For my dear grandfather who loved me

My old man, and when I say that, I mean
my grandfather and not that debauched,
deceiving Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov
who calls himself my father, once said,
‘If a man can’t look you in the eye when
you call him out and either defend or
humble himself, he’s a waste of time
and space.’ He said, ‘If a man takes a
deceptive route with its devious twists
and turns and then justifies himself when
he’s clearly in the wrong, then existence
is better off without him, and so, ignore him
and give him no attention because he thrives off it.’

Now, in my short time here on hard ground,
littered with scraps of abuse and potholes
of pain, the miasma of turmoil rising from
them and clogging my lungs with the
black phlegm of bitterness, I’ve met many men –
wise and foolish, naïve and insightful, timid
and reckless, rational and impulsive, but the
one I loathe the most is the coward who betrays
himself. The charlatan who’s blown everywhere
by the wind of his histrionics, the puppeteer
who’s spineless or hell, without a bone in his
body: a cravenly ditch-green flubber who
doesn’t even bounce. The false preacher
who calls out chauvinism when he beats his
wife, the bigot who speaks of love and light
when his prejudices give him a yellow
jaundiced soul.

Balaam listened to a donkey’s rebuke
but this man schemes and plots endlessly,
and won’t listen even if a lion roared
because he’s devoid of both integrity and identity,
chock-full of hypocrisy like a wineskin filled
with piss. Sure, we’re all flawed and perhaps
even fundamentally fucking twisted, but
this man revels in his depravity.

Beware the white-robed prophet of kindness
who says he’s good because no man is,
I’ll take the degenerate with a heart,
the honest drunk and the vagabond willing
to share his meal.

Beware the guru whose duplicity knows no
bounds and makes Jean-Baptiste Clemence
look like an angel with a halo. Now, I’ve made my
mistakes and admit I’m wrong but this conniving,
conspiring sexual predator’s heat knows no bounds.

Do you wish to make war, my friend?
Go on. I fear no man. And if pushed I always ask,
‘Is that all? Really?’ I’m not afraid of threats or
petty backstabbing. I stand strong right here,
in this place and moment and will carry on
despite bruises, cracked bones and blood gushing
from my veins.

My old man said, ‘Never fear a manipulator or
a predator. Challenge him with truth because
there isn’t a greater hell on earth than a wounded
conscience, gnawing like a worm, eating a person
alive until in madness he crumbles or does something
stupid, and simply confesses.’

So, I stand though I’m an apostate, armored
with the sword of truth, the breastplate of courage
refined by sorrow’s flame, the shield of strength
though I’m knock-kneed, and the helmet of
my art which you can take or refuse. And I walk on
and will keep walking on until the horizon isn’t just
seen, but is something palpable.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

8 responses

    • Thank you very much Tara! I think we’ll always agree about this particular point and many others too. I’m on WP’s blacklist now. A strong preacher who strangely likes his coffee weak has apparently reported my posts lol. And here I was just writing satire about cafes and silly people :P Well if I can’t express myself here, I’ll shift the blog elsewhere. Simple. I can’t be bothered by the nonsense some fool perceives.

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