top of page



Going Into Prison

the guard growls, What's this?!

Poetry, I answer, just Poetry

He waves me through

with a yawn

that delights me

So I smuggle my words in

to the women

who bite them chewing starving

I'm honored to serve them

bring color  music  feelings

into that soul death

Smiling as I weep

for Poetry who has such a bad reputation

She's boring, unneccesary, incomprhensible

obscure, effete

The perfect weapon

for this sneaky old war-horse

to make a rich repast of revolution

What Kills Me

is forcing myself to kill

the love I can feel for others

All the assassinations stare at me

with pitiful mouths

I cough despair

It's a long trail of blood

back to the moment

when survival meant

these icy knives

I know how to draw

so well 

across the dirt

                  A Valentine

to the heron huddled in cold rain


 whose soft dark ash gray shape

              with head tucked

              opened my heart

                    like lace

-from Fire Power (Press Gang Pub, October 1, 1995), selected by Fall 2021 Guest Editor, CMarie Fuhrman 

Chrystos (born November 7, 1946, as Christina Smith) is a Menominee writer and two-spirit activist who has published various books and poems that explore indigenous Americans's civil rights, social justice, and feminism. Chrystos is also a lecturer, writing teacher and fine-artist.


Victoria Chang


Victoria Chang

bottom of page