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09-01-2021

LeAnne Howe​

 

My Name is Noble Savage

 

I was built for iconography

Break my hymen

I bleed and reproduce

Children you sketch

 and photograph.

Catalogue, 

But soon abandon.

 

How many wounds do you hope I carry?

 

My name is Noble Savage

Wanna rent me for a day?

A week?

A year?

By the hour?

I’m the story you finger-fucked

The evidence under your fingernail

Can you feel me coming for you?

 

My name is Noble Savage

You killed me

In other to bring me back to life

As your pet, a mascot

A man.

Since I’m your invention

Everything I say comes true.

 

My name is Noble Savage

America’s redeemer.

Tonight,

alone with my murderer,

Iconographer

May your God have

Mercy on your soul.

 

Horse Dreams

 

Falling Asleep

you are almost here

I inhale and push up

Against your body

then mount your white horse of a back

And together we fly away

Dreaming

 

I kiss the words you wrote

As you paw the sky

I taste sticky lustful sweat

On your tongue

That your mouth stole from me

While we were dreaming

A Duck’s Tune

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

 

So I moved to this place,

Iowa City, Ioway

Where green-headed mallards,

walk the streets day and night

and defecate on sidewalks.

Greasy meat bags in wetsuits,

Disguise themselves as pets

and are free as birds,

Maybe Indians should have thought of that?

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

 

Maybe you would have

left us alone,

if we put on rubber bills,

and rubber feet,

Quacked instead of complained,

Swam instead of dance

waddled away when you did

what you did . . .

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

 

So I moved to this place

The “Jewel of the Midwest”

Where ghosts of ourselves

Dance the Sulphur Trails.

 

Fumes emerge continuous

from the mouths of

Three-faced Deities who preach,

“We absolve joy through suffering.”

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

 

So I moved to the place where

in 1992, up washed Columbus again

like a pointy-chinned Son of Cannibals.

His spin doctors rewrite his successes

“After 500 years and 25 million dead,

One out of 100 American Indians commit suicide

One out of 10 American Indians are alcoholics

49 years is the average lifespan of American Indians.”

 

Each minute burns

the useful and use alike

Sing Hallelujah

Praise the Lord

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

 

And when you foreigners

build your off-world colonies

and relocate in outer-space

This is what we will do

We will dance,

We will dance,

We will dance,

To a duck’s tune.

 

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

Ya kut unta pishno ma

-from Evidence of Red: Poems & Prose (Earthworks) (Salt Publishing (April 1, 2005), selected by Fall 2021 Guest Editor, CMarie Fuhrman 

An enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, born and raised in Oklahoma, LeAnne Howe, Eidson Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia, connects literature, Indigenous knowledge, Native histories, and expressive cultures in her work. Professor Howe is the recipient of a United States Artists (USA) Ford Fellow, Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, American Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, and she was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to Jordan. Recently in October 2015, Howe received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, (WLA); and in 2014 she received the Modern Languages Association inaugural Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages for Choctalking on Other Realities. She shares a Native and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) award for literary criticism with eleven other scholars for Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective, named one of the ten most influential books of the first decade of the twenty-first century for indigenous scholarship, 2011. She’s lectured nationally and internationally giving the Richard Hoggart Series lecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, 2011, and the Keynes Lecture at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, 2013, among others. In 1993 she lectured throughout Japan as an American Indian representative during the United Nations “International Year of Indigenous People.”

04-13-2021

Victoria Chang

04-13-2021

Victoria Chang