Tuesday, July 19, 2011


You lie there with your back
Half dug in the dirt of the hospital bedsheet
They change these sheets
Almost as often as you soil them
But then, you also bleed and spit

If it was an open field
It wouldn’t have mattered
You could just lie and see where
You were going
The vultures circling above
Keeping an eye
Till you stopped seeing
Where you were going.

In the hospital
They don’t let you see
Where you are headed
And you can’t see
The vultures waiting for you.

July 19, 2011

Monday, February 01, 2010


In spite of
what we say and do
it’s not going to be any different
this time.

It is pouring heat outside,
and we thought it would rain,
when we meet again.

You were gone so long
that I mistook your return
for a change in fortune.

We all do it in our own
sinister little ways –
burdening change with expectations
beyond its means.

I let another spring go by,
I wanted to be just happy to see you
when you first stepped in.

This stressed excitement
is so different from what I had hoped for.

I look back now and think
what more can planned happiness deliver?

Hope is such a disastrous beginning
to anything you hope for.
The next big war
I hope, will be fought against hope.

How am I going to hide the fact
that I collapsed because you gave in
so easily and so soon?

How many questions am I allowed
to ask myself
before the time for answers runs out?

May 13, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The man gobbled
up a plate
of assorted snacks
as he spoke.

With his mouth
full of potatoes
still releasing steam,
he spoke of the storm
in a language
I don’t understand.

It was raining
so he didn’t seem
to mind the steam.
It gets cooler here
when it rains
like it does in most
other places
I have lived in.

He spoke of the storm
and quoted lines
from a poet
in his language.

I don’t remember
what he said
because it was raining.

The raindrops
get noisy
on the tinned roof
and the café wants
to fly in the storm
away from the cigarette
smoke we plaster
its walls with.

The man with
dry eyes
came and sat with
us there on another
day and he wiped off
the eyes drops
as if those were his tears.

But that was
quite another day.

August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dark glass jars

I didn’t eat my plums
when I had them.
Never put them
in an ice box
nor in the fridge.

I punctured the plums
with wooden
toothpicks instead
and left them
to ferment in

I soaked
them in spirits
and hid them in
dark glass jars
for months

Let the spirits
sap the plums,
let the juices
turn to spirits.

There are no
plums now.

August 12, 2009

(I wrote this on the morning of August 12, 2009. I woke up and logged in to Facebook. Dilip Chitre had written about staying up the previous night, making tea for himself and eating plums in his status message. I was reminded of WCW's "This is Just to Say".)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


A thousand and six years
have passed
since she sat down with
her head drooping
like a withered stalk.
If you go closer
she is a fresh flower
closer still
a dead stalk after all.
She sits, smells, stinks
she sits and does not
-- an odourless stone that she

The inscriptions on the stone
hide a story
the bent head hides the
stories lie in
the forgotten grave.
Forgotten she is
but only till the thousand year
old wind passes that way.
Till it arouses
only to numb again.

The body of stone turns epitaph.

The epitaph that speaks
inscriptions that tell a story

© Jatin Gandhi, 1996

I love the colour red, but...

They have been in a bit of a tizzy
since they heard of the rainbow's
it won't be Vibgyor any more
it has said.
It likes red the most,
so it must come first,
followed by blue, yellow and
then, other colours.
They are quoting naturalists and physicists,
to get across the point that
a rainbow can't change colours
without triggering chaos.

They don't have to worry
the way they are.

I am not a cynic,
but I know new year resolutions
don't last long.

January 4, 2009.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The last few sips of doubt

It got out of hand at
some point,
the comedian’s act.

There was a psychoanalyst
in the audience
who came for a drink
with her sociologist friend
and spoke what she thought
the comedian meant.

They argued over this and that
in the act
till the comedian had heard them
and then left.

They passed through the old road
by the older tomb
seven tramps with eleven eyes
between them
lean on the medieval wall.
Every day.

It won’t give away
any time soon.

The journey on the
sunlit patches of the road
is like a dream
that they will dream of
or awake in the time machine

They will hold hands
before they part
or may kiss.

They will write
To each other
Till they meet again

But the comedian’s
not what he used to be,
he’s busy digging for roots
each time
under the follicles of hair
on his head
of what he said and what he meant.

January 3, 2009

The seventh admission of a manufactured personal history

In this mix of sleepy insomnia
and ennui,
I have carefully crafted a nostalgia trip.
I have booked us on journeys
through places that don’t exist
and plotted events that never took place.

I have it all laid out along the paths
of memory –
small, round, distempered, white
relocated from free river beds
and lined up like soldiers
or school children waiting
for the march past
like fake anecdotes.

I have it all ready,
the blue prints
and the maps
of a relationship
that never existed.

I have imagined it
all here, waiting for you.

But come soon.

The road to madness is about to end.

December 10, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008


They met over some hot,
acidic coffee and pungent
garlic bread.

Writers, poets and more poets,
eating, chatting,
reading and talking

A short story began
and will grow up
to be a novel

She spoke of relationships
and alienation,
that co-exist but last a lifetime.
spoke of gory impotence
that is part of a bureaucrat’s life
who lords over villages.

they who think too
of relationships
in a different
sort of way,

We saw it on TV.
And read it in the paper too.

A boy,
just seven,
his long story
cut short.
His skin cut through
with acid hurled
by the aliens,
and the pungent
hospital smells –
the smell of dead flesh
that the living carry
and of living but
decaying layers
of those,
already dead.

July 28, 2008


They put a few coats of golden paint
on the bigger clay statue
and made the smaller
metal statue look like such a dud.
That’s the power of makeup.
At least on TV.

Oct 21, 2008

Secret service archives?

I opened the page
to type a few words
and the computer said
it was a new document
that I must name
before I start writing.
I never thought I was
creating documents
that had to have names.
This is interesting
in a sinister sort of way.

October 21, 2008

The setting sun

Do twelve bizarre
put together make a poem?
Not during normal working
No one writes during
normal working hours anyway.
That’s the time when we
gather poetry
like fairytale characters
berries, flowers or mushrooms
in woven baskets
the sun setting unexpectedly –
the reversible twist in the tale --
their only big concern.

October 21, 2008


I am going to sit here
all day tomorrow
and so on
searching for what I want to write
in what others have written.
Because, my pen has
run dry.

October 21, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008


It didn’t pain half as much
when the finger fractured
than it did when
when the ortho surgeon tried to fix it
by setting it right back
the way it was.

The child screamed, wailed
and clung to her mother
the mother shed tears silently
and held on to her husband’s sleeve.

The doctor was a nice man
but he was late already
for his lec-dem.
And, his car was
parked to the wrong side.

September 12, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another rum poem

Rumi, the great Sufi,
is in a way, three-fourths Rum
and a quarter I.

Yet, how blasphemous
would it be?
if I said
the flask of rum on my study table
doesn’t merely fulfill
the need for poetry or lovemaking
but fills in for dead parents and
friends long lost,
lost forever.

It fits in exactly
where the pursuit of happiness
and renunciation, failed.

An old wise man
whose presence
takes you on a high
can be your guru –
living, demanding, superior being.

But here, is this durban
who opens all doors
for a little bakshish,
takes you to gatherings
where everyone is just another you.

And the fleeting resonance in every
of this hall of mirrors
is your own.

Who needs gurus and godmen
Or gods
when you have schizophrenia,
a flask of rum
a table to rest these on.

A laugh marks the beginning to end
of sanity; insanity,
comes distilled,
trapped in a bottle
you can fill a few flasks with.

The only power that stands
in the way of my being a complete atheist.

August 12, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book of songs

I found a small book
at Fact ‘n’ Fiction
one day.

A book of songs.

It has songs of all kinds.
Songs that make you
but sad
at the same time.

There are songs
full of anxiety
and desire,
of freedom
and longing.

Some songs are like smells
sweet but strong.

Or like the breeze
that touches your eyes lashes gently
and blows just
before it pours madness from
grey clouds.

Some are like paintings
I can’t paint.

There are more songs than
I can talk about,
In more shades than I can see
in a lifetime,
I tell myself
as I slip the book
into its shelf.

A few songs is
all you need.

I hope I can keep coming
back to it.

July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008


This business of switching sides,
of a door hanging
loosely by the hinges
most screws gone,
is intriguing.

The hinges aren’t
the way it was planned
Years ago.
But is that reason enough
to walk in and out of a door
as you please?

In a house with no windows
they couldn’t shut all doors
at all times.

You can keep a door open
and still put a sign up
that says
“Do not disturb”
at the cost of upsetting someone
even if it is your own

I would’ve called you my shadow
and I, yours.

But, from the time I heard
about the divorce
I have been careful
about the words
I choose.

July 19, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The bar

I can sit here all night
talking about the virtues
of rum
with my friend
or his friend.

But, this woman
swimming and dancing in my glass
is bothering me.

It is not because
she is a woman
Or because it is my glass
she is dancing in.

You can go for a swim alone
and you can dance alone
but she is dancing with herself.

Look, she can’t even dance!

But, she seems to enjoy
this celebration
of being alone.

I can’t swim
and I can’t dance
I can celebrate being alone.
But, not like her somehow.

We are all different, I know.
and a woman dancing
or swimming
or singing
can attract or distract.

But, this is different.

I will leave the glass here
with my drink unfinished
so she can enjoy her dance.

on the bus back home,
I will think about how
she got into my glass.

July 9, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The last time

The last time around
we were together
You spoke a different language.
Things have changed now.
It is raining,
this time around.

June 27, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Is it raining?

look out of the window please,
is it raining outside?


Or is just
the old man’s roof?

Or am I dreaming
about one of those
things happening?

Did it rain
last night?

Or sometime
early this morning?

I thought I heard raindrops.

It was a different sound
than it is now.

But, that’s common isn’t it?
When it rains
how the wind blows
changes the sounds that we hear.

Does it happen to you?
Or is it just me
who hears the rain
making a different sounding love
each time it goes to the mud?

Is there mud on the ground outside?
Or is it paved now?
Maria, will you please look outside
and tell me?

June 21, 2008

Mountains and the spirit

Coming back from the mountains
and going back -
out on the city’s roads
driving all by yourself
is like recovering from a fever.
It feels like you are done
and you have had a good rest
lying in bed, sleeping
and dreaming
for all those days:
Long hours of sleep, cold sweats, nausea.

But, its worse when you get back.
Every few steps you take,
you feel tired and queasy.
Though, it isn’t the reverse
of sleeping with a fever.

It’s quite the same.
You break into a cold sweat
or sleep deep enough to meet
strange beings in a nightmare.

Imagine dying in the mountains!
Just falling off a cliff
or drowning in a river
running so fast
that you never know
what killed you,
-- the water or the current?

But then there is rum
that lets you choose your death
and there are those on the way to death times
that feel worse than death,
at least till you are alive.

June 17, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My rivers

What is it about
early rains, seeping walls,
choked drains
or apologetic drizzles
that leave mud
between your fingers and under your soles,
that is so much more convincing
than angry, boisterous rivers?

I meet a river every year.
Sometimes, every few months,
for work.
There are some that kill,
others that are dying
and some others that just flow
or as seasons change,
stop flowing.

I know a lake that is an extension
of a river.
The rocks and the logs in the river
and the birds in the lake,
The weeds, the snakes they all are real.
But a river, is still a good place to have
a beer by.

June 17, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008

Partition II

For every single step he took,
his feet weren’t sure
they had found the road
under the snow.

But, the postman managed
to deliver
day after day
every working day

So, one day, his son
could return
to the city by the village
and teach scholars
what it means to be a refugee’s son.

June 7, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008


If I gloss through
the pages,
in my mind,
of the diary
I never wrote
and notes I never
I can join
the dots
and show you
a picture.

Don’t ever
get drunk
shout at me.
I don’t care what
the big picture is.

I have my own
and I make my own

I am no Einstein,
or Russel
But I have been
with just being what I am,
on truth and relativity.
And it all fits in very well when
I look at you.

It fits equally well
when I don’t look at you.
So you must understand
you are not relevant.

Please leave.
And, shut the door
when you go.

Those dogs outside
and the fireflies
are just as avoidable as you are.

March 11, 2008


It is not easy
to finish things off
in a few words.
or a picture.

or words
aren’t always enough.
You need breath
or water,
maybe colours
or soil.
A woman’s womb sometimes.

The way we see light and
the way it is
can be so different,

like the impressions we carry
about life
or they way we express
from the way
Nature does.

March 11, 2008

Spring II

No wonder,
looking at the leaves,
reminds me of a box of crayons.

It is spring.

The chilly saplings
in the pot
may never yield anything
more than green leaves
or white flowers
that whither sooner than
they appear.
it is spring.

Growing up in the city
can take its toll
but manicured gardens get spring too.
It is the air
laden with hope,
and above all
the smell of spring.

There is a strange stench in the air -
of change
that cancer brings —
Irreversible change.

When multiplication
doesn’t mean life anymore.

For the sprouts
there is also
Fresh breath
and through it

For a part of us
and some of us,
It is still spring.

March 11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


What is it about the colour
Or red
That is so attractive?

March 11, 2008

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


When it rains
in the mountains
all night
the water
carries trees and homes
with it.

When the ice melts
it flows
creating sudden streams
gushing out of nowhere.

I wonder if
I will get the time
to call you
when I am dying.

October 5, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

So you were saying...

Despite the splits
in my personality
I am just one man.

But, I object.
Because, I am plural.
But, when I wish to be.

I know you will
bring a therapist
or a doctor
they will say,
or one of them will say,
it is a sickness.
Some wise one will say
it’s the pot I smoke.

No it is not a sickness
and I am no angel
but I don’t smoke pot.
Of course,
I smoke pot.

I have my own addictions
because I nurture these

Yes, I can go on
the way I wish to
and want to
with these habits.

I can change
or drop the habits
But why should I?

I don’t need you
I mean I need you
as much as you need me
but I don’t need you
because you are a habit
or an addiction
or a friend
or my companion

I need you
because I do.

I feel strange
about the conversations
we have
with each other
and with others

I feel pushed to the corner
like a serial cartoonist
who must deliver a punch
at the end
and in the middle
after those silly intervals
that the newsprint manager decides.

These silly digressions
can be avoided
but then,
What is the point of having
a conversation?

Ah so, where was I?
Where were we?

August 25, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lake-view apartments

Stagnation is
living by a man-made lake
for years.

Growing up
under the shadow
of trees by a pond
and climbing them
is part of being a child.
Smoking and coughing
under those trees is part of
going out like a tired flame.

Between these two states
the pond can
just be a teacher.

Those who grow up by the river
are capable of choosing
being still or boisterous.

Those by the still, placid lake
are somewhat repressed.

But, to live by a sad river
is even sadder.

August 5, 2007.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Once upon a time

Once upon a time,
when cars in the city
would stop
for pedestrians on the road,

Big houses
had big lawns
to grow
and for failed attempts at growing plums.

I was young
and loved the shriveled plums
just for variety.

I don’t push my pedal bike
by those houses anymore.

When I do pass that way
I see the trees have made space
for more people and their houses.

But I don’t get sad,
the way I would’ve
when I was young.

But, that was many worries
and many kilos ago.

© Jatin Gandhi, July 8, 2007.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The hero’s last action

I had a strange dream last night.

My friend and I
Were speeding in a car
And he decided
Not to stop at a police barricade.

The police followed us
In fast cars with blaring

But, we were faster.

Then they started shooting at us.

From nowhere suddenly
We had guns too.

But I did not shoot.
Instead, I cried and pleaded with my friend
To stop the car.

In the morning,
I went down the elevator
And shouted at the security guards

For not being careful
With my newspapers.

July 2, 2007.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I want my friends
To meet me
But, once every ten years.

I want them to write
But never write back
When I write to them.

© Jatin Gandhi, June 15, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Maria, I have stared,

at the Four black pigeons and one albino,

for many months now.

And, also, at the several dead men

in the background

of the hero’s portrait.

I have wondered long enough

Why that book on the shelf

called ‘Unpopular Essays’

was read and re-read by people.

I have been thinking

and looking for connections

between people buried in history

and books and

the noisy roads below.

I am not sure Marie,

I have the answers.

Do you suspect,

I am not posing the right questions?

Or, is it

That times are changing?

© Jatin Gandhi, May 8, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I am not up to it.
I can’t give up
this psychotropic fondness
For you.

Don’t try to
wean me away
with anything.

don’t want
anything else.

Not even You.

I don’t like the word rehab.
I am not up to it.
I can get up,
stand on my feet
and walk out.

If I am too stoned
to stand up,
or too sick to walk
you can keep the body.

Not, the wandering soul.

© Jatin Gandhi, May 6, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The City

In the city,
On every street
There are thousands of heads
Every morning.

It’s a city that despises walkers
Their paths are blocked.
But each morning
Thousands of walkers
Tread the streets.

Each head in the city
Carries its cities

A morose man,
Walks with me on one such street.

That is not the only street I walk.
I change lanes and I cross streets.
And, I don’t mind who walks with me
As long as the cities in their heads
Do not spill on to the street.

(c) Jatin Gandhi, May 3, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007


it's this mingling
of the bodies
night after night
every night
and in the mind
day by day
all day
thats running
in my veins,
your veins.
i wait for
the night
the souls merge
to leave you I
and I, you.

Jatin Gandhi
April 18, 2005

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


His mother died last night.
He’ll burn her and grow older.
He was a young man last year
when his father died
and even after he lit the pyre.

But, now he’s old
He couldn’t leave home like
or become Budhha

She left before he could renounce
the world

He cannot leave home.

Men, whose mothers are
don’t make heroes.

They only grow old
and carry their homes

© Jatin Gandhi, November 2, 1999.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


In a colony
of one hundred and fifty refugees,
they marry
only among themselves
giving birth to deformed children.

Weddings and cremations
take place
side by side.

A refugee's son
looks for his roots

(C) Jatin Gandhi
April 19, 2000

Friday, December 08, 2006


Like betrayal
kept a promise.
Death and betrayal,
bound by tasks assigned,
kept promises
and worlds
fell apart.

Lest, the world
falls apart.

(C) Jatin Gandhi, April 18, 2005.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


the way
You are.
bright, sunny,
shady, glum,
pass the way
you were.
calm, starry,
cloudy, dark.
the in-between
i spend dreaming
of sleeping
with you
after a life
spent making love.

(C) Jatin Gandhi April 18, 2005.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


When I said
I need ice,
Was I lying?
I have been
Coughing these
Last few days,
Having rum
With warm water
And certainly no ice.
It is winter now.
But I say it as a habit,
Each time,
I fix myself another
I say I’m getting ice
Have I been lying?
To everyone
Including myself
Or is just a habit
To call rum, ice
Or is it because
The damned thing is
Just so cool
It does to your brain
What ice
Does to your tongue
In winter?

© Jatin Gandhi, November 16, 2006

silence...and i

when silence and i
parted ways
we didnt
make a noise.
we didnt hear
each other go,
but each knew
the other
would soon
come back.
and did too,

once again
we were
holding hands,
walking over
crackling dry leaves

(C) Jatin Gandhi, March 29, 2005

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Love died that night
but I clung on,
for the heart's sake,
to the corpse.
The decay would soon
and did
set in
but I clung on.
The rot spread
and our lives were
It didn't matter,
I told myself.
Wasn't love itself
before it died?

(C) Jatin Gandhi, April 4, 2005

Friday, November 03, 2006


She did, he did
Once upon a time
love each other

(C) Jatin Gandhi

Thursday, November 02, 2006


He got drunk
Last night and
Fell in the slush

With mud in his eyes,
He wept and thought
- a man must live, drink,
fall and die alone.

(c) Jatin Gandhi, November 9, '04

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Writing sometimes...

Writing, sometimes,
Is like stitching up old wounds
And opening new ones,
Cleaning up some
And prodding others.

It’s also like opening
Old bandages to see if
The wounds have healed
And sometimes finding them fresh underneath.

It is the wound itself.
And pain is not the connection,
Time is.

© Jatin Gandhi, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

To paint a song

I don’t have to be drunk
To sing a picture
Or paint a red song yellow
When I strum the paintbrush
I can smell the music flow
I don’t do grass
Before I wet the sky with words
Or breathe a joyful dance

(C) Jatin Gandhi, 2005

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



Do you letch at a woman
Or letch for her?
Or is it, to letch for other women
Is because you letch for the one woman in your life.
Can there be one woman in one man’s life?
Or are all women one
To a letch?

Can you letch for a woman
Who is no letch,
Shows no signs of being one
-- a woman who does not bring the lecher out in a man,
would a letch still letch for her?
Is sexual activity one-sided?
If it is all in the mind,
Can a table be an/the object of sexual desire?
Or a glass or bottle –
Empty or full – will it change everything?

Eating chocolate induces the effect in your mind
How many chocolates can a man eat before he feels a limp?
And women? Do they love chocolates more?
Or do they pretend?
Are there categories of flesh?
Is forbidden flesh one?
Can you stop a woman from eating flesh
Or a man from showing it?

(C) Jatin Gandhi
October 25, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006


…and the mannequin looks on
hand on hip
another on waist
whether or not
if looks could kill.
But the mannequin looks on.
Lamps and lights
The din

T h e f a n s, t h e c r o w d s
And m u s i c too

Cigarette smoke rings
Clouds and wrings.
Dead flesh too sweats,
Trust the witness
---- the dead never lie.

Suffocatin’ smoke
To combat pungent,
Foul breath.

Ignore the stench.
Opaque glass panes and thick sideboards
Do not matter
If looks could kill.

© Jatin Gandhi

Monday, October 16, 2006


It began as heartburn
but travelled
at the speed of thought
and spread.

The brain was soon
The hate then entered
my lungs
I was breathing it

Next, it ran in my blood
every vessel, tissue, nerve,
cell got involved.

And before I could die
My soul was infected.

Nov 9, 04

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The fractured arm

One arm, three bones
And many pieces.
Fractured, broken, split,
splattered, oozing, dripping,
wreaking, smelling, writhing,
twisting, twisted, deformed,
together, apart, all, one, many.
How it happened, they can tell.
But why, can they?
Would reptiles know more than humans.
Snakes, wild lizards or crocs?
Or the lizard on the wall.
Remember Anna,
The early January afternoon?
When, the lizard took over.
When he spoke of Wordsworth
But I thought of Isaac Newton.
He looked helpless.
He wanted to fly but gravity pulled him down
He fought gravity and inertia weighed him down
It is inertia perhaps that breaks spines
But broken bones are no big deal
When the spine is intact.

Jan 27 ‘04

Monday, October 09, 2006


They came drenched
In red paint
Wearing red
Badges and carrying
Red roses

But there was no

(C) Jatin Gandhi, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006


If cities were beasts,
the one I live in
would be a mongrel.
A hungry one.
Ugly and rabid,
scarred and smelly.
Water flows from the tap
like saliva from
the sun-struck mongrel’s

It heaves and pants.
It is noise.
But for those who have lived
here a long, long time,
just voices in the city.
The hungry mongrel
devours almost anything –
food and garbage
with machine-like

The cur took away my voice,
As if it were
A discarded piece of bread.

© Jatin Gandhi, April 25, 2006.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006



(under the huge

tree with red,

yellow leaves,

half-bent, half

falling into

green, brown waters

of the still,

dirty lake

turning orange,

red, gold, silver,

black under

the purple, violet, blue,

turquoise sky

in the red, orange,

brown setting sun,

half drowned in

the silver, gold,

white smokey


the poet in the

long, black,

patched old

felt overcoat

and broken,

brown boots


a long, thin, dry


was a poem


© Jatin Gandhi, 2005

Monday, September 25, 2006


I love your silence
My lord
I'd love it more if
it weren't

(C) Jatin Gandhi, 2006


who wrote my
didn’t know
I was a
writer too.

(C) Jatin Gandhi, August 8, 2001

Story teller

Meet him,

man who hates other men,

but don’t talk to him.

And don’t look him in the eye

or he’ll hate you too.

He’s a story-teller

who writes of men and women,

children, pigeons and places.

And kittens.

He writes what men talk

watches them when they talk

and listens carefully

sometimes with his eyes closed.

He loves to talk.

But don’t talk to him

just listen

Or he wont tell you his story.

(C) Jatin Gandhi, 1999

Unedited on October 29

Maria, have you heard of a man

with four names?

I know of words with more synonyms

Than four. Five. Six. Seven.

But not names.

And not people with so many names.

I know a man who named his dog


He said was a

Seven-in-one name


Its just three colours but.

And then it's one name


I have heard of violet flowers

And indigo scarves,

Of blue bicycles, green snakes,

Yellow cars,

Oranges hair and red books.

I have seen colours

And met people.

But I haven’t met

A man with four names

All names that mean

The same.

© Jatin Gandhi, 1999.

The rum drinker

The rum drinker

he jumped from
the ledge tonight
and died,
will you bandage
his neck first
or collect pieces of
his flesh from
between the cracks
in the road?
Will you cover his
body with leaves
and let children discover
him in play
or would you rather
drink up his rum
before they knew?

For him
to have died leaving
his rum unfinished
was good for us.
But think of him
to kill himself
-- could it mean
death meant more to
him than rum
when he died?

© Jatin Gandhi, 2004