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Issue 3.2

Summer 2023

Fairuz Ikbar Octa


As I am writing this poem, I’m thinking of film soup and expired film rolls. I felt burnt out and foggy as if trying to see something in a photo from a burnt film. I relate those feelings to what I had experienced, trying to remember something, but I can't. For me, life can be dissociating, and my memories can’t always be trusted, but one thing is certain when you live is death. But before that, I feel like I’m living in-between two opposing colors; two sides of everything; past and future. So, I want you to read this poem with two alternating voices.

Living in the Past of a Future Self


I watch myself taking a wrong left turn/

Betrayal of muscle memory/

I should be going to work, not uni/

Three years felt like just the other day/

But my high school years were lost in a fog/

Betrayal of mental memory/

I have been doing my meditation/

Breathing in and out to be present/

Yet time has lost its orientation/

Burnt rolls of expired color film/


Living in the past of a future self/

I breathe for someone who may not exist/

Mother hated me for wanting to die/

Was on the waiting list for the state shrink/ 

So I list the reasons for my being/

In my notes below the grocery list/

Here I am still writing poems for you/

Without all of the things I should’ve bought/

With everything I should be grateful for/

A self, finding their direction to death/ 

Fairuz Ikbar Octa is the author of puisipiyo (Deepublish, 2016), a book of her English and Indonesian poems. Her haiku, “Parted Lips” has appeared in the Skrews Syndication Issue 004. You can find her work and book reviews at:

Fairuz's Book Recommendation

We Are Nowhere And It's Wow by Mikael Johani

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