The skag-addicted bunny

This is an image of two bunnies with eerie grins on their faces. I've used it to augment my piece which is about an anthropomorphic drug addicted bunny suffering from withdrawal.

The skag-addicted bunny couldn’t find his fix
And Snowflake (his dealer) wasn’t working the usual spot,
He certainly didn’t want withdrawal’s ticks
And so, he rummaged through his damnable rot

He sniffed each corner with deeply addled brains
And ruffled clothing; looked beneath his cot,
But found nothing that would soothe his veins
The place was only littered with turd and snot

Hours later, frantic and in deep despair,
He tore at the grass in the neighbor’s empty plot,
He screamed at God, said, ‘Do you bloody dare!’
Cried, ‘You took everything, even the pot!’

‘I hate you! I hate you!’ The bunny caterwauled,
‘Ah need some skag awright!’ He yelled in Scots
And plucked his hair until he was slightly bald,
Until he lay writhing, seeing colored spots.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)


Spring lost its luster
I stare at forlorn Autumn
My life ebbs away

I don’t know when I changed for the worse. Maybe it happened when paranoia gripped me, or when I tussled with fits of rage and madness. But now, there’s a beast within me, threatening to break rib-cage and tear flesh and destroy when provoked. I try suppressing him; I try bottling the raw pain like flayed skin, but I never succeed. He eventually consumes me and everybody around him, and then the guilt of hurting the people who love me the most breaks me like that picture of Spurgeon smoking a cigar broke him and forced repentance (or so they say).

I then resort to self-medicating and drinking and chain-smoking. A false euphoria envelops me as the antihistamines hit, the alcohol goes to my head, and nicotine rushes to my brain like soldiers rushing on a battlefield. But soon, that touch from a false god loses its potency and defeated, deranged, and damaged; I look at the wall opposite me and spend hours practicing a twisted anti-mindfulness.

Then comes the craving for more codeine or antispasmodics. I beg mother for money; I say, ‘Just this one time Mom. I promise I’ll never ask you again.’ But we both know that this redundant ruse, this scene on repeat is just a way for me to always get what I want. Nowadays, this charade leads to confrontation, which eventually unleashes the beast within. A vicious cycle has me trapped; I know I’ve lost sight of Spring and Autumn’s decay personifies me, but I refuse to change because it demands excruciating effort, and so I stay as the crimson refuse slowly envelopes me and my blood, spittle, and shit rupture even a semblance of beauty.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For dVerse 

The brother-in-law

What about him? I lived a normal life,
studying, paying the bills, and writing
sonnets about roses and transcendentalism,
but I remember him, years ago, clinks,
swigs and swooshes, an upper middle
class zero, despite the potential to be
an anti-hero, he knew too much, but saw
too little, under some sickening trance
distorting reason and intelligence,
and when the ex-wife said she
couldn’t handle it anymore, whirlwinds
of bitterness swept him away, more clinks
swigs and swooshes, and then he came home
and looked in the mirror, and I guess that
clichéd stuff works sometimes, saw pouches
under his eyes, a beard that isn’t fashionable,
and realized that he had willingly forgotten
to remember the things that matter,
and so, he cut the long-matted hair,
trimmed the beard, and somehow
used another whirlwind to
fight against the grain, how? I don’t know,
perhaps he wrote about it while he slowly
did it, or things clicked, anyway he met sister
who I never understood, and married her,
I guess they love each other in some
odd, unhealthy way, he doesn’t drink
anymore, he gives me a warm handshake,
looks me in the eye,
but walks with eyes cast down, and
when Timmy and Tommy, and Billy see him,
they don’t care anymore, “He’s drinking alone,
and that’s fine by us!” They say, and when the
old man who lives next door, and loves greeting,
loving and hugging everybody else around watches,
he directs his eyes away and says, “Ha! Hypocrite!”
But I’m learning things when he looks me in the
eye, I’ve realized that beneath something lifeless,
something else lies, I’ve never quite understood it,
it’s not protein shake grit, the guy is no longer 22!
But it’s some uncanny instinct, an absence of life making
him do things, but then again, what do I know,
and I’m not going to pry, like I said, I just write
sonnets about thorns, I mean roses, damn it!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)


Tell me, why now? Have those comic-strip dreams turned into
grainy monochrome? Does the Black Dahlia look like an assortment
of blood-stained shanks? I saw the message, and the call, but I didn’t
answer, and I have my reasons. Did you really think that you could
hide your scars, wearing that white top and black pencil skirt?
Did you really think that you could pray a rosary of pills and
still meet mercy at a high paying job? I can call you now, and tell you
things will be okay, but I won’t be them, I don’t know it all
and never will, but I’ve learned that fact
and interpretation meet at one place: that grey, stony, bathroom
floor you lie on today, trying to drag yourself to the shower, and
you can bitch about it, like I did,
but go on, post a confessional on Facebook, and they’ll
say, beautiful, before they realize that you’re digging through
bone and feeding off your marrow, and then you’ll
disappear from those pictures, taken in lounge bars,
where 20-year-olds puke as much as those paunched men in
ramshackle watering holes, you’ll just set yourself on fire
and scream using metaphor, you’ll become like that artist
we once listened to: a reed, giving it his all during that
acoustic performance, before fate cut his strings,
and he couldn’t get out of that very nutshell he sang
about, but there is another path, and maybe I want you
to suffer, not to suffer and die slowly, but to suffer as
you tear those books written by
that perverted, old, drunk scoundrel
who got away with too much, and flush them down a toilet
which epitomizes his life, to suffer as you feel the sting when
you smoke and no longer exhale, but retch, and then shiver
as you fight craving, to suffer as your house is tilted
and you get the courage to dump the man you’re with now,
to suffer as you stop attending that cult,
which uses jargon and passive violence to break people and
manipulate them, to suffer as you break ties with your family
because sometimes the absence of closure is the way out,
to suffer as you dissociate yourself from the mess you’ve become,
somehow defying the laws of your physics, pinpointing
where those electrons of self-destruction lie, and yes, you need
to get to the micro-level if you want to move on, and it doesn’t
happen in day or in a few months, and you may not even win,
because finitude only envisions a plethora of color
through foolishly introspecting, but I’m not for paupers
becoming kings because of circumstance, I think I’ll
take people throwing it all away, and then getting it back
(or at least trying), and I guess we’ll both agree that I’m
fucking twisted that way.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

What I’ve become

My father wasn’t a drunk, but I am. He expected a ‘Heil Hitler,’
after each bruise, choke or slap, but I don’t want veneration,
praise or worship. Sure, I’m grandiose at times, making this
hard, granite floor a lush, spirited Eden, before
the cold suddenly seeps in, chilling flesh and bone. I drink
to feel, to numb the pain within, to retreat into an inner
smoky bar where Brad Mehldau plays and I’m just
absorbed by Nirvana or The Beatles played differently. Jazz stayed with me,
perhaps before I even discovered it – the acquired taste of
a kaleidoscope of emotion and a world of odd-time swirls and
notes arranged out of sequence. I drink to try to forget, to
go back, not to sickening hands or words hurled, but to worlds
created both out of Eros and Thanatos, out of ashes and baptisms,
out of blood and communion, out of desire and despondency,
and I guess that’s my inner tortured child who’ll never find a way out,
but who’ll still give you words that you can discard or cherish.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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