Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Poem: Old Time Communication

I will not talk,
You are over there,
You are over here,
We are here,
Ancestors,
Singing in a room,
Singing near a tree,

We've acted simultaneously with the land,
Trees reaching,
Reaching,
Reaching to the sky,
Bird communication,
Phone lines are leaves,
Branches,
Creak,
The high pitched sound,
A transmission not heard by humans,
Birds petrify our weaknesses into boards between us,
Dream time,
Silly to dissect our lives,
Oppression Olympics,
Under strain the creak of the branches,
Could re-route,
Could diagnose,
Could heal these rifts between all of us,

I manually connect the call on the switchboard,
Wait for each party to connect,
Lost in transmission,
Amongst the disruption of modern communication,
Sighing,
I wait patiently laying sema on the Earth,
In the water,
For the call to be connected the old way,
Manually,
On the switchboard,
Like Grandma LaPointe did for the City of Highland Park,

Grandmothers as Operators,
A very important job,
To not give up in routing and re-routing the call,
To the correct place,
Date,
Time and location,
All set to go,

Breathing,
The trees I observe are an amazing communication system,
Two-spirit,
Asexual,
And pro-choice,
Seedlings tossed into the wind,
Whoever makes it,
Grows and becomes a tree,
Some don't grow,
Those who grow a little,
Then abort,
Seedlings compost slowly,
Making the forest floor,

The foundation,
Trees,
That make it,
Leaves,
Branches,
Reaching,
Make a grand telecommunications system,

Throw that front key forward,
Converse with the caller,
Ah,
Grandma LaPointe,
Listening to me,
Listening to you,
To both parties,
I will talk now,
Will you?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Video: I am an Alaska Native Dancer | INDIE ALASKA



Haliehana Stepetin is a master Alaska Native dancer born in Akutan, AK. Stepetin has made it her life goal to promote and teach the many styles of dance found throughout the diverse Alaska Native cultures.

Special Thanks to the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Story by: John Norris
Produced by: Pat Yack
Additional Camera: Travis Gilmour
Music by: Dehrich Schmidt-Chya, Starship Amazing, Alaska Native Heritage Center Dancers

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Poem: Decolonized Do

Decolonized do,
Decolonized hair,
Decolonized stylin’,

Hair?
Hair!

She asked me what I am?
He asked me what I am?

What am I?

Two-spirit,
Gender non-conforming,
Mixed blood Anishinaabekwe,
How I define me,
How I see me,

But it’s not all pride,
Not all being proud of who you are,
In a… hierarchical discriminating structural world,
In a… racist-sexist-confining-we-don’t like-you-world,
In a… we-are-weirded-out-by-your-existence-world,
In a… we-are-uncomfortable-with-you-breathing-world,
In a… sistah-we-don’t-support-you-and-your-deviations-world,
In a… we-are-violent-towards-you-cuz-youse-is-a-threat-world,
In a… wellbriety-sobriety-recovery-makes-me-uncomfortable-so-I’m-gonna-shew-you-away-world,
In a… we-can’t-box-ya-in-so-we-bully-ya-world,
In a… she-ain’t-following-the-rules-so-she-must-be hidden-world,
In a… egocentric-proselytizing-addict-culture-health-ain’t-the-thang-even-though-you-got-it-sistah,
In a… mixed-blood-so-so-so-sorry-we-don’t-see-that-you-are-Native-world,

Okay,
Okay,
Ya get it?

So these confines make me boxed in,
Make me feel ostracized all the time,
Make me depressed,
And there are no community resources,

The forest,
The water,
The forest,
The water,
Traditional lands,
Territories,
Ancestral memories,
Ancestral sounds,
Feelings,
Motions,

We are here,

Did you not see me fully for who I am?
You did not!

Often it is a struggle,
In these identities,
In this identity,

Water flowing,
Rapidly by me,

Cedar – giizhick,
I hold in my hand.                 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Poem: A Normal Boring Poem About Non-Romantic Love

This is a normal boring poem,
About non-romantic love,

About boring stale energy,
About the sound of a ceiling fan,
About the order being up,
About diligent seekers across waters,
Not a mad man,
Not a mad woman,
Not her,
She,
He,
Him,

About boring invitations to romance,
While I purchase roses for myself,

About getting asked on a date and having other things to do,
Like write poetry,
Normal boring poem about normal boring attempts at romance,

I would rather watch two eagles fly and chase each other,
Seagulls eat Cheez-It crumbs on da beach,
Racoon's delicately clean their lil' hands in water,
Stare at my book collection,

Couplicious boring-ness,
This poet will never write about romantic love,
There is no interest in,
Romance,
Being in love,

I am complete.