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.
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.
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
This is not a poem. One of the things I have learnt is that my writing, much like many things about me, doesn’t fit inside a box. I colour outside of the lines and often end up challenging systems, institutions, and social norms as a result of that. It seems resistance, rebellion, and revolution are elements within my molecular structure. Ingrained to walk against the grain.
Time and time again the feedback I get on my poetic narratives are too declarative. So I have decidedly to stop calling my writing “poetry.” I had only adhered to the term poetry because everyone else calls it “poetry.” From now on I will refer to my writing as declarative poetic narratives.
Here is piece that comes from my first manuscript: A Declarative Poetic Narrative of a Bruise Faced Child
This piece is called to the blogosphere tonight after I was flooded with several memories from my childhood. The brutal rape of my mother that I witnessed at a young age, the beatings I endured, and the lonely wandering on BC highways and the mean streets of down town east Vancouver. Sometimes the best way for me to push out these memories is to write declarative poetic narratives, other times to read my already written memories and only sometimes am I compelled to blog ’em.