Are prophets and apostles men of love or wrath?
Are the seraph and the cherubim harbingers of good tidings or stern justice?

These paradoxes exist like free will and determinism, choice and destiny, like roads
leading to roads, doubting whether we’ll ever come back, ending with a sigh.

But even if I smoked cigarettes and contemplated divinity
and the mysteries of the universe and got my answers,
I’ll never comprehend you – so tragically beautiful
like a nymph of kindness trapped in a bleak forest
of dust and ashes, swirling and swirling, asphyxiating you,
burning your lungs.

I wish to peel the onion, layer after layer until I reach the core,
I wish to know the secrets you’ve kept and the thoughts
that both liberate you like a Phoenix reborn from the ashes
and keep you caged like a lovesick songbird, chirping, chirping,
chirping, I wish to solve the riddles your inner
Sphinx poses, I wish to see both your inner opulence, furnished
with cushions of catharsis and lush carpets of vivaciousness and
your inner haunted rooms where the apparitions of past trauma
and specters of bitterness roam, devouring and possessing you.

I don’t want this monochromatic mundane togetherness,
so very ostentatious and showy, I wish for you to pierce me
as deep as I pierce you and though the first bell toll harasses complacent
ears, we’ll soon find a rhythm that goes beyond artificial smiles,
the clichéd, how was your day? and pustules and boils hidden by
threadbare rags we wear. I don’t want a forever or even something
that celebrates anniversaries of years of true love with vows resaid. I just wish
to know you and for you to know me after the curtain is torn.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

The old Trek is in the basement, collecting dust,
rust-coated, missing a few spokes and I, like
it punctured and punctuated with painful apostrophes
in the jaded pages of my years, stay still, still, still.

I remember biking on the muddy Indian roads, potholed
and dirty under a canopy of scintillating wrath, the sweat
drenching my face and shirt and the purple flamed Jacarandas
symbolizing ardor or defeat or both.

But that was youth and wither, and weather made a difference
then.

Now I wither – fully aware – by the crackling flame of the hearth,
now the weather within lies defeated and is indifferent to
the weather outside,
now whether I’m inert like an anachronistic monocle placed
on fate’s craggy face, removed and placed on the shelf when
not needed, or crushed with a boot, or worn, or smoking pot
and animated with laughter, eating maniacally, nothing makes a
difference.

Age has crept on me like a bad weed choking the crop,
and it isn’t the age of wheelchairs and sickbeds, but the age
of seeing too much and profound insight that debilitates
consciousness more than it saves.

O, Solomon! How right you were when you said great study
is sorrow! The angst of knowing, the pain of seeing, the despair
of acknowledging – these I know, see and acknowledge,
but like a locomotive with faulty headlights, I careen into
the sidewalk, and the darkness that’s ensuing won’t save.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Every day was much the same. Day in, day out. He sat upon his doorstep, his thin, deeply tanned naked arms resting on his knobby knees. Knees worn by years of a hard life. Cleaning the shoes of the rich and elite, he was an old man, overlooked as insignificant while the city councilmen and religious leaders made back alley deals with the poor people’s money. Too often he listened as they traded citizen rights for parks or sweet delicacies or thicker lined silk pockets, his silver head bowed low while he carefully and meticulously washed the dirt from their muddy sandals. He might be able to clean the mire from their feet but he would never be able to wash the filth from their hearts. This much he knew.

His heart broke and hardened again and again as he listened and watched the greedy elite trample the heart and soul of the poor people. So he washed his feet, symbolizing his own heart and bowed low praying to a god who seemed deaf or impassive. Morning and night he sought reprieve or vengeance upon the swine he worked for. Evening and afternoon he was met with stony silence except a vague: follow me. Oh how he wailed, rending his heart, clawing at his breast: justice! justice! Until one evening near the twilight hours an idea ignited within his feverish mind. Perhaps he could purify the people, burn out the impurities with his own refiner’s fire. He fell into a deep sleep where he dreamed of rich men turning to ash and the homeless street children glowing brighter than gold.

He dreamed of children dancing around burning limousines and expensive sedans. He dreamed of children dancing around burning effigies of corruption in hedonistic pride. He dreamed of children throwing Molotov cocktails at rich homes where slaves served caviar and the rich incessantly fucked on king-size beds, and then dancing to their shrieks.

He needed to bring down one man. Silas Cordova. ‘You must free them! Silas must meet the flame!’ A terrifying voice roared, and he woke sweating. Could it be? Was he chosen? He’d spent his life having lost two wives to disease and two sons to political corruption. They were Silas’s children more than his today.

He walked the streets of Cordova town. The place had recently been renamed after its ‘crown jewel’. Some folks took pity on him and offered him bread and cheese and wine which he graciously accepted. ‘Hey, Moe. Cordova’s organizing a festival today. You coming. I heard your son John won’t make it. He’s doing some construction business for Cordova down in the suburbs,’ said Simon the Baker.

Construction work in the suburbs. A certain sign and a call to test his strength. Old Moe decided John was going to become the first victim. He went to the local gun store and said, ‘Hey Walter. I need a flamethrower.’

‘A flamethrower. What the hell do you need that for?’ Walter asked him.

‘The weeds in my yard, man. The pokers and stickers are fucking thick this year. My hands are shredded. My garden is overrun.’ And in a way it was. Silas had made sure of that.

‘I don’t sell no fecking flame-throwers, Moe. Just burn them out with accelerant and a match like everyone else.’

Ideas formed. ‘….Yeah. I guess I could do that… yeah… they’re thick this year, real thick… taking over everything….’ he wandered out of the store still mumbling to himself. ‘….gotta burn em… leave a message to the future… to the children, the children…’ Walter just shook his head and wiped down his counter again.

It really only took him a couple days, but he drew up a plan. The location. The equipment. The time. Evening arrived on the jobsite and with it came an old man carrying a burlap sack. Looking around himself, and finding himself alone, Moe carefully withdrew each item from his threadbare sack. Meticulously, he poured the fuel on the piles of lumber and in corners. In the center of the yard he wrote, ‘vengeance is’. Packing up his sack, he stared out of his handiwork for a moment. Etching the moment in his mind. Then his wrist flicked, he dropped the lit match, and turned and shuffled away into the shadows.

John checked on his old man now and then. He found his dad eating a muffin at the Bakery. He kept muttering to himself: ‘The children will dance…the children will sing…the children will listen to shrieks and screams and delight in burnt corpses and fires…’ John looked at the baker. ‘He’s been like this all morning. Maybe you should take him to the doctor,’ said Simon.

‘A doctor! I’m not spending the money Silas gives me on this old bastard,’ John scoffed. ‘He’ll be fine, Simon. Now get me one of those cheeseburgers, will you?’

‘You’ll be fine, you old bastard. At least you’re not as crazy as some anarchist freak who did something stupid at the construction site. Silas says he’ll chop the bastard’s hands off,’ said John with a lopsided grin.

Suddenly filled with rage, Moe took out a lighter and a can of a deodorant and burnt John’s face off.

‘Aaargh! Fuck me! Aaargh! The old bastard!’ John shrieked, and Simon came running to find Moe walking away.

‘Hey come back here!’ he shouted.

Hands in his pockets, whistling a lyric-less tune, Moe meandered through streets and alleys. Looking first right, then left, he crossed a dirty street and cut through another alley. He heard shouts, a woman and a man. The woman screeched like an animal in a trap as the man slapped her repeatedly over the head.

‘Fucking pay your rent, you bitch! Silas was kind to let you skip one month and now you take advantage of his kindness!’

‘AHHHH!!’ she screeched louder. ‘He wants rent in the form of my wretched body! Nooo!’

Moe kept walking but he knew the thug, had seen him around plenty of times. The guy managed a shop down Briscow Lane which was owned by Silas himself. Perfect. Absolutely fucking perfect. Tonight, his target would be this jackass and his shop. Moe knew he worked late nights. Even more perfect.

He went to the woman the guy was harassing. She was known for hiding people Silas wanted. He told her he needed a place for a few hours and he’d repay her in a way unimaginable. What kind of trouble did a guy like ol’ Moe get into? Shelly wondered, but she decided against asking him.

‘You got some blow?’ He asked her when she put him in a room hidden by a cabinet.

‘What’s gotten into you, Moe? You come here saying you need shelter, and now you ask me for some blow,’ she said.

‘You got some blow?’ he asked again.

‘You’re a crazy old bastard Moe,’ she said and gave him a little. ‘I don’t want you to have a bad trip or something, so, here’s my iPod. Listen to some jazz or something light, okay.’

She walked away after shutting the cabinet door and Moe snorted the crack, played ‘Short Change Hero’ by ‘The Heavy’ and he dreamed of children dancing around burning corpses; he dreamed of fiery landscapes where children wore Bautas and masqueraded as demons and used pitchforks to torment Silas’s men; he dreamed of threesomes with his two dead wives on a burning bed; he dreamed of dressing Silas in a clown’s costume and setting his party nose on fire only to find it on a plate buttered and served like an Indian dessert that he tore and devoured.

He dreamt of sonnets of fire and elves; he dreamt of villanelles of burn marks and lust; he dreamt of kinky shit and violent shit; he saw a thousand reflections of himself in a thousand scenarios where his life was different but lit them all ablaze and chose the real now.

The now was power and giving the children freedom. The now was seeing his ingrate son in an ICU receiving treatment for third-degree burns. The now was Silas’s men hunting him, and him hunting them. The now was Moe the motherfucking arsonist. The now was Moe the motherfucking antagonist. The now was Moe the motherfucking anti-heroic harbinger of the next generation hedonist. The now was Moe. Just motherfucking Moe.

He got up. It was time.

First thing he did as he stepped across the threshold was to turn and lock the door. ‘What the fuck…? Oh, hey Moe, what you up to, old man?’ the surprised thug asked.

‘I’ve got the payment Shelly owes you…’

‘Huh…I guess she can’t do her own business, eh?’

Moe set down his burlap sack and his chest squeezed tight, a little pain dosed out for the pain he would hand out. Slowly he opened it up and reached inside, unscrewing a bottle out of sight, his next movements swift as threw the contents in the thugs face.

‘Aaauughhhh you motherfucker!!!’ Screamed the man, clawing at his face as acid rapidly melted his flesh away. ‘Aaarrrr oooooohhhh!!!’ His shrieks of pain turning to whimpers, his eyesight quickly gone.

Moe carefully pulled gloves on, tied his deserving victim up, then doused the shop in fuel. Etched in the front window were the words ‘pain retribution’, lighting the match, he tossed it and walked away to the melody of a piss-soaked, eyeless bastard crying out for a mercy he would not experience in this life.

A week passed, and Moe spent a week in Shelly’s cabinet room doing blow. She was frightened and wondered if she should tell Silas. His hounds were looking all over for Moe. But Moe scared her more. And so she told Moe that he should confess.

‘But the children need to dance to the rhythm of the flames,’ he whined drooling, the spittle coating his jaw.

‘What are you talking about Moe? What Children?’

‘The children dancing around the fiery abyss. The children smoking while the corrupt burn. The children, Shelly baby. The children,’ he said and did a twirl and grabbed her ass.

‘Get off me! You perv!’ Shelly screamed.

That was the last straw. She decided she was going to tell Silas and plead for his mercy.

So, the next day she went to his mansion. The guards stopped her. ‘I know the arsonist,’ she said. Quickly they ushered her through. There she stood in a large ornate room, set up like a throne room, of course it was, because this was Silas Cordova afterall. The bile rose in her throat.

And there sat Cordova himself, on his gawdy throne, perched, she felt, to appear almost sexy. It was ridiculous, really, the smirk on his oily face. A commotion arose behind her and she turned to see Moe, eyes wide, spittle running down his silver beard, shuffling in and laughing like a maniac. Shelly saw the hand gesture Silas made which stilled the guards beside her.

‘You motherfucker!’ Moe cried as he drew near. ‘You goddamned motherfucker! You took everything! You worthless piece of shit! I’ll watch you burn! The children will dance on your burning flesh!’ Dropping his bag, Moe knelt and reached inside while his onlookers watched with macabre interest. ‘The children…. yes, the children….’

Looking at Silas with hatred and pure fury, Moe rose unsteadily to him feet. ‘Vengeance is—!’ he cried as he collapsed and died instantly, his body convulsing and then stilling. The smell of piss and shit rising.

‘…..well,’ Silas chuckled. ‘That was interesting.’

© Nitin Lalit Murali & Tara Caribou (2018)

This is a collaboration between me and Tara who’s both my twin and a great writer. We decided to do something different and we had fun doing it. Please follow her. She writes from the heart and you’ll find more of her amazing work here

The beef-eating Sadhus, Sundar and Bundar were lynched. – Anonymous

Anonymous’s crisp, concise, lucid, pragmatic style is like petrichor after the boisterous farting of the neo-jazz postmodern novels. No harsh, discordant trombones, no horrisonant screeching trumpets playing that sharp C. The beef-eating Sadhus is just a to the point, in your face micro-novel. – The Guardian

Anonymous’s trial by fire, exploration of culture in saying too little is exactly what this generation of wordy obscure, abstract expression needs. A micro-novel that’s thoroughly objective and birthed in a rough womb of diatribes against meat politics and the sharp rise of nationalism trying to subdue the little voices of the voiceless. Well, the beef-eating Sadhus doesn’t enter this world whispering or sobbing. It screams. A must read – The Huffington Post

Am I the only one who noticed the humor? Sure, they were beef-eating Sadhus, but the lynching is where Anonymous strikes his darkly comical, scythe slash. Anonymous uses his sinister wit to compare lynching with aggressive masturbation. The same ruthlessness and blood spilled. This micro-novel is a tour-de-force in its exploration of modern sexuality. The sexual revolution is here to stay brothers and sisters. Yes, VR porn definitely gives us a sharper sense of perception and enhances the erotic eye’s vantage point, but Anonymous does it here in 9 words. A micro-novel that sets post-sexuality in motion. A magnum opus. A monumental achievement. – The Wire

Raw and uncompromising with a bleaker nihilistic undercurrent. This micro-novel gives no room for closure or hope. Move over Bukowski, and please take a note, Mr. McCarthy. This is the second wave of unadulterated nihilism without Camus’ absurdist ideologies. It places you there, and then we’re done. It’s a gunshot to the head. 9 words giving you a sharp dose of reality. – The Verve

I don’t have a problem letting my kids read this masterpiece. The beef-eating Sadhus might explore sensuality and violent, torture fetishes but people forget that the shallow semantic is also intricate. An all protein meal never works. Eat your veggies kiddies – The Culture

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

In the Amazonian Jungles, an American evangelist survived after local shamanistic pagan tribes attacked his camp. They killed everybody else in crude, barbaric ways using hoodoo and voodoo dolls and spears and machetes, but one young, brave soldier of the Lord survived.

Left for dead, Rev. Dean Jacobs stitched his wounds using pieces of bamboo shoot and massaged oil that he harvested from local flora to help them heal. He then picked up a spear left by the tribals and hunted monkeys and ate their testicles for four weeks before a rescue team found him.

‘My Daddy taught me how to survive. He said, son, when you’re doing the good Lord’s work you need to toughen up and eat those monkey balls if it comes to it. Heehaw. God bless my Daddy. I know he’s cooking some beans looking down on me in his pajamas in the good Lord’s home and God bless him. I could’ve never done it without him,’ said the Reverend when asked about his grit.

We interrupt this broadcast to air a new commercial for a special limited offer Energy Drink by Mark Driscoll ministries with a message from the man himself.

‘This drink’s called Balls, and that’s what we want. We need real men! We need real men I tell you! So if you’re sitting around treating your lady like a boy, you drink some of this, and you grow up now son. Damn you! You stop acting like a boy and grow up! This is righteous rage right here. Real men. Dammit! Real men! Now you little church boys drink some of this. Drink some balls and be real men! Real men like Dean Jacobs!’

The drink is only $99 per can, and you can support Driscoll and his ministry in spreading the good word of the Lord by buying some.

Rev. Jacobs said that the Lord protected him from the tribals by giving him the gift of invisibility, although there were times when he had needs, and he’d have given anything for Driscoll’s pornographic visions. But then he countered himself by saying, ‘I agree with Pastor Driscoll that masturbation is homosexuality. A handjob is giving another man pleasure even if it’s yourself. I mean if I can beat it, so can you. ‘Live free’ will be my new book. It’ll cost 99$. It’s to help liberate people trapped in perversions.’

Rev.Jacobs also plans to write a memoir about his days in the jungle, and he’s calling it, ‘You think you had it rough? Strength in adversity and courage in the strength of the Lord, even if it comes down to Monkey Balls.’ It will also cost 99$ and Jacobs says, ‘I see a lot of young people whining and grumbling, and acting like girls and I’ve decided to tell them my story. I mean you had a breakup. So what? You ain’t tried Monkey Balls yet. You lost your land and cows. So what? You ain’t tried Monkey Balls yet. You lost your wife. So what? You ain’t tried Monkey Balls yet, and I pray that the Lord doesn’t put you through such trial where a woman’s touch feels so far off, and all you’re doin’ is eatin’ Monkey Balls.’

Get yourself a copy. This will change your life. I’m David Ruiner reporting for Christian Nation TV – The only news channel that dares to tell you the truth without subliminal advertising and horse crap.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

A utilitarian post-Darwinian Descartes: I am, therefore I think
A modernist Descartes: I think, therefore I think I am?
A postmodern millennial Descartes: I think, therefore I’m not
A postmodern post-millennial Descartes: I am, therefore I’m not
A middle-age crisis-ridden, trapped in an existential loophole Descartes: I think to think, I am but am I or not?
A militant Puritanical Descartes: I am, therefore I am
A has been, crack cocaine snorting rockstar Descartes: I think, therefore I think
A UFO observing, alien conspiracy theorist Descartes: I’m not, therefore I think
A low self-esteem plagued, I hate the world Descartes: I’m not, therefore I’m not.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

My nonchalant non-mourners,

We’re gathered here not to mourn this corpse now entombed in this black coffin. She’s called purpose, and she led many-a-romantic astray with her asinine delusions of Autumn, which led to Keatsian odes to an inconsequential season where leaves fall, and mud-caked boots crush them. She led many existentialists astray while they fell prey like rotting meat to vultures to Kierkegaardian panaches of absolute grounding in an enigmatic, absolute sovereign. They preached with flair about Abraham reaching abstract faith, but in using that very term ‘abstract’ they lost themselves to vague, petty obscurantisms. She led many-a-tragic comic astray by placing them on a pendulum swinging like a rapid cycling Bipolar Mood swing between epiphany and catastrophe. They cackled while the fire crackled and scuttled like crabs over a need for an esoteric doctrine of vivacious gnosis when the bulbs dimmed and finally shattered. Then they wailed and mourned putting mongrels to shame. She led many-a-clergyman astray by self-deluded prophesies of raptures, or raptures of ecstasy in the seventh heaven where seraphs and cherubim serenade a Yahweh who’s long forgotten us. These men were so enamored and seduced by her magnetism that they stood with spines straight like a ramrod and spat while they gave the masses their puritanical opium. They did not spare the rod because they feared abandoning her, which is why we have drug-addicts, misfits, and lecherous pornographers who are the sons of fire and brimstone. She led many-a-drifter astray casting him in a womb of existential throes and then delivered him, a stillborn. Thus, emotionally castrated the wanderer became a voyeuristic eunuch and in turn – consumed by a mad bloodlust – a pervert, given to coprophilia and absurd, bizarre notions of violent BDSM without substance. So, we bury her without a chant, a litany or a dirge, and we can finally say in cold blood that man is free.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia