Funky Ink

This is an image of a wannabe musician. I've used it to satirize the mediocrity that's present in the scene.

They called themselves Funky Ink and played grunge. They covered Pearl Jam, but the irony was that they were the ones stereotyping, stigmatizing, lampooning, disgracing and degrading the misfits, the loners, the gays and the mentally ill in class.

‘Jeremy spoke in class because of you motherfuckers!’ I felt like screaming but bottled up my angst.

They had a lousy bassist who suffered from Bipolar Disorder. He was the only one given privileged status, but thinking back, I wonder just how ‘Bipolar’ he was. He was a conformist, a criminally insane, fucked-up, toad-faced, arse kisser who ran around the corridors in college kissing random girls in spurts of lewd mania.

His name was Tanmay, and he was as classist as they come. There was this time when he slapped a girl publicly because he considered her daft. It’s a good thing metoo# wasn’t trending then. But here’s the strange part: She kissed his arse a few days later, and they were all pally and shit.

They eventually kicked him out of the band and replaced him with another lousy bassist. And don’t get me started on the lead singer! Suneeth brayed and thought he was as good as Layne Stayley. But the truth was, he wasn’t even a fisherman’s Layne. He was a goat masquerading as a front man. ‘Puurrrple Haaaaze…baaah…puurrrple haaaaze…baaah!’ Fuck how did I endure it!

Anyhow that band’s dead, but Tanmay still moons with his trousers at his ankles. But nobody wants that arse son. It doesn’t have the mythical qualities he ascribes to it. It’s just a slightly askew butt crack that will give a black man in prison a lot of trouble. Lube might work though. A lot of it.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Wait for it!

Why should I care about the ramblings of a poetaster who suffers from acute schizophrenia?

Every line he writes reflects the disorder. There is poetic catatonia or the complete lack of depth, authenticity, and emotion. Dull and moth-eaten; leprous, and bland as insipid coffee.

There is the clinging and clanging, and neologisms when he says I serenade Siobhan.

There is a misconstrued, twisted paranoia that shrieks, ‘Oh! A love poem! How can it possibly engender originality! It’s a mutton bone I must feed to my pet dragon who appears on the 7th page of the 7th book in my series of 777 books! Hallelujah! Jehovah Jireh! Yes, it’s Catholic and shares a similar world with the brute, masculine, (hackneyed, overrated, devoid of intricate metaphor, empty) imagery of Tolkien!’ Yeah, I’m sure the deacon will be pleased while he’s defrocking the cantor and taking sacramental joy in his shrieks which are songs of joy to the presbyterate.

There is a false superiority, clearly evident in his rag-and-bone satire that he thinks, says, ‘I’m on par with George R.R. Martin!’ I’m sure you are, and Sansa loved it when you rode up to her on your unicorn dressed in nothing but a thong made out of hyacinths.

There is thought broadcast that makes him prattle on and on about myth and lore and keeps him warm at night thinking he dodged Zeus’s bolts with impunity while Aphrodite’s dove formed an unholy union with his cock bettering the union between Jacob and Rebekah, only because it’s sealed with white blood.

There is thought echo which takes him to strange metaphysics in which the Egyptian pyramid symbolizes the stages to self-actualization, and Kierkegaardian stages of despair are actually seeds of consciousness watered by the bad energy that comes from the obscure chanting of the people stuck in Plato’s cave.

Well, why should I care about this weirdo who treasures the opinion of a bunch of shallow (but pretending to be deep) giggly girls, or a self-proclaimed 21-year-old (now 34 or 35) lanky drug kingpin who shot at the police in the middle east of all places and lived to tell the tale!

I honestly don’t know why. I think I’m doing him a favor.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

The Emperor’s Demise

So, after Darth Vader threw Emperor Palpatine into that vortex, he found himself on this side of the universe. He looked at a Star Wars poster of the latest movie and grinned at the words ‘The Last Jedi’ written in red. He then walked up to a woman on a lonely street. He stretched his pale arms out in his uncanny way and tried mind control and asked her to join the dark side.

“Get away from me, you freak!” she screamed and ran away.

Disillusioned by his lack of strength, he succumbed to alcoholism and in a ramshackle bar met a former rock star now broken because of his fall from grace. They talked, and both ranted about unrealistic dreams: One wanting power and the other fame. But somehow, they managed to come up with an idea despite all the slurring and the occasional puking.

They decided to start a band.

Palpatine walked up to the mike stand and stood there while the band played heavy distortion and the drummer used his double bass pedal like a maniac.

Palpatine was unsure but decided to give it a try anyway. He softly said, “Dark side,” and the crowd roared. There was something about his voice that made it so distinct and raw.

Palpatine grinned, and his band soon achieved fame. All he did was walk up to the mike stand in his black robe and talk about wistful dreams of destroying the Jedi and ruling the universe.

Then Palpatine suddenly realized that it was possible to control human beings without a superpower, and he soon eliminated tinges of nostalgia in his rhetoric. He labeled the genre he invented Sith rock, called his fans Stormtroopers, and urged them to dress appropriately during concerts. The band attained astronomical fame. The critics loved Palpatine’s new approach. They called it progressive and reactionary.

All went well until some Stormtroopers took off their masks during a concert and decided to change things. They formed an instrumental band which was rooted in Sith rock but eliminated Palpatine’s rhetoric.

Palpatine derided them for not being true to the roots of the movement, but that only gave them attention. Fans and critics loved this new genre called post-Sith rock and left Palpatine. They called them inventive.

Disillusioned, Palpatine found a woman on a lonely street and stretched his pale arms out and asked her to join the dark side.

She filed a sexual harassment case, and Palpatine lost most of his money. He returned to the ramshackle bar and watched the trailer of The Last Jedi.

“Rey. Where was she when I needed her?” he slurred and puked.

(Inspired by Star Wars)

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

There are only dead ends here, friend

Well, firstly there aren’t any woods where I live, just ramshackle houses strangely painted using vibrant hues. What most of us don’t realize is that this weird flamboyance only emphasizes our poor, misery-stricken state, and our desperate need to keep up with the Kardashians (the Joneses are dead by the way). Anyway, I digress. So I’m standing before these two pot-holed, waterlogged paths, and yes, it did rain yesterday, but we must remember the raw sewage too. I looked down one sordid path and then took the other. I reasoned that this route didn’t stink much, but held my nose while I walked. And it wasn’t morning, but night, and these broken street-lamps with their muffled light were the only oracles given. Did I leave the other for another day? Sure, don’t we all? I’m sure some famous evolutionary biologists despite all their cherry-picking from postmodernism will say the same when the moral zeitgeist shifts tomorrow and we all pick up machetes and kill each other. Hell, they’ll even bawl inwardly before rationalizing that they’re doing the right thing and butcher someone. Wasn’t Hitler right after all? I damn well know by now that one filthy path leads to another. Hell, I’m an obscure writer who lives in a city where some women counselors ask me to get an Arts degree for the sake of it because that’s what ‘girls’ do. Some Protestants with their wet dreams aren’t very different. They tape record my sessions and then ask me to work in a coffee shop because I’m unstable and it’s a ‘noble’ thing to do. They know jolly well that in this place people who work in coffee shops don’t do it out of a sense of service. They do it because they don’t have an alternative. One must never do something because it’s noble when one’s heart isn’t in it. Take a look at some Cardinals, and you’ll get what I’m saying. Oh, they’re wearing red all right. And please notice the use of the determiner. They’ll fry you using a skillet of fundamentalism if you use language without precision. Anyway, I digress again. It’s this stupid habit of introspection you see. Some contemplate and find ‘enlightenment’ or something. For me, it’s a head put in the Guillotine. I say that because the noose is overused, the electric chair won’t convey it properly, and I’ve never really understood the lethal injection. Only the fellow who we think sleeps but is writhing inside probably does. I know, I know, I’m digressing again, and so, I’ll end this quickly. I know I’m never coming back, and one day after just a year or two considering the number of cigarettes I smoke, I’ll say this with a wheeze, a cough, and a death-rattle: I took the road less sordid, and now I’m dying alone, goodbye!

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

The other brother-in-law

Well, what about him? We were both management
consultants, doing the right things,
wearing the right dark blue Arrow shirts,
working for the right firm, earning the right amount
of money, living with the right women, but then
he did the wrong thing, drinking and driving,
or texting and taunting,
and he had to stand in front of the right judge,
with the right amount of electricity passing
through his body, because if words are cyclones,
uprooting, upending, then judgment is best left
undescribed, they rightly passed him around like
a pizza slice in that right panopticon, calling him
Cynthia, Luella, or Clara, while the guards rightly
said nothing, sister rightly didn’t visit, and then
the wrong thing happened again, he says he
met redemption. Him! Really! That scumbag!
Scoundrel! Slob! I work like
the football player I admire, who rightly
runs up and down the field, and lets his
statistics speak, and rightly changes
the alluring women in his life with each goal scored,
because they want love, and he
doesn’t have time,
I’m not that nomadic
hobbit who suddenly catches fire and makes
world-class defenders look like school children,
that sort of thing does not exist, there is
some trickery there, and even
if it does, I don’t care, damn it! And so let him
think delusion is reality, and I’ll continue
doing the right things, paying the right
money to the right policemen, working
out the right deals, rightly moving from
job to job, rightly moving from
good to great sex, until I’ve rightly conquered
both life and death.

© 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)

Apathetic

I’m so tired of pining over
someone who’s not here,
thinking dreaming will help her
materialize and waltz right up to
me when I’m ambling down the sidewalk,
the stars don’t align in the right places
and there aren’t these special places
reserved for the ‘precious’ moments of life,
I’ve gradually lost the will to hope
for a life better than this unfortunate
incessant accident on repeat in which some
car of despair careens into a careless me
and wrecks even a semblance of a sense of self,
I’m also so exhausted from all this whining
and so, I’m switching my tongue off,
treating it like a grainy-screened, screechy TV
and using a needle and thread to sew my lips shut,
it’s up to you to interpret if I meant that figuratively or
literally, but how does it matter? I’m ugly as hell
already.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)