The underground

I find the road ahead stained with crimson, tattered parkas, blurry and Kafkaesque. Maybe it’s the blood of martyrs – brothers and sisters who lived for art alone; smashing the mirror though the shards stung and the ooze throbbed – who wandered like vagabonds and died having taken up the pen, or maybe it’s the false inner opulence of alcohol or antihistamines – a carpeted antechamber with a plastic chandelier and a stony candelabrum with ugly, blotched masses of wax and polaroids instead of Gogh and Rembrandt; basically a burlesque scene where a thrift store stands in for Gucci, and gives you raw, ribald low-brow that is only lacquered – making me glorify the obscure and venerate the underground. It’s like making love to a woman you don’t love anymore, without passion, the rough arpeggio relieving stress. In the end a few questions stem from the heart of all frustration, giving the reader(s) withered parchments of poetry – unlike the parrot green published work – and prose that doesn’t bloom because it’s not nurtured by engagement: Do I still do this though I rely on someone else’s monetary support? Do I still love this? Do I need to create? And despite the mass production of tomes, teaching you how to ‘write,’ asking Kafka to move over to a surreal corner with hazy light – where an apple lies crushed – in the corner of the bookstore, despite the post-novel filled with multimedia and embracing fanatical postmodernism, like Night Film by Marisha Pessl (which I’m not saying isn’t good, so don’t get me wrong), give me my books, a dictionary, a thesaurus and a pen and paper, and I will create, or at least I think so.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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7 responses

  1. ‘Do I still do this though I rely…’ that line reminded me of the artists of old. Most of them had to scramble to look for patronage, and I bet they hated that part of it. Van Gogh had his brother, Machiavelli had the Medicis. It got me wondering about the extent to which the patron influenced the artist’s creation.

    • Yeah I’m sure they did too. Theo really believed in Vincent despite the world considering him a failure. I read somewhere that he stored every letter Vincent wrote him. I think Theo gave Vincent his room although his love for him must have played a vital role in Vincent’s artistry. I don’t know much about Machiavelli’s story, so, I can’t comment. Patronage influences an artist’s work either negatively or positively depending on who the patron is. If it’s a close, affectionate family member it’s positive, but if it’s someone else who wants you to conform, then the product could end up becoming not what the artist truly envisioned.

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