Puisi Audre Lorde

Puisi-puisi Audre Lorde ini rencananya mau kuterjemahkan semua. Namun, baru dua judul. Kalau ada yang mau menerjemahkan duluan juga silakan 🙂

Menggantung Api

umurku empat belas
dan warna kulitku telah berkhianat
aku tak bisa hidup tanpa laki-laki itu
yang masih mengemut ibu jarinya
bagaimana bisa lututku
selalu pucat pasi
bagaimana jika aku mati
sebelum pagi
dan ibuku di tempat tidur
dengan pintu tertutup

Aku harus belajar caranya menari
ssecapatnya, untuk pesta selanjutnya
kamarku terlalu kecil untuk diriku
seandainya aku mati sebelum kelulusan
mereka akan menyanyikan melodi kesedihan
tetapi akhirnya
mengatakan yang sesungguhnya tentang aku
Tidak banyak yang ingin kulakukan
dan terlalu banyak
yang seharusnya dilakukan
dan ibuku di tempat tidur
dengan pintu tertutup

Tidak seorang pun bahkan berhenti memikirkan
tentang sisiku yang demikian
Aku seharusnya berada di Tim Matematika
nilai-nilaku lebih baik darinya
kenapa aku harus menjadi
yang memakai kawat gigi
Aku tidak punya sesuatu untuk kupakai besok
akankah aku usiaku cukup panjang
untuk bertumbuh kembang
dan ibuku di tempat tidur
dengan pintu tertutup

Hanging Fire

I am fourteen
and my skin has betrayed me   
the boy I cannot live without   
still sucks his thumb
in secret
how come my knees are
always so ashy
what if I die
before morning
and momma’s in the bedroom   
with the door closed.

I have to learn how to dance   
in time for the next party   
my room is too small for me   
suppose I die before graduation   
they will sing sad melodies   
but finally
tell the truth about me
There is nothing I want to do   
and too much
that has to be done
and momma’s in the bedroom   
with the door closed.

Nobody even stops to think   
about my side of it
I should have been on Math Team   
my marks were better than his   
why do I have to be
the one
wearing braces
I have nothing to wear tomorrow   
will I live long enough
to grow up
and momma’s in the bedroom   
with the door closed.

Jangan Pernah Memimpikan Laba-laba

Waktu runtuh di antara bibir-bibir orang asing
Hari-hariku rebah menjadi tabung berongga
segera meledak, melawan kekinian
seperti sebuah dinding besi
kedua mataku tertutupi puing-puing
sebuah noda sudut pandang
mengaburkan setiap cakrawa;a
dalam presisi yang sesak milik keheningan
sebuah dunia dibuat.

Begitu daging pemberontak itu pergi
udara jatuh di wajahku
tajam dan biru seperti jarum
tapi hujan turun sampai Oktober
dan kematian merupakan kutukan
dalam darahku.

Bau lehermu di bulan Agustus
perang permata emas yang bagus
semua sisanya terletak
ilusif sebagai rumah pertanian
di sisi lain lembah
menghilang di sore hari.

Hari ketiga hari empat hari sepuluh
langkah ketujuh
pintu terselubung menuju hari jadi emasku
kertas bebas tahan api robek
di gigi anjing penjarah
tidak pernah memimpikan laba-laba
dan ketika mereka membalikkan selang padaku
semburan cahaya.

Never to Dream of Spiders

Time collapses between the lips of strangers   
my days collapse into a hollow tube
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon
in the breathless precision of silence
one word is made.

Once the renegade flesh was gone   
fall air lay against my face
sharp and blue as a needle
but the rain fell through October   
and death lay    a condemnation   
within my blood.

The smell of your neck in August   
a fine gold wire bejeweling war   
all the rest lies
illusive as a farmhouse
on the other side of a valley
vanishing in the afternoon.

Day three    day four    day ten   
the seventh step
a veiled door leading to my golden anniversary   
flameproofed free-paper shredded   
in the teeth of a pillaging dog   
never to dream of spiders   
and when they turned the hoses upon me
a burst of light.


Is the total black, being spoken
From the earth’s inside.
There are many kinds of open.
How a diamond comes into a knot of flame   
How a sound comes into a word, coloured   
By who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open
Like a diamond on glass windows
Singing out within the crash of passing sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
In a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
And come whatever wills all chances
The stub remains
An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me.

Love is a word another kind of open—
As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am black because I come from the earth’s inside   
Take my word for jewel in your open light.

Who Said It Was Simple

There are so many roots to the tree of anger   
that sometimes the branches shatter   
before they bear.

Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march   
discussing the problematic girls   
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes   
a waiting brother to serve them first   
and the ladies neither notice nor reject   
the slighter pleasures of their slavery.   
But I who am bound by my mirror   
as well as my bed
see causes in colour
as well as sex

and sit here wondering   
which me will survive   
all these liberations.


The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood
and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and
there are tapes to prove it. At his trial
this policeman said in his own defense
“I didn’t notice the size nor nothing else
only the color”. And
there are tapes to prove that, too.

Today that 37 year old white man
with 13 years of police forcing
was set free
by eleven white men who said they were satisfied
justice had been done
and one Black Woman who said
“They convinced me” meaning
they had dragged her 4’10” black Woman’s frame
over the hot coals
of four centuries of white male approval
until she let go
the first real power she ever had
and lined her own womb with cement
to make a graveyard for our children.

I have not been able to touch the destruction
within me.
But unless I learn to use
the difference between poetry and rhetoric
my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold
or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire
and one day I will take my teenaged plug
and connect it to the nearest socket
raping an 85 year old white woman
who is somebody’s mother
and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed
a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time
“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”

Sisters in Arms

The edge of our bed was a wide grid
where your fifteen-year-old daughter was hanging   
gut-sprung on police wheels
a cablegram nailed to the wood
next to a map of the Western Reserve
I could not return with you to bury the body   
reconstruct your nightly cardboards
against the seeping Transvaal cold
I could not plant the other limpet mine
against a wall at the railroad station
nor carry either of your souls back from the river   
in a calabash upon my head
so I bought you a ticket to Durban
on my American Express
and we lay together
in the first light of a new season.

Now clearing roughage from my autumn garden   
cow sorrel    overgrown rocket gone to seed   
I reach for the taste of today
the New York Times finally mentions your country   
a half-page story
of the first white south african killed in the “unrest”
Not of Black children massacred at Sebokeng   
six-year-olds imprisoned for threatening the state   
not of Thabo Sibeko, first grader, in his own blood   
on his grandmother’s parlor floor
Joyce, nine, trying to crawl to him
shitting through her navel
not of a three-week-old infant, nameless   
lost under the burned beds of Tembisa
my hand comes down like a brown vise over the marigolds   
reckless through despair
we were two Black women touching our flame   
and we left our dead behind us
I hovered    you rose    the last ritual of healing   
“It is spring,” you whispered
“I sold the ticket for guns and sulfa   
I leave for home tomorrow”
and wherever I touch you
I lick cold from my fingers
taste rage
like salt from the lips of a woman   
who has killed too often to forget   
and carries each death in her eyes   
your mouth a parting orchid   
“Someday you will come to my country   
and we will fight side by side?”

Keys jingle in the door ajar    threatening   
whatever is coming belongs here
I reach for your sweetness
but silence explodes like a pregnant belly   
into my face
a vomit of nevers.

Mmanthatisi turns away from the cloth
her daughters-in-law are dyeing
the baby drools milk from her breast
she hands him half-asleep to his sister
dresses again for war   
knowing the men will follow.
In the intricate Maseru twilights
quick    sad    vital
she maps the next day’s battle
dreams of Durban    sometimes
visions the deep wry song of beach pebbles
running after the sea.


Pringadi Abdi Surya. Dilahirkan di Palembang, 18 Agustus 1988. Pernah terpilih menjadi Duta Bahasa Sumatra Selatan 2009. Sekarang tengah bertugas di Subdit Pembinaan Proses Bisnis dan Hukum, Direktorat Sistem Perbendaharaan. Lulusan Akuntansi Pemerintahan STAN 2010 ini suka jalan-jalan.

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