blackmail press 28
Nikesh Murali                 

Kitchen - Charles Olsen
Nikesh Murali's poems and short stories have appeared in more than 50 publications around the world. His works have been translated into several languages. He was nominated for the 'Pushcart Prize in Poetry (2007)' and won the 'Tom Paine Award in Non-Fiction (2007)'.

He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia for which he was awarded the 'Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence in 2005', and his Masters in Teaching from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia and a Bachelors degree in English Literature and World History from University of Kerala, India.

He is currently working on a novels as a part of his PhD in creative writing.

The web-cam suicide

Death in 1's and 0's;

Transmitted via dispassionate cables and telephone lines,

Streaming grief and sad pleas -

Megabytes of despair,

The last ghazal of inebriated love!

Death in 1's and 0's;

The binary expression of muted cries,

The digital murmur of a broken heart.

Tears don't follow hypertext protocols,

The soul is not coded to turn a blind eye!

Transmitted via dispassionate cables and telephone lines,

Streaming grief and sad pleas,

Witnessed on your tube and mine -

The web-cam suicide.

The earth weeps

You fixed fence posts in this soil that my ancestors tread on and then called me an intruder.

You silenced my songs of this land and told me that I was subhuman.

You tore my soul away from this red earth and send me away to camps where my confused skin was dipped in

bleach and my eyes were forcibly glued to the crucifix.

You raped my mother under your Southern Cross, under the rainbow skies that wept day and night, and

buried your guilt in your farms, under the shining sinful trophies of your enterprise.

You baited my belly with poisoned flour,

You baited my soul with opium and grog,

And now you bait me with pity and disgust, and try to assimilate me into your fold with your sterile apologies.


I want you to know that this earth weeps and in its rage the buried bones of your secrets will be revealed,

And you will be swept away to the shadows of the darkest nightmare that this land can summon. 

3. Title: My little red revolution

My little red revolution

My little blue dreams

Complete with flags and placards,

Slogans and screams!

This morning the house was silent and empty,

But then a dying dog was installed in my doorway,

And the judgmental shuffle of feet,

The smell the champagne and the taste of cheese

Woke me up rudely and compelled me to pick my brain apart

Leaving strands of my hopes and desires smeared all over the carpet in the name of art.

So I protested.


I found a rubber tube

And since I couldn't find tanks to throw stones at

I shot up my vein.

My little red revolution

My little blue nightmares

Complete with flags and placards,

Slogans and screams!

Nighttime in Baghdad

The shock and awe of warheads

And roses of the desert bloom in many shades of red.

It's nighttime in Baghdad

And explosions spawn a thousand suns.

Shrapnel race away in their chariots drawn by willing horses

And inscribe the poetry of war on soft flesh.

It's nighttime in Baghdad and neighbourhoods are graveyards

Where ghosts are limbless

And wander without purpose into parks that are booby trapped;

Some drive trucks that are wired with improvised cruelty,

Into check posts with messages of hate

Or love

Or both

Or heat and light

And pain.

It's nighttime in Baghdad

And the green zone is a junkyard

Full of metal and bones,

Prayers beads and photographs of children,

Nametags and hope.

The air is red and blue

And full of screaming sirens

And stretchers.

Another night has turned day in Baghdad

And the roses of the desert bloom in many shades of red to greet the radiant sun.

Over there and here

Here we sit around the green oval drinking lemonade and beer

And the boys in their whites like angels promised unto piety

Dip into kits - forage, examine and discard.

They swing their bats in practised reflection,

Some bounce the cherry red ball on the grass

And others stride like pilgrims to the sunbaked shrine.

Over there, the boys crowd in narrow lanes,

Under the gaze of buildings the colour of willow.

They spit dust and shout over rickshaws.

Someone tosses a corroded coin

And they scramble for the bat with its missing bits consumed by concrete.

Over here and there the umpire calls 'begin',

The ritual of life is played out

And the trials of the hunter and the hunted begin.