I won’t give up on us, and I hope love doesn’t

I did create him after reading my pain and distrust
But all he did was spew fanaticism and used the rod
In wicked ways that torture weary minds and kill the soul.

But he was processed by red Calvinism and icy heart
His Cherry Blossom euphemism for biting words so harsh!
That spiteful torn design masked using a soft, milder hue.

Then studying him, I read words absent; and battered phrase
Those paradoxes and aporia that I couldn’t solve
And that calamitous voice frightened me and shook my core.

He held the gun and pointed; tricked me into mangy grunge
Lamenting profligacy using its depravity
In search of all the truth that’s lost, he said but never wept.

But when he said the honest might be dead, I had enough
I walked with him, exhausted, but resolved in mind and will
I plucked that gun from him in some uncanny, painful way.

And after, lay on grass and waited for that petrichor
And when it rained, I wept, went home, removed that stinging blog
And went to her and smiled when she embraced me in those arms.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Knowing me

I’m listening to Bitter Sweet Symphony by London Grammar. I love Hannah Reid’s deep, sultry, alto voice and it resounds through my core, flooding me with a million different emotions, and no, I can’t change. I have a million different facets to my personality, and I’m still catching up to who I want to become like a mongrel racing aimlessly down sordid streets. I have a million different echoes of past selves, still lingering in some haunted corner of my mind riddled with million different thoughts like apparitions and I’m forever falling back to someone I never truly am like a man losing his footing and stumbling down a stairway. Who am I? What do I need? What do I want? These existential questions that probably seem like some dog-eared, millennial angst to you are real to me. So fucking real. Don’t you wish you can torch the past; just obliterate it and walk away from the ashes into a clearing flooded with light? Don’t you wish for a sustained redemption that holds you like agape or something and not trite, transient, wordless stark trees surrounding and threatening to engulf you? Or maybe I should strip away all symbolism and just state it raw: Don’t you wish for more than this postmodern simulacrum? A reality that holds you. An actuality that makes you. A truth that binds you forever.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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When I blog about blogging

In this postmodern digital, post-millennial age filled with 16-year-olds going through drastic, dramatic identity crises and writhing in angst like a person who’s smoked too much bad weed that hits the lungs hard, you have these adolescents blogging about catastrophic relationship failures – the size of a 8.0 scale earthquake – and making the entire universe revolve around them. It’s such a despicable quest for identity and validation from strangers across the globe. The smiley (with its numerous devious forms) has replaced the hug, the like has replaced the warmth of a handshake – flesh meeting flesh, and browsing through blog after blog, hunting down followers is now a walk in Eden. Even the paperback or hardcover finds annihilation, because of the e-reader or iPad, which only makes you skip lines and not even visualize properly. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the young, it’s also time-traveling oldies which this post-apocalyptic wasteland called the ‘internet for acceptance’ has ensnared. And I’ve been there myself, trapped, crying for solace, watching the like button on Facebook or WordPress light up with the attention of a guard at the gate on duty during war, and fuck, I wasted time – years honestly, because if you put the hours together, you’ll get a clusterfuck of ages, which will stab you right in the stomach because you’re fucking responsible. But suffering shapes you, and it made me stop caring about likes or followers. I often unfollow and re-follow blogs, because of content reasons. Often their content appeals, and sometimes I’m disturbed. But hell, I can’t keep doing that too. I don’t want that to become my next cyber-heroin. I think too much time on the internet leads to a disassociation and a completely fragmented identity that can’t root itself on solid ground anymore, and soon you’ll find yourself talking in lols in the real world. You’ll become bat shit crazy and not in a good way. These days writing is about marketing too. Your content doesn’t have to be great, or hell, even good, if you know how to promote yourself. I find blogs about how to blog better, and I wonder if these people are writers or marketing professionals – zero imagery, zero analogy usage, zero storytelling, and just points like moles on parched skin: Do this, do this and do this. And then there are posts on blogging etiquette. Oh, for fucks sake! We aren’t at dinner at a Three Michelin Star restaurant. Now, here’s my perspective on guys flirting with women on blogs. Firstly, if you’re writing about sex, you aren’t going to get guys saying, “Lovely. Cheerio.” Well you’ll get some ‘gentlemen’ bloggers saying that, but here’s the irony: We’re not jacking off to your post with our light teasing. They are, because when you go to their blogs, you’ll find them in suits with impeccable manners, but re-blogging stuff only by women writers they literally venerate. And a lot of men can write better than those women about the same topic, but you won’t find a single re-blog of a post by a man, and these bastards who’re secret Batemans call us degenerates. Now sure, if a guy sends you something vulgar and downright disgusting, then he’s a creep. But if it’s an inside joke, or he’s just mildly teasing, you can ignore or delete, if you don’t like it, and he’ll get the point, but don’t rally up the women militia and scream ‘sexism’ because he’s probably laughing and sent you something while he chugged his beer down. And tomorrow you’re not in his head anymore. You are not the center of the universe and definitely not the center of the universe of every man who visits your blog, which isn’t even that good to begin with. Going back to content. Just write man. Write your heart out or let ideas float like bright images once the doors of perception are opened. I hope you get the allusion. And I’m talking about ideas that go against the grain of the overdone blog marketing: Fluent prose, sonnets, villanelles, satire, or nonfiction with imagery. Something different and out there, and why do you care so much about a like or a re-blog? Just let your consciousness soak your page, the syllables touching it lightly like a soft snare tap, or louder like a guitar smash. And then there’s this whole notion of staying true to yourself when you write – see, here’s the deal, your identity isn’t fixed; it’s subject to change by will or circumstances and as you evolve cognitively and emotionally, you’ll find yourself drawn away from cliché and tending to embrace the abstract or a richer, spicier storytelling, and you’ll want to experiment, to separate the artist from the artistry, or write about something alien, anticipating the trend or going against it, instead of embracing it. So, sort yourself out. Find peace in solitude if you’re lonely. Read books. Or socialize and make new friends and also write. Don’t become a social media junkie. Trust me you’re fucking with your neurotransmitters and I think getting stoned is a better, healthier way to do that!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Do I frighten thee?

I am your crucifix, not one you wear
around your neck, while you count your
rosary, but one you’re poetically nailed to,
upside down, and if you sob an unjust,
“Stigmata!” I’ll
use the spear, until your muse
drains out, and you’re of no use.

I am the panopticon in your mind with
little guards that moderate your treasonous
thoughts in their cells, wailing and weeping,
sighing and despairing, and I put down
riots with one shot.

I am your figurative iron maiden,
a chamber you’re thrown in, closed with
its spikes, before you realize that your
mind’s eye leaks, gouged, the fluid
of incoherent rambling, all you’ve got.

I am the chainsaw that slices through
your emoticons, until split, fragmented,
and dissociated, those shattered yellow
hearts, never find virtual glue, and have
nobody to run to.

I am your prosaic migraine, giving you
spots and blurs, and no amount of
pill-popping, cyber pro-apartheid
shouting, slogan chanting, and banners
of grace will give you face.

I am your metaphorical cage, even though
you think you’re a phoenix rising,
you’ll soon realize that you’re a
pink lovebird sobbing, begging, despairing,
needing freedom.

I am incapable of love,
capable of hate, and
chock-full of apathy, a vortex
of nonchalance, spiraling within,
engulfing like the freezing
mist on the mountainside,
and if you forget, I’ll forget
to even think of you, but
if you hold grudges, I’ll
dig the grave, flicking off
your syllables, with the quickness of
a magician’s sleight of hand.

I know things that pushed me into
nihilism, I’ve seen things you can’t
imagine that catapulted me through
barriers into the enemy’s green abyss,
where I stand alone, with no fear
anymore, because I exist for no
purpose, and don’t expect a poem,
or want me as your piece of art,
I’ll never be your Rembrandt,
no I’m worse than your Scream,
and if you think these are lines
typed on a page, find me, and look
into my eyes, and know that even if
you were to stab, or hack, I’ll cry
in agony because of the sting, but
I’ll smile, giving you no respite or repose,
never begging for mercy, agitating and
agonizing you, and laughing
with bloody spittle
before I fade to black.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Getting a life

Nowadays, people have nothing better
to do with their lives, since they cannot
listen to the songbird chirping, or
the aubade of the cricket, signaling
the coming of dusk, hence, they give
into online trolling and stalking,
making what’s private, public,
bending stories, copying and pasting
messages without their replies, which
are worse, and calling for a
hearse with delight glimmering
in their eyes, weak with all their
suffering that is created by drama or
theatrics, everyone is self-medicated
because of inane circumstances
like relationships, or parched lips,
never kissed because they’re tobacco
stained, and pained by
fault-finding, and this binding
or collectiveness of online treacherousness,
creates a sickening pseudo-sympathy,
of, “I understand”, or, “Yes dear”, which
lasts only if people never get a grip,
and continue in their slip:
weeping, crying, bleeding, seething,
self-harming, and everyone wants
someone to ease their pain, and say,
“Here I am, yours to gain,” as long
as there’s denying
responsibility, never saying, “I’m wrong too,”
because that requires a little humility,
and in the world of self-proclaimed
poetic gods or goddesses, such a thing
has no grounding in reality, because
everything happens on a screen,
and even reading and studying
is killed off by short attention spans
or spams, and so, I’ve decided, as the
dynamics of my life shift, to live
never for art’s sake, but for the thrill
of experience that is substantial,
and will profit me, more than pictures
on Instagram or Facebook that are
just frozen moments with frozen smiles.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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The distance between time and space

galaxy-2643089_1920.jpg

She’s like an apocryphal character in
fiction, the job at the convenience store,
an azure, suppressing the deep browns
and greens, waiting for an outlet, begging,
seeking for nirvana, the, ‘yes sir,’ or,
‘thank you ma’am,’ preventing the subtle,
slightly vague sardonicism, the syllables
perched on the tip of her tongue,
and yet finding no song.

She’s like a dreamer in the library,
her inner universe expanding at the
very sights of those treasures, and
transcending barriers and doubts
as she reads line after line.

She’s in her shell at home,
hating the loud dub-step, and those
overrated parties, people
and mannequins, the same,
liquor, puke, and she often wants
to raise the curtain, yell,
“Turn the fucking volume down!”

She’s asleep, the boulevard she
strolls down in her dreams,
a conglomeration of experiences
real and gathered, inside her
space and non-linear, the only
outlet she can afford for now.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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Simplification

Ultimately all those questions we ask ourselves,
we can simplify, reduce to two: Who am I?
What is my purpose? And perhaps it was
soul-digging with an introspective shovel,
or maybe it was revelations like migraines,
an ache generated by seeing too much
and sleeping too little, or perchance it
was the process of discovering myself
through the lines I’ve written, but I’ve
realized that the answers are simple,
I’m just an i, never capitalized, never
more than my dreams or less than my
hypocrisy, and i don’t have a purpose,
because there is no destination in sight,
but savoring the good and bad is
overrated too, it’s like biting into an
orange without peeling off its skin,
or letting the switchblades of toxic
weather cut you, before lifting your arms,
standing at the edge of a cliff and letting
the breeze cool you off, and that’s just
something figurative, something a
movie implies that people take
a little too seriously, and so, some curious
might ask me a third question: What do I do?
Well, i don’t go hunting for hieroglyphs,
and then find traces of my ancestors
in me, they’re dead, and neither do i
quickly use a way to preserve my loved ones,
if there is one tomorrow, because they
aren’t going to wake up in a utopian
ideal where humanity has transcended
thought and form, no, it’ll be a post-apocalyptic
world where humanity has descended
worse than the Fallout series can ever convey,
but i don’t sit in a yogic pose for hours on
end either, meditating on a loss of direction,
no, i walk forward with no course,
and get to a place that has no meaning,
and i keep rules that make no sense,
and find emancipation through art
more than reason, though both are overrated,
overdone, overused, and these are the
contradictions that create freedom,
which is really only a concept, but i’ll
buy it anyway, because of a need to survive,
never in an extreme sense: despondency,
or loneliness taking over, because i’m past
that now, but in a minimal sense, surviving
denoting live, and if this went over your head,
it’s okay, i don’t understand!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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