Hiatus

I’m taking a long, extended break from WP. I’m traveling soon and won’t be back for a long time. I find blogging excruciating and have watched my friends become foes, my mind deteriorating into a paranoid mess and my blood sugar levels rise to 350, and my cholesterol levels to 500. I also find this platform filled with hate and find that I can’t express myself properly here. I like to write about love, death, despair, anger and loneliness, but I find a few people countering my poems, and then a feud starts and I find myself not writing what I want to. Writing is a dirty business and I need time away from it. I’m so very jaded. Thank you for all the support.

P.S. If you hate me, throw your best shot. I’m already dead.

Funky Ink

This is an image of a wannabe musician. I've used it to satirize the mediocrity that's present in the scene.

They called themselves Funky Ink and played grunge. They covered Pearl Jam, but the irony was that they were the ones stereotyping, stigmatizing, lampooning, disgracing and degrading the misfits, the loners, the gays and the mentally ill in class.

‘Jeremy spoke in class because of you motherfuckers!’ I felt like screaming but bottled up my angst.

They had a lousy bassist who suffered from Bipolar Disorder. He was the only one given privileged status, but thinking back, I wonder just how ‘Bipolar’ he was. He was a conformist, a criminally insane, fucked-up, toad-faced, arse kisser who ran around the corridors in college kissing random girls in spurts of lewd mania.

His name was Tanmay, and he was as classist as they come. There was this time when he slapped a girl publicly because he considered her daft. It’s a good thing metoo# wasn’t trending then. But here’s the strange part: She kissed his arse a few days later, and they were all pally and shit.

They eventually kicked him out of the band and replaced him with another lousy bassist. And don’t get me started on the lead singer! Suneeth brayed and thought he was as good as Layne Stayley. But the truth was, he wasn’t even a fisherman’s Layne. He was a goat masquerading as a front man. ‘Puurrrple Haaaaze…baaah…puurrrple haaaaze…baaah!’ Fuck how did I endure it!

Anyhow that band’s dead, but Tanmay still moons with his trousers at his ankles. But nobody wants that arse son. It doesn’t have the mythical qualities he ascribes to it. It’s just a slightly askew butt crack that will give a black man in prison a lot of trouble. Lube might work though. A lot of it.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

The sojourner’s haibun

I’m trapped in my old sedan like the Sicilian Bull, the fires of trauma roasting me, and in agony I pound the steering wheel and incessantly press the horn, though the hairpin bends as sharp as glinting scythes stay deserted, except for the hard rain, the water like blood sluicing, the wipers like metal claws scraping the glass in desperation. On either side tea plantations like incisions on a masochist’s wrist haunt. The mist envelopes like white pus, and I can’t see the dying light circumscribed by the mutinous night with her soldiers with onyx spears and her crescent moon—her war horn with pitted symbols of anarchy. A solitary hooded man passes like the reaper in flesh. My shrieks echo, and the car burns the wet asphalt leaving tire marks like another layer of infection on a gangrenous wound. The rage from my headlights clamp the air like crocodile shears, tearing its appendages of oxygen and nitrogen. The fume from my exhaust pipe settles on crushed empty paper cups, like acid poured on a battered, torture victim’s face. I ascend, yanked by some invisible force, like a mongrel tied to the back of motorcycle and then dragged across winding curve after winding curve because it bit the driver, sunk its teeth into his flesh. I’m the dog and Fate is the driver. I should have never rebelled. I should have never played with his dice, tossed it like a chewed off mutton bone. The car has a few dents like keloids that eventually form if one keeps itching scabs. It’s running low on fuel like a terminally ill patient in the ICU slowly losing his life-force. The tires pass over a thin trunk with spindly branches – stripped away by the howling wind like a demoniac’s scream – like a spine yanked out with thoracic nerves attached. I don’t see it and it pierces one like a rusty nail impales a big toe. The air fizzles out like the entrails of a sacrificed goat. A loud pop like a gunshot to the head. I lose control and spin like vertigo before a faint. The car careens like bloody vomit and smashes a signboard saying, ‘12/24.’ Glass shatters like foot bones cracking when stepped on by football studs. My head hits the dashboard like a plate thrown, smashing a wall. I gradually drift in and out of consciousness like a man after a snake bite…

You’ll never reach the end of this long walk –
Because fate to man is no two-edged coin –
So, rush to meet life, the gods they enjoin –
you – fight, attend with silent, muted talk –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published in Morality Park

Wait for it!

Why should I care about the ramblings of a poetaster who suffers from acute schizophrenia?

Every line he writes reflects the disorder. There is poetic catatonia or the complete lack of depth, authenticity, and emotion. Dull and moth-eaten; leprous, and bland as insipid coffee.

There is the clinging and clanging, and neologisms when he says I serenade Siobhan.

There is a misconstrued, twisted paranoia that shrieks, ‘Oh! A love poem! How can it possibly engender originality! It’s a mutton bone I must feed to my pet dragon who appears on the 7th page of the 7th book in my series of 777 books! Hallelujah! Jehovah Jireh! Yes, it’s Catholic and shares a similar world with the brute, masculine, (hackneyed, overrated, devoid of intricate metaphor, empty) imagery of Tolkien!’ Yeah, I’m sure the deacon will be pleased while he’s defrocking the cantor and taking sacramental joy in his shrieks which are songs of joy to the presbyterate.

There is a false superiority, clearly evident in his rag-and-bone satire that he thinks, says, ‘I’m on par with George R.R. Martin!’ I’m sure you are, and Sansa loved it when you rode up to her on your unicorn dressed in nothing but a thong made out of hyacinths.

There is thought broadcast that makes him prattle on and on about myth and lore and keeps him warm at night thinking he dodged Zeus’s bolts with impunity while Aphrodite’s dove formed an unholy union with his cock bettering the union between Jacob and Rebekah, only because it’s sealed with white blood.

There is thought echo which takes him to strange metaphysics in which the Egyptian pyramid symbolizes the stages to self-actualization, and Kierkegaardian stages of despair are actually seeds of consciousness watered by the bad energy that comes from the obscure chanting of the people stuck in Plato’s cave.

Well, why should I care about this weirdo who treasures the opinion of a bunch of shallow (but pretending to be deep) giggly girls, or a self-proclaimed 21-year-old (now 34 or 35) lanky drug kingpin who shot at the police in the middle east of all places and lived to tell the tale!

I honestly don’t know why. I think I’m doing him a favor.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

People

This is a picture of a city viewed from the inside of a car while it's raining. I've chosen it to represent life and grief. We hide our grief and go on with our lives, but how long can it be contained?

When we write,
we write with the hardest hearts,
singed raw with pride,
but when we grieve,
those hearts soften,
and words become tears cascading
down rough contours and jagged edges.

What’s written isn’t felt
when hands mechanically type,
but when it’s felt,
despair cloaks us,
and we wish for
idyllic unknowns and peaceful reveries.

We hold the deepest pain,
but mask it
with a semblance of a smile,
we delude ourselves
into thinking we own it,
but it’s the opposite,
and when it possesses us
words flail and thrash
the air that keeps us
and prayers and psalms turn into
battered petitions and broken hallelujahs.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published in The Literati Mafia

Dear Jessica

This is an image of a beautiful wood. I've used it to represent positive change that a lover brings. Sometimes all we need is that one person who invigorates us and gives us hope and shows us love.

I used to wake up in a tumbledown room,
riddled with dust, the floorboards cracked,
nails coated with rust piercing through bone
and marrow, and I’d limp outside to a wasteland:
arid, full of decaying hyacinths like clusters of
rufuos rot and plagued with smog that caustically
hindered vision, I’d given up on life and death,
and morning and eve meant nothing to me,
but you came like a surreal storm magically
lighting up those dark corridors, giving
them a winsome flourish, fixing broken
tables and giving me more than hackneyed images,
you changed these sordid, littered, potholed streets
to beautiful asphalt that looked like a million
grey raindrops coming together under a blushing
sunset, you whitewashed the somber colors of
grief, giving me a fresh start, I’d sit and brood,
but you made me dream again, engraving each
wish with the will to try even if it seemed like chasing
the will-o’-the-wisp, you created new blueprints
which became strong foundations and I slowly
changed from being a passive-aggressive reckless
ne’er-do-well to someone less selfish, more
willing to give than take, more empathetic, letting
kinder emotion drift through those steep gorges
of the pain of others, I wake up
now with you sitting against the curtain, naked,
your petite frame silhouetted by waves of sunlight,
you’re looking at me, and I can’t help but faintly smile
and let a little of that wealth of emotion inside trickle out
because though we’ve had our share of ups and downs,
though we’ve sometimes felt like giving up on each
other, we never will, will we, because what’s
built with substance and honesty stands strong and
graceful, unlike something prosaic built with redundant
cliché.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Dear Rebecca

This is an image of a walkway shrouded in mist. I've used it to signify carrying on despite the season, and moving forward despite a terrible past .

It’s funny how interest becomes repulsion
as an amber dying sun becomes the ugly
grey twilight augmented by croaking frogs;
when I was somebody, inching towards a career
with good looks and a ‘healthy’ personality,
you stood there transfixed like a wood-nymph,
stunned by the sight of an enigmatic wayfarer
and you wouldn’t go away though I was more
interested in the honeyed leaves and the green
velvety moss covering the barks, though my gaze
drifted from you to the reddish-brown earth,
broken here and there, and the soft drizzle that
the sunlight sliced with a sickle of
mild wrath, the mounds that peaked like statued
ogres with rough edges meant to split skin and
crack the bones of those who dared climb them;
it’s funny how you loathed the sight of me later,
after months of prescription gave me
false peace like the tranquility of an almost convert
to Christianity, it’s funny how my still healing skin,
having fought rash and pain, my ungainly walk,
my paunch and my drug-induced lisp
made me the right candidate for you to heap all the hatred
that you’d bottled up inside,
made me the perfect person to tear asunder with
a knife of bitterness, breaking jugular notch and then
turning sideways to split clavicle, before returning
to split the entire system by making a vertical
laceration right through the rib-body,
and I took it all, wondering why,
but time and wearing the roughest fabric of
the outcast, vagabond, and the idiot has taught me
more than a few adages –
the weak prey on the weaker because they lack the
courage to defy those stronger who wounded them,
the strong don’t like the weak standing up to them
because the last thing they want is a dagger
gutting their bellies of insecurities,
the vagabond doesn’t want to care, but society forces
him into this shitstorm,
but trust me, though I’ve suffered,
though I’ve spent six years battling a slow
deterioration of my will and senses,
though a cruel Sovereign places me in
situations of the angriest grief,
I’ll find a way.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)