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Santee Frazier

Santee Frazier is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. Frazier is the author of Aurum (University of Arizona Press, 2019) and Dark Thirty (University of Arizona Press, 2009). He has received fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the School for Advanced Research, and the Truman Capote Literary Trust. Frasier is the director of the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency MFA program. 

By This Poet



The slow crawling light wilts
into the dark flat of asphalt.

The moon rings the dim-lit room.
The scraping. The fire.

in the deep flesh of ear.

Strike a match, watch the flame—
the scraping, the fire, ring
in unison,

                    the brain’s bent

Yoked mica, deafened glint—
scrape and fire, the moon ringing
the dim-lit room.

                               A louse in the crevice
of brain—
in knuckles flexed
                                    lashed, etched,
around the steel—
                                     the affliction
of squalor—a pummeling

and brain
smelted in a starless dark.