Khairani Barokka

Khairani Barokka is a writer, poet, artist, and PhD researcher at Goldsmiths in Visual Cultures. She was an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow and Indonesia’s first Writer-In-Residence at Vermont Studio Center. Published and working internationally, Okka is the writer/performer/producer of Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee, Indonesia’s only Edinburgh Fringe representative in 2014; co-editor of HEAT: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology (Buku Fixi, 2016); co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches, 2017); writer-illustrator of Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis, 2016); and author of debut poetry collection Rope (Nine Arches, 2017). In 2014, UNFPA recognised her as an Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change for arts practice and research.





solid bone in soft casing

brass or brassiere knuckles a


man looks at chest caving

searches for a bruise.


we have limited time or space as

the money is leaving what little


they left us the sun is roasting

our expedition on martian life.


my friend eats his meat

chooses which to be cruel to.


it is right cold here a

body can’t leave skin


a bit too tenderised in life

for how do we learn what


to sharpen a whatnow,

for sharing with those we spared.


it’s nighttime still glass looks

not empty but what shape goes the bottle.


one paragraph asks a calm of my tongue

it’s honey so sing it again.





i am writing from a drowning ship. i am

infested with burnt and breaking pylons.


i am a shock to the limbic system of a

rainforest, i am fracked nervous sytems.


i am writing from the underwater debris

of a coral reef blasted, am enraptured—

fascinated—by the glow of a supernova

that is our own destruction. i am the palms

of your mother in the dead of night,

when all rushes to extinction and

constellations swarm your body,

reminding you of what is here still.

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