When you sent me that mail, asking me to help you
write better, I was still trapped in an
antechamber of naïvety, the false gold of youth
burning from the chandelier, making me see
things in color, I should have never responded
and let silence dismay, discomfit your little head, and make
it think, but pride fuels youth, and I don’t know
what you saw in those Hallmark Card poems
which were an imitation, because
I refused to draw from pain then, you
then told me about the other you contacted
who spat on everything he took, asking you
for something that cougars with their grayish
coats, trying to revive the lost flame in their eyes
would leap at, and trust me, you’ll find
tons of them chasing after the ‘gentlemen’
poets, and I said, don’t, but I think you
did it anyway, and maybe those pictures you sent now
haunt, or maybe you don’t care, later you cut me off,
after talking about a creative writing course
which thinking back sounds like group therapy,
because I think that if you really went through
that sort of thing, they would place you on
a red mat and dissect you with no pin,
scissors or needle, but with radical blades
even though they paradoxically say that
truth and meaning change with the ticking
of the digital watch, I look now and read these
school-girls trying to imitate a few of us,
talking about the corners the bullies of circumstance
pushed us into, and I won’t
give a fuck about them, until they take something
and fine-tune or change it, or find their own
pain, sometimes I can’t help but wonder how
they would look, with red tarmac skin, and
swollen bluish lips, with bloodshot eyes
and weight gain, losing all the seduction and
the masochism they dream about, we didn’t have
a choice, and so many dropped like flies swatted,
and what about you? Maybe you’re now spewing false
flame on a platform, almost breaking the mike-stand
while a small crowd roars, or you’re finally bleeding,
but the last I remember, you
were just a pretty girl with a plastic-cherub smile.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)

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