Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 1



Scherezade Siobhan


éphémère (& otherwheres)

(Insomnia, your stare is dull and ashen. My love, forgive me this apostasy.)

— Vladimir Nabokov, from the preface of Pale Fire



At dusk, an egress & its sodden nectary - I hinder
light down to each incalculable trough. It stipples,
then cottons the blue lace blur of his face, moils

& murmurs - quincena

+

Nowhere has the world lasted longer for me
than in a phonecall’s shuddered radius, a new bar
-reling of tenses: & now my father went, did, was

+

That farness, its fitted falcon / it’s beak’s sermoned pellet
Marshrains fraying the gossan / of our eulogies to powdered glass

+

Judith fated God as the name for what opposes Myth
Then him: Hierophant darkened in the mountain's sleep
Then I: his bone’s bastard font, body black-boxed, unbaptised

+

He was the purple brogue of Veronica & phlox
Before the herbaceous gall, before the moth-lick
of a milky sap      In pale stillness, each bee-prong
         praying for a common descent

+

Morning is / torn syllables of salt-broken seaweed
After / a wave’s demotic shell / every oyster in her
illegible Eros / each creviced crab / an abandoned harvest

+

The sky from here is just distance deepening its own
cinereal abscess. All hiss & pang, a tongue slid in between
speech & its blind falcon. The grey scrape of its talons,
its plenary recoil as long as Time's long, ravening spine

+

To earn his memory back from its sea-rucked jouissance
Finger by finger kissing the whole length of a rope: goodbye




Zubaan-II

Mira Reads the NYT Profile on Nazis and Considers the Etymology of “Toxic”

A memory shakes its tail like a tinkered rattlesnake. The pink of the dead pig bleaked blue behind the cactus - its eyes still thermal from the violence. In Seattle, a truck matches ours in speed & enormity, its sun-glossed skin screaming - “WHITE GENOCIDE IS A CRIME.” Terror is a moment of dizzying Static, a cold road you must share with a man who can only see you as a burning colour - a rude dirtbed that must be stomped back into a stain. A brown girl’s mouth makes of its messes a mossy well. Her darkness gorgonizes each trellis of loose lightning.




Mira as an Erasure from Engelhardt’s paper on Parentification

a disturbance                in the boundaries                        of a child
to accommodate          an understanding                    of weaknesses
this confidante        of pathological necessities           Nevertheless

the child                 recognizes          the guardian           as failed data
deleterious             instrument      in concert with         unresolved
headaches              a lack of            construction             throughout
the mother             blurring               her                           unmet body




Mira on Her 7th Death Anniversary

my grandmother returned as: stained glass lanterns in the living room,
orange peel drying in the windowsill, tanjore paintings above my bedpost
rubbing lime juice over the calligraphy of henna on hands, the ears of two
earthen lamps tucked into each other till one was full of the darkest kohl.




Tilth

Proud of vein, he is how the earth spires its
forests. My body, his new bower of umbels.

A woman in the prism. Antares, foxfire.
My botched afterglow. His tongue the gilt

of mud-scented leafhoppers. I remember
the time he said his heart had gone from

red to purple; a clutch of saskatoon chatoyant
in vices of the most Russian violets - his wajood’s

cold tarring is what I yearned to a cut. All our birds
dusk-worn to sequin his calico to a centauresque.

To fly in shivers. The snow, lambent, sotto voce. All
of its white keeping my bones icicled in his long ache.

wajood : from urdu - persona, though largely untranslatable as a word


Scherezade Siobhan: "I am an Indo-Rroma Jungian scarab turned psychologist, mental health advocate, community catalyst, and a writer. My work has appeared in international journals, anthologies, art exhibits, theater performances and bios of okcupid users. I am the author of a chapbook, Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), a full-length poetry collection, Father, Husband, (Salopress UK), poetry pamphlet, to dhikr, i (Pyramid Editions, forthcoming) & her next second full length collection The Bluest Kaliis scheduled for release in 2018 (Lithic Press, USA). I am the creator and curator of The Mira Project, a global dialogue on women’s mental health, gendered violence, and street harassment and also run Bruja Roja - a literary space dedicated to publishing arrangements of language, art and journalism by women, non binary, trans, queer & neurodiverse people. I can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at @zaharaesque on twitter/fb/IG."




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