Whisper of lovers
in the night jazzed up by crickets
Lights suddenly went out
Roads, as empty as a dead city
“Are your days filled with happiness?”,
my woman asked all of sudden.
Hunger came stabbing
my eyes, down to the shabby wallet
Beginning of the month, time to pay debts
the bills of this and that, granting me headache
While not much of the savings left
gone for food and those damn cigarettes
Nights are times that I missed
Insomnia, kept me awake ‘till morning came
sleeping pills, I swallowed in force
my loyal friend in the last ten years
Falling asleep, in the morning anxiety showed up
Come and go like the rain in the city
How long will this last, you wondered
I answered with who knows; my head is all stuffed!
(Translated from Bahasa Indonesia by Dian Purnama Dewi)
I Ketut Angga Wijaya was born in Negara, Bali, 14th February 1984, starting his career in writing as a poet since high school in 2001 when he was taking part in Kertas Budaya Community in his hometown, where he learned a lot from Nanoq da Kansas, his first teacher guiding him in writing, theatrical act, reading life, and seeing the world from different point of view. Continuing his study in Denpasar, he kept writing poems, writing for culture and literature column of local newspaper and it took him to many literary events, including International Literature Festival (2003) initiated by Utan Kayu community Jakarta and literature community networks in Bali. He began to write essays since 2008, upon being a journalist of cultural tabloid in Denpasar and columnist of Independent News newspaper, giving him a space to express and sharpen his skills and writing ability. Angga once studied anthropology at Faculty of Letters of Udayana University, but couldn’t finish his study since mental illness - schizophrenia - stroke him in his final years of study, taking him to the bottom point of his life. He was then saved thanks to love and support given by his girlfriend, encouraging him to rise, back to write and work in Denpasar. His acquaintanceship with a psychiatrist enabling him to recover, together with friends of the same fate found Indonesian Schizophrenia Care Community (KPSI) of Bali which now become the front line to empower people with schizophrenia (ODS) in Bali and actively educate the society in regards to mental health issue. Since early 2018, he has published 6 (six) books of poems: Catatan Pulang (Pustaka Ekspresi, 2018), Dua Kota Dua Ingatan (Basabasi, 2019), Taman Bermain (Purata Publishing, 2019), Notes Going Home (Pustaka Ekspresi, 2019), Tidur di Hari Minggu (Mahima Institute Indonesia, 2020), and Menulis Halusinasi (Lire Publisher, 2021). Also, book of essays: Masa Depan Itu Nisbi (Pustaka Larasan, 2020), book of articles: Aku Tak Lagi Mendengar Bisikan Suara (Megalitera, 2020), and book of essays: Umbu, Simfoni, Sunyi (Renungan Anak Muda) (Narulis Publisher, 2021). In September 2021, some of his poems were translated and published in South Korea in a program of poems translation of disabled poets, initiated by Korean Cultural Centre in cooperation with Bina Ilmu Bali Foundation. Apart from working as a writer and a journalist, he’s also active at Rumah BISAbilitas Denpasar, sharing his knowledge on writing and managing a literature portal as a media of creativity for disabled people in Bali. Angga can be reached out at his Instagram account @anggawijaya548.