‘Behind my eyes are the eyes of a horse looking out’. In this dynamic collection of prose poems, Misbah Khokar spins a bright new compass over fragmented, improvised worlds. Her poetry scopes the aftershocks of imperialism and voices wild new visions, bringing us to the territory behind the eyes. With what James Baldwin called ‘perception at the pitch of passion’, Khokar’s poems stun with their sudden intensities, their casual intimacies, their mapping of psychic expansions out of place. Their vocal resonance is emotionally protean—tones move swiftly from cool doom to playful grace—expressing the pleasures of observation and the strange consolations of unbelonging. —Lucy Van
Misbah was born in Karachi-Pakistan, with both European and Indian ancestry. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from University of Queensland. Her work appears in Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Contemporary Asian Australian Poets, Peril, Mascara Literary Review; she has been featured on ABC radio’s Poetica, and has performed at the Queensland Poetry Festival. Highly commended by Thomas Shapcott, Brownyn Lea and John Kinsella, Misbah wrote Rooftops in Karachi as prose poetry filtered through her memories, concerning real, temporary and imagined spaces of unrest, desire, liberation and potential transformation specific to her journeys to Pakistan as an apostate. Her art and poetry has appeared in Press 100 Love Letters, and she is currently exploring the erotic and pagan religions of the pre-Islamic era.
Misbah, Rooftops in Karachi (dB3)
2018. 36pp. 120mm x 150mm ISBN 978-1-925735-16-1
deciBels series 3 (edited by Michelle Cahill and Dimitra Harvey)