This is an image of a man in a train pondering. I've used it because it embodies meaning and regret.

As I lie dying, a lament rises from my bones,
shriveling skin, and wafting through the air;
it turns all the blue mountains, I so gloriously depicted
in my poetry, a shade of doleful crimson,
it chokes the lush grass I pictured, and makes me
see dying brambles and hawthorns,
it turns the soothing mist into yellow smog,
it turns the little beige nightingale into a monstrous hawk
with blood-soaked talons and the fiercest eyes.

Was living for art worth anything? I ask myself
Was chasing knowledge and thirsting for her
like a beggar yearns for coins worth it?
Were jealousy, regret, and guilt the right prices to pay?

In the end, every book that man writes lies buried
without an epitaph,
each passion he knows amounts to nothing,
each song he sings has no meaning,
every instrument he fashions lies broken
and meaningless.

Why then, do we strive, when what we strive for is unattainable?
Why then, do we hope, when hope is out of sight?
Why then, do we yearn, when yearning never satiates?

I look with eyes that are slowly shutting
and I hold my grief tight because
it’s the only thing that’s tangible.

The frogs croaking in the twilight mean nothing,
the orange light that illuminates my lonely bed does nothing to me,
the dim bulb that sputters knows nothing,
the bed creaks, and the mosquitoes bite, and nostalgia
slowly meets oblivion.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

25 Replies to “Oblivion”

    1. I’ll take that bottle of oblivion. As far the ecclesiastical tone is concerned, well Solomon and Psalm 88 are great inspirations for the nihilistic (I’ll use that term though I hate it) poet. Isn’t a lot of his wisdom lost though?

      1. The wisdom of the ancients, and this age
        of mass consumption, don’t gel too well.
        But when it comes to that western sense
        of entitlement, what the hell.
        Yet the God of Salvation is always near,
        and inclined to lend an ear.

      2. I’m curious David. What exactly is your spiritual stance? There are times when I read you and I’m certain that you’re satirising belief, but then there are times when you seem drawn to it! Having said that, I must ask myself this question!

      3. I’m allergic to religion, Nitin.
        Strange but true. I’m yet to figure out
        if it’s physical, psychological, or spiritual
        . . . or a combination of all the above.
        But one fine day, truth hit me right between
        the eyes. Much like many a truth seeker,
        I had checked out what was on offer at
        the buffet bistro of the spiritual. All I can
        now say is that himself Jesus is my
        spirituality A simple key, maybe, to a whole manifold metaverse of celestial hyperreality.

      4. It’s a combination of all the above. As far as checking out the spiritual buffet is concerned, these days the main course is all about “energy” (whatever that means) As far as Christ is concerned, the Biblical Christ is very different from the Christ that most people (including Christians) profess to know.

      5. Yes, humans do tend to reduce things
        down to slogans, scare campaigns,
        rules, regulations, and prejudices tribal
        (being an alien, I’m not responsible 👽).
        But my observation is that this Jesus, by
        example, is the best one to follow 😎

      6. Where are you from by the way? A utopian planet with no depravity and fascism? Do you bleed blue? Just curious, considering that someone put forward a theory that lizard people live among us. I could also cite the meta human hypothesis but you’d get bored.

      7. Not Utopian … More Antipodean.
        Cold blooded is cool when basking under
        a choice of three suns. The biggest is a
        Blue Giant, so a bit of sun suits my complexion.

      8. You must miss the luminous sky. The brilliance and the hades like climate. Do you glow where you’re from? Here we have pasty-faced rednecks who only think they do while they fly the confederate flag.

      9. We, of Planet Tyrannus Titania who of
        which you speak. But we quite like that
        Bluegrass music they transmit, and are
        learning to boot scoot. Which in itself
        is a major feat, as we don’t have any feet.

      10. You Titanians are obviously very advanced. I mean you’re probably on Soma and visualising Slither Rock. Does bluegrass make you touch with your feral ancestors while you attempt to boot scoot?

      11. Unlike you terrestrials, we are able to leave
        our scale covered somas behind when we
        sail off into the mystical world of country and western music. What you life forms
        regard as down to earth, we find to be rather
        esoteric 👽🕶️
        And yes, we are very advanced in sunscreen
        technology … having three suns.

      12. Leaving behind scale covered Soma and bluegrass that sounds like avant-garde jazz. But tell me the real reason you’re here. Is it a spiritual journey or is it to put L’Oréal out of business?!

      13. Hostile, Slither Rock listening snake men/women who feed on antagonism. There must be a black hole next to the bright blue sun!

      14. Leading to a white hole, according to your
        High Priest deceased, Stephen Hawking.
        Where everything is goodness and light.
        We are not too sure. Not that interested
        in finding out. We like it fine just here.

      15. Why wouldn’t you be? The cosmetic industry is booming and materialism gives you everything including spiritual journeys to a farm in the Deep South where a hillbilly plays his bluegrass, slaughters his pig Murphy, shits in a toilet on his porch before sleeping and then waking up to find a crop circle!

      16. On a serious note, do you mind if I wrote a post about David the extraterrestrial. It’ll be inspired by this conversation! I can change the name to D or if you reveal your real name I can use that. You can write one too. Or hell, we could collaborate if you’d like that. I think this was easily the best conversation I’ve had here and it has all the ingredients to make a fantastic, absurdly humorous, postmodern post.

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