30 August 2005

Yahoo! Mail - ryanwaldon2002@yahoo.com

This was recently posted to one of the groups I belong to...



Sandpaper between two cultures which tear

one another apart

I'm not a means by which you can reach spiritual

understanding or even

learn to do beadwork

I'm only willing to tell you how to make fry bread

1 cup flour, spoon of salt, spoon of baking powder

Stir Add milk or water or beer until it holds together

Slap each piece into rounds

Let rest

Fry in hot grease until golden

This is Indian food

only if you know that Indian is a government word

which has nothing to do with our names for ourselves

I won't chant for you

I admit no spirituality to you

I will not sweat with you or ease your guilt with fine

turtle tales

I will not wear dancing clothes to read poetry or

explain hardly anything at all

I don't think your attempts to understand us are going

to work so

I'd rather you left us in whatever peace we can still

scramble up after all you continue to do

If you send me one more damn flyer about how to heal


for $300 with special feminist counseling

I'll probably set fire to something

If you tell me one more time that I'm wise I'll throw

up on you

Look at me

See my confusion Loneliness fear worrying about all

our struggles to keep what little is left for us

Look at my heart not your fantasies

Please don't ever again tell me about your Cherokee

great-great grandmother

Don't assume I know every other Native Activist

in the world personally

That I even know names of all the tribes

or can pronounce names I've never heard

or that I'm expert at the peyote stitch

If you ever

again tell me

how strong I am

I'll lay down on the ground & moan so you'll see

at last my human weakness like your own

I'm not strong I'm scraped

I'm blessed with life while so many I've known are


I have work to do dishes to wash a house to clean

There is no magic

See my simple cracked hands which have washed the same


you wash See my eyes dark with fear in a house by


late at night See that to pity me or to adore me

are the same

1 cup flour, spoon of salt, spoon of baking powder,

liquid to hold

Remember this is only my recipe There are many others

Let me rest


at least

by Chrystos - from Not Vanishing (Press Gang Publishers, Vancouver, 1988; SBN 0-88974-015-1).


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