A Bus Called Mr Nice Guy (2005)

Cover photograph: K Ramanathan / Cover design: Jack Ross
(Mumbai, India - 15/1/02)

A Bus Called Mr Nice Guy. ISBN 0-473-10526-8. Auckland: Perdrix Press, 2005. [ii] + 50 pp. [Signed edition of 50 copies].


Letter to Gabriel White
- Timekeeper to the nation
- Black eyebrows nose
Bangalore (i):
- It was waiting for me
Bangalore (ii):
- Soon to be full six
- Self-conscious in a chair
- Long live classical divine Tamil
- As crêpes they’re crap
- Always in a crowd
- Put that pen away
- Once is never enough
- Not knowing where we’re going
- Van Allen Hospital
- Black cow lies in the road
Kodai / Kanyakumari:
- Is this going to stay
- They like to see me writing
Cape Comorin:
- The deer doesn’t enter
- He is not a man
- They can make anything
- Haunted eyes
- A lot of action
- This is my first
- Meine Damen und Herren
- The tank’s refilled
Quilon / Alleppey:
- No-time the expanse
- Helping the Down Trodden
Fort Cochin:
- Harbour full of islands
- How do you like Kochi?
- Human contact
- Do I exaggerate?
Kochi / Bangalore:
- Light on the tracks
- One’s the buffoon
Bangalore / Panjim:
- The hooded horror
- Sophie Marceau
- Fishermen
- Inside the cabin
North Goa:
- I’ve caught up with myself
- Palolem Vagatur
- Is it the moment?
- Ahead of myself
Madgaon / Bombay:
- White herons taking flight
- Life must go on
- That is the biggest
- I can laugh about it now
- New construction Amcare
- An alien species


Perdrix Press


Perdrix Press
6A Hastings Rd
Mairangi Bay
North Shore City 0630

RRP: $NZ 20.00

photograph: Jack Ross
(Bangalore, India - 22/1/02)

Reviews & Comments:

  1. Raewyn Alexander. Takahe 57 (2006): 59.

    Prose, poetry, observations and quotes conjure up through their vivid everyday otherness, a sense of travelling along with Ross through India ... This book speaks of travel, danger, poverty, oddities, commerce and friendship, and in its fractured elegance evokes a picture of one man’s experience in a land quite foreign to him.

  2. Alistair Paterson. Africa: //Kabbo, Mantis and the Porcupine’s Daughter (Auckland: Puriri Press, 2008): 52-53, 56-57 & 70.

    Alistair Paterson: Africa (30/6/08): pp. 52-53 & 56-57.


    of /Kaggan, the eland
    you thank Jack (Ross)
    for the books he's sent you
    & especially
    for his travel book:
    A Bus called Mr Nice Guy.

    You read it, study it -
    the book that gives advice
    on how to travel through India
    how to travel through

    Asia, Europe, places
    you've never been to, perhaps
    might never visit

    except like now
    through reading the words –
    the words you've found
    in Jack's book:

    The most beautiful thing
    he says,
    he's seen in India ...

    but says nothing about
    Africa, /Kaggen
    the eland


    & truly, you don't know
    what it is
    (the most beautiful thing)

    whether it's the eland
    'most magnificent
    dark & splendid'

    as /Kaggan thinks of it
    or whether it's
    as Jack says …

    the most beautiful thing
    is in the room of Ramayana
    in the face
    of Krishna

    playing his flute
    or in a picture of Shiva
    with Parvati on his knee.

    But of course, the thing
    Jack says is beautiful
    isn't in Africa
    but in India where
    he saw it near Kochi –

    where he saw a bus called
    Mr Nice Guy …

    It's in a painting –
    in the here, the now.


    While Jack –
    Jack sits at a pavement table
    in Ponsonby
    sipping a latte
    thinking of Chantal
    of travelling with her round
    the South Island
    in the New Year

    of Richard West
    & his book
    The Life & Strange
    Adventures of Daniel Defoe

    Most remarkable
    to be thinking of both at once
    & remarkable as well
    to be thinking of Genji


    of Lady Murasaki
    & 'too many maiden-flowers
    in the field.'

    But then, where else
    would you & Lady Murasaki
    them to be?


    And in India, of course
    In India Jack put all those words
    on paper thinking perhaps
    they might make a difference
    might change things

    but Africa has come with us
    & it’s impossible to stop
    writing about it – about
    Africa being everywhere.

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