Found Sherman Alexi’s website yesterday – spent an hour reading everything.
Maintained a pose because I was at the office and had to choke back the tears.
Wanted to write him a letter, but the site was adamant about protecting his time and privacy.
Was stunned by the short autobiography – so much that I identified with.
Wanted to ask if he still visits Steinbeck’s work with affection – wanted to find the spin that would make my letter unique, so that I didn’t get consigned to the pile of Indian-groupie letters in some trash-can.
Wondered if I was an Indian-groupie for the shortest moment – then dismissed it.
Didn’t want to dress up in theme-outfits and turquoise, didn’t want to get involved with a full-blood, half-blood or any percentage.
Just wanted to say sorry, say: “I don’t feel your pain, I can’t feel your pain, but I feel my own pain – shame at what representatives of my forefathers did, what their descendants are still doing.
Wanted to say that there are all sorts of sources of post-trauma, but the depression, the disconnectedness, the discipline it takes to just keep on breathing, is the same for everyone.
See, I don’t dream of horses,
I don’t hear them screaming,
but I dream of being lost
in the middle of a tangle of bleak railway tracks,
against a black-and-grey Gotham-like city-scape.
Feels like post-industrial genocide.
And it’s the nature of my people
that we can’t see or hear our ancestors
Because the bastards are hiding out. (2007)