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Bruised Faced Child

(Photo by duckrabbit)

My childhood and youth was fraught with abuse, violence and adversity. For the last fifteen years, I have worked hard and have completed 2 degrees, including a BA in First Nations Studies and Masters in Social Work. I am now near completed a Law Degree.

One of the tools for my survival and recovery include creative expression through the writing. This book is a collection of autobiographic poetic narratives.

This manuscript was put together under the guidance and mentoring offered to me, by indigenous writer Garry Gottfriedson.

Here is the first review of my book.

You can purchase my first title, Bruise Faced Child, from:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Amazon Europe

Amazon UK

 

Garry Gottfriedson and the Bruise Faced Child

This blog post is dedicated to Garry Gottfriedson who has taught me how to amplify my voice. Garry is a Secwepemc writer from the interior of BC. Garry spent a lot of time teaching me through experiential learning of how to edit and construct my writing. He led me to exploring my own voice. The gift he has given me, is deeply appreciated.

The story of Garry and I met can be found in this story: Spirit of the Knife.

I have been invited by Garry, and retired indigenous lawyer/writer Michelle Good, to read at Garry’s book launch for his book: Deaf Heaven.

My book, Bruise Faced Child, was also recently released. You can purchase my book in USA, Canada, or Europe. My book is a compilation of autobiographic poetic narratives.

book-launch

There are those…Drastic Actions

 

There are those who get a foot in the door, towards their dreams.

SadMe

There are those who have much, and dreams are easy to achieve. There are those who have not and struggle in order to become a success. Then there are those who have not and overcome, only to be faced with resistance from those that have. There are those, who have, that welcome those who have not and do share; while their counterparts who have refuse to share and create great divides. Then there are those affected by those divides.

There are those who are hurt and are not given enough resources to overcome. There comes a point where so much shit piles up, so high and heavy, a person can crack. The threshold of resilience for some enables them to take the weight of a lot upon their shoulders. There are those who are fractured. Those who cannot bare the same weight.

Then there are those who are broken or shattered. Once shit goes awry there is little to be done. Falling apart comes in many forms. When a person is faced with their breaking point, and the world comes tumbling down, there is only so much that others can do to assist. There are those who sit and watch people abuse others.

There are those who see the cracking start and do nothing, not because they cannot help, but rather because if they do help they will feel the wrath of those who do have power, and will face threat to the security of their luxury. There are those that just go through life abusing others in subtle ways, and we allow it. Then there are those who are deeply damaged by those that subtly abuse their fellows, as passerby observe and do nothing.

There are those that rely on addiction, alcoholism or become workaholics in order to escape. Then there are those who rely upon technology or sex as an escape. Then there are those who just give up in one way or another. Of course there are those who are suicidal or homicidal. Then there are those who just give up and fold and hide in the cracks of society. Then there are those who literally walk away and disassociate completely.

There are those people who break temporarily and then heal, or just move on. Then there are those others that break forever, and there is no cleaning up that mess. Then there are those that die as a result of reaching their breaking point.

Then there are those who take Drastic Actions.

With.Tattoo

 

Rape’s Seed and Canola

Supreme Court of Canada decision Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, 2004, was a patent challenge revolving around canola seed. Monsanto did alter the genetic make up of canola and subsequently patented the altered genetic make up.

The wind picked up the seeds and blew them around the area beyond the boundaries of the property of neighboring field.

A farmer had collected the seeds from neighboring canola field that had be strewn upon the road and stuck on power poles.

When Monsanto discovered that the farmer was growing and then selling the patented canola crop, litigation followed.

While sitting in my property law class I was reminded of the smell of the yellow fields in northern Alberta. Some days we would ride our bicycles down the dirt road out to the Rape Seed fields. We were told Rape Seed was another name for canola.

In fact, canola and Rape Seed are not the same. However, the memories triggered from my youth and the sea of yellow along the highway on our way to Grande Prairie or Edmonton. We would travel these roads often after the onslaught of domestic abuse that often occurred within the four thin walls of our mobile home (aka trailer park).

Oil Seed Rape Fields, Bad Doberan, Germany

Rape’s Seed

ocean’s yellow

pollen rays’ heat

fields prairie’d canola

line after line

after line

seeded affects transform

seasoned processes copulate

birth sprouts erupt seeds sown

blossomed rape spurts into fields

waves and swells roll out

aired reproduction

nasal pollenated rape

annual swells roll

in expansion

fluids collect

through rolling ocean’s

swollen yellow

rape pollenates children’s lungs

rapeseed_field_in_bloom___anthony__ks_by_bvilleweatherman-d6bjtil

A Poem About Dr. Cindy Blackstock

I wrote this set of pieces in 2013. In 2014 some of the following was published in my masters in social work. This series was included in a manuscript competition I won on indigenous topics relating to culture, law and land in 2013.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock is one of the most important Canadians that walks among us. She is one of my heroes. Her work is beyond important to all Canadians.

Doctor – I

I have read articles. books. your research. offered solutions. people before profit. children before. money. first people’s children. all children. the platform.

Black-stock’d – II

you said:

state of lived experience

First Nations’ children

incredulous human rights violation

repeated, perhaps blatant

definitively despicable

our nation, our short history

Canadian perpetration

politicians cannot afford

indigenous burdens

housing, education, food, language

and equitable social service

commodify, accept, tolerate, perpetuate, perpetrate

racial discrimination

profitable margins, of mainstream dominant class

multi-cultural-mosaic-exclusion

agreements negotiated

treatied sovereignty

ignored, suppressed, push down, down, and done

at the cost

of injustices served

contextualized CFCSA

extended Canadian apartheid

Child, Family and Community Services Act

Indian Act

residential schools

60s scooped

into group homes

kicked out of hospitals

homeless wandering

without family, community, ceremony, language, land

displacement

corrections

words of Duncan Campbell Scott

legal prohibition

of language

legal prohibition,

culture and gatherings

legal prohibition,

speak mother tongues

legal prohibition

parental rights

government controlled

while stealing

babies in the night

like a mongoose snatches eggs

from robin’s nest

150 years, kidnapping

 

I cry – III

for children

my children

non-First Nations children

‘indian’ babies

all children

are someone’s babies

without parents, families, or community connections

all children!

watch, observe and learn

Canada penetrates deeper, deeper and

inward colonization

imperialists take babies

under, and for, ‘the law’

British law rules

all babies

as children watch and learn

through observation

we teach snatched babies

ripped families hearts bleed screams

helpless, hopeless, I cry

all children learn

of assimilation-accept-ability

 

Problematic – IV

white faced suits deny, discourage, dishonor

and then disrobe

their captive indian princesses

with Olympic feathers and buckskin Ramsey rooms

judges disrobe, cops turned blind eyes

as highways cry missing women

girls, children, exploitation

sexual domination cropped and farmed

agricultural-education-assimilation

sex and violence

in systems built in

built on fortification

power bases cry babies

women’s blackened eyes

men staggering alone

hitting each other

 

Poisonous Plates – V

assimilation meals

lateral violence deserts

blamed for crying alcohol

for wine-ing

and dining, whimpers

about life

dirty systems

poisonous plates

 

Governments Words – VI

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

pull up your fucking socks

lazy dirty ‘Indians’

given good-god-damned

money

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

worked jobs, twenty seven years

taxes paid

fed brown children

squaw women

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

killed, selling two dollar assholes

whores

abandon children

civilize savages

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners

 

Witnessed – VII

Wall-street suited economics

oppressive governing neo-cons

damn any-and-every-one, deemed differentiated

divided by privilege

antithetical under-grounded scholars

research, observe, compile, articulate, write and write

and write right words righteous

smudge, pray in honor

to your journey

sweat prayers, for your momentum

requests ability carried out

mother natures’ will, assist support

witness, this revolution

 

Cindy B -VIII

I want to thank you

on behalf of all

us un-indians

ethno-centric-mono-culture

all non-First Nations Canadian peoples

us immigrants. the ignorant. the mean. the killers. the rapers. the homophobes. the racists. the powerful. Dominant. and sickened. superiority complexified society.

I, thank you. for articulation. research harvested ceremonial. produced in language. and understood structures. by masses. Now. who can deny?

success. teaching the government. how to treat children. people and community. my nechi-nehiyewan. Cree. Salteaux. Secwepmc. Anishinaabe. my friends. lovers. Partners. Colleagues. and comrades in academia. my brethren on the streets. homeless. and those of us who moved on. Survived. your praxis. a revolution. this. my honor. honorary shout-out. for you. for the kids. and families. the world. country. and nation

hiy-hiy

Sickness

I wrote this today after reflecting on the racism, and the complicity that validates it, which runs thick in my current environment.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 10.13.27 PM

The Organ of Hate & Love

The organs’ vibrations can be masked and braided or even twisted. Music is the structure of each organ’s function in the body of life that justifies and vacillates expression.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 12.42.20 AM

Sameness, Hate Crimes and Blood Alley

I spent years in the DTES (downtown eastside) Vancouver. I committed a lot of hate crimes there. Blood Alley was a place I frequented.

Now, at times, I am bothered by the recall of the feel, smells and tastes of blood soaked into my skin and clothes. I am reminded of the sputters and chokes and gags and screams and cries of the abuse I perpetrated. I am reminded of waking up with swollen hands and infected gashes on my knuckles. I am reminded of my fingers sticking together due to the dried syrup blood. I remember the adrenaline hang overs that made me puke…or maybe it was a spiritual rejection of my disgusting behaviour.

…now after years, education, social transformation and a whole lot of healing…I am still haunted by my own deeds and the pain I caused for others, in moments that likely linger for their whole lives…I remember…

…blood alley

Racism Smells Like Blood in Blood Alley

Pools Stream from a Blood Moon

 

The other night there was a blood moon eclipse.Blood.Pools.Screen Shot

Voo-Doo: Life and Death; With a Tattoo

People often ask me about this tattoo.

 

It was the last of the one’s from my old life. Here is a picture, then a list of symbolism and then a poem.

With.Tattoo

 

1. Pierced to skin, like I am stuck to physical life (or as my friend Ange Sterrit said to me when we lived on the streets together; stuck on the physical plain)

2. Rope/noose is my suicide attempts

3. Stitched doll is a product of society or POE: Product Of Environment. The singleness of character of the doll is me being alone and hanging out in life. Anonymous or unidentifiable doll is that it could be me or many of my friends and many other youth in society…many people like me

4. Xs as eyes is intoxication

5. The tongue hanging out is being exhausted from physical life

6. The pins are 3 white power tattoos on front of my body and two white power tattoos on back of my body

With.Tattoo.Screen Shot.2014

With.Tattoo.Screen Shot.2014.b