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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

My First Book: Bruise Faced Child

 

(Photo by Brent Braaten – Prince George Citizen)

As many of you know, my childhood and youth were fraught with abuse, violence and adversity. For the last fifteen years, I have worked my ass off and completed 2 degrees, including a Masters in Social Work; now near complete a Law Degree.

Recently I published my first book: Bruise Faced Child (Click on link to purchase a copy in USA).

Or this link to buy from Canada.

 

The Prince George Citizen has published this article about my book.

 

 

 

Law v. Poetry (2012) ST 1983.

There is an old battle, between poets and law. This battle has not disappeared. Plato represents Law, and legal educators are proving to me that poetry is still perceived as a threat.

(Please play this song and read the lyrics provided, and then replay while you read this blog article; I whole heartedly recommend that people put this song on loop for your own enjoyment. This song is still one of my all time favourites.)

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In an ancient time Plato threatened to force out, BANISH, all of the poets out from the city. Here is a quick summary of the battle between LAW v POEtry:

“Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher, was a student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle. Writing during the mid-4th century, BCE, he founded an academy in Athens, Greece. His philosophical writings are primarily in the form of dialogues (the form became known as the “Socratic dialogue”), where truths are revealed by a series of questions and inferences based on the questions and their responses. In simplified terms, he believed that abstract ideas and truths exist in a place beyond the material objects of the world. The term “platonic” has come to mean pure or lofty. In Books III and X of the Republic, Plato addresses the problem of poets. He deduces that they are imitators of the world, and therefore far from the truth: “the tragic poet is an imitator, and therefore, like all other imitators, he is thrice removed from the king and from the truth.” The other dangers of poets are that they corrupt youth and incite the passions instead of the faculties of reason. The poet, “with his words and phrases,” is able to convince listeners that he knows what he speaks of: “such is the sweet influence which melody and rhythm by nature have.” Poetry, including the narratives of others’ lives, appeals to the emotions; it “feeds and waters the passions instead of drying them up; she lets them rule, although they ought to be controlled, if mankind are ever to increase in happiness and virtue.” In Book X, Plato concludes that poetry must be banished from the hypothetical, ideal society; however, if poetry makes “a defense for herself in lyrical or some other meter,” she may be allowed to return from exile.”

Here was my response written in 2012 when I was a social work student doing research on the use of poetry in scholarship:

POE = Product Of Environment + try = POEtry = survival through writing

POE-try v Plato 2012

This was written before I applied to law school. As it turns out my law school seems to dislike my poetry. There exists an ancient cultural-ideological divide between those who hold legal-power and those who use creative expression.

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All of this reminds me of these events:

 

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.

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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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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