Horror! That will chill you and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seats. Nikesh Murali creates 13 haunting tales of terror, which will fill you with awe. This anthology has won raves among reviewers and is a must read which will gift you with sleepless nights. Think this is Blah! Blah... do you suspect a collection of frightening poems can't do it? See for yourself. But beware of the thirteen images that will haunt you forever.
Nikesh Murali has chosen the perfect title for this book of poetry. Most people feel the number thirteen to be omen and bringer of ill winds, Murali stretches the boundaries of his earlier works as he leads us into the dark ill winds of his world in "13".
Kanza - is a very effective poem. Until the last line I feel the fear level rise. True to Murali's form he twists the reader and in this poem, leaves me feeling laughed at. Misery, in contrast, is dark all the way through. Murali clutches at the reader and just before he/she screams, Murali releases his grip. Sometimes the unexpected twist is toward the macabre rather than away from it.
Nikesh Murali's short poetry, though sprinkled with vivid imagery, doesn't have the strength and maturity of his longer works such as The Axis of Evil. Murali is at once blunt and bold as he strikes out at his readers squeamish under belly. Sometimes he hovers, Cobra-like, inches from the macabre and at other times he strikes wide purposely moving the mark and catching the reader off guard as if to say... "I was only toying with your fear factor. There is nothing here; it is all a joke -a no brainer". In those poems where he does this, I sense a reluctance of the poet to dive into those murky waters. I sense his fear at what lies undisturbed. Almost as though he warns the reader what lies still is better left undisturbed.
Sometimes as in "The Axis of Evil, or "Misery", he follows through and we peer into the darker side of Murali where death is all too real but welcome to those who are not of the world of vampires, were wolves and other creatures of the damned. You can almost feel Nikesh Murali measuring your shadow. You question... "Will he stake it to the wall?"*
Once again I feel Murali's longer poems are his strength. Where you can forgive the verse that doesn't quite work for you as you read the next and the next that effectively transport you to the inner sanctum of Murali's dark world. A recommended read to those who love the dark that knows no light and also for those that want to see how words work. The reader goes where the poet chooses his world and its truth by his excellent verbal painting.
*for those unfamiliar with 'the shadow staked to the wall', legend has it that if someone stakes your shadow to a wall you become a vampire and live that life forever. Ukrainian legend.
Billie Williams, eBook Reviews Weekly
On my left
Is a board with a cleft.
Dusty and blue, the board says
'Next motel's 20 miles away'
Nice parking lot.
Find a pleasant, shady spot.
The motel has no name,
A receptionist thin and lame;
Checking into room four.
TV! Then snore.
I wake up blind
Switch on the lamp beside.
My legs and hands are gone,
Flies spawn virtual limbs.
I can't scream!
My tongue is gone.
Then barges in,
Brings me soup.
In it are my legs, hands and loops.