Tag Archives: poems

Merely Pilfered.

1 Dec

I am apping

when I’m not napping.

and what is a blog

if not a medium

escaping daily tedium

… and now you know why I stick to pilfering my poetry. For the next few months (or however long the fancy takes me) pilfered poetry is migrating. In an effort to recover bogey’s intimacy, I revived her tumblr outpost this week.  Also I’m a lapsed essayist and miss dithering. I started tinkering with the architecture of this blog a month ago, only to realise she’s damn near perfect.  This is especially true on the ipad, where she’s so exquisite I want to fuck her.  I write prose, long and grim though it may be, not “posts”. That is what this space will always be about, and I’m proud of her standards.

Essays, that said, take forever and a day to write.  And frequency I could use. Q.E.D.

As for aesthetics, we struggle along. I believe chaosbogey is plenty navigable, even if no one else does. Think of her parts as the variables of an impossible equation. One day, with sufficient magic, I might piece her together. Until then I’m content inventing formulae.

It’s hard explaining how precarious my identity as netizen is. I’m as close to a Luddite as can exist in the digital age. I flail around gadgets. I barely get my laptop to function outside pages and iCal. I plan on whiteboards and cork-boards and paper and think in trig. I read print, being enough of a pedant to want to type up each quote myself.

As the world around me tipped online, as apps and smart phones and tablets and 3G invaded India, I went into hibernation.

There you have it, world. Something new. Now for an old essay that was mostly pilfered in its own right,

Borges & I

Am I these things and the others

Or are there secret keys and difficult algebras

Of which we know nothing?

— Lines that could have been written and lost about 1922.

I began this essay on a wednesday, 24th August, Borges’ 112th birthday. At the time, I was working on another essay, about Kapuściński’s Travels with Herodotus. As it turned out, it was to be Bookslut’s 112th issue, and I can never resist some satisfying symmetry.

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I Started a Joke.

8 Sep

Hullo, strangers.

It has been a long while, I know, and I owe you all explanations. The days, they have been bleak. Literary life was niggardly and personal life devastating, while the parents- backbone, strength, comfort- are losing faith. It’s not so easy, I find, to disappoint. It’s even worse to have terrible timing. Worst of all  is beginning something you have no skill at substantiating and no hope of concluding. I thought, almost a year ago now, that I could stand the perennial anticipation of unfinished business. It turns out delusions are made of sterner stuff than I am.

That was why I haven’t been around, in case anyone was wondering, for heartachey bogey is no fun to read. For once, I find myself agreeing with Thoreau. Tis appalling arrogance to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. That is also why this post will be uncharacteristically terse, for said misery shows no signs of relenting and I am as despondent as exhausted. I hope to wake up soon.

Waking Up

Daylight leaks in, and sluggishly I surface

from my own dreams into the common dream

and things assume again their proper places

and their accustomed shapes. Into this present

the Past intrudes, in all its dizzying range-

the centuries-old habit of migration

in birds and men, the armies in their legions

all fallen to the sword, and Rome and Carthage.

The trappings of the day also come back:

my voice, my face, my nervousness, my luck.

If only Death, that other waking-up,

could grant me a time free of all memory

of my own name and all that I have been!

If only morning meant oblivion!

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Blogaversary

10 Jun

I began keeping a diary when a cousin told me to write letters to myself, ‘so that you remember never to be such a dolt again’. It was sound advice, for all that it never worked, and I have never regretted taking it.  Besides, what in life matched the intensity of  ‘half agony, half hope’? Letters were clearly the path to love, and it was best to get practising.

So it was my first notebook was born.  In the twelve years since, my diary multiplied itself into 17 notebooks and countless folders, all sorted by subject and whimsy.  Last year, when I declared myself a writer, some of this copious chaos made its way online.  This year, I suspect it will unleash mayhem.  Hold on, etc. But not here. I have another blog! A “personal” one, heh. Welcome back, Nandini Ramachandran.

if fucking only

Back to bogey, I’m glad this blog has retained its low profile. I like that I can ramble on about boys and random reading and things on telly that get me in a tiff. I like that I haven’t had any scary spam and that my commenters only talk when they have stuff to say. People who’ve been with me from the beginning know that this blog’s journey has a long way to go.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of my arcana, and I promise to stumble slowly along heedless of the world’s spectacular lack of interest. Far in the future, a din-acolyte may even publish the selected ChaosBogey. That will be the day I turn over in my grave. Or, given my Hinduness, the day my ashes tremble violently with amusement as they swirl along the Ganga.

Well, anyway. Here be a poem. Courtesy a couple of Shelleys.

We rest;  a dream has power to poison sleep.

We rise; one wand’ring thought pollutes the day.

We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep,

Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;

It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,

The path of its departure still is free.

Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;

Nought may endure but mutability!

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why I sing my blues

27 May

Is the title of an article I wrote for Global Comment. It was about Saas-Bahu soaps, and I tried to be amusing rather than acidic.  I might have failed.  Go judge for yourselves?  Yes, the title was inspired by a BB King song. I like him. A lot. No one’s perfect, so deal with it, ok?

It has been a while, though, since we had a pilfered poetry post on this here bogey, so I figured I would indulge us all and keep silent. A few words in credit: all the poetry that follows is from Annie Zaidi’s book Crush, which has helped me through many an unrequited time. I have imposed my own order on the verse, as I do each time I read this deft little book. I have read it backwards, forwards, sideways and with every random pattern I can generate and every single time it has found for me a story. I love that her language is simple and swift, that all the genius is in the way words are used, that if you don’t listen closely you might miss something until the next time you visit the lines. In the first verse below, for instance, how much she captures with such a basic pun!  But I am not a poetry critic and shall never attempt such a rarified art.  I love Crush almost more than I loved Known Turf. #‘nuffsaid

(More ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’ illustrations at BibliOdyssey, here)

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Simple Twist of Fate.

9 Feb

This birthday post is for someone I have shared my life with for the better part of four years. You might recognise him as the voice of reason in “Books, Boyfriends, and Bandits“, and it has often been claimed (and not only by him) that he is the saner of the two of us. Personally, I think a fruit fly is capable of more sense, but I can’t deny it was the paradox of pragmatic recklessness that drew us together in the first place. As Yeats once said, some people are bred to harder things than triumph. He was always one such, and it was a lucky day that law school threw us in each other’s paths.

That said, I have an aversion to mush, so shall we move right on to the poems part of this post?

First, a description…

Child on the Curbstone.

The headlights raced; the moon, death-faced,
Stared down on that golden river.
I saw through the smoke the scarlet cloak
Of a boy who could not shiver.

His father’s hand forced him to stand,
The traffic thundered slaughter;
One foot he thrust in the whirling dust
As it were running water.

As in a dream I saw the stream
Scatter in drops that glistened;
They flamed, they flashed, his brow they splashed,
And danger’s son was christened.

The portent passed; his fate was cast,
Sea-farer, desert-ranger.
Tearless I smiled on that fearless child
Dipping his foot in Danger.

— Elinor Wylie.

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