Life is one big lament – Mia Pharaoh 

When I was younger, my father raised his arms like Moses determining the inner and outer war between putting food on the table and emotionally exhausting me.

When his left hand came down, he’d use a right hook, and when his right grew weary, he’d use a left hook. When both did, he’d focus on the meal in front of us.

His features lupine, his sneer sinister, his devilish eyes eying me like a demon of a coarse wood like the voice of an aged singer past her prime, croaking the syllables, desperately trying to coax the deceiving crowd.

Now, old and abstinent from the boiling red liquor of rage, he sits in his chair and apologizes as thoughts and thoughts of mistakes after mistakes stumble and then tumble down a stairwell of consciousness causing turbulence, a head throb.

When I was younger, my mother played the classical piano to escape just like I fell into an abstract plethora of dreams, caught in the neon, ever drifting as a Sonata caressed my ears.

Her features melancholic, her browbeaten mind jaded, gesturing to determinism to overthrow tyrannical free will like a beggar in rags, expressionless with his palm stretched out, not expecting the careful charlatan to toss him a dime.

Now, old and robbed of life, greying, she draws blue fractals, finally exposing a suppressed depth unnoticed and sliding into still oblivion, her past racing towards her, the future a blur and she, standing still by a sign that still says, Faith even if nothing comes of it, although it’s corroding and losing its charm.

Now that I’m older and the veil of innocence split after the crucifixion of my integrity, I’m (de)resurrected in this industrial shanty town, smoking my cigarette, sitting on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee, writing everything antithetical to a Davidian Psalm.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You’ve taught me much in little time with grace –
On holding onto my virtue and probity
You’ve looked at me with honest eye and face
You’ve helped peer into the depths of decency

You’re helping reconstruct this broken inn
And as piece succeeds piece, brick, brick, I know, I know
That life’s heart doesn’t revolve around lose or win
The window’s now in place and nothing to show

Except a slender fireplace of contentment,
A table of endurance – your kind warmth;
I’ve spent so many years in red resentment
But looking yonder now – to the blue north

I hope to rest in your light arms anew
Because these days ache with my love for you.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

We founded this place on the scraps of truth we foraged for and found. Now, the detritus is present everywhere and a shrill metallic voice shrieking, ‘Death to freedom of speech,’ echoes and sadly resonates with every wannabe postmodern zombie, punching a badly written, unpunctuated bizarre love WhatsApp message to his girlfriend, who’ll dump him in a year’s time to fulfil her parent’s choice of an arranged marriage.

When will we learn?
When will we undress dogmatic tradition and bathe in the non-conformity of the blue, unconditional moonlight?
When will we hug true hedonistic liberty and not pretend with an ostentatious sensuality that parades itself to an audience watching the computer screen with bloodshot eyes, the red veins throbbing, waiting for a red heart or some other emoticon – a hopeless thirst for cyber validation?

The radio’s static with a grating, aggressive buzz like the sound of myriad bees paying homage to the Creator but we’ve grown complacent with our scrappy facades and fear permeates through each iota of our being when we think of standing up and starting a revolution, turning blood in the veins a sickening yellow and making eyes dart to and fro – ever restless, never determined, driven, decided.

I feel forsaken and abandoned here –
In this decrepit place of angst and rage
When younger, I did dream of neon skies
And all I see now wants me ever near
A foreign graced soft land where I’ll rest and age
A world far from disorder and cool lies.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia 

I left this neo-cosmopolitan city of both old districts of open sewers, the sound of carpentry – nails driven into furniture – and the poor struggling to get by, squatting in cordoned off land reserved for 27 storied apartment complexes with clubhouses with saunas and squash courts and people smoking imported Pall Malls in the parking lots of super malls where they frequent their ‘favorite’ pub for a perfect status photograph.

I walked away from the dichotomy between a woman pushing her father in a wheelchair begging and nefarious, moneyed college students with political affiliations smashing the glass doors of five-star hotels and then getting the press to shut up.

I left because I met you.
I left because I love you.
I left this country because I deeply, devoutly care for you.

I remember what I once deemed a pipe-dream becoming an actuality when I saw you face to face for the first time when I got off the airplane and walked into the first world. You were smiling, holding that quirky sign. You always had this idiosyncratic, oddball sense of humor.

Years have passed, pain we’ve seen
Hope we’ve found, strength has been
A factor that still interprets us
No day is a chore, a hurtful fuss

Because I met, love and deeply, devoutly care for you.
Because I would religiously, rigidly, rightly sacrifice rending will for you.
Because you’re worth value irredeemable with a heart not innately insouciant

Unlike every other selfish sojourner trampling on living bodies to get to the heart of the temple – a stampede, a maddening rush.
Unlike every road rage filled maniac clipping bikes and smashing into the little cars with a vengeful truck.

I left because I met you.
I left because I love you.
I left my country because I deeply, devoutly care for you.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

I write poetry for Jane as if she’s there, sitting, playing Ragtime on the old dusty, slightly untuned piano in the next room though she left me and isn’t here and will never be.

I don’t blame her for leaving this archetypal caricature of a blend of Bukowski and Layne Staley – rum in the mornings and a downer three times a day, never keeping a job and unable to bridge the dichotomy between getting a life and living for art.

Jane, blue-eyed, brunette, petite, intelligent and well-spoken with an uncanny knack for saying the right things at the right time.

Jane, expressive, articulate with a mind capable of both stern reasoning and metaphor, assonance and alliteration – her poetry both high-voltage expressionism and thought-provoking, embodying both her core and her depth of consciousness, exposing her vulnerability and shielding her at the same time.

Jane, a psalm for the broken and a lament for the distraught with both a King Davidian outpour of the heart ending in ethereal praise and Elijah’s rebuke – a say what you need to say, John Mayer lyricism.

I write poetry for Jane because she’s better than lovers turned into stalkers, robbing my mind’s beggar’s bowl of the smallest coins of peace, chasing me like street dogs on these dirty, squalid Indian streets with puddles of yesterday’s rain and piss, pseudonymously haunting me with their counterfeit identities making my sixth sense tingle and then spiral into paranoia.

I write poetry for Jane and if she asked me to stop, I will because true love lets go and I’ll always love her until the day my lines breathe my last.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

I’m walking straight to the abyss on a road of scintillating Asphalt like peeled off skin, the nude red tendon exposed.

The road isn’t without its share of cavities like small cigarette wounds and craters like gangrenous putrefactions with ichor.

Briars and thorn bushes surround the road on both sides smelling of human piss and animal discharge. Kopi Luwak anyone?

The azure skies of redemption soon close in on themselves and the spotty crescent peaks like Daniel’s little horn – The Antichrist.

The seals break, the trumpets blare, and the Lamb – the Tiger doses me with bowls and bowls of wrath and judgment.

Locusts with human faces and sharp teeth that Abaddon releases bite into my flesh and though I pray, ‘Forgive me or at least let me die!’ there is no reprieve.

So, I endure, the ground shaking, the road breaking and my bones crushing, metatarsus splintering, an Alien foot, or a claw.

I limp, weary and jaded, knowing there is no god for sorrow, just one for sin which I’m unable to repent of because the guard locked the doors of my ‘own iron prison’ and I remember the progressing Pilgrim asking why.

Somewhere, someplace in the foulness of Babylonian hedonism, a man, a cyborg that blasphemes and a white-robed Satan’s prophet declare themselves gods for sorrow. But I don’t wear their mark or the seal of the Sovereign. Who am I? Trapped between darkness and light. A dichotomy between hate and love exists within. I’m split, having a rough stony eye that judges and objurgates and a soft brown irised one that tries reaching out and loving and caring for the people who matter.

The seventh stage of the abyss is reserved just for me – below Judas; the fire doesn’t quench, and the worm gnaws while the angels impale the traitorous expressionists and Ginsbergian ignus all in the omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of ‘Justice’.

The trumpet blares again, and I fall face first, my two front teeth chipped off. I yank the remaining part out with a nutcracker, and the red gush twistedly invigorates me. ‘I must prepare,’ I say to myself with a lopsided grin, the words a mush of syllables.

I crawl, the red spittle coating the road – the smog a grainy eye gouge – searching for half-smoked cigarettes. I find one and struggle with the matches before finally lighting it. I inhale, the filter bloody. ‘Well I’m still fucking here,’ I say to myself and exhale and crawl into a fetal position.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Go on then, march to the rhythm of the persecuted – howling, wailing, enduring, persevering. Prisons & concentration camps; imagined post-rapture AntiChrists & Babylon the whore; death penalties which are ‘just’ & fire & brimstone, post-apocalyptic perorations.

Washer the condemner, Driscoll the porno-vision new age Messiah, McArthur the indoctrinated drone living in the stone age, Tim Keller the conservative Woody Allen wannabe, Sproul the old dead fart spewing connections to secularism, subtly mentoring the Calvinistic parade with dogmatic vendetta, Piper the hyper-Calvinism on 15 cans of red bull, hate your enemies, come but He’ll reject you, emotionalist, Friel the TV clown, setting up lecterns in colleges & rambling like a crack whore & every other fuck regardless if they’re wearing the Mars Hill tattoo and ripped jeans, smoking ganja or if they’re wearing suits with trophy wives & nine children. All the same, all the fucking same.

Go on then, march to the rhythm of the ‘elect’ and then post a rant saying God isn’t partial. Use that word a thousand times in a thousand different contexts to try to justify the same thing a thousand times.

Go on then, march to the rhythm of the martyrs & still land in hell with the other Calvinists & Coptic Christians burning like that heartless, machismo bastard Conway puts it.

Go on then, defend your faith & God. But let me ask you this: if God is absolute & creation finite then there exists a metaphysical evil which only Sovereign grace bridges. So why not give grace to everyone? Why cause Lucifer’s fall by taking away his grace, so the poor sod had no other direction but to try to become his own absolute good & then punish him for that? Why cause Adam’s fall by doing the same, so the poor bugger thinks, I shall be like the gods & then condemn an entire race?

Genocides & children put to the sword,
blood & wrath,
disease & decay,
the cross & the hate.

Go on then, raise me up for your wrath but until the end I’ll say, you don’t deserve to be God.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published on The Literati Mafia