Sirens, Sound, and Female Grief: A Review of Callie S. Blackstone’s sing eternal by Emily Sledge

Looking for a hard hitting, unapologetic read that just won’t quit?

Interested in exploring yourself and ways to connect with the greater world around you…and beyond?

Want to just curl up and cry into the pages of a chapbook where no one can see your tears? No judgment here!

Look no further than Callie S. Blackstone’s newest work sing eternal (Bottlecap Press, 2022), a hybrid memoir that hinges on a woman processing and growing around her experiences of grief despite the sheer difficulty that it brings.

Blackstone transports readers into a realm of acceptance with an overhang of sadness, challenging our contemplations on life and the effects we have on those around us:

There was something you saw in me,

me the girl with lake black curls that you saw framed by refrigerator light.

Me, the girl who sings your name eternal.

I honor you, all of you…I honor the multitudes you carried, the things you were, the things you chose not to be.

An oolong tea bag was presented to me upon receipt of this book; an invitation from Blackstone to journey into the depths of the—sometimes undesirable—honesty of this hard relationship, this hard life, this hard work. When I sat with my tea leaves and readied myself to sink into the text, I examined its cover: a sketchy mermaid in vanity. I thought of sirens, and magic, on women, and loss. I was taken by the idea of “what it means to inhabit a body labeled female…in the wake of a series of diverse and significant endings.”

As I read, I deeply felt, almost heard, Blackstone’s speaker’s categorization of the self as a siren, and suicide the same, a creature calling in temptation, in deceit, and I thought again to the mirror she holds on the cover.

What else does she see in her reflection? You’ll have to read sing eternal to find out.

Blackstone’s work is equipped with enough of a concrete nature for you to know what happened, and just enough ambiguity to make you wonder what else could’ve. Emotionally disruptive and transformative all around, Blackstone’s simple diction coupled with her strong imagery and intense symbolism drives this uncompromising chapbook home for readers to understand themselves through grief and reclaiming life moving forward.

We’re proud to have Blackstone in our Miracle Monocle community of writers. Her poem, “I do not need tarot cards to predict our future because I am a proficient witch without them,” was featured in Issue 20 of the journal. All proceeds from sing eternal will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

EMILY SLEDGE s a poet, filmmaker, and verse editor of Miracle Monocle. Her work can be found at