by Saba Syed Razvi


by Saba Syed Razvi


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heliophobia, a collection of poems, opens with a Nereid on the verge of death, closes somewhere between the orgiastic rapture of a rave and an ecstatic experience of midnight meditation, and pivots on conflicting cultural perspectives – one embracing in revelry the tangible darkness of the night and the other racing in fear from beneath its shadow toward the light. The book provides a space in which culture, myth, and archetype can reconfigure their manifestations, allowing Goya, Houdini, Kali, Anais Nin, Pessoa, Emily Dickinson, Freud and the Mad Hatter and others to cast their selves throughout the moving circles in a shadowy cast of characters across time and continents. As the poems make their way through dream images, ideologies, and reinventions, the foremost question becomes that of the center and where it is, whether it can be reached, or if it even is. A resulting whirl propels the reader through goth-rock refrains and mantric prayers, incantations and phantom confessions, into an underground freefall exploring the textures of shadow and the consequences of light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635343083
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication date: 12/22/2017
Pages: 94
Sales rank: 757,153
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Saba Syed Razvi is the author of the poetry collection In the Crocodile Gardens (Agape Editions), as well as the poetry chapbooks Limerence & Lux (Chax Press), Of the Divining and the Dead (Finishing Line Press), and Beside the Muezzin's Call & Beyond the Harem's Veil (Finishing Line Press). She is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston in Victoria, TX.

Table of Contents


Nereid Speaking 1

Lorca at the Edge of the Sea 2

First Night in the New House 3

Before Dawn 4

Elemental 5

Cicatrix 6

Not an Apple, Only Blossoms 8

Cacophony of Bells: The Origin of Disquiet 9

Lullaby for Goya 10

The Cost of Forgiving 11


Abida 15

Eve, Eve, and Adam…Nowhere 17

From the Hours of Forgiveness 18

Double Edge of Scimitar 19

Before the Wedding Party 20

Becoming Prodigal 21

The Truth Inside Postcards 23

Leonid Shower Above 360 Overlook 24

Kali 26

Habibi: Beloved 27

Holy Land 28

Tutankhamon’s Nurse 29

American Flag as Pardah 31

Blue Girl 32


The culmination of Icarus’s life: 35

Datura 36

Eleusis 37

Alone in the Cadaver Lab 38

Argument 39

Hatter madder maddest, 40

Birthright 41

Escape Artist 42

Stitches in Rib 43

Orchard in the Texas Sun: 44

Karkadeh 45

Without Freud 46


Girl Friend: Saheli 49

Ophelia’s Ghost 50

St. Agnes Eve 51

Your Way of Apology 52

Dryad Unsung 53

Port Lavaca, Texas 54

Muse 56

Cairo Palace Café—Houston, Texas 57

To learn patience, 58

Lakeshore Boulevard: Chicago by Night 60

Nag’s Head, North Carolina 61


Flowers for the Dead 65

Ariadne’s Dream 66

Vandalized at the Graveyard Edge, Seraph 67

Gingerbread Girl 68

Changeling in the Fire 69

Heliophobia 70

Sleeping Beauty 71

Shadows for Emily 72

Cat O’ Nine Tails 73

Asylum 74

Hocico 76

Chaand Raat: Eid ul Fitr 77

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