Nat Raha


takes what fleshtones from our
kelp & ink split on dark
eyes & washed in the hers
-tory of desiring.
solo bare ramparts
: raw metropole’s foreclosures,

                         if yous compelled 
     by directives & gives
     up on queer love ,   
         in these next night returns      
         (or jet to it, prosper!) 
     onto our declining hands 
     cold as cuts the astronomical light

                                                  … freeze in the dream stock , 
                                slid beyond best & taken freely
                                to tongues,, this

                                                  larder open to all who would stum
                                                  -ble, invitation to feast. we took

                       road beside the hill, regency cut-off 
                       spoke its news to all encountered, evening light
                       takes the day’s heat edge, & round⎯

                                cut to glass walkway, footfall quell the
                                distance of the police barricade
                                , leith,, tarmac, armour, slow smoke up 
                                -surge scene on mute / more
                                                  talk with the passing, discern
                                                  this below 

                                                                   : you, who I do not yet know 
                                    , tall juxt. to dark hair the light
                                              hits heels yours as the police
                                              charge the barricade beneath, smoke dou-
                                                                     sing scene / fear for
                                                                     the glass in the horse
                                                                     charge. this canteen 
                                                                belonging to students,, dive 
                                              into lift / though i block 
                                              departure to give/ask a name, voices

                                                         dropped. door crash against my frame, dark
                                                         a red jacket. take turn on these 
                                                         mechanics, liberating what foods for the flesh 

                                                                                                                         [15 july 18]

Nat Raha is a poet, musician and trans / queer activist-scholar, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the author of numerous pamphlets and three collections of poetry: of sirens, body & faultlines (Boiler House Press, 2018), countersonnets (Contraband Books, 2013), and Octet (Veer Books, 2010). Her work has been translated into German, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish. Nat has a PhD in queer Marxism and contemporary poetry from the University of Sussex, as is a postdoctoral researcher on the ‘Cruising the 70s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures’ research project at the Edinburgh College of Art. She is the co-editor of Radical Transfeminism zine.




Naveed Khan

Massacre or Masterpiece

It’s either massacre or masterpiece, master please, let’s mass appeal to mass appease to match the ease. Seal the pores like cream or a tub of vaseline, grease the machine and forget how to dream. Ignore the means, too blind to lead, unable to see the truth from what it seems. It’s either massacre or masterpiece, a Jackson Pollock in the streets every time we bleed. They’ll always blame the seed, but you can’t fault the paint brush for the fingers’ greed. It’s either massacre or masterpiece, the top tricks are reserved for politics; it’s toxic the way they talk sick spreading ill wills selectively as if on the tips of chopsticks. So much ambition has lost it causing callous and caustic. Society is a mosh pit of agnostic bigots and cynics that mimic the very sins that cost them. Sycophants commit a sick offence, all because we aim to please – but it’s either massacre or masterpiece, and an entire population with bruised knees.

Naveed Khan was made in Bangladesh and structurally refined in various parts of Canada, most prominently in Toronto, Ontario. He was [voluntarily] institutionally reconditioned at York University, where he foolishly conceived that pursuing a profession in English education would be just and noble. This is why he types as such. You can visit his website at, and find him on Twitter and Instagram @_navk.