January 10, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Sultana Raza




Derived By-Clauses



As you worm your pathetic way

inch by inch, block by block,

on the inevitable matrix, chess board of duality,

concrete jungles sprawling with cut-throat competition,

wolves with sharp teeth compete for luxury jam

with underwater sharks with shady underbellies,

con everyone with their conniving corporate claptraps

contriving to make us cough up cold cash,

exchange hard earned crisp notes for zeroes on

a blinking screen that goes blank at

convenient moments, swiping us out of our own accounts.


Hedging bets behind hidden derivatives,

they sweep off our comforting zeroes

to the neverland of off-shore accounts

where only the books of the cunning balance with their

hood-winking X factor. Robin Hoods in reverse,

helping themselves first, swindle even doe-eyed intellos,

illiterate in unnecessarily complicated calculations,

believing complexly formulated junk bonds

would help maximize their revered zeroes, failing to zero in

that if ‘greed is good’ is the leitmotif

then vultures would justify all their actions, as they

whisk off the cream of accumulated capital

to cached umbrella funds, call our bluff

while we never realize that that

particular penny is highly unlikely to drop.


For pre-programmed majority

refuse to believe that a bunch of guys in

slick suits would deliberately

knot our profits in respectably speckled ties,

fixing them without our noticing it,

so our stocks would be cropped off periodically

due to fake bankruptcies, as they set it up long ago

to hold themselves accountable to no one.


Though its capital is on a lower latitude

than Wall St or The City,

despite its white-collar slavery,

at least the Roman Empire didn’t collapse because of

unaccountable zeroes in binary computer banks.






To the Unknown Victim



What kind of nouns or adjectives, verbs

Should I use to describe this white sheet?

No amount of words can emotions curb,

As tears slip on ice or treacherous sleet.


In many poor countries, fuel wars rage,

Trivial games, play grinning TV hosts.

Surgeons use sharp knife, so rich don’t age,

As starving millions give up their ghost.


Too used, too benumbed have become our nerves?

To oil wells are ‘peaceful’ armies lured?

Spin doctors know how to twirl crooked curve,

With help of tanks huge contracts are secured.


Trees are slaughtered daily, yet don’t scream,

Magnates procure raw materials for free.

Of the lush forest, the seed still dreams;

Brains are washed daily, they tacitly agree.






Sultana Raza

Sultana Raza’s poems have appeared in 30+ Journals, including Caduceus (Ed. Yale University), Columbia Journal, and The New Verse News. More poems have appeared in The Society of Classical PoetryBewildering Storiesspillwords, and The Peacock Journal.  

Her fiction has received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Review (USA), and has beenpublished in numerous journals, including Coldnoon JournalHer 100+ articles (on art, film, and humanitarian issues) have appeared in English and French. An independent scholar, she has presented her creative writing, as well as papers on Keats and Tolkien in international conferences.

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