Hold me fast Lord

This is an image of the galaxy. i chose this because I want the God who holds the universe to hold me though I lack faith.

I have these urges to say goodbye to it all,
My self-indulgent life and thespianism,
To wander from the mountebanks’ unclean parade
Of gaudy brouhaha and clickbait melodrama,
I have these urges to lay down my pen, tear page
And never come back to mooching off my misery
To fashion lines that stab more than they ever saved,
I have these urges to fight the fight and run the race
To soldier on for Christ until his grace is sight,
But do I really have grace or was I hoodwinked
By a deceitful heart that slyly feigned conversion?
I markedly recall the day I wept with grief,
And quoting Lyte, said, ‘Jesus, I my cross have taken,’
I cried then for the sinner I was and met mercy
At Calvary where lives of men were bought at a cost,
A priceless, bloody, brutal, terrifying cost,
I then knew love, a love so deep and unfathomable,
But thinking back I wonder why it faded away,
And today I’m seven times the son of hell I once was,
My sin besieges me and a dark cage holds me,
‘I once professed and even journeyed,’ I say flatly
And echo the pilgrim who regressed so thoroughly,
But perhaps this is all God’s mysterious intent –
A bitter bud now but a flower sweet one day
Like Cowper put it, or like Solomon says, weary
From hedonism and chases of the flesh –
Who can interpret God? He does what he wishes to. But
Regardless of how my story plays out; heaven or hell,
I have these urges to say goodbye to it all
And if you’ll have me, I’ll gladly pick that cross again,
And though it’ll tear me asunder to lose family,
And watch friends become foes, good ignoble, love hard hate,
I’ll carry on as you hold me fast through fear and pain.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Don’t cry for me this December

This is an image of sunlight pouring through a bleak forest and it captures the essence of the poem I've written which is both pessimistic and optimistic

Frank Zappa’s Watermelon in Easter Hay plays softly
As I’m amid fecund vegetation, lush hills;
The songs I’ve written weep with these distorted times
When all around me there is growth and newness and crisp air,
But tears cascade down rough contours and broken edges
My guilt has no bounds; it wells up like a spring of death,
Forever the tortured artist, is there no respite?
The bells of the chapel chime, they’re most uninviting
Through wind and cold and drizzle they cut, beseech, entreat,
But only like a razor slowly splitting the ear
Qui n’avance pas, recule –
This truth I know now in all its fiery vengeance,
I’ve squandered my existence Holy Father, forgive me.
The motel room I’m in is dull and rusty
With stubbed cigarette ends and dirt, and blood-stained sheets,
The cobwebbed ceiling heralds an aubade so dirgy
And in the choking light of the dying bulb, I see
A fly that flits around the dregs of tea in a cup
So pockmarked with the stains of time and brutal age,
The seven-branched old candelabra is a witness
To faith archaic and withered like a gnarled, unclean oak,
The dust beneath the bed induces a bronchial wheeze
And hacking up phlegm so green, I cough and wheeze so fiercely.

‘Is there nothing I can do anymore?’ I ask myself
‘Is my life now reduced to hackneyed statements and pessimistic clichés?’
‘Am I just carrion to be fed on by demons and vultures?’ I ask melodramatically.

And so, I pick up that old guitar I named Lucille
In honor of the late, great B.B.King,
I pour some aging brandy and pop that happy pill
And clear my drying throat and spit before I sing

I think of crime and punishment, the life to come,
I think of death and Hades, the age that’ll be,
I think of misfits and women, the brawls, the drink, the bum,
I think of all the things to still do and thankfully see.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

A sonnet by two musicians trapped underwater

This is a picture of an underwater wreck. I chose this image because it's surreal, haunting and captures the sense of confinement present in my sonnet.

As we lie in cold aquamarine perdition
with shoals of fish like daggers, glinting by,
as whispers from the ghouls of wrecked ships spy
on our unhealthy shrieks – a trite rendition –

of what was once a soaring orchestration
we wrote with strength, in rush and poetic high
while women held us, softly with a sigh
and satiated our thirst and addiction –

we dream of more than banal, bluish existence,
of what it was to see the sparkling stars,
of running down slopes in the mountain air,
of leaping to grab life with sheer persistence,
of more than barnacle strewn, soundless bars,
of more than this acutely harrowing lair.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Release me

Release me from the grip of violence and sorrow,
they’ve trapped me in a nutshell –
the toxic hardened brown enclosing me,
layers and layers of nuanced acrimony containing me.
I flail and fail, I fail and flail, I flail, fail and flayed by fate
can’t escape, I’m pecking on my soul’s depravity,
there’s nothing left except a darkened kernel with
wooly lesions embodying the rottenness of all the times
I brawled with my father, overpowering him and unleashing
like a bruised, brainless pugilist who uses unmitigated aggression
never caring about a counter punch, the time I
almost OD’d on twenty Valiums and slapped my mother
when she tried stopping me from ending this meaningless
monstrosity we call something clichéd like ‘moving forward,’
all the times I’ve cut myself within with the sharpest edges
regardless of if addiction, self-ostracism, hate or drawing
from poisonous memory and loathing the world and myself
is the blade I’ve used; the lights in this room flicker and
the floorboards creak, the pain of falling, fading, failing,
flailing feels like the Biblical gnaw and burn, the everlasting,
eternal fire which these lines will meet one day,
thrashing and threshing with me, but maybe you I’ve never met
can release me, breathe love into me and look into my bloodshot eyes
and caress me with the graze of redemption.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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I think I’m too daft to comprehend e.e.cummings’s
style of writing, lines projecting out like horizontal
stalagmites, spaces, words meshed together
like they’re thrown in the blender, an i outside
the parenthesis probably symbolizing a loneliness
and an I within probably embodying wholeness
with another. Experimental fiction was never my
forte, and maybe that’s because fate’s experimented
with me a little too much, using me like its lab rat –
made to run a wheel sometimes, injected with the
black ichor of despair sometimes, caged sometimes,
I could go on and on, but this isn’t about e.e.cummings
or me or even poetry; it’s in its truest form, a piece
written using stream of consciousness about the
paradox between free-will and determinism. If there’s
absolute freedom of choice, then God is indeed dead
and further yet man is God, if there is no freedom
of choice then you’re a puppet or worse yet a muppet,
a smelly sock regardless of what your branding is
(Nike, Adidas or Reebok) and finally, if there’s both then
let’s rejoice! You bring the whiskey and I
the cigarettes and we’ll sing of the mysteries of the universe
and the experiments we play when we choose or the experiments
played on us when we don’t and once we’re done we can
weep, feeling like lonely i’s meshed together in this spiderweb
of chaos (yes, I’ve noted that the preceding
metaphor is an oxymoron)
and finally, we can hug it out, fully closing
the spaces between us
and achieving a fucking transcendent We or I. Fuck me!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Bleak and Bleaker Still

I threw away my life for art and pleasure,
I watched as my career just flitted by
And ages later, now, I heave a sigh
Of time gone and the loss of every treasure.

I wish she loved me fiercely still
But Love’s caress, graze, we did toss;
A drizzle coats the windowsill
Embodying an earnest loss.

I’m an apostate, driven far from grace,
The woods are bleak, the mountains glacial and cold,
There’s nothing left for me to do or die for,
This wingless eagle plummets and doesn’t reach, soar,
I’ve lost all reason, every need to be bold,
I’m so far gone, why even save this face?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Punk Rock Sonnet

I’m leaving…leaving this favela
These homes will stay; these streets will rot
I’m finding…finding more than gala
And ostentatious, showy nought

Keep your clicks and perfect sunsets
Keep your clichéd fantasies
Trap the naïve in false hope (nets)
You’ll forever hug lies (fancies)

I have no use for dear society
I have no use for pens and ink
I’m done with keeping my propriety
So, let me in abysses sink

I’m leaving this coming week to mists
And peaks and to shred all civil cysts.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)