Frances Sjoberg

September 26, 2009



Recitation for Marlon Evans

from his self-introduction in Red Ink


Taking a poem from beginning to end


With a story in between


In a non-Indian world many times


I was the only brown-skinned person around



With a story in between


My poetic approach is to ensure to the audience


I was the only brown-skinned person around


I tell stories with very uncomplicated language



My poetic approach is to ensure to the audience


The Tumamoc Hill hiking experience


I tell stories with very uncomplicated language


At 4 a.m. in the morning



The Tumamoc Hill hiking experience


To the east, the warm city lights of Tucson


At 4 a.m. in the morning


To the west, the overwhelming



To the east, the warm city lights of Tucson


I am seeking the dynamic within


To the west, the overwhelming


A discipline and environment





I am seeking the dynamic within


A sensitivity that will ignite a flashpoint


A discipline and environment


Emotion, passion, perception



A sensitivity that will ignite a flashpoint


In a non-Indian world many times


Emotion, passion, perception


Taking a poem from beginning to end





Hinge



the pluck (heart liver pancreas liver lung) of a brute


valve


the axis of the earth and by extension the four cardinal points


two movable parts upon each other




to me and more also if even


Nothing is higher than these mysteries . . . . They have not only shown us the way to live joyfully, but they have taught us how to die with a better

hope.


Cicero, on the Eleusinian Mysteries at the Temple of Demeter



at the beginning of the barley harvest


and there I will be


exilic, of Moab


pray let me glean and gather


as the awn adheres to the rachis


entreat me not to leave you


hordeum spontaneum



such ploughings bestow


I draw off my sandal



the ground put in apt condition


I draw off my sandal


and give it to you, thus


where you die I will die


and here I will be accounted


less than nothing


here I will be accounted


emptiness, and more also if even death


parts me from you


the awn adheres to the grain


a great sound, a gratification


hordeum spontaneum, brittle rachis


may wind disperse this seed


a blessing in the midst of the earth


and wild there


and there I will be





Squall



:



Without saying anything else


The sky opens up and looses a pounding


As tympani upon the desert


The sky goes purple and looses a pounding weight of rain


As a means of insistence



On the desert floor the water flowing


Swift as a means of insistence


The storm of sound and light


More than becomes all but



::



An extended choral rest


Dust beat down from rain


A sharpness to the edge of color


Gray-green or blue-green still


The light strikes unallayed


Here is where the piccolo enters


From the hill of the saddest moment


The high pitch charming the stalk of a blue agave


The stalk as it rises more than a foot this morning










:::



A mourning dove atop the stalk leans into the sudden wind


The stalk a series of jerks


Recurring again and again


The mourning dove holds steady


A sudden wind again


On the desert at Sacaton, hallucination


On the desert at Sacaton, synesthesia



That basic ambiguity


The scent of a night blooming blossom




following Mary Leader, Series as Opposed to Sequence






Hinge



brass pin


together


held fast


let go





Frances Sjoberg was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and raised in Globe, Arizona. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Poetry. She is now a law student at the University of Arizona College of Law where she is Articles Manager for Arizona Law Review and Chapter President for the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. Before law school, she was the Literary Director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center. While at the Poetry Center, she coordinated symposia on Indigenous Language & Poetry and on Conceptual Poetry & Its Others. A chapbook of her poems, Outcrop, was published by Chax Press. Her favorite things are silent Ks and homonyms.

Frances‘s friendship with Marlon extended from collaboration at the University of Arizona Poetry Center to early morning hikestogether on Tumamoc Hill.

Frances Sjoberg Photo

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