Nostalgia and Other Poems


I stood there, awash with
sand dunes I never visit

one foot twisted inside of itself:
coquette, doll-thing.

my father’s words washed over me,
this script my antique.
I have not bothered to learn
the lost pages between us

childhood memories

the zillionaire babe fantasy
in the Lisa Frank diary
spontaneous stories of twin girls with 23 siblings
green-lined paper & stained blue pilot pens
scarred against blueprint, I mean,
blotting paper.

Geneva font on my mother’s first Mac, before
Mombasa and FM music. before rehearsals for The Crucible

congealed hair,
lying legs up in the heat,
pyjamas collecting at my hips;
no neat matching sets.
instead: marker stripes,
more ladders than snakes
R ma’am smiled & I tattled;
I was afraid of anyone who could make their toenails bleed
but now mine do, too

warm rain, barefoot, lice shampoo;
twigs and bugs in the swimming pool.
& then it’s drama club & the cool girls wear thongs and pretty bras
& straighten their hair & she comes into the bathroom & tells me
stop being so cocky

swinging on K’s grounds
I don’t know why I didn’t call her
Bulbul, too

trying to sing in My Fair Lady but I’m out of tune, or
it’s M ma’am’s fake British accent.
crowded vans and sitting mesmerized.
fluffy ruffled dresses fade into cheap facsimiles.

my friend made her maid pull the hair out of her brush
we smiled at all the elegant pictures in Europe     and I am done with inspiration
done with secular white teeth, or
making friendship bands with slum school kids
I am a runaway bead from America to America
glass and Czech, the clasp of a whirring fan
a train berth
a turmeric treatment.

my hair like skin memory,
hearing aid betrayal
I won’t listen anymore.
Himalaya shampoos and conditioners everywhere.
rose water and almond oil.
the neat tiled floor, nothing like stone and peeling plaster.
water heaters waiting to fry us alive.
everything was risky, like being nearly naked on the balcony
and the little boy staring, staring.

and all I remember of Manhattan
is yellow lamplight sitting on the sink


my father draws wires above my head,
plastic coating don’t touch.
all this cheap red yellow blue and then
thin metal escapes: frayed snakes.
I guess he’s immune but not me.

I want to write the scenery of Chandigarh
but I already forget. hapless dung piles and soil
blend into Hyderabad.

I want to be shivering again
at the bus stop in my Vivek school blazer,
marveling at wisps
of breath in the cold fog.
and now I don’t need a hat, no;
thin tights are enough.

I want J pushing and hitting me against thin leather.
(later he also throws desk corks at me)
I want to argue again, over up top
in the side front seat with P.
I want to be hot as flies again
on rudimentary festival red carpet.

and I’m so glad I never have to go through any of it ever again.

About author

Shana Bulhan Haydock
Shana Bulhan Haydock 1 posts

Shana Bulhan Haydock is a young, South Asian, disabled, gender/queer writer, artist and activist. They currently reside in Western Massachusetts, USA, though they grew up mostly in India. They recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, and have been accepted into the Juniper Institute, a summer writing program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Their work has appeared in such publications as EDGE literary journal, the Everyday Abolition project, aaduna literary magazine, and (parenthetical) zine.

You might also like

How to become a Latin Lover : Juan Pablo Sánchez Hernández

The simple mention of Latin will first evoke in you some vivid scenes of the Ancient world with the people who spoke such language: gladiators, Roman generals, senators in their

Every day is Sunday: A Reading of The Sense of An Ending

“Every day is Sunday”…… as Tony wanted it to be. Once you open the book and start reading the novel, you will find the first line written, “I remember in

Book & Film 0 Comments

Inception and the Philosophy of Mind

“Admit it. You no longer believe in one reality. So choose. Choose to be here. Choose me”. These enigmatic dialogues, directed towards Dominic Cobb are spoken by his subconscious which

Sikkimizing & Other Poems

The Dawn Half the globe is played by the children And the rest gem-studded on rich man’s hat A poultry befitting into this little earth where morning starts with a

Ghazal for Goregaon & Other Poems

Alone When my friends left the country, one by one, I ate and drank and sang at their farewells, talking of how true friendships last across the tunnel of distance.

Historical memory and modern Greek literature : the case of Elias Venezis

The Syrian civil war and refugee wave are among the most dramatic events in recent years. Most of us have read or watched the news on the disastrous situation of

Waning Insanity & Other Poems: Jorge Tarducci

Galactic ( Original poem: Galactico) Everything in relation with everything, Eternity game, Sparks of infinity, Illuminating the cosmos. Colorless Pearls ( Original poem: Perlas Incoloras) In the basement of sadness

Paradelle on Love & Other Poems: Lyn Coffin

Lyn Coffin (born November 12, 1943) is an American poet, fiction writer, playwright, translator, non-fiction writer, editor. She has published fiction, poetry and non-fiction in over fifty quarterlies and small

Kite & Other Poems: Bijoy Sankar Barman

An accomplished Assamese poet and translator, Bijoy Sankar Barman (b.1980) already has nine published books on different genres to his credit. The recipient of the prestigious Munin Barkataki Award in

Gaajan -A Hindu Folk Festival: Biswarup Saha

Gaajan is a Hindu festival associated with deities Shiva, Neel and Dharmathakur. Gajan spans around a week, starting at the last week of Choitro continuing till the end of the

Anathpindat & other Poems

Anathpindat* Rotten sea shell gashes your opium dream Before the morning prayer dance floor dishevels. While taking coffee in this bordello city Sleep evaporates from checkered table cloth. With cloud

Homecoming: Iman Mitra

I had always observed him from a distance. He was sad like a ship alone on a voyage to New Zealand. His eyes matched the dim light of the lantern

What Less & Other Poems: Indranil Chakrabarty

In my blues Doors, eyes, banisters and roads walking from  canvas to canvas, you silenced Neruda’s heart and  gave a lot of breath. Walking around circles, I stand there now.

Zen poems

1) These rain drops Fresh and full Drenched in the Touch of sky Come dancing Like a naughty child   2) A kite   Looks like a swinging dot At

Why Not A full Fledged One

I begin to offload. Not mere  clothes but  more . . . those  thoughts  hanging  about heavily. Stubbornly unmoving, intruding even now whilst I  am  trying to  cover this nakedness.

Don’t Fear an Apology & other poems

  MANDU Too hot to hide under sheets Mandu lay naked in bed Her back sticky from sweat A voice echoed in her head     Get up, get up,

Throne of a Sinking Mind & Other Poems

March   Embryo of death will bloom   I am being lost like a madman Observe my struggle Month of March is lagging behind this journey   These rocks define


1 por la precisión supe que el tiro vino de dentro **** for accuracy I knew the shot came from inside 2 me oculto en la rutina   sonrío    reparto tarjetas

“My music tastes turquoise and smells like rain”: Sam Mills with Tanvir Ratul

Sam Mills was born in London in 1963. He started playing guitar with 23 Skidoo in 1979. The band fused avant garde experimentation and stylistic eclecticism with dance rhythms, and

Options for a Classroom & Other Poems: Ballari Sen

A heap of sighs Borrowing of the aura of hidden shadows A moon gradually sneaks to a burden of Sunshine, enough of a flux of blue plastic Shields guarding pale


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply