(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit. Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost...the abused. There are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there's a powerful sense of hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.
Kris Saknussemm is a cult genre bending novelist and multimedia artist. Born and educated in America, he has lived most of his life abroad, primarily in Australia and the Pacific Islands.
His science fiction themed novel ZANESVILLE, published by Villard Books in 2005, was hailed by critics as a revolutionary work of surreal black comedy. It has attracted the devotion of outsider artists like the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and was the inspiration for Michael Jackson to want to have a giant robot of himself constructed to roam the Las Vegas desert. It has become a cult hit in Russia as well.
Another novel, an erotic supernatural thriller PRIVATE MIDNIGHT is set in a noir crime world of jazz, junkies and shadows from out of time. It became a bestseller in France and Italy.
He has now in total published ten books that have been translated into 22 languages.
The Rumors Soon after the publication of ZANESVILLE, reports began circulating around Hollywood that the actor Kevin Costner was furious about being featured as the “voice” of Dooley Duck, one of several animated hologram characters in the story, who serve as advertising vehicles in the fictional world of the novel. Under the magical influence of the protagonist, Elijah Clearfather, Dooley not only comes to life and breaks free of his commercial masters (a monolithic children’s day care empire) he develops a penis and becomes an advocate for sexual enjoyment and the leader of a social and political reform called The Surprise Party.
A second rumor that began making the rounds that ZANESVILLE had actually been written by the late David Foster Wallace under a pseudonym, while another related and more detailed story had it that Kris Saknussemm is not an individual author at all, but rather a name taken by a collective of writers who wrote the book as a collaborative experiment, in something of the same spirit as Nicholas Bourbaki phenomenon amongst mathematicians.
This latter view gained some extended support as Saknussemm had written about the “Bourbaki Conspiracy,” and an earlier published story was based on the premise that the reclusive Thomas Pynchon was just a composite entity—an on-going project and artistic prank which such writers as Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger had participated in.
Appearing at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle in 2006, Saknussemm fielded questions about the rumor, remarking, “As ZANESVILLE has much to do with the idea of the Conspiracy Theory as the folk religion of our time, I’m somewhat amused. But I’ve heard something similar about Poppy Z. Brite. I think we all just like hoaxes and rumors. They reassure us that we can actually participate in the manufacture of reality. But as one of my characters says, ‘I’m real enough.’” A series of readings in New York and appearances on public radio and at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers helped to dispel the rumor.
The book starts on a very simple note “poems dwell in the possibilities and the impossibilities of the mind” it is never truer than for Collection of Chaos. The poems are an amalgamation of life and love and the endless possibilities.
The author takes us into the real world, the world hidden behind the images we see every day. The poems evokes the images or the truth behind the reality with an uncanny accuracy, she reminds us that life is never black or white. The shaded colors, the different hues and layers of life slowly unfold time and again as you read the poem again and again.
Word by word the poems tell of tales of love and longing, sharing the sweet yet sublime truth of cupid. So many lines stand out, yet this tugged at my heart for its simple truth.
“Your coat in the closet a single long hair oddly familiar Ring on my finger no longer valid”
The book describes with such depth the helplessness of a mother; the abuse of a woman with so many shades and so many instances. The poems express the anguish, the sadness and the futility of the sufferer. Tikuli expresses their emotions as if she has undergone each and every one of them.
The collection is so clear and precise as it describes life and longing, wishing and yearning, so much so that you will wish to revisit the book many times for it is a book for all seasons.
The poetry in ‘Collection of Chaos’ must be read. For those who enjoy structural unconventionality in poetry coupled with bold issues usually made invisible, this book offers a most mature poetry. For those who like it lyrical and light, the verses on nature will leave a permanent impression on your minds. And for some others who like to take it slow, to read a poem a day, know that each poem of this book is like a world in itself – offering you thoughts to think and maybe ideas to pen even. I got mine! For a detailed review of the book, please click on the link: http://www.sakshinanda.com/2014/04/bo...
When I came across this book, I was interested in it by the cover of the book (it’s so pretty!) and the title. Anybody who can write about chaos deserves a chance as per me. So, I sat with this book, moving its virtual pages, visiting the stark reality of the emotions poet has captured in those pages. The first thing that stood out for me was that none of the poem in the book has titles. It feels as if the poet didn’t want to burden these poems with the few titles. For me, it worked as it kept the mystery of the coming poem intact.
What I liked: The subject: These poems talk about the themes like child abuse, those mad women seen on the street, war victims, a mob-stoned woman etc. It’s not easy to do justice to such subjects especially in poetry, but those poem don’t hesitate in expressing themselves. Raw Emotions: The poetry captures the rawness of the emotions quite well. It pulled me into the verses and made me see those scenes through the poet’s eyes. One of my favorite poem was about adultery.
What I disliked Repetition of ideas: This is a very common problem when we’re working on short poetry. The book has many poems on silence and conversations. I agree with the poet on these two being the most versatile subjects, meaning that both these things can mean so much, yet nothing; but after three-four poems, it started feeling repetitive to me. Abrupt Last Line: Poetry is such a subjective thing. Each person sees different things in poems. To me, the poems felt ending abruptly. As in they started very nicely, weaving up the emotions, lining up the scene, and then out of blue, they’ll end. Last but not the least: I feel the price of the book is too high. Although I got a complementary soft copy, I don’t think people are ready to spend somewhere around Rs 1000 for poetry. We are not into that era.
As a friend mentioned in our Book Club group - what is not there to like in poetry? This is true for all poetry lovers as every poem has an element or an aspect which certainly will touch our heart. Poetry is the reflection of the poet, sometimes a shadow, the celebration of a life or even the pathos.
Here, the poet starts off with a positive note - "Poems dwell in the possibilities and the impossibilities of the mind." For a poet, the whole world is a poem, finding inspiration and meaning in the minute and the mundane with the capability of transforming it to something grand or huge and also reduced it to a rubble...the poet is capable of all. Read more here - http://janakinagaraj.blogspot.in/2014...
"Collection of Chaos" is the perfect title for Tikuli's impressive collection of poems. Dealing subjects as varied as human condition womanhood, nature, hope and loss - to name a few - each poem rings true with experience and thought. A new bright voice in Indian poetry, Tikuli proves that we have much to expect from this horizon, not to mention a lot to learn. "Collection of Chaos" is thus not only a fantastic collection, but also an important one, as it places life back where it lies, in the heart of chaos.
Just as the title implies, Collection of Chaos is an absorbing assortment of everyday thoughts and emotions. Through her intense expression, which I found to be brutally honest and very relatable, Tikuli deals with issues and experiences ranging from womenfolk, adulthood, love, romance, hope, wish, despair, hurt, youth, solitude, nature, night, eternity, etc. Searching for the meaning of life within such subjects, she carries her reader along.
For instance, the phrases “Between the known and unknown I float” and “poems dwell in the possibilities and the impossibilities of the mind” are but reflective of her thoughtfulness and subjective depth. Her book leaves you refreshed, renewed, experienced and makes you believe that you are not alone in this world. She has successfully illustrated the depth and colour of her emotions.
An emerging face in Indian literature, Tikuli is already among the popular faces in the online world. As a keen follower of her blog tikulicious, I’d say that her expression is like the anonymity that totally gets you.
For a naive poet like me, there's nothing exhilarating than exploring intense and raw poetry. I am very glad that 'Collection of Chaos' happened to me at this phase of my life.
It intrigues me how none of the poems in the book bear a title and how carefully the thoughts were woven into perfect phonetics with the concluding lines where one finds oneself gasping over the sensation one gets out of the imagery that brews.
As I progressed on the book, I was intrigued by the life experiences the poetess may have had, the exposure that the poetess was exposed to in life and what would have consumed her so much that lead to one's own discovery. I was completely swept by the flow and the phonetics of the poems.
The book 'Collection of Chaos' preserves brilliantly penned poems by Tikulli Dogra, wherein, each single syllable or the consonant managed to rattle my damaged, forbidden pieces to produce a sound that is engulfed by nothing but a white noise, thereafter. Such is the experience of reading this book.
I realized, while reading, that I should read this book very slowly, where I allow my particles to be consumed by each poem as I progress, where I must pause in the moment that empowers me to pause, and then move forth; and where I let my goosebumps to feel the white noise only to kill me.
A book I would strongly recommend all readers.
P.S. - I was literally kissing the book when I concluded reading the last poem.
Collection of Chaos is a collection of poems by Tikuli who has been able to bring out all the utter confusion of the mere existence of mankind by opening the pandora box, which has been avoided by its sheer ugliness or the fact that we have chose to ignore it since it causes nothing but sheer disarray in our lives.
I am not a poet, but admired the crisp words generated by the author, however; sometimes found it tough to connect the dots cause of no title especially those poems that ended abruptly thus, leaving me out of tune. I had to pause, rewind and then try to bridge the gap to make sense.
She plays with the words like a master craftsman, creating one masterpiece after another. The poems are mostly in free verse and Tikuli makes use of it suitably. Each poem has its own story to tell, there are not just mere verses depicting the abstract, each line has a meaning, every word has a tale hidden underneath. Her poems have a mystical element to it, a melancholic air hangs throughout the collection. It is like a reflection of the poet’s mind, it is as if she wrote the exact lines she was feeling deep within. Thus every line feels real and not forced. Pick up a copy today if you love poetry, that is written in the poet’s blood and sweat. These poems in all its rawness are a collection of gems.
I am glad I came across Tikuli's Collection of Chaos. And I am even happier that this will be the first collection of poems that I've read in 2016. I'm delighted with this book of verses because they are straight from the heart and yet the fluent poems are made of words that have been intelligently woven together. I have been reading Tikuli's poems and Haikus for almost a decade now and her inimitable style of saying so much within a few lines, a handful of words continues to enthrall me.
Tikuli’s poems span the sadness of missed communication in relationships – the silence that inspires most of the poems towards the end of the book – you will have felt an echo of that void in any interaction where you waited for some word or sign of the thoughts flitting through the beloved’s mind, whether a romantic love, a dearly beloved friend, a child, a parent, a sibling – anybody whose opinion means something.Skilful language with a controlled use of dramatic images make the heartrending subjects she writes about bearable, as they touch you and caress you but are rarely violently demanding of your attention.Tikuli’s poems are sparse, delicate yet full bodied.