Osman Khalid Butt is a twenty-seven year old actor, director, choreographer, writer and video-blogger based in Islamabad, and is also a self-professed struggling-artist stereotype. A journalism graduate, he is the co-founder of Desi Writers’ Lounge, as well as poetry editor and creative consultant for Papercuts. He has also remained a freelance writer for Instep, The News, as well as the Editor of the web-zine Text Teen, and wrote his first screenplay for the indie-horror movie ‘Siyaah’, which released nationwide in 2013. Though he has dabbled in television, TVCs and film, theatre remains his first love; he has directed four productions under the banner of his company, ‘The Living Picture Productions’, one of which he wrote himself. He has also collaborated with the Lahore Grammar School, Islamabad, directing three plays with its student body, and regularly gives theatre workshops across the country. He says he juggles all of this by drinking too much Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster for his own good.
I Razzle Dazzled ‘em, Just Like You Said, Billy
“Well, I was in such a state of shock that I completely blacked out; I can’t remember a thing. It wasn’t until later, when I was washing the blood off my hands, I even knew they were dead.” – Velma Kelly, Chicago.
Force my trousers down
Play upon Freud’s fantasy,
Claim it was his right as parent
Break me in.
He was a failed man; a poor man’s poet
(“Sensitive, a painter,”)
Waste of God’s good clay; sullying the sacred with
his own brand of intoxication.
(“I guess you could say we broke up because of artistic differences. He saw himself as alive. And I
Let me out
this gilded cage,
This four-post dungeon.
I am innocent.
show you the remnants of
the serrated metal stud
my father’s belt; where my
flesh would produce a
perfect blend – an imprint in bold of
royal blue and
sea-green, that his acrylic paints
There? Isn’t that better?
And what of the soul – and the emotional pockmarks I see
Reflected from within my mind’s eye – that lies
Knocked-knees, skinny legs, pallid
complexion; not mine, you’re the Devil’s, you’re
Fall for my doe-eyed, deer caught in headlight
expressions already, won’t you?
The twelve seated by my side
You can try but you’ll
see the fire and brimstones that cackle within
these baby blues.
So I took the
(“..shotgun off the wall, and fired two warning shots. Into
gun he hid in his bureau –
And I forced his trousers down, and
Broke him in with the cane he used
To break me
I was especially naughty.
- and fired, then fired some more.
And when my momma came
And I couldn’t take the bitch wailing
Like a record played on repeat
Oh God, My God, What Have You Done What Have You
It must have been my sweat
The serpentine liquid making its way to my
Crooked, shaking fingers
And the trigger was pressed
Please believe me.
My palm rests on
This Bible; I tell no lies.
He was a wicked man; and I
His indentation. Him.
Doesn’t your sacrosanct epic
urge one to
purge themselves of
How can you not?
Because through your uproar
And excess, you overlook
The fact that beyond
The batting eyelids
(“Razzle dazzle ‘em!”)
The feigned innocence, I am,
Only eight years old.
Note: The quotes in parentheses feature lyrics from the Cell Block Tango, a song from the play/film ‘Chicago.’