578 Readings | 3 Ratings

Ghost Dance


                                                                     i.

 

Ice       [a trailer full of it]                                                                                Taos, NM

 

Today, I learned that it rains for days in the desert. Yes. It rains and rains

but never did the ghost dances see much summer ice in this place—

ice exists here only as madness.                                                        [Lightning Bolts]

 

[a]       Funnel cake                                               Culture\Orgasm\Genocide\Reparations

 

            Humans stand with looks of hunger, desperation. Oil slows their veins. 

            Believe in everything they say about extinction.           [100 % American]

            It’s a wonder we’re forced to celebrate when we’d rather


[Huey] the hotspring river hippie               [just skied my whole darn life]

 

            live by the ruins of the old bathhouse on the Rio Grande   

            where once there stood the only bridge and brothel in the land.

            He waits there half naked with a mason jar full of herb,

            waiting to get you stoned.

 

Big Horn Sheep                    [here]              [there]             [everywhere around]

 

            A gentle demon waits to be lightly captured by apertures [nature itself]

            once you already are there                                                       [trip relapsing]

            somewhere on the wind, a distant birth.

 

 

 

 ii.

 

POWWOW : a gathering of nations : singing / dancing / drum beat / drums

 

            Navajo/Zuni/Acoma/Lacoma/Apache

                                                                                                             World’s Fair 1904

White carnival wristband for the white man
pictures of Indians to appease him                                      A photo with Geronimo
flutes of wood cry into the wind

pictures of Indians to appease him                 [precious remnants of a genocide]

                                                                                                                   

What can be done of our bloody past of awful Russian dolls?

What is the price of admission?

 

I know better than to mistake my ends for my beginnings—in this end, we are beginning:

 

      :           the syllable of the earth mother across time and cultures

 

            uttered from

 

a drum: buffalo hide stretched tight across a cedar band, the heartbeat like this:

thuthumpthuthumpthuthumpthuthumpthuthumpthuthumpthuthump

 

            but no, she says, changing rhythms; what we hear in the womb is:

 

           swoosh-swoosh/swoosh-swoosh/swoosh-swoosh/swoosh-swoosh

 

the sound of fluids going through the womb: what the embryo hears until birth

                        and then                                                                                          

                                    ADÍOS           ,

                        the sound stops:

 

Now hungry for milk
sweet meat of the bison

that were once dark clouds

 

sitting at trailerside, eating it up, sweet blood of the melon that we drink from here now

 

the children who now dance                                        the children who dance

were once afraid.                                                              were once afraid, but no more.

 

Clapping of hands. Blue Sky. Dark Cloud. Beat of drum. Moan of flute whistle, whistle drone. Women reassuring children—Eagle woman dances, makes the world spin around Taos mountain—rip this white band from my wrist and lose the white dream that can’t last. I’m leaving this carnival town, to the land of silicon to drink the asphalt. It leaves petroleum ores in my blood. 

Rud the oars of my blood. Rud with your oars through my blood to find my blood cornered.

 

 

                                                                        iii.

 

Why is only lukewarm coffee what we have waiting on rain, sifting through the land, looking for home, to find someone else who’s also looking, too—and with the wheels so rusty as we go. And Go we must to where the river flows both ways, back first to the storm clouds of the Rio Grande, back to our junkyard full of immobile fords and sand, and back to our gathered mobile homes that never went too far, never too far beyond Black Mesa, to where storms and more storms swallowed up the white sun, where floods lit up the land, where rain spills down the clouds, and the beams each drink each other’s lightning now.

 

iv.

 

Books in bag, rucksack packed,

I walk in and out of old tasks.

 

Flute in hand, song in head.

They danced the ancient ghost dance.

 

Here, it is too often that we are forgetting our past.

I dance the ancient ghost dance.

 

And who knows if it lasts through the task

of our unmasking.

 

I walk the path,

thinking, what lasts?


I walk the path.

Posted 11/17/13
“Ghost Dance” Initially a tradition of the Paiute Indians that spread to the Great Plains, “Ghost Dances” were first enacted by native people of the Americas as a reaction to the threat of Christianity and Western expansion. Characterized by fierce chanting and drumming in elaborate traditional costume, native communities intended the dance as a means of summoning ancient spirits and spiritual beliefs, as a way of asking to bring back the vitality of native culture, to replenish the land, and to call back the buffalo. Western Militias mistook these dances for war dances, contributing to views of natives as violent savages, expediting the largest genocide of North American Indians in the Western Hemisphere.
Comments (0)
Would you like to leave a comment on this profile? Join Ink Node for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member.