Walt Whitman, you shabby bastard, reincarnated
as a straight man with dying honey skin, teeth like
sorrowed chiclets, bleeding yellow—a coward,
a hypocrite, a liar, a farce, a façade of a man,
speaking with an almost bass, smoky voice,
thickened by the Indian accent, just like belly fat.
Does the rum give you solace, a harsh catharsis?
Do cigarettes & coffee give you an old school aubade?
Do the pills you pop give you a blurry epiphany?
Forever histrionic & theatrical—
a pitiful demoniac’s twisted, sick despair—
a drift between distress & the hysterical—
forever searching for a life that’s just & fair—
Your wife’s cuckolding you in the next room
while you search for answers reading books,
you hear her moans, sighs & deep sobs
and a part of you is titillated, aroused & likes it.
Oh Walt Whitman, you filthy bastard, going weeks
without a shave or a shower, walking to the cigarette
shop in the track pants you shagged in, and then
to the supermarket where faces turn because you
look like a beachcomber but have a credit card.
Oh Walt Whitman, you dirty bastard, coming home
with three cans of Red Bull & then spilling it on the floor,
& then licking the floor & lapping it up like a dog,
before you’re frustrated & need your porn.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)
Image copyright: © Nitin Lalit Murali