This is a picture of a man smoking. The image represents a hedonistic attitude towards life which is one of the central themes my poem revolves around.

I had one too many yesterday, popped pills like I was
scattering dimes on the dinner table, laying them bare,
I smoked a pack of Marlboro Red like I usually do,
flicking the half-smoked cigarettes into the rotten,
weed-strewn patch of land that haunts the left side
of my cracked wallpaper, slightly jaded house.

I stood on a balcony that’s barely holding up like
an oxygenated man needing tubes and needles,
I watched the honeydew sunset with dilated
pupils, drifting in and out of a lazy reverie –
a blurred door in the distance with misty vines
creeping over it, the cobbled path like fish scales,
coalescing now and then. I was half-running, half-stumbling,
but without fear, I tried
getting to the door but suddenly woke up
only to find myself beginning again.

I stood in my thrift store shirt
and track pants, unwashed, unclean
and unattended to. I guess there’s a sense
of freedom in a slightly reckless abandonment
or a partial hedonism.

I didn’t need you at that moment and
I don’t need you now.
I didn’t love you at that moment and
I don’t love you now.
I didn’t feel you at that moment and
I don’t feel you now.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

4 responses

  1. Your words are always so alive to me, like your images are so accessible and easy for me to conjure, I see your stories unfold so clearly in my head as if I were watching a play. You are so damn talented, Nitin! xx

    • Thank you so much! I try my best. There are times when my writing goes all over the place and I have to sit and edit and edit some more! But it’s part of the process. I started all those years ago writing obscure stuff and then love poems lacking depth, before finally drawing from experience (mostly bad) and finding my voice. You inspire me so much. I would love to write with you. If collaboration is something you do. If not, it’s cool. As long as you write, I’m happy. I showed my mother one of your pieces the other day and she wept. You’re very very good at expressing yourself.

    • Thank you. I’m glad you liked the descriptive parts and the ending. I tried giving this poem a raw, grungy feel as the title indicates. I hope I succeeded.

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