Sway This Way: Bone Tongue by Scherezade Siobhan| Review

52 pgs, published by Thought Catalog Books, Kindle, $4.99
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Review by Jade Mitchell

Scherezade Siobhan’s Bone Tongue is an evolution, to say the least.

Bone Tongue glimpses at the aspects of life that break you down, leading to the stripping away of those parts of you and re-moulding them into something new.

What stands out for me is the rawness of Scherezade’s poetry. The collection itself is a diary, each poem detailing the thoughts and emotions focused within that day. The first day is titled: SPEAK YOUR SPINE, a bold title for a bold poem that tells you to push yourself past human boundary.

“be sin and scandal.
be the lipstick stain on a smoking gun.
be the garter under the habit of a nun.
be more blatant than the african sun.”

In these days, Scherezade presents us with poems that flicker onto the past, pushing yourself into that darkness to become one with it, to learn how to grow beyond it. A PHOENIX TOO FREQUENT focuses on this confrontation, the acceptance of what you once went through in order to continue moving forward.

“forgiving your past is the sound of a light
bulb being switched off in the distance.
the brief reluctance of a snap in the electricity
as it unchains a legion of horses
cornered between fingertips.”

But what compels me towards Scherezade Siobhan’s work is the message conceived within her imagery. It is delicate, raw, and unique in it’s own way. Scherezade conveys emotion so strongly. A HEART IS A KNIFE IN DISGUISE captures the transition of feeling, with tender love turning to a hostile anger towards the one you love.

“tell me how are we not christened cannibals yet?
aren’t we feeding off of each other’s disease :

bait-heft drag of inflated traumas, nutshell
rudiments of forgetting; we make our bodies
into shared purgatories.”

But beyond these emotions of love and anger, one triumphs all. The last poem within the collection: BE DONE, notes the compliance towards being second-best, over-looked, and battling those darker sides of yourself. BE DONE exerts this frustration, this repetition of what breaks you down before finally, you’re rid of it. And you begin again.

“Be done.
with learning to live like a shoplifting shoot-out.
with learning to walk enfeebled by the polio of doubt.
with putting a silencer on your tongue
every time you wanted to shout.”

This review is not enough to capture the intensity and beauty of this collection, but I hope this brief glimpse of it urges you to seek this treasure out for yourself.

Scherezade Siobhan is a psychologist, writer and the maker of world’s finest Spanish omelettes. Her work has been published/is forthcoming in tNY.Press, Bluestem Magazine, Black & BLUE Writing, Cordite Poetry Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Electric Cereal, Mandala, Fruita Pulp & others. She owns and runs a small independent publishing outfit called Cyberhex Press & her first poetry collection Bone Tongue was published by Thought Catalog Books in 2015. She can be found squeeing about small furry animals, football (the proper kind) & neuroscience on Tumblr @ viperslang or on Twitter @zaharaesque

Contributing Editor

Jade Mitchell is an 18 year old poet / writer who resides near Glasgow, Scotland. Her work has been featured in The Grind Journal, Inky Paper and Ink Scotland. Aside from working on her writing and poetry, you can find her listening to Lorde and reading every poem she can find in sight.