Three Short Acts From the Anthropo-Scene


by Sophia Naz

Close Him Anon

Genie, genie, present in-
verse my rub, summon, r/oil
aggregate of all & awe

is the word, is the word
a brazen abrasion, c/left
& rite, ignite, forever hold
your fleece, this burning s/kin

I now pronounce you
Woman & sentence

She Views From the Shalwar Shores

A skull sized chunk of quartz, no bigger perhaps than my decade old head, snot from the river’s nose lodged in rows of rock teeth, midstream between whoosh and gush. You picked it up and held it aloft, as if to sprout a soliloquy to the sun. A ruby vein stared back from a would-be eye socket, bloodshot, unsteady fairy tale. I thought of Odin. You said “Press the shutter already”

Laughter is a waterfall, a water
broken is also weeping, ábshâr

A ‘d’ in front of shar forceps
curdled blood, a constant
consonant sharp
in her y/ears


A fingering is what she dismembers.
A box is a third person.
A box within a box is a cemetery of memory.

A long marching letter s
rippling repetition
S for slap, so sorry
S for sex for shame for shame!

Hand in g/love we be-
sieged & shorn & sheen
brought to bear before
sweet hereafter, hymn

Incompletion twins
her coast, her caving in
every cranny every crevice
ice is, ice is, ice is.



rub: the Urdu word for “God”

ábshâr: waterfall

sheen: in addition to its meaning in English, sheen denotes the letter “s” in Urdu

Parataxīm: a play on parataxis, taxīm is an Urdu word for division

About the Author

Sophia Naz is an interlingual poet, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize; in 2016 for creative nonfiction and in 2018 for poetry.  Her work  features in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry At Sangam, Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review,  The Wire, Chicago Quarterly Review, Blaze Vox, Scroll, The Daily O, Cafe Dissensus, RAIOT, Ideas And Futures, Chapati Mystery, Guftugu, Pratik, Gallerie International, Coldnoon, VAYAVYA, The Bangalore Review, Madras Courier, etc. Naz’s poetry was recently part of the curriculum of Ethnopoetics taught by Jason Zuzga in ModPo ( Modern & Contemporary American Poetry) an online course offered by the University of Pennsylvania. She has authored three poetry collections; Peripheries (Cyberhex 2015), Pointillism (Copper Coin 2017) and Date Palms (City Press 2017) and Shehnaz, a (Penguin Random House 2019). Her fourth collection of poetry will be published by Yoda Press in 2021.

 Image: Kevin Walsh: rutilated quartz, 1980 (CC)

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