Photo courtesy of Sartika Dian Nuraini

Theme: “Of Private Space: A toilet”

In the photo, there is a room full of white ceramic, a washing machine in the corner, a mirror with several brands of toiletries, a vase, a sink just below the mirror, a toilet seat, a small trash can filled with tissues, and the dirty clothes basket. While two yellow towels hanging reflected by the mirror. The shadow reflection of towel, the blue accents dustbin and a vase with greenish white ivory flowers, are the colors contrast to the entire space, which is predominantly white.

We have challenged the authors to write poems based on a photo of toilet. A toilet represents a room of “behind” that bears upon the stigma of “dirt”, “slovenly”, “grime”, “filth”, “dust”, “soot”, “smut”, “muck”, “mud”, “mire”, “sludge”, “slime”, “ooze”, “dross”, “smudges”, “stains”, “crud”, “yuck”, “grunge”, “gunge” etc. Culturally, those stereotypes are still ongoing in Indonesia and is ingrained in such a way that we sometimes fail to give meaning to the private space. As a means of cultural transformation, the poetry battle “of private space: a toilet” aims to dig down, elaborate, track again the meaning of private space in our cultural and social life through reading poetry.

Curators of Indonesian Poetry Battle on Facebook #3:
Acep Zamzam Noor (Poet)
Melati Suryodarmo (Performance Artist)
Fia Meta Gabriela (Visual Artist/Painter)
Puitri Hati Ningsih (Poet)
Tiffany Robyn (Theater Critic)

Chosen Poems:

Noer Listanto Alfarizi
Stealing a lonesome
Prostituting eye in the mirror
Poems drip in the sink
locked in by silent

Noor H. Dee
In this place we ever tell a story
about heaven that has long been obsolete
alienated along the dust that sticks in city buildings.

I want us to stay here, you say

Reky Arfal
From the outside of the toilet we can smell the stench
The door was locked.
The door was knocked.
Then an old man,
staring at the mirror—touching his dry face {

Sartika Sari
secretly, we shed the memories
in the most secret place of the crowd
you strip me off with questions
i sprinkle my green eye at your dull lips
pitting the road and run

Navida Suryadilaga
we’re making out behind the walls of the cold ceramic
rustling worrying flowing in waves
breathing irregularly
in a messy illusion

Riskha Pratama Canzui
would you still remember the cloth i dressed you up once
the smell clinging to the wall of my bathroom
toothpaste that you pour in the sink.
there only remains
scratches on my washing machine

Aksan Taqwin Embe
mirror 12

we never ask for
whoever gazing at the eyes
no blame, anyone who knocks restlessly the rite
moon face
we are caught in the gaze
tell me who you are
my corneal?

Ekohm Abiyasa

my body wrapped by a foreign longing

glass eye of silent

here is my chaotic soul

the most deserted


Biolen Fernando Sinaga
you popped a pup
he removes the stain
sticking in his t-shirt

interrupting each other
or helping each other
because a hate is a thirst

Aris Rahman Yusuf

this room
we can read our own wound
split in a mirror
the stories of ending
can be spelled

a broken sin

Nimas Ayu Rheog
A Bathroom Testimony
so sad, the poems had died in the bathroom
and they can never be found!
gosh, maybe they are flushed along with shit
human shit
human bullshit
so, we need purification?
by what?
on what?
washing machine?
ah, no!
by poems

Slamet Riyadi Sabrawi

in room man
in the in and the on
lets play play it

Faradiena Yulizar
only silence can
touch all sorts of existing

Gustu Sinduputra
Ok, i will start it from….

washing my face
washing my hand
aahhh turn on
the shower
aahhh flushing
the dust of the world
aahhh my body

Agustina Kusuma Dewi

Catastrophe Virgin
how much sperm you spurt
in every corner of the bathroom

angel of death dancing
in the washing machine and
toilet flushing

we hide from the universe,
they concoct their own punctuation

translating how to be happy
without having to hurt

Eric Kroncong Protol
without feelings

cruel hands
grabbing, throwing, wearing,
without invisible feelings
i was thrown away
as i struggle to dry,
without feeling guilty,
you forget about me, water

Ike is
your whiteness underlie my blackdrop
mask fading

Wardjito Suharso
the toilet syndrome
if you just stand outside
cover your nose, smelly!
if you stand inside
linger, enjoy!
so did the story,
about corruption

Nosa Normanda
In This City We Never Shower Alone

PLN* lights, water faucet
sink, toilet, bathtub
American Standard,

there are fingerprints
on the marble wall

in this city, we can not even bathe by ourself
why still feel lonely?

*PLN is a national company that manages electricity

Anton Sulistyo
In the bathroom

in the bathroom i always see a man
who wishes himself entering the world of silence
in the mirror
where there is the past and the future
which can be folded into a heaven day
in the closed toilet
smelly sometimes
memories like garbages.
lingering too
endlessly too

Hanafi Muhammad

folding the bedpans

time curved lazily
writing the day in a pipe shell
hearing about my age clawing the ceilings
my mom is a pipe and she wrote poems
poems on simplicity of
father … no one else
always about folding the bedpans

Faiz Adittian

let me
just this once
taking a bath
i deserved
to be

Ratna Ayu Budhiarti
I’m already naked but who is that,
who is that body?…

this face…who is this face
many times facing the mirror. still feel so strange.
what is this shit?
Rinsing forworn and stone dreams, again and again.
brushing all stain off, washing the same smile on his face.
this body
who is this body

Nailur Rizqi
sunken eyes full of lethargy
seemed so in your mirror
paralleled with the scent of urine
seemed to know the sad song for that face
tiring face with all the artificiality of the boss
fuck the slob fuck the smell
as usual
slumped in a corner wailing

Abmi Handayani
except the flower
that enjoys mirroring herself
everything dies

Khair Lazuardi
normally in the wall there is our name written
but the mirror is lonely
in the cold of space, in the white corner
a wasted recalls
along with dirty water and tomb

Herman Syahara

have i drain
all the colors
in the toilet

the only remaining color is white
: the sins of the past!

Lasinta Ari Nendra
my yearn sink

my yearn sink
waiting for water to drop, after towel-wipes washed away. like the blood of virgin woman, can not be cleaned by washing machine, how many times I fall in love with you, kinanthi. the love from your food, irreplaceable. even when i hang over the toilet seat.
already seeped into the blood stream,
as is the mirror of nil
away from its reflection

Abu Nabil Wibisana
Glance Story of How to Shampoo a poem

we see the panorama of the day: the architecture of the bathroom where Malna rinsing his poem. among the smell of gasoline from broadcast television and aseptic carbolic pine aroma, the body of language submerged in a pool of a dirty laundry soap one morning. if Tuesday is made from wheat flour, Sunday night perhaps was born by summary of wonder: mirror on the wall, whose poem is the whitest, whose poem is the cleanest –whose poem is the saddest?

Saraph Nurinoer
the silent floor and walls know everything
they know your bad world, they know another world of your figure

here you will be comfortable,
don’t worry, they whispered
please get in, they asked

Shifa Khumairah
my face in the toilet

black dot appears in red cheeks
pungent smell out of the pores of the soft skin
murky and dirty; my face reflected in the bathroom toilet

Farra Yanuar
a god in the bathroom

in the bathroom, i was actually myself. there is no way to hide, devices were willing to commit suicide.

god is moving in the vein

Estria Solihatun Nurjannah

present for me adam in the toilet, o god. cause it will be easier for me to hug without being awkward. so love becomes rawer, so the sisters out there don’t know.

Waffa Ruhul Bakkah

the guest is ticking
what i said; shiny floor, house without dust,
not interest her
her gaze, sharp, unhomely
there; my black and white

Bonk Ava
I waited Dion among ceramics, paper towels, washing machine, sink, glass, trash. Then she was floating in the toilet, I defeated her face out of my mind.

Iwan S Adiwira
I told about everything
Guess who is coming to you

When you were naked and lonely, you rumble
Then the dark longing, wanderer in the pipeline

Hate! Hate! the garbage that clogs

Mintarjo Narswatmojo
the mirror caught sight of the wounded morning
his face grimed crouching behind twilight
shame it on the universe
shame it on himself
scratches on his face

Kurnia Hidayati
although we are excluded from the others, at the corner of the house. In the deep silence. But, there are times when we embrace the body boisterously, receiving all the wishes that could not be reworded by words.

Didik Siswantono
I would be soap in the bathroom,
when everyone likes the fragrance smell.

Tri Jengky
This body worn
i washed and re-holy
only toilet scent of mothballs
i realize that this self is

Ratuarti Laras

blue sanitation

ducks, geese, exhaust system
relieved on it
be sought
half dead

Kie Guevara
White is grief

White is clean, not necessarily if you polluted with orange, or sometimes tears
White is beauty, not necessarily if millions of lover
White is luxurious, for a verse of poetry in the early morning
White is death for the soul who has no taste
White is virus spreading distance between beauty and the logic of wound

Poetry of The Week:

Hanafi Muhammad

folding the bedpans

time curved lazily
writing the day in a pipe shell
hearing about my age clawing the ceilings
my mom is a pipe and she wrote poems
poems on simplicity of
father … no one else
always about folding the bedpans


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