Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Sascha Aurora Akhtar’s poetry has been widely anthologised, translated and performed internationally at festivals such as the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam, Avantgarde Festival Hamburg and Southbank Centre’s MELTDOWN festival London curated by Yoko Ono.
Sascha has been part of poetry protests – Against Rape (Peony Moon, 2014) and Solidarity Park Poetry – Poems for the Turkish resistance (Ed. 2013). Her poetry collections are The Grimoire of Grimalkin ( Salt 2007), 199 Japanese Names for Japanese Trees (Shearsman, 2016) and poems as a Tarot pack, entitled Only Dying Sparkles (ZimZalla, 2018) with original art by John Alexander Arnold.
Sascha has a few things coming besides in 2019 such as a chapbook The Whimsy of Dank Ju-Ju (Emma Press) available for pre-order, a poeto-documentation of claircognizance with astrological charts & foreward by the Glitter Oracle ( Poet & astrologer Francesca Lisette) Astra Inclinant (Contraband Press) and another full-length collection #LoveLikeBlood(Knives Spoons and Forks Press). Poems from #LoveLikeBlood will be part of the Blackpool illuminations in 2019.
She has a book of translations of pioneering feminist fiction writer Hijjab Imtiaz coming out in April 2020 on Oxford University Press. Her Art/object deck of poems with drawings on ZimZalla (Manchester) entitled Only Dying Sparkles was featured on the Southbank Poetry Library acquisitions & at the University of Leeds PoetryBy Design Exhibit, which was on till August 23rd, 2019.
She is a Poetry School tutor specialising in healing & the history of magic in text & poetry. In the Autumn term 2019 will be teaching for six weeks at the University of Greenwich, London. In October 2018, she received funding from the Arts Council England in the form of the #DYCP grant. Her fiction has appeared in Storgy, The Learned Pig, Tears In The Fence, BlazeVox and Anti-Heroin Chic. Some magical workshops are planned with Parmenar Press. F: @ChoisirLeMotJuste Tw: @AkhtarSascha Insta: @sashickusmagickus
3 Hours More I Wait
3 hours more I wait, I wait in Kuwait after 3 hours gone 3 more hours I wait, I wait in Kuwait. 3 hours of my life. I have eten, I have rested, I have smoked, I have read, I am in Kuwait – 6 hrs in Kuwait, I have drank coffee I have procured dinner voucher for delay I am pumping bass into my head through skull candy, through skull candy – It is 3 hrs more to 6 hrs in Kuwait. Now I write, if I write for 3 hrs the wait will be over, but I don’t think I can write anything more than 3 hrs in Kuwait turns to 6 hrs in Kuwait. I’ve been here before. I was in Kuwait.
There were banners with Saddam’s image in 1998. The plane was delayed as it is now. They took us to a hotel. They escorted us with armed guards. I was in a hotel in Kuwait, but I’ve never seen Kuwait. I don’t want 2 C Kuwait can wait forever. When I looked out of the window it was burningfirelandscorching in sun and nothing and there was nothing but war.
A girl reads The Kiterunner- I was told to read it. Here everything costs double instead of half. 4 dinar makes 8 pound not 2. That isn’t supposed to happen with Real Rule Britannia money in 3rdWorld. I am in Kuwait. Is Kuwait 3rdWorld? I am 3rdWorld, 4thworld, now the 8thworld has grown. We have become secret citizens of 8thworld in 1stWorld, but we ain’t got no borders or territory or play money, we got no flag, we got mind 8thworld mind, if we had pass ports they’d recognize us they’d let us pass ports like swinging, swinging sailors. It is 3 hours more, 6 hrs in Kuwait I bass head out it is only can say delicious to be bass head out wait in Kuwait.
I is alone on my way 2 b alone. These times in between make my life flash before my eyes. I is having a grand time. There is a reason I wait Kuwait now 6 hrs. I c Americans military they can only I know be going to Iraq- I know they’re going to Iraq. I try not to hate them. I try not to see their crewcuts as death to all but if I look at them too long, I must look away or I might snarl & then the eye of death will fix it’s gaze on me- American Death, In Limbo. I’d rather not FucknodubnobassmyfuckInheadman. I IS IN KUWAIT.
The man with holes where his lobes should be & bone encrusted dreads of grey silver shooting down his back- we drink coffee temporaneously in simultaneity- I don’t know him. I don’t know where he’s going but I can sense him in this airport. He appears. There are only so many places for travellers to go here. Sooner or later, sooner we see the same faces, all of us in circular motion swimming with trolleys dodging Arabs. Where am I going? Where have I been? As I look up at the ceiling the shapes start commanding my attention grating grid pattern squares squares squares big squares inlaid with lines inside glowing squares 4 tube lights cylindrical cold metal tubing narrow & also not narrow, rectilinear metal girder, column narrowing towards the top, circulars, lines running, lines running, diagonal rectangles wood floor squares marble squares tiles, my eyes are aching with counting shapes, I make my trolley dance ~ I am tired of immersion in ugly spaces.
It is now 45 mins writing ~ I am still ass on Kuwait chair chest caving in shoulders droopinig eyelids slipping over eyelids slipping over down – Man waiting staring at Kuwait money. Woman waiting nose cleaning wid tissue. Girl she read Kiterunnerstill.
Studies in stillness of time & I frozen in it as if I have no memories to escape. I have always been, here. I never left, here & I wait 3 hrs more in Kuwait expecting no angels wanting no angels wanting not wanting what thing is it bodywant no sleep no eat I et. What will sleep do? I am not in Kuwait. I will still be in Kuwait when I wake. It is not here I wait ~I wait in mind always they say hell is other people hell is not other people it is one people it is I people in hell in my head, Kuwait where women float by in milk black gowns billowing a rectangular slit for eyes only. Some have ovaloid facespace but the black always black hidden bodies of light hair hidden no wrists, no ankles & I is sittin’ all face, wrists, fingers, ankles & hair. They look safe in their cloth, only the wind reaches in making black flags, billowing – Is I not safe? All wrists & hair & ankles face.
Only other 8thworld citizen has gone. I turn around man with bonedread hole ears is gone in his place, four black cloaked women figgers and trolley. He had no trolley only rollies. On my watch is only London time. I look at London time what is Kuwait time I have no basis for calculation. 4 hrs in Kuwait has not made me wise to Kuwait time. I cease to care. I know I will always be here waiting 4 3 hrs more to end, to end, to end. I want to hide, I want to hide in a cloth black tent.
10:30 London Time
1:30 a.m. Kuwait time
After journeys made in various patterns & ridgeways always, upon entering the gates to a flight to Pakistan the familiarity sets in…faces look like people I know…Last year I saw a guy from school in Dubai, not skinny & handsome as he used to be wide-eyed but distended, portentous, another Pakistani man doing “business,” in Dubai…so familiar…I almost, no I do…I scan the faces furtively half-curiosity, half fear that I will see someone I once knew that I don’t need to see again & yet these airports always are repositories for the ghostfaces of my life lived before I became wanton exile. Always, as always the population of men in these final waiting rooms heavily outweighs the women. I look to my right & I see two eyes fixed on me peering through a black slit, fixed on me. Always & this time too. I am alone in myself. Nobody looks like me, I look like nobody. How can then this destination be home? The Kiterunnergirl is American, the man examining Kuwaitmoney is American, the girl cleaning her nose is American, they are also here going to Islamabad. I can see the sight of the rest of the people going to Islamabad makes them nervous. They talk of “the embassy,” for that makes them feel secure. They have their noses firmly placed in books. I have to say 5 minutes b4 we were supposed to be leaving we have not boarded the plane. The lady at security had no idea when we were leaving neither did she care. The guy at the inner gate said to me: ‘Just a minute, we just leaving 5 minutes. Always, I no exaggerate, no matter where you are leaving from in the world, it is like this on flights to Pakistan.
Only Operator Must Remain On Bridge While Bridge Is In Operation.
The memories fractured of 1000 stars.