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A Tonalist Poetry Feature

Jocelyn Saidenberg

On Self Sovereignty:

She blusters a first, little general, for she owns none but a jealous one. She submits to her own dominion, inner, forsaking all outer indulgences. She gives it all to the woods and the animals inside. A word forest under the spell of that which occupies her. Whether by obsession or possession or otherwise, a delight-less but agreeable wandering, she dwells alone, for having undone her if trouble her, her feral thought. She wilts, she howls, she raves, she hears the primordial birds speak to her alone, an untouchable origin, her own source, broken and open. Unselved, she’s errant in her word wilderness, formed from old catalogs, mortalities, industrial detritus, and ancient lexicons. She gives over to the common source, her community, for apart from membership she signs meaninglessness. Thus she abdicates and self denies, she renunciates her inner enemy lest sovereign turn spy. Sovereign trespasses sovereignty by common permission into release in her word forest, she is not queen of her own queendom but rather she is the she of it, alone. No matter how small her dominion, what impregnable fortress, sovereign assaults self, undiscovered and itinerant, throws power into the wilds.

Jocelyn Saidenberg

Jocelyn Saidenberg

Jocelyn Saidenberg is the author of Mortal City (Parentheses Writing Series), CUSP (Kelsey St. Press), Negativity (Atelos), and Dispossessed (Belladonna). Born and raised in New York City, she lives in San Francisco where she works as a catalog librarian for the public library.

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