April 03, 2015
Ballad of a Water Dipper and Other Works

We now publish high-quality and original literary works. This debut edition presents the works of Khairani Barokka, a writer, poet, artist, and disability and arts (self-)advocate.

by Khairani Barokka
Culture // Prose & Poem
Poem Thumbnail, Magdalene
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We now publish high-quality and original literary works. This debut edition presents the works of Khairani Barokka, a writer, poet, artist, and disability and arts (self-)advocate. 

Balada Gayung/Ballad of a Water Dipper
 
My father would tell me of
How you’d edify bathing,
Suggest the literal speaking 
As acolyte to each arm and leg.
Stroking undulations of belly,
Pouring gratitude through water
Into flesh and femur.



 
Showers taught me nothing:
 
Hit with the cold 
Staccato sting 
Of mechanical 
Droplet pellets,
I’d remember lying
Next to your throat
With its forgotten myths,
 
Panic to place
Where I’d hid 
Your gift of a figurine, 
A farmer boy 
Playing a bamboo 
Ring flute on an ox.
Totem for origin:
A people of soilmen 
And flautists.
 
We never got to talking, my love,
About how much more humane it is 
To bathe using dipper on limb by limb.
 
All this to say 
That this morning 
I took one to my body, 
And remembered.
 


Escort

Today, her husband decimated a village where 90% of the couples were truly in love. He scattered their fidelity to the four winds and janitorial employment, the call girl’s hair he smothers in after the conference call a shade less ruddy than hers was once. He notices.

If she asks you for your number, give her your childhood best friend’s secret. Give her the toys you were never ashamed to play with, before you learned how to masturbate. Give her your neon limbs.

See if she can remain liquor-stunned and platinum-cocktailed when you kiss her like a child. Show her the streetlights fading when the sun comes up, and shame half-dries. 

Everything she owns is a reflection. Bless you for calling her beautiful.
 


Conception
  
dogged speck,
 
clot of blood,
 
and all of us awkwardly
 
rivet-welding
 
selves to the earth
 
for another quiet week.
 
 
i think eggs have self-awareness.
 
i think they have a say.
 
i think mum's said
 
no and no and maybe,
 
and then she saw this one
 
little snake, and sighed,
 
and said, 
"well. ok."

 
Khairani Barokka is a writer, poet, artist, and disability and arts (self-)advocate. She was an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow for her masters, Emerging Writers Festival’s Inaugural International Writer-In-Residence and Indonesia’s first Writer-In-Residence at Vermont Studio Center. Okka is the writer/performer/producer of solo poetry/art show “Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee”, which premiered at Edinburgh Fringe 2014. She is currently Artist-In-Residence at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia. Okka has performed and taught across Asia, the US, Australia, and Europe, and is published in anthologies and literary journals in print and online. She has just completed two full-length poetry manuscripts, "Pilot Light" and "Oil and enamel on linen: poems"; more info at www.khairanibarokka.com / @mailbykite.