personally haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard good things about the embluements.

“You have extremely pretty eyes. What I mean is, well…” She broke off, blushing. “I’d love to add them to my eyeball collection!”

I need 9 zenemes of neuroflorescent cyborblossom that can be alchemically cibated with little to no horsegut.

mnemosyne (noun)
1. (Greek myth.) The personification of memory.
2. The Age of Memory, from the earlier mnemocene, likely influenced by langsyne.

Revelatory photons, photons projected beyond consciousness, alluvial photons sifting through stained glass in an ectoplasmic apotheosis…

I liked you better before you became a human, when you were just insect eyes, archaic orthographies of sunbeams, and bits of glass.

His eyes glow mysterious sunset shades and his limbs ooze excrescences of honey and plums. “Now, here is a nice person,” you think.

Your glitchstones – nacrquoise, arlpea, xony, perippeerrii, emerdiam, and sapopphiral – are only valuable as long as your secret is safe.

Eigengrau, black, vanta, nixendent, nulloyant, nilescent, void: the colors of the negative rainbow.

The neural garden yields sweet-smelling amygdala blossoms, coniferous pineal trees, and soft medulla fruits.

What we thought were ghosts were really just complex assemblages of exotic material that isn’t subject to the Pauli exclusion principle.

You swim with pleiad lights in a vast auroral space as the song and sonorous jewels of a lorelei lull you into a watery sleep.

Paul Verlaine: Moonlight (from French)

Moonlight
By Paul Verlaine

Your soul’s the landscape of a painter’s dream
Where charming masks and bergamasks arise
To play the lute and dance and nearly seem
Sad underneath a whimsical disguise.

Their lively songs all tell in minor key
Of conquering love, of living in delight.
They can’t believe how happy they must be…
Their melody melts in the calm moonlight,

In the calm, beautiful and sad moonlight
That lures the birds to dream among the trees
And makes the fountains sob into the night
Their marbled streams of long-drawn ecstasies.

Clair de Lune

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques,
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Luciano Pernier in Translation

The following prose work was written in Luician, a now-extinct Gallo-Italic language, by one of its last remaining speakers, whose name is generally given as Luciano Pernier, although that is widely believed to be a pseudonym. The text employs an array of devices that make it almost relentlessly untranslatable: complex wordplay, ambiguity of register and of syntax, and allusion to cultural phenomena. The title of the text, for instance, could be rendered as “How to drift off into eternity,” but according to another equally plausible interpretation, could just as easily be translated as “How to become nothing.” The body of the text is as follows:

It’s like a pipe dripping long ago, green pipes, a wellspring of sprinklers, a voice in a time without a place, the susurration of summer tree-leaf wildings and green gash of memento mori clouds, riboflavin children, totemic children, prototype fig-leaf green children stepping out the electrodebush and into a pixelforest of prestidigitator jacamars and ventriloquist quetzals, undergreen and overgreen and greenspun birds disintegrating and repixilating, rimes and rhizomes reticulating and anastomosing, pre-sheaves of nevermorrows on sheaves of aftertomorrows.

Or like letters that decay and self-permute, books whose words appear only once imagined, myths and poems and mythopoeimes in a panaesthetic translinguistic metalanguage, polytemporal libraries with cuneiform tablets and holographic databases, circular labyrinthine libraries of dreams at whose mouths lie the blinking green exit of the universe, pipes and exits and pipe labyrinths of pipe-dreams, and maybe it is 240 million years later on some Pangaea Ultima where double moons hang in perpetual sunsets as brightly colored jagamohana rise along a sky of impossible geometries, and a galaxy-sized garden (called “Abamnondent”?) spins at both edges of space and time.

The last thing is a profusion of chemiosmotic solar-wind-ion electro-glitch hallucinations and dreams, dreams of eternal clouds, oneiroclouds with customizable topographies, dreams of the pure abstractions of dimensions, shapes at once polychora and polyterons and polypetons floating in impossible synesthetic colors as Rorschach patterns bloom beneath your eyelids.

Then she appears, the girl with hair of tessellated foam-blossom. There are contrails where her footsteps fall. Her eyes are Fibonacci spirals, her ears are fractal crystals, and her voice is static and birdsong…

And in the Garden of Abandonment, a wind about nothingness blows through the absence trees.

Orthography of U̧ailan

U̧ailan is written in the Latin script and contains a number of letters that use diacritics (c̆, ċ, ğ, j̊, ɬ, ñ, ṗ, s̆, u̧, ų, and ù), as well as two characters that are not found in the ISO basic Latin alphabet (ɣ and ƣ). All letters have a majuscule and miniscule form.

Grapheme-to-Phoneme Correspondences:

Consonants

• B, b: /b/
• C, c: /k/
• C̆, c̆ : /t͡ʃ/
• Ċ, ċ : /kʼ/
• D, d: /d/
• F, f: /ɸ/
• G, g: /g/
• Ğ, ğ: /d͡ʒ/
• Ɣ, ɣ: /ɣ/
• Ƣ, ƣ: /ɢ/
• J, j: /x/
• J̊, j̊: /ʒ/
• L, l: /l/
• Ɬ, ɬ: /ʎ/
• M, m: /m/
• N, n: /n/
• Ñ, ñ: /ɲ/
• P, p: /p/
• Ṗ, ṗ: /pʼ/
• Q, q: /q/
• R, r: /r/
• S, s: /s/
• S̆, s̆: /ʃ/
• T, t: /tʼ/
• U̧, u̧: /w/
• Ų, ų: /ɰ/
• V, v: /β/
• Z, z: /z/

Vowels

• A, a: /a/
• E, e: /e~ɛ/
• I, i: /i/
• O, o: /o~ɔ/
• U, u: /u/
• Ù, ù: /y/

U̧ailan Alphabet

The names of the consonants are, without exception, identical to the sound produced by that consonant plus the vowel /a/. For example, the first few consonants are referred to as ba, ca, c̆a, ċa, and da (/ba, ka, t͡ʃa, kʼa, da/). The names of the vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and ù and are pronounced identically to the sound indicated by them (/a, e~ɛ, i, o~ɔ, u, y/.

Information on Diacritics and Special Characters:

There are eight diacritics: the breve, the dot, the ring, the belt, the tilde, the grave accent, the ogonek, and the cedilla. Of these, the breve is the most common, being used over the letters c, g, and s (c̆, ğ, and s̆) to indicate the phonemes /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/, and /ʃ/, respectively. The dot is used above the letters c and p (ċ and ṗ) to signify that they are the ejectives /kʼ/ and /pʼ/, respectively. The rest of the diacritics are used with only one letter: the ring is used with the letter j (j̊) to indicate the phoneme /ʒ/, the belt is used with the letter l (ɬ) to indicate /ʎ/, the tilde is used over the letter n (ñ) to indicate /ɲ/, and the grave accent, ogonek, and cedilla are used with the letter u (ù, ų, and u̧) to indicate the vowel /y/ and the consonants /ɰ/ and /w/, respectively.

As mentioned above, the letters that are not included on the ISO basic Latin alphabet are ɣ, which represents the phoneme /ɣ/, and ƣ, which represents /ɢ/. The former is the Latin letter gamma, a modification of the Greek letter by the same name (γ). The latter is the Latin letter gha, which has been used historically in the orthographies of various Turkic languages, but today is considered superannuated.

Capitalization

As in English, the first word in a sentence and proper nouns are capitalized in U̧ailan. However, U̧ailan differs from English in that it does not capitalize the names of the names of days, months, languages, nationality, nouns and adjective derived from proper names, nouns and adjectives of religious affiliation, or titles when accompanied by names. For example, whereas English would capitalize the words Friday, July, Persian, American, Marxism, Marxist, Islam, Muslim, and president in the phrase “President Obama”, U̧ailan would not.

Punctuation

U̧ailan uses the same punctuation marks and conventions as English.

Other Conventions

Although the script is for the most part phonemic, when consonants are part of a specific morphemic element and not part of the root word, they are typically written as though geminated in order to signal this, even though they are not geminated in pronunciation. For example, the word bundaj̊j̊a (“a round thing”) is pronounced as /bun.da.ʒa/ despite the fact that the spelling would seem to indicate a pronunciation of /bun.daʒ.ʒa/. This is because bund– is the root of the word, while –aj̊j̊, in contrast, is a separate morpheme, one that lends the meaning of “a concrete idea” to the root noun.

Phonology of U̧ailan

Consonants

There are 28 consonantal phonemes, a few of which are quite rare cross-linguistically.

Nasals: /m n ɲ/
Plosives: /p b d k g q ɢ/
Affricates: / t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/
Fricatives: /ɸ β s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ/
Approximants: /ɰ w l ʎ/
Trills: /r/
Ejectives: /pʼ tʼ kʼ/

Vowels

The vowel inventory consists of the following: /a e~ɛ i o~ɔ y/

Note that /e/ and /ɛ/ exist in free variation to each other, as do /o/ and /ɔ/.

U̧ailan has eight diphthongs: /ai au eu~ɛu oi~ɔi ui iu oe~ɔɛ eo~ɛɔ/, the last two of which are always height-harmonic regardless of whether the vowels are close-mid or open-mid.

Phonotactics

Onset

The onset is optional and may consist of any single consonant or any of the following pairs of consonants:

• Any bilabial stop, velar stop, uvular stop or voiceless bilabial fricative + /l/
• Any bilabial stop, alveolar stop, velar stop or voiceless bilabial fricative + /r/
• Any stop or any voiceless fricative + /w/

Here is the entire list of permissible onsets: /m n ɲ p b d k g q ɢ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ɸ β s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ ɰ w l ʎ r pʼ tʼ kʼ pl pr pw bl br bw dr dw kl kr kw gl gr gw ql qw ɢl ɢw ɸl ɸr sw ʃw xw/

Nucleus

The nucleus is mandatory and may consist of a vowel or a diphthong.

List of all possible nuclei: /a e~ɛ i o~ɔ y ai au eu~ɛu oi~ɔi ui iu oe~ɔɛ eo~ɛɔ/

Coda

The coda is optional and may consist of either any single consonant except for a non-lateral approximant, or a bilabial nasal or voiced nasal and their homorganic voiced plosives.

The list of all possible codas is as follows: /m n ɲ p b d k g q ɢ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ɸ β s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ l ʎ r pʼ tʼ kʼ mb nd/

Other Restrictions

There may be a maximum of three sequential consonants within words, where two are interpreted as a cluster and one is regarded as a separate unit. There is not, however, any limit to the number of vowels that may occur in the same environment.

U̧ailan has a moderate preference for open syllables, so when two consecutive consonants occur in the middle of a word, they should be pronounced like an initial cluster, if it is possible. For example, the word zacre meaning “morally correct or just” is syllabified not as /zak.re/ but rather as /za.kre/.

Similarly, instead of being analyzed as the codas /mb/ and /nd/, syllable boundaries should be divided between /m/ and /b/ and /n/ and /d in the middle of words, if it is possible, which is generally the case unless another consonant follows that prevents either /b/ or /d/ from being interpreted as the beginning of an initial cluster.

Stress

Stress is generally in the penultimate syllable. There are, however, some exceptions:

1) In cases in which the preceding syllable is heavier, meaning that its syllabic weight, as determined by the presence of a coda and its length (one or two consonants) and by the presence of a diphthong rather than monophthong as a syllabic nucleus, both of which separately add weight to the syllable, exceeds that of the following syllable, then the stress is shifted to the heavier antepenultimate syllable.

It is possible to distinguish four degrees of heaviness in U̧ailan:

• Light syllables, in which a monophthong nucleus is followed by no coda
• Mid-heavy syllables, in which a monophthong nucleus is followed by a coda containing one consonant or a diphthong nucleus is followed by no coda
• Heavy syllables, where a monophthong nucleus is followed by a coda containing two consonants or a diphthong nucleus is followed by a coda containing one consonant
• Super-heavy syllables, where a diphthong nucleus is followed by a coda containing two consonants

2) When a verb is in the infinite form, stress is always on the ultimate syllable.

3) When the morphemes indicating negation, anterior non-occurrence, or posterior non-occurrence are prefixed to verb, they are emphasized and stress is always on the first syllable.

4) Likewise, when the emphatic particle be– is prefixed to a word, the particle is emphasized and stress always falls on the first syllable.

Rainer Maria Rilke: Sonnets to Orpheus, I: V (from German)

Sonnets to Orpheus, I: V
By Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Me

Erect no mourning stone. Just let the rose
bloom as his supplication every year.
Because that’s Orpheus. His metamorphosis
to this and that. We shouldn’t be unclear

about other names. Once and for all times,
it’s Orpheus, when there’s song. He comes and goes.
Is it not enough, that he outlives the chaliced rose
sometimes, to linger on a day or two?

Oh, how he must dissolve to reach your grasp.
Even if fear seized him too, that he disintegrates.
In that his word traverses beyond presence,

he’s already there, where you can’t accompany him.
The lyre strings will not constrain his hands.
As he obeys, he oversteps the bounds.

Die Sonette an Orpheus, I: V

Errichtet keinen Denkstein. Laßt die Rose
nur jedes Jahr zu seinen Gunsten blühn.
Denn Orpheus ists. Seine Metamorphose
in dem und dem. Wir sollen uns nicht mühn

um andre Namen. Ein für alle Male
ists Orpheus, wenn es singt. Er kommt und geht.
Ists nicht schon viel, wenn er die Rosenschale
um ein paar Tage manchmal übersteht?

O wie er schwinden muß, daß ihrs begrifft!
Und wenn ihm selbst auch bangte, daß er schwände.
Indem sein Wort das Hiersein übertrifft,

ist er schon dort, wohin ihrs nicht begleitet.
Der Leier Gitter zwängt ihm nicht die Hände.
Und er gehorcht, indem er überschreitet.

Toeti Heraty: Department (from Indonesian)

Department
By Toeti Heraty
Translated by Me
For Rien

You gave me
a final order: bring me
everlasting youth and beauty.

The chamber is stifling
as dry dust piles
onto folders, files, and papers
with crinkled corners, and hopes
already stacked and locked away,
silent in dust.

Passion, at first trembling,
arises as orange flames
to youth-green life,
becomes scribbled paper
with typed requests
that are set aside.

Windows opened and curtains pushed aside
let in the sun to warm
the ever-shortened working hours
torn up here and there—
for tables are deserted, ashtrays gleam
and the phone rings and rings
as a voice is lost
in swarming idleness.

Ah, so mankind lives by quiet strength
with roots so deep to seize the earth
and closed-off meetings, seminars, reports
with working papers, copies, texts,
advice from bosses and vice-deputies?

The life of man is too much aflame
and without a sign annuls as mute
the piles of dust that echo
and fall upon the paper boys
at the main entrance, and the line
of official cars that come and go.

Indeed,
far from life
and your last request.

Suata Departemen
Untuk Rien

kau katakan padaku
pesan terakhir:
bawakan keindahan dan
kemudaan selalu

ruang menyesak, karena
keusangan debu membiak
map-map, berkas dan kertas dengan
ujung-ujung layu dan harapan-harapan
telah ditumpuk, diperam
membisu dalam debu

gairah, semula menggetar
bangunkan nyala-nyala jingga pada
hidup yang hijau muda,
jadi coretan-coretan
secarik kertas dengan ketikan permohonan
yang dibiarkan saja

jendela terbuka dan tirai menyisi
lewatkan matahari menghangati
jam-jam kerja yang semakin pendek
disobek sana-sini—karena
meja-meja lengang, asbak mengkilat
dan telpon berdering berkali-kali
suara hilang dalam iseng
yang berlipat ganda ini

ah, manusia hidup kukuh tenang
dengan akar dalam-dalam mencekam bumi
dan rapat-rapat, seminar, laporan
serta prasaran, naskah-naskah kerja
wejangan oleh bapak-bapak atau wakilnya?

hidup manusia terlalu membara
dan tanpa isyarat akan menganggap sepi
tumpukan debu yang berkumandang
menyentuh anak-anak penjual koran
di depan pintu, mobil-mobil dinas
berderetan datang dan lalu

memang,
jauh dari hidup
dan pesan akhirmu