Schizo Fairy


‘You are a falsehood, you are my illness, you are a ghost’  –  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
‘in a split second the dream
piles before us mountains as stony
as real life’
   –  Wisława Szymborska


I. It starts in the hands

Red ribbons around black hair.
inside, a girl born to airful snow,
snow like a scarf around her neck

Oh for it suddenly to be
acrostic backflips
Pixie at dew-needle
motorized influential
the blinding parklands
inescapable froidure
of the walls
heathen master
it charges it relishes
Matadors and atlases
those little slips
Plutonium brace holds
Pixie contortionist,
chewing a folded
petrol fills the eye
fundamentalist's ignition
riddle of the manor
tomfoolery spilling over in stone,
those enchanted shells
pixie on the mind
out the second
mother calf
what viscid filament,
these winged colossi,
rings and rings
of docks, 
claustrophobia of nature
the room is fountain
a topaz eyed dryad she
fluctuates in her taffeta
in a bulb housed bobbing 
careening serenely
in the attic-slat
found at gloaming 
desist, desist, 
Lamina extruded
mother fat 
cheap, free abuse
desert hoist of steam
my pencil smokes
Augustan chief
redlands woody hair
Necropolis militant
'I disagree with the long neck
of the starlet
flamingo vice
her scarlet brogue'
She leaves the cold,
hyaline grasses
throat- concatenates the 
thrilling streets
broken toe of
the steam-pastures
Panoptic exhibit
frolicking kiss of molecule
and spice
the enchanted nebulae
laburnum anchors
cut-glass aria with amethyst gravel
scatter teeth, rose
prolong your atticisms,
let us not extend perdition
reptile officers
let us be spoken to
kinetic murmur




II. knitted dreams

These lands, hungrier by night,
grow into suns'
under the eyes,


Shod in apnea, 
entire spasm
galvanized in urn;
carbon pox
(Parnassus, his argent ear )
cracks through monochrome
dislodged from sentinel
into cusp of
(Parnassus in foxtails)
liniment poured into ear
cortex skullduggery
(Parnassus at coppice with spade)
the thin painted mind,
they paraded me thus
palisades of fleeing civilians
scimitar of quake,
(Parnassus, in pleated bearskin)
the plantagenet thus
philosopher-boy with his toys of mud
iron cloud
over boiling mouths
Ring cymbal
mad clasp of
the belial at shore
(Parnassus, his milk-stained couplet) 
vassals of that glutton,
part the colors of
the sphere,
Sanctuary, sights isle
immunity's white cloak,
dulcet wounds




III.  the house of whistling shadow

Each creature on this ground,
soars further and further
with tempestuous aspect,
the painted are moored out of canvas
mirrors widen and scream their 
liquid song


Astride cinnabar
thoughts cracked on
whetstone darling buds,
brimstone palms
whirring petal off cheaply
even day-gaze
pendulous altitude 
body merely a centimeter
of beat,
its tripling
sky rusts,
rutilant bruise
carriers scuttle
to lake; chaffing between
boulders of navy polythene
(the lowly jaunt to
machinist laws
as language
dendrite construction
over opaque vault,
Hyperbolic hair-making
of vermin,
mimics the
trussed skull
of the priestess
before incantation
flutes and those heavy brushes
Here, she mops her cut-mirror brow 
lends her touch,
despair, the warrior
his bounty
of voices,
his shingled tone,
despair the equal
plane, the creaseless spike
of land,
(paper-boats on
despair the temple
where they
preach on wave

Not for me the cussed out scholar
his Titian carcasses
Not for me the ambition of 




IV. Such a clever girl!

I swear I have a witch's elan,
I swear I eat joints of sapphire in sleep
and wake to blue hay and mud like
fairest wool

Fandango in
witch in chambray,
strut your triangular
speak the substance of your
diamond phial,
brush on
maquillage of the cosmic
unctuous shrapnel lids,

spin the baton,
its slicing emerald
Your desolation;
tossed magma
at morn
shoals of egrets,
engulfing the basilisk trough
witch, her camelia, scotch,
witch, her python river
furling outright
over mind's stalagmite
fulminating crisp hymn
torches hollow
Volta of heart
placketed bog,
A woman with a Chinese fan
and a novella,
the immense multiplying
and toppling edges
of the century;
her skiff
dark in plaster
mink crypt. idiom capsized .
the softness of those
black seas




[Afshan Shafi lives in Lahore, Pakistan and has studied English Literature and International Relations at The University of Buckingham and Regent’s University London. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Clinic3am magazine, Ala Champ Magazine, Melusine, Ink Sweat and Tears, A Literation, Uut Poetry, Muse India, Pour Vida, ditch, Full of Crow, New Asian Writing, I am not a silent poet, Visual Verse, Black heart magazine, and others. Her debut chapbook of poems Odd Circles was published by Readings (Pakistan) in 2014. She is the founding editor of the online Abbreviate Journal and also a poetry editor for The Missing Slate and the forthcoming Aleph Review.]


Copyright © 2016 by Afshan Shafi, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.