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from our poet of the month: Mehnaz Sahibzada

Illustrated Moon


"to turn the world inside out, this / delicate force that sometimes hugs / itself so tightly, the fears seem to break"


The cynic, the romantic, the fool, 
and the feminist. I have been them all, 

and I have been them well. But
I am happier when I am not 

thinking which words best describe
me, for I am more than adjectives. I am 

story. I am this tender-hearted drive
to turn the world inside out, this 

delicate force that sometimes hugs
itself so tightly, the fears seem to break 

apart, and all my thoughts are moons
orbiting a planet of plot twists that 

unfurl and intersect. Look how many
subplots there are and notice how 

the exposition keeps changing fonts
as though hoping to scatter like confetti.

Listen to Mehnaz reading Confetti:

Mehnaz Sahibzada shares her experience of poetry with S&H:

I view poetry writing as a form of alchemy--a way to transform experience into something mystical.  You will find the battle between dark and light rearing its head in my poems. But even the darkest poem is hopeful. Some of the pieces I write are morally ambiguous.  Others lean towards the luminous.

Select poems from My Gothic Romance by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Copyright © 2019 by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Reprinted with permission of Finishing Line Press. 

Read more poems:

The Yellow Boat by Deborah Anne Quibell

Little Lion, Roaming the Cold Golden by Amanda Torroni

Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles.  She is a 2009 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry.  Her work has appeared in numerous publications, such as LiminalityMoiraThe Literary HatchetEllery Queen Mystery Magazine, and Pedestal Magazine.  Her first full-length collection, My Gothic Romance, was published in April 2019 by Finishing Line Press.   A high school English teacher, she lives in southern California.  To learn more about Mehnaz, visit her at

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