“A New Bapu” by Amlanjyoti Goswami

Amlanjyoti Goswami


Would take to Twitter like fish to water
But grow out of it
And use it as a protest tool.
Once in a while, he would take breaks with vows of silence.
He would use the extra time
To sort out, ends and means
The broken strings.
He would be wise to know 
Greed remains greed and power is now
Like electricity, everywhere,
From the clerk to the high heavens.
He would look for a place to start— 
And it would be with himself.
Cleaning the toilet on a weekday, 
Making plants grow with bare hands. 
Not using a sensor to figure it out.
He would be wary of AI, robots, anything that takes the mind away.
They take the soul out, he would say.
But he would take to planes more easily, for the utility.
He would still write letters, with a fountain pen
And send postcards, to children.
He would recycle paper and look inside, for answers. 
He would be worried about
Climate change.
He would pass the street and you wouldn’t even know.
He would travel incognito. 

from Rattle #73, Fall 2021
Tribute to Indian Poets


Amlanjyoti Goswami: “India pervades my experiences and poetry. This is about living, breathing, and thinking deeply about things around me. Where I come from and where I am going. Traditions, histories, ways of seeing, hearing, and knowing. I draw upon rich traditions of Indian aesthetic in my work and am not afraid to cross borders. This is about the neem tree as much as the new Mercedes on the street, busy with street vendors selling you dim sums. There is an aesthetic in all this I wouldn’t find in New York or London. Layers more than strict lines. A lot of colour.”

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