Pensive

You and I walk past brownstones, the color of rust, the melancholic artificiality endowing us with Plathian muses, making us wish for something more than facades and magniloquent odes lacking the depth and authenticity that only despair forges in the fires of harrowing experiences using a hammer possessed by death-spirits.

You and I walk beneath amber sunsets on potholed roads where buskers cut their fingers on sad but sharp violin strings, and the music’s an ode to obscurity. The call to oblivion is so strong then, and the waspish ache within makes us rage at tyrannical gods and hate humanity like anti-Bodhisattvas. But then a numbing that even an anti-psychotic can’t provide coats our hearts like the paper leaves of Autumn cover the mossy ground, and yes, there’s beauty in not feeling anything sometimes.

You and I perceive existential angst in ways that leave us devoured by madness, but also empathetic, and it’s this dichotomy within us that makes us unique and sets us apart from the half-baked crowd. It’s a roaring silence and a darkened light, but these hackneyed oxymorons don’t really give it justice. It’s the Big Bang of the all the lines we write, a sudden jolt of the consciousness leading to streams and streams of macabre yet beautiful thoughts like black rivulets under the gentle glow of a crescent moon.

You and I know tragedy intimately like Gnostics directly communicating with their gods through mystical experiences. But, this wealth of pain has taught us, even though it severed us from the magnetic throng – ostentatiously attracted to or bitterly repulsed by one another. We’re freaks and vagabonds, misfits and pilgrims with causes augmented by throes.

You and I connect in ways that supersede the yes, no, and okay though the weight we carry differs not in intensity, but in form. We grasp the deeper semantic that forms the undercurrent of good conversation, and we let it carry us to the shores of honesty, which is why we can pause talk today and restore it three weeks from now with the same ardor, and I’d like to believe that’s something precious.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For Mia

Real Toads’

Freak

You said, ‘I’m glad I let you go, and dissolved our friendship,’ but what’s strange is that you’re the one stalking me; reading my posts and injecting yourself between my lines, thinking I write about you. The earth doesn’t spin on its axis for your post-millennial theatrics, and the stars don’t glint like fireflies in the sky for your drama. I put you out of my system a long time ago, but you creep up now and then like a lizard on a wall, showing your horrendous face and I can’t help but be mad. I’m giving you too much attention by writing this, but it’s better to cough up acidic bile using words than soaking yourself – like a sponge – in the green ditch-water of bitterness. You’re an archetypal narcissist hiding behind distorted feminism, false Me Too banners  and blame games. You cannot humble yourself and apologize for the hurt you’ve caused, but whine and bitch when you’re hurt, pointing at everything in your vicinity, saying, ‘He’s responsible; she’s responsible; they’re responsible.’ Now I’m a fault-ridden man who has made his share of mistakes and paid dearly for them, and though my attempts to get my shit together crumbles to shattered idealism, I’ll admit that I’m responsible for throwing my life away.

It’s strange that you contact me after telling me that you’re doing everything in your power to avoid me, and that you don’t want me around. So, I wisely did the right thing then and fucked off. Now, you’re in some deep pit, and you want my hand pulling you out of it, but I’m sorry, you closed that chapter a long time ago. I hate giving people advise, but please don’t use people after you’ve hurt them. It’s selfish and reckless, just like you cutting yourself and not seeking professional help for your depression is. You’re sadly all about me, myself and I with a universe of self-pity revolving around that core, and maybe you’ll have an epiphany or maybe not, but regardless of where you end up or what you do, push me out of that head of yours and leave me the fuck alone.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Normal

From what I’ve gathered through the grapevine, he’s now a madman with a theological bend; a disenchanted raging lunatic who incessantly posts confessionals on Facebook. His black and white borderline obsession with God crippled him and now emotionally nomadic he clamors for a like just like a beggar harassing some passerby for change, and once one of his statuses gets one he deletes his account, only to return, months later. His statuses are dark and twisted (or so I’ve heard). He’s apparently so far gone that even if God stretched some cherubic arm out to wrench him out of the pit of depravity he’s stuck in, he wouldn’t succeed. It must be those shady pills he was apparently on in college. Antispasmodics and antihistamines. Trust me, that shit screws you up. It baptizes you in some murky river of self-loathing and soon you’ve lost all optimistic shades of consciousness. You become cryptic and self-indulgent; given to introspection about introspection; talking with a slur and eating with a drool. He messaged me yesterday; said, ‘Hey man. I haven’t seen you since school. Let’s meet and catch up.’ Apprehension passed through me like a dagger making its way slowly upwards through the intestines, rib-cage, and throat. Painful fucking fear. It’s only natural, isn’t it? The guy’s bloody Bipolar or something. He might just stab me in a fit of mania. I’ve heard stories of these loons picking up guns and thinking God’s appointed them to kill people. Crazy, deranged shit. So, I did the right thing that any perfectly functioning, normal man would do and didn’t respond. I still wonder how he got my number though. Technology is frightening in this postmodern world. I have these Luddite tendencies. I’m not on Facebook for that very reason. But I wrestle with my need for Instagram. I have a thousand followers there. I just can’t let go of them can I?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

A letter to someone

Hey you,

I just listened to the recording you sent me last Wednesday. I’m sorry it took me so long. As you already know, I’m a tortured, unemployed artist struggling to both find inner peace and make a dime out of these dishonest lines I peddle. Having said that, I think this is the most honest thing I’ve written. Nevertheless, I digress and forgive me because I’m going to digress again. I think I’ll always remember Wednesdays because it’s supposed to be our curry day. Remember? We talked about it when we talked about idealistic togetherness and shared a dream about fame and not fading into obscurity. I wistfully smiled then because you and I both know that such dreams never mature because life’s a bratty adolescent who loves tossing rocks at already devastated people walking knock-kneed on broken pavements; bruising their already haggard selves. So you wrote a piece in dactylic pentameter? I loved your reading of it. I think that little sniff you had made the reading really cute. But not puppy dog cute. An alluring cute. Yes, such a thing exists, and if it doesn’t, I just made it up. Funny how a cold can alter the tone of a person’s voice and make them seem more entrancing than they already are, and trust me you’re really fascinating. You’re the most enigmatic and enchanting woman I’ve known. Wow! I’m glad I got that off my chest. Now I guess I’ll have to prepare for purgatory in the friend zone. I took a really cheesy video of me smoking and posted it on Instagram by the way. I’ve grown an eighties pornstache, and my hair’s all oily. I got a notification saying that you saw it. Man, does social media really plow into your privacy! It’s fucking ridiculous. We’ll soon have the iCommode. The chamber pot that lets you catch up on the latest post-Kardashian gossip with each shit. Moving on, I didn’t have bacon for breakfast today or beef biryani for lunch. I’m trying to lose a few pounds and look good. Anyhow, I wrote this post because I miss talking to you. Text me tonight. Bye.

P.S. Your poem is amazing and surreal. It’s strange, but your poetry reflects you and brings out more of your mysterious core and that’s a win-win for me!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Let me be

When friends forsake, and foes say they’re sweet friends,
I walk the same old dusty corridors,
And having jettisoned grace, there’s no place
Except the same decrepit walls – this cell;
This place of hopelessness and dying grit
And age to age fades into scraps of worth,
So let me be and don’t come near with feigns
And forgeries of trust and love because
This poor defeated place is worn, but still
A window shows you beneath your frontage –
A plague ruined by deceit and icy hate
And I no longer look at great facades
When all they do is hide deceased rubble.
One day I hope the mountains welcome me
And fate to fate flicks burdens, yielding hope
And then the joys of being alone (not lonely)
Rests hurting pasts and fallen presents with
The freedom to breathe, live and simply be.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

When will you learn?

Intemperate old bastard, when will you learn that life isn’t about Aristotelian lectures you claim cannot be read, or Platonic spelunking into absolute realms of absolute forms?

You borrow my lines and deceitfully craft a cento, making it seem like I’m on par with Eliot and the greats, but it’s that I dream more than you ever farmed that irritates, infuriates and grates you.

Self-indulgent old bastard, you mask your jealousy with a Bauta of utilitarianism and try flaunting esoteric wisdom, donning it like a parka – a defense mechanism to tame this young lion. When will you learn? Oh, when will you learn that you’ll never subdue me?

Forty years spent in a rectory wearing a chastity belt, and now you’ll fuck anything at your age, you say. Who asked you to make the choice of not chasing the locomotives, smoking marijuana and living with desire shaping will?

Cryptic old bastard, when will you learn? You thought that obeying God and adhering to some legalistic Papal code is faith and flagellated yourself and literally mortified your flesh. Now look, like Luther shook his head, you do – only it’s too late because of heart conditions and pills for heart conditions.

Life is a simple prayer from the heart because God detests the litany like Charles Spurgeon put it (only differently). Your penance and tithes mean nothing and perhaps you’ll learn at last you arrogant old-bastard that prayers involve kindness, compassion and helping others get a hold of their lives unlike your selfish partner and you who live just for yourselves.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Journal Entry: A fresh start

I planned on taking a long break from writing, but I’ve decided to post sporadically. I will be gone for long or short periods now and then, but I plan on writing when things get too difficult for me to handle. This might be the darkest period of my life because I find myself losing my struggle with Bipolar Disorder and OCD with psychosis. I’m also struggling financially and got cheated out of a lot of money by a company with whom I teamed up to start a project. So first, I’d like to end wars on WordPress. This platform is a creative one that should help nurture artists and help them grow. This isn’t a platform to hold grudges, write explosive rants and hate on people (all of which I’m guilty of too.) Having said that, I’ve been hurt too, and my words reflected my anger. But in darkness there is light. There must be or else we’ll forever find ourselves groping through dim corridors looking for a switch without our glasses on. And I’d like to believe that there’s much more to life than that. During trying times, you find out who your real friends are. The people who’ll stand by you despite your eccentricities and idiosyncrasies. So, I want to start by thanking my dear mother for standing by me through it all. You’ve shown me unconditional love that I didn’t think was humanly possible. You’ve shown me that there’s another kinder, more beautiful side to humanity. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you, Mom. I’ve said and done things I should never have. And I know you’ll read this because you read my work without ever judging me and see the beauty even when I lash out. My goal in life is to make you proud by becoming a better person, by fighting my addictions and my demons and by not being so quarrelsome, rage-filled and judgmental. If I can’t become a better person for me, I want to become a better person for you. Next, I’d like to thank Emily and Tara. Emily will continue posting here during my absences and she inspires me because she’s hardworking, honest, gives her all when she commits to a friendship and isn’t afraid to speak the truth. I love straightforward people and I admire that in her. Tara knows a bit of what I go through and is my twin (This is an inside Literati Mafia joke!) She’s always supportive and her raw portrayals of inner angst when she writes, and her strength to endure things that’ll easily shatter me gives me grit. Next, I’d like to thank everyone else on the Mafia with whom I’ve interacted regularly. They’re people from different parts of the world and have different perspectives to offer. They’re also extremely strong. Now, I’m still getting to know a few of you better, but know that you’re respected and appreciated. Finally, I want to thank Whispers of the Universe. Now you don’t know him, and he likes his anonymity, but man, he’s as strong as they come. He’s made of steel and he’s helped me in more ways than he realizes. I’ll be posting a few Journal Entries like this and yes, a few poems. And for everyone who encouraged me to find peace by commenting on Emily’s entry and for the people who asked me to stay strong and ignore negativity, I can’t thank you enough. Emily passed on your beautiful messages and I’ll read them now myself. Thank you. It’s beautiful that people want to hear what little I have to offer and it’s humbling.

-Nitin