Sunday, June 27, 2010

Smoked Mullet Cornbread Memory: NWCA Book Award

Orignal Post: Friday, January 29th 2010 9:18 PM

So, needless to say I was thrilled when Geary Hobson right after the new year, called with the unexpected news that my manuscript, Smoked Mullet Cornbread Memory, was selected as the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, First Book Award Winner in Poetry for 2009. I truly believe I benefited from entering in a "good" While I have lots of edits to make before the book can go out to publishers, I am revitalized and re-inspired as a writer. That is the best award, and the best of medicine!
Below are some additional poems from the book. I will be posting some recent poetry from my new collection soon!
2009 First Book Award for Poetry: Native Writers Circle of the Americas
Excerpts from Smoked Mullet Cornbread Memory

Whispers On the Afternoon of Removal

Socks crumpled in corners
Candles burned to the wick.
Dust settled
Into comfortable sleep.
Stale air and murmured breathing.

Time is no constant---
Sometimes time plays pain on a loop…

Words rolling, twirling
Full of the icy breath of death.
Winter sleep, green lays forgotten
In persistence of white…of gray…
Of blankets of memory and flesh walked raw.

Removed through absence, lives written out,
Buried…by force… or by choice.

And the singers stand
At all four directions
While the winds
Whisper on the afternoon of removal


Read me like brail, keyloided Red/ Black
Map of river deltas, words with no sound; the topography of my flesh.
I am made of gulf water, seasalt, brackish bayou blood
Flowed into the delta
Where my mother danced jigs on buffalo hunted high plains.

From south to north
Woven Red, Black, White, the tributaries of my blood meet
In the re-glued, cracked and spackled drum of chest.
Cause “You iz what you iz and you ain’t what you ain’t”

Fatties, Fags, Dykes and Darkies

Fat girls, dark girls, girls who ain’t quite white.
I’m a mixed girl, métis, mulatto, mestizo girl, creole, half-breed,
Quarterblood, octoroon high yellow fattie girl.
Fattie hipped, big breasted, NDN assed, goddess belly girl
Granddaughter of “Injuns and Darkies”
My bestfriends have tint in the blood color under and on the skin,
Gray on black memories bleeding red.

Fairy boy, sissy boy, gorgeous boy
Too good looking for you, your just jealous boy.
Men loving men, loving art, loving sports, loving life
Loving fattie darkie girls and laughing, writing our poetry.
My bestfriends are fags, I’m a classic fat fag hag.
My bestfriends have struggle in the blood wounds under and on the skin,
Sepia tone memories.

Dyke, butch, lipstick lesbo, sexy strong sassy
Too deep and dark for you ocean flavored lady lover.
Twospirit, warrior women, got my back, got my story.
I fuck men but I love to draw women, do you want to label me?
Sexuality is fluid, like juices, like love, like cum
Get over your girl-on-girl fantasy.
My bestfriends are dykes. Mixedblood, darkie dykes.
My bestfriends have survival in the blood scars under and on the skin,
Yellowed color photograph memories.

Fattie Colored Girl, Darkie roots in ALL my friends,
We got strength in the blood,
Keyloid memories reading like novellas of life,
Prejudice and gain, exodus, genocide, love and laughter.

All my bestfriends are your misfits, are my fit.

Taking Back My Tongue
For Granddaddy, Papa, Mom, Dad, & Sis

This tongue be memory
This tongue be taste
This tongue be testament
To the colonizer’s victory over my language.
This tongue be resistance
Scarred, still bloody
Re-sewn, renewed, re-learning
Languages; always speaking
Place and story.

Tasting sorrow, dried tears in my head that can’t fall. So much salt in my skin from bloody crusted wounds, the waters and airs of my youth, humid afternoon showers---going to fish and crab in the morning for supper. Salty smoked mullet smooth and biting. Can’t shake the salt, the hot sticky heat from the blood---memories in sleep. I am absent. I am missing.

I can taste smoke, 10 years gone but Marlboro and tequila still dance in my mouth whispering of late nights, of guitars, tribal policies, politics, two-step, his Skynyrd, my Boozoo Chavis --- Dance with my shadow at 4am, where flowering buds release memory in my mouth. I remember smoke..

This tongue been cut
This tongue been split
Its more than tripping over
Language inadequit square
Phrases fall short
Bridges of inconsequence.

This tongue was re-written, cut out seperated into divisions. Granddaddy NDN and Creole---hide his nappy Choctaw Creek head. Re-train that Swamp Injun tongue bit bloody by military indoctrination. Papa Canadian Sioux métis got his tongue cut out by nuns in residential school. Bloody lipped border crosser. My Grandpas’ tongues are keyloid maps of memory.

My tongue learned its place in the topography of taste. Tongue linking tastes to story, to place and me somewhere in the middle…
Listening to the flavor of the sound of family
Before taking back my tongues;
Our tongues.
Taking back
Taking back
Taking back
Taking back
Our Tongues.

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