Man, this job is so demanding. It takes some substantial, heavy-duty grit to become a made writer these days. You need graphene, a seemingly beautiful, honeycomb heart that cannot be broken. The boss, she’s given me a new assignment, and this time it’s a hit-list sonnet. And they want me to write about these beautiful strokes of tea plantations personifying the cool mist. The assignment is called MoWriPoNa and there are so many artists who need the gat. I can’t say that I don’t feel like using the word in a sonnet, and sprinkling a lot of sawdust metaphor, but that’s the stuff that Johnny did. I guess he was an undercover tortured agent or something. Well, he writes using a pseudonym elsewhere and there’s a bounty. I guess he couldn’t fight the dark matter that masquerades as gravity here. I’m growing a beard and I know that’s against the rules, but I haven’t met the boss for a while. I mean these Einaudi loving, tea drinking, ostensibly anti-anarchical, know the rules and then neatly stitch the pentameter, never admitting that they mess up people are…made. But, I can’t be Johnny, can I? I mean he just expressed himself to survive, to fight mental illness, and they didn’t like it: blue birds turned into hawks, love turned into hate, and bread turned into rust. He also knew and perhaps lost a truth that few artists find. Or he’s in for some chastisement! And trust me, I don’t want to know it! Hell, I’ve got a second chance and I can’t mess up. I can’t be a straight edge Bukowski, or a Hamlet without a complex. But I was someone else once. I mean all this faux-philosophizing always kicks you in the gut with just a simple equation, or a sense of an ending. It was years ago: W+P=FP (Formerly), but thinking back, the rules were the same. You can’t express yourself in ways that are seemingly real. I guess that ended decades ago, because if you did, something stings worse than a viper, and they probably smash their screens, buy a new computer, and sting back with falsehood. But if I can’t deal with them, how am I supposed to fight those who don’t use spindrift words, but come at you with machetes? Well, that’s Johnny’s job. I’ll be made soon. Who’s next? Keats or Yeats?
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)