Experiments

I think I’m too daft to comprehend e.e.cummings’s
style of writing, lines projecting out like horizontal
stalagmites, spaces, words meshed together
like they’re thrown in the blender, an i outside
the parenthesis probably symbolizing a loneliness
and an I within probably embodying wholeness
with another. Experimental fiction was never my
forte, and maybe that’s because fate’s experimented
with me a little too much, using me like its lab rat –
made to run a wheel sometimes, injected with the
black ichor of despair sometimes, caged sometimes,
I could go on and on, but this isn’t about e.e.cummings
or me or even poetry; it’s in its truest form, a piece
written using stream of consciousness about the
paradox between free-will and determinism. If there’s
absolute freedom of choice, then God is indeed dead
and further yet man is God, if there is no freedom
of choice then you’re a puppet or worse yet a muppet,
a smelly sock regardless of what your branding is
(Nike, Adidas or Reebok) and finally, if there’s both then
let’s rejoice! You bring the whiskey and I
the cigarettes and we’ll sing of the mysteries of the universe
and the experiments we play when we choose or the experiments
played on us when we don’t and once we’re done we can
weep, feeling like lonely i’s meshed together in this spiderweb
of chaos (yes, I’ve noted that the preceding
metaphor is an oxymoron)
and finally, we can hug it out, fully closing
the spaces between us
and achieving a fucking transcendent We or I. Fuck me!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Whisper something sweet

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Whisper something sweet in your winsome way,
When shadows of woe eclipse my sorrowed heart,
Softly speak of tangible truth, say, say…
That dream or desire won’t drift; pierce us apart…
Please, darling, dare to dream of a nuanced new
Where monochromous monotony lies unmasked
And shade to shade shifts vivacious helpful hue
And engrossment isn’t crack the eggshell (tasked)

Whisper something sweet in your winsome way,
When shadows of woe eclipse my sorrowed heart,
Please, darling, dare to dream of a nuanced new
Where shade to shade shifts vivacious helpful hue.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

What I’d give for absolute freedom

My father, mother and I live in a multifaceted three-bedroom apartment. It doesn’t just have many literal aspects but figurative ingredients too which spice things up or sour things down. I didn’t grow up in this prison maze, but like a rat, I scuttle here and there now, hoping on a morsel of hope. Sometimes after the rains, when the open windows caress me with petrichor, and I’m invigorated, I lie down and listen to Hammock or some other post-rock band with a surreal tang to it, and I’m just present. The shadow of a once abusive father doesn’t trail with a scythe like a reaper, and I close my eyes and envision crotchets and minims floating by and carrying me along; carrying me to nuanced places and distant snow flaked horizons where the sound of a political engine doesn’t churn out the grating discordance of Fascism and I can lie looking at Creation’s wonders. But sometimes there’s an anti-aura of malice that separates the family, giving us each anti-halos or devil’s horns and even our shadows become nightmarish apparitions fighting each other. I guess each of us is a snail ensconced, struggling to break out of a shell. There’s a spirit of anarchism that possesses all of us, and we don’t want to gyrate to the tune of another’s voice as sweet or bittersweet as it sounds. We want to rush freely on our own paths, divided, and embracing a nightmarish Sartrean freedom, but something unlike and like a Lutheran bondage of the will ties us together. And when it does, mother hurts son, father threatens son and son lashes out at father using kicks and punches. ‘You deserve this! You old bastard for all those years of fucking with my life!’ I say, shrieking and projecting my insecurities over whether I’ll finally be free. Freedom. The word itself implies a concept with infinite plausibilities, but then the cycle of life and death, of youth and age reminds you of its antithesis – finitude. You’re only as free as you’re allowed to be is a daunting truth that makes you question if you’re ever free at all. The arguments in this household often transcend the dynamics of an individual in a multifaceted household and drift towards our condition in a multifaceted country. Will we escape the bondage that awaits us when the jarring buzz of Fascism is a roar? Will we be ultimately free in a fashion we’d like however idealistic that sounds?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Three simple sonnets

A simple man

I saw a blazing sign in bloodless skies!
And so I must obey! The shields they paint!
We won the war! I must erase the taint!
Both foolish men, and dirty pagan lies!
I fight for truth, and justice never cries
About men who hate blood and swoon and faint!
These idiots and their undue complaint!
But my son’s grief! That look! His sorrowed eyes!

No, I’ll not let inane fact govern me
And Licinius? Didn’t he warrant death?
They cheated Truth, they only claimed they’re mine
Now Jordan begs and I won’t let it be!
I must hear her and then that final breath!
I made the bloody sky and put my sign.

A simple law

I said he is immortal and I’m wrong
But didn’t he rescue us from tyranny?
If truth were told, he doesn’t need praise from me
But certainly, requires some potent song
And only fools attend the pagan’s throng!
The world is clearer now, can’t they all see!
But murder haunts my law and won’t let be!
I often wonder if he’s truly strong

My errors taught me I cannot revolt
Against raw power, all that does is kill
Poor Crispus, rebelling against the light
But look at him now hanging like a dolt!
Just for a horrid, thoughtless, carnal thrill
I said he is immortal and I’m right.

A simple truth

Is life a blessing or an awful curse?
I find a law in that inane, small phrase
As some say it is with each passing phase
when friends forsake, and painful wounds I nurse
I could allude, say that a hidden hearse
Awaits me; it was never truth that stays
That lifts anemic men to realms of praise
My name wasn’t written in ecstatic verse

I’ve tried to rage but dropped my fight to peace
I thought of love and looked at sparkling stars
I’m Crispus at the Emperor’s behest
What justice, fact is this? These thoughts don’t cease
And nothing changes that I’ve lost my wars
But no one answers the need for this test.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017-2018)

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Bleak and Bleaker Still

I threw away my life for art and pleasure,
I watched as my career just flitted by
And ages later, now, I heave a sigh
Of time gone and the loss of every treasure.

I wish she loved me fiercely still
But Love’s caress, graze, we did toss;
A drizzle coats the windowsill
Embodying an earnest loss.

I’m an apostate, driven far from grace,
The woods are bleak, the mountains glacial and cold,
There’s nothing left for me to do or die for,
This wingless eagle plummets and doesn’t reach, soar,
I’ve lost all reason, every need to be bold,
I’m so far gone, why even save this face?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Punk Rock Sonnet

I’m leaving…leaving this favela
These homes will stay; these streets will rot
I’m finding…finding more than gala
And ostentatious, showy nought

Keep your clicks and perfect sunsets
Keep your clichéd fantasies
Trap the naïve in false hope (nets)
You’ll forever hug lies (fancies)

I have no use for dear society
I have no use for pens and ink
I’m done with keeping my propriety
So, let me in abysses sink

I’m leaving this coming week to mists
And peaks and to shred all civil cysts.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Drowning

In dreams, I sink to the depths of the ocean,
deranged and green, the swirl in my lungs
asphyxiating me and the floor
decayed with rot and barnacles:
a beckoning – a call to the core;
the heart that leaks of putrid ichor –
spreadeagled like women after
bad sex or men after winning
a Pyrrhic victory – limbs stretched
out, ever reaching for so much more
but denied seraphic grace or a choir
to rouse the blood and add flesh and bone:
Ezekiel’s prognosis thwarted.
In dreams, I sink to the depths of the ocean –
with a millstone around my neck –
by this pull, this yank, this drowning,
And stranger still in day I hope
the same takes place, that dark brings soon
a rest in that green unclean void
devoid of passion’s throes and feelings,
an end to a search for life’s meanings.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)