Sunday, June 27, 2010

Loving an NDN Man

Orignal Post: Tuesday, June 8th 2010 4:00 PM
New Poems: Loving an NDN Man

Greetings folks in the blogosphere. I have to admonish myself for not being the most disciplined blogger. After being down for a few weeks battling a chronic migraine from hell, and autoimmune flare-ups, I have started writing again… Currently I am working on a potential book proposal/CFP/and book introduction with the fabulous JoLee Blackbear an academic, activist and educator of Anishinaabe stock. I have finally gotten around to editing my poetry manuscript, and last but not least back to working on my PCA presentation expanded to article length. While I have been absent, I have also been silent on my blog (but not my Facebook) on some issues, which have me particularly fired up: Arizona’s Immigration Law, and the BP Oil Spill.

I will be posting some thoughts and reactions to both these things this week in my blog column. I, like some folks, find it harder to articulate myself when I am fired-up…anger can obscure language…

So for now, I hope ya’ll enjoy a sample of recent poetry…

Loving an NDN Man

Loving an NDN man means choosing well. Ignoring the bowlegged swagger and puffed out pigeon breast---glistening slicked back braided hair and bolo tie with beaded eagle feather… Made by the last NDN woman he snagged flashing his uneven smile at NAC potluck.

Loving an NDN man means learning to deal with his, or your own internal colonized bullshit. Learning to accept and deal with your light skin and light eyes, or your or his lack of enrollment. Accepting the other as enrolled, unenrolled, rez raised or urban born, language speaking or tripping over colonized tongues, commodity memories or welfare feasts and his or your tribe’s politics. Loving an NDN man means to help him accept or heal his insecurity over his white father, white mother, or black daddy.

Loving an NDN man means, refusing to get caught in, caught up or subject to his pissing contests, spitting contests, and Super Injun politics. When picking your NDN man, skip over those who rag on your cuz from Atlanta, who has never been to stomp, doesn’t know what skillet bread is, and never stayed out all night doin’ 49. When selecting your NDN man, bypass those who are dry drunks, drunks, or still caught up in capturing their masculinity by claiming they are traditionals, and that means “you have no say,” walk behind him, and keep your intelligence hidden so he can reclaim delusions of internalized colonialism by pretending he is Wind in His Hair from Dances with Wolves--- or any other noble NDN Hollywood dream vision.

Loving an NDN man takes discipline. Don’t get caught up in his prior love affairs, or between him and his mama or sister. Learn to be a friend, family or sister to his family. Get his mama and sister on your side--- So when he tries to pull a macho man, “I rule the house,” white world BS, and you throw him out… Mama and sister don’t take him in.

Loving an NDN man means struggling together to make ends meet, accepting the variety of traditions of your intertribal, mixed heritage modern day realities. Loving an NDN man means laughing when all you want to do is cry, and learning when to throw you shoe at him and when to hold him. Loving an NDN man means choosing a man who your proud of, whose proud of you, and who will teach his sons to honor women. Loving an NDN man means remembering you come from strong NDN women, and knowing he can’t be a strong NDN man without you…

Successfully loving an NDN man means loving your NDN self first…

Confessions of Skin

If truth be words written on flesh,
Then surely I am left bereft
For lines and ink tattooed on me
Surely read as lies you see.

And if love be kisses placed on skin,
Then surely I have been marked
With little bruises of your sin
Over worn-out breasts and heart.

If right ever were your touch,
Then how oddly the fairytale breaks.
For over the years of absent hush
My epidermis forsakes---
In lines and scars read like confessions
The story of skin and violent obsessions.

From head to toe
And pubis to ass
This book was written
With fists and blood to last.

Cartography of my body reads
Confessions of skin and unwelcome seed…

Foot Notes on Loving and NDN Man

1. Watch your toes; cause his cowboy boots can miss the two-step beat.

2. Learn to use the space between your big toe and second toe to pick things up… His lighter, his guitar picks, random beads, the smoke which fell outta his pocket--- Cause you spend enough time bending down doing laundry, housework and picking up kids.

3. Remember, he can “put his foot down,” but your foot can kick him out.

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