Hooves And Feet

Dedicated to my Unni G. Last night I was suicidal and she wouldn’t stop texting and calling me until I answered and could prove I hadn’t followed through with my plans. She’s an advocate, a hero, and so much more. I love her so much. She’s saved me from myself a few times but last night was intense. We talked about the earth and universe. Being connected to it. She then challenged me to think of the weakest animal. I said “me” and she told me to open my mind a bit and really think about what she’s asking me. So I sarcastically said “the ants that are sucking up poison in my traps and bringing it back to their queen.” She laughed and told me to next think of the strongest animal I could think of. I’ve always loved buffaloes. They represent so much. I have one tatted on my forearm. So she told me to think about buffaloes for the night and she wanted me to write a poem about them and post it to her FB wall. So I did. Here it is.

Hooves on the ground
Calvary all around
Not a warrior to be found
Just as policy planned out.
No more sacrifice for the hungry and cold
Piles of skulls photographed as proof to be shown
the Indians and buffaloes
will die together from genocide on land not sold
but stolen by treaties broken leading D.C. to now control
the land privatized and now own.
Hand and hoof travel forever over land covered in blood and gold.
However the strength of both
came back around to show
their survivors and descendants will always find a way back
No matter the railroad tracks
that plague the way they can’t cover the sacred.
The hooves cannot be exterminated
by any single nation.
To this day the buffalo is proof that we too can make it.

Afterward: GG – I love you for the countless times you’ve been there for me and making me answer my phone last night. You always make sure I’m okay even if it’s been months since we spoke you shoot me random texts checking on me and post jokes on FB for me to see to laugh at. A few years ago I realized you actually have the same initials as my brother, Gabe Gonzales. I think he made sure you got into my life. Before he was the only one who could ever talk me off the ledge and would drop whatever he was doing to make sure I’m okay. Neither of you can ever be replaced. I’m just very lucky when it comes to double Gs in my life. 

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Image of God

Age 21
You took away my religion

At gun point made me a Christian

then told me God was of your image 

and I must get on my knees and start worshippin’. 

To this day my religion is banned

– Freedom of Religion – 

Your forefathers swore that when they took my land. 

Maybe it’s something I don’t understand 

– or you don’t – 

to which I hope

because my religion is more than smudging and smoke 

but it’s outlawed like all we do is dope. 

I can’t sell the land I walk on

but I can if I’m drunk

even though I know it’s wrong…

and all I am anymore is drunk. 

I’m in need of a prayer circle to hold me up. 

Instead you give me a cup 

of your God’s blood, (and I’m the blood thirsty savage?)

I call all my relations

You respond with hatred

Swearing me off as a pagan 

You’re the image of God, I’m the image of Satan. 

You banned my religion 

At gun point made me a Christian 

then convinced me 

you’re the image of God 

I’m the reflection of Satan. 

Howe Indian!

Age 21 – based on some true events except for how I responded to the questions. It’s a way of me going back to when people asked me these questions and how I wish I would’ve responded. They were situations I dealt with throughout my life in different places and ages. Nothing in order of age and experience. Just memories that came back to me as my pen against the paper. 

“You’re an Indian?

We got a real Indian!

Meet my Indian!!

If I give you $2, Indian

will you give me your car Indian?”

HahaHA! I get it!

I’m an Indian – 

A savage, an idiot…

For $24 I’ll give you Manhattan!

I get it. Indian, idiot, savage. 

Easy to take advantage 

of someone who doesn’t take land for granted – 

I get it, I’m an Indian. 

“Class is anyone Indian?

It’s Thanksgiving, does anybody want to be an Indian?

Well, somebody has to be Indian!

You! I know you’re Indian!”

Yes, yes, I am Indian. 

Your wish is my command. 

But when I step onstage will you take my land?

I’m an Indian I have to ask. 

“Wow, a real Indian?

How much Indian?

What type of Indian?

I study Indians! 

Are you sure you’re Indian?”

Yup, I am Indian.  

Here’s my single tear 

a feather in my hair!

Look! I even have a beer!

Yup, pretty sure I’m Indian…

“We don’t like Indians. 

Only good Indian 

is a dead Indian…

You an Indian?”

Nope! I’m an Injun! Howe!

Blackfeet Siksika! Howe!

Red as blood! Howe!

Idiot Indian! Howe!

The token! Howe!

Drinking Blood

Age 20

What does liberty mean 

when you’re a refugee

getting by with nothing to eat?

Trying to keep a dream

when all you hear are screams

coming from the streets –

What is it to be free

when you’re a Blackfeet

getting by without Buffalo to eat?

Told to redefine your dream

when all you hear are screams

coming from the creek –

What is there to believe

when you’re a youth in the streets

using food stamps to eat?

“So taught” the American Dream

while you live in poverty

housed on public property –

What is there to teach

when kids can’t be reached

and you can’t afford to eat?

Living hand to mouth every week

losing faith in your dream

while gunshots ring and you hear screams –

What is there to preach 
when people only come to weep

and stay to eat?

You hear the Devil scream

when you try to sleep

then tell yourself it’s a bad dream –

How can your heart beat

when you drink the blood you bleed

because there’s not enough to eat

and you wake up just to see

the same old streets

and your people’s blood flows in peace

downstream in the Forgotten Creek

and it’s lies you teach

and it’s to the hopeless you try to preach?

Could this be what liberty means

and how to be free

or could it be a bad dream

because you drink the blood you bleed?

Belonging To Han

Age 21
I find myself an Injun with Han

A Korean burdened with Han

I never wondered where I belong

but rather what is wrong? 

They say you can’t express the sorrow of Han

but somehow find meaning and move on

There’s no words but the feeling is there

and I find it more Historians don’t care

or perhaps nobody can hear

the cries of my Grandmother’s

the cries of death from the creek. 

Ancestors still suffer 

in words they’re unable to speak. 
I find myself wrapped in the towel of Han. 

In its womb I belong

because I can’t figure out what’s wrong…

How does one move on

when so much still affects us?

They taught us in God we trust

but when acceptance isn’t enough

to get the people to look up

and put the liquor down 

or for now not be ashamed of the kimch’i in the ground.  

How do we somehow 

move on

from the intensity of Han?

R U Still Down

I don’t even know what this one was about or how old I was when I wrote it…

They say I haven’t been around
But I was there when shit hit the fan
Then came crashing down
When y’all said duct
I never hit the ground
I stood with a grenade in my hand
Fist in the air, stubborn and stoic
With my heart reciting
A dead poet
I may not change the world
But I’ll spark the mind that does
As Pac so quoted.
I didn’t make it to Vernon’s wake
But I was there with him
That night I prayed and burnt sage
And released the serenity of sweet grass
Tucked cedar in my shoe the next day
As I ran to work and class
So they say I’ve been away
Yeah, I’ve been away

 I haven’t been around much
I’ve been in my own battle zone
And my brothers and sisters I’m about to give up
If these racists that face us continues to grow
Right under our nose
Turn the other cheek?
I’d rather leave in peace
But not if it appears I’ve accepted defeat
Tired as hell
While y’all just clown around
I’m living in hell
Where y’all at now?
R U Still down?
Yeah, still hit the ground
While I threw the grenades
Y’all were there only to claim
That you were brave renegades
But had there been a moment raised
That y’all could’ve ran the other way
I’d still be there throwing grenades
By myself
I’m tired as hell
But yo’ I’ll still handle it myself

 Y’all say I’ve been gone
But I’ve been holding the front
While y’all were wrong
Wondering where I was
I was here getting shot and cut
Transfusing my own blood
Whereas y’all kicked a sista’s name around
Desecrating it across town
Where the sista at?
The one with the big trap
That never turned her back
Even when it was stabbed
She pulled the knife out herself
Yea’, by myself
While y’all front about holding down the front
I’ve been in hell
Here, by myself
So where y’all now?
R U Still Down?