Gaia once ruled here, using her aesthetic hand to paint mesmerizing forests into existence, inhabited by wood nymphs, fierce creatures, and ethereal songbirds who ushered in the morning with their sweet songs, but Industry usurped Gaia; slaughtering her using his strongmen, and brought in the age of nihilism, making his seers say, ‘God is dead, and meaning lies in a casket, six feet under.’

Then nihilism evolved into dadaistic postmodernism, and now, everything seems absurd like a man holding his decapitated head on a platter and somehow still breathing, like a marionette making the puppeteer dance, like a bald Samson crushing Philistines without a jaw-bone, like the scrolls of Revelation opened, only to bring humanity peace and prosperity, like Van Gogh stitching his ear back together under a starry night, like Sartre accepting the Nobel Prize, like atonal, avant-garde jazz giving you a soothing melody, like cigarette ash floating up, defying the laws of gravity.


I see you Industry, and I hate what you’ve done,
the gnarled oak lies broken facing the askew brownstone,
the smog wounds eyes with flick-knives of causticity,
the roads gleam with rage under the Sun,
bones break, and men lie with chopped off cocks
because of your bedfellow Banality and his brother Brutality.


cyanide & Chernobyl, sexting & piss stained matted grass, whoredom & boredom & Sodom, Netflix & chill in apartments with frill, gaudy facades & showy plastic roses, grimy sidewalks & spittle, skyscrapers & suicide, iPads & non-existent attention spans, guns & children robbed of innocence, stony hills & supermarkets, nightlife & decaying fruit, violence & no prayers, iron & rust, bark & ash, physical, emotional & spiritual death.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For Real Toads’ 

16 responses

  1. This is a most extraordinary and authentic piece of writing. I feel both moved and edified by your perceptive descriptions, and three part approach to the ekphrasis.

    • Thank you so much. I’m new to photo prompts and ekphrasis. I usually pen something down and then look for a picture that’ll augment the expression. But I’m really glad for these opportunities and I’m glad you liked the piece. I’m humbled by your kind words.

  2. There’s a certain temporality to the sections, three ages of despair, leading from dada to grunge to the digitally disrupted maelstrom, which you articulate so finely. We have been falling a long while; it is important to know this, especially since time has vanished.

    • Thank you so much Brendan. I like your analysis of the piece. What comes after the digitally disrupted maelstrom is probably a post-apocalyptic regression because of war or a post-apocalyptic progression where we lose our identity completely because of too much technology. That’s my take at least.

    • Thank you very much. From what I’ve gathered modernism is lamenting the loss of truth using an askew approach and postmodernism is saying there is no truth or that there are multiple truths. Post-squared modernism to me, might be a combination of the two or post-attenuated modernism with a hint of Dadaism. This piece might just be that! I enjoyed reading your comment!

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