The literati mafia

A Literati Mafia Collaboration: Part III


Silence is seen as a treacherous doubled-edged sword in my tumultuous mind. I never knew what silence meant in my daily life. Since a little girl, I have watched my family delve into anger and confusion over money and disagreement. I have seen people stab me in the back as I grow older, letting emotion cover every fiber of my being as i’m lost in my own sense of noise. I have seen those that don’t know one true fact about me, talk down about my hopes and dreams. It floods my mind in waves. For when I heard conversation behind my back, I knew it was words in which would cover me in blood and agony.  I was finally cleansed. I forgot about those that used words to hurt each other, or hurt me. I began to find silence was spectacular. I didn’t…

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The literati mafia

A Literati Mafia Collaboration: Part II


there was a time when it would settle, a threadbare mantle covering all the things that buzzed and hummed inside, demanding stillness. but now it is the rasp of snoring children, the score of tires on asphalt, the whisper of birch leaves. it does not cover so much as it permeates from the outside in. penetrating skin and fascia and muscle and bone until there is no more to traverse unless it were to exit. and that it will never do on its own. it is still made to settle, preferably in the supple bowl of my diaphragm, until breathed out by forces beyond control. only then is it reality, when it has been stealthily captured and exhaled in the guise of my own air. only then can i call it silence. and that silence is the enemy of mine enemy, welcome yet conniving…

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The literati mafia

A Literati Mafia Collaboration: Part I


In the end, everything is silent. Maybe that’s why I hated it so much, I’d always liked beginnings so much more. My flat when my parents reached the end of the end of their marriage was like being a character in a silent movie. We might as well have been in black and white. I laid in bed, waiting for them to start shouting, arguing, reading the same old script they’d been reciting every single night for years when they were foolish enough to think their insomniac daughter had fallen asleep. But it never came. There was nothing left to fight for. The war had ended and they’d both lost, claiming my childhood as a casualty. I never thought I’d miss the fighting, but somehow the silence was worse. My own relationships are plagued by all the things left unsaid, silence where there should…

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I see the little boy, insouciant –
on a worn swing, so carefree, full of heart –
not bothered if the ground splits; set apart –
in worlds devoid of fate – nirvana sent –
the football’s in the corner, reverie –

begs, urges him to Neverland, to life –
to youth forever lived, and hope held strong –
like amulets that right all treason, wrong –
then layering trees with gold – autumn rife –
all while he swings, not looking more than he –

should see. Oh, how I long for youth’s glint, glow –
to burn within, an inner clarity –
eyes blazing – deep refining purity –
a turn – beatification: soft, slow –
a coming back that helps me just unsee –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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The literati mafia

I dropped out of college when I was 24
and went straight to the abyss,
I’ve spent six years there,
darker than the belly of Jonah’s whale,

I’ve fought and lost, I’ve fought and lost,
I’ve fought and lost.

A mind fallen into utter despair
like a trunk of rich wood now
riddled with termites,
intrusive thoughts, chaos, hallucinations
like a gaudy show of theatrics,
garish demons dancing to cymbals clanging,
a lurid parade of the macabre,
knives draped in white diaphanous silks,
pots broken, milk spilling,
mood swings – left, right, up, down,
shifting gears trying to get this
locomotive back in control,
unable, unqualified to hold on
to undying hope.

And so, I started a blog last year,
‘Fighting the dying light,’ after
Dylan Thomas’s famous villanelle,
but my lines have left me,
just like my lungs now corroded,
my liver now diseased,
popping a pill, a day…

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My inspiration has left me,
my muse lies like dry bones without a
scrap of meat on them, in the corner of
a plate, decaying, disintegrating, deforming,
there was a time when I wept aloud
the lines I penned, when gripped by
paroxysms of emotion, I’d write thinking
of you, thinking of how sincerely and severely
I loved you, but how you split my heart in two,
pulling asunder ribcage, tearing the red.

Now, I’ve walked so many paths, wearily wandering,
I’ve seen things best unseen, heard things best unheard,
but your ‘faith’ in me kept me, rooted me
in the ground of belief.

But I’ve learned now that belief leaves keloids
which never heal, though they don’t hurt anymore,
reminders of trust in a well-crafted ruse you called love,
a public display of affection and adoration.

I thought I’d find my way back to you,
that villa with the red paper lanterns, you put up,
but I look now and see debris of what we’d hoped
to create.

You scream, ‘It’s your fault! Your lack of trust!’
But I’ve stopped letting you accuse me with your
command over my thoughts, treating everything like
a fucking joke. Somewhere, someplace there’s a
her who’s not a better version of you, but just
not you, and path leading to path will
help me find my way.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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The literati mafia

Am I asking for too much when I say
I want more than this slipshod existence?
Or is that too little?

Affliction and hurt haunts me, breaks me down –
white demons masquerading as bright light –
I fight with battered weapons, a worn gown –
but in the end, I’m lost to the dark night –

Doubt without faith; callousness without love,
and I’m torn asunder, hand in glove
with misery’s curse, with hatred’s dagger,
wistfully wanting more than this wicked stagger,

stepping, stumbling, slipping,
falling, failing, fading,
never knowing, never reaching.

Show me more, give me unrestrained love –
Teach me more, ask me, ‘why, when and how?’
Give me more, a beautiful redemption –
Love me more; more than base, low, sensation –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You’ll find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting the dying light

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