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Volume 10

From Pulp To Postmodern: A Tribute - July 2012


Mir Elias

Written by
Mir Elias

Mir Elias, née Mehrin Masud, is the pen name of Mehrin (“Mir”) Masud-Elias. Mir was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, came of age in the United States and found her voice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and their two dogs. Mir’s poems about her coming of age, the immigrant experience, love, loss and aging are often influenced by the Sufi poetic tradition, as well as Western myths, folk and fairy tales. Mir’s poetry has been published in Nothing But Red, a collection of artwork, poetry and short stories about violence against women, and in one of the recent online issues of Papercuts, the bi-annual literary magazine of Desi Writers' Lounge, an online workshop for writers of South Asian origin and writing on South Asia. Her first collection of poems is titled Glass Dreams. (Photo credit: Jamal J. Elias)


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Sibling Rivalry


At one period [Dr. Hilke Thur] became deeply involved with grave monuments, and gained international recognition through her investigations of a tomb which she correctly identified as the tomb of Cleopatra’s youngest sister, Arsinoe IV, who was murdered in Ephesus in 41 B.C. on the orders of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.

If only you could see me now
Through the sightless eyes
Of my virgin sisters,
Frozen in stone.

If only you could hear my screams,
A prelude to other nightmares
Only too easily imagined
Upon the body of a forgotten queen.

Would you be grateful
For the practiced detachment of gods
Like that paradox of deities,
My mother, the goddess of the hunt,
Blessing the ghastly orgy
Soiling her house
With shreds of royal prey?

Would you pick me up
Where I lay, wet and broken,
And tidy me up as if we were
Going to one of your imaginary fêtes,
Hand in hand, as only sisters can
In a moment of careless joy?

Would you take a blade from
Your men and twist it into
The soft, secret parts,
Rendered visible by a
Lifetime of memories,
To strike the killing blow?

Would you smile in pleasure,
My sister, my queen, my pharaoh,
At the thought that
All the perfumes of Misr
Have sweetened your hand
For my last day?



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