Finding My Way Home

The new issue of Montana Quarterly is out, and includes my feature story, “Finding My Way Home.” It is about blood quantum, and includes the subtitle, “In Indian Country, ‘Blood Quantum’ complicates families and roils communities.” I worked hard on it and I’m happy with how it turned out. I know there are copies at Fact & Fiction downtown in Missoula, but for folks outside of Montana who want it, you may order it online HERE.

Not to spoil anything, but the piece concludes with, “at the time of this writing…. ” I am happy to report that since then, my application for enrollment with the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians — filed after much research into where my father’s side of my family truly came from — has been accepted. This is only the beginning of a larger project I am working on.

 

Hard Sell Promotion

I’ve mentioned before that this anthology from Riverfeet Press, Awake in the World, is out, and that I have an essay in it. I know a few of my friends have already purchased it via the pre-order opportunity I posted a few weeks ago, and for that I am eternally grateful. I want more of these things to sell, though, and I’ve set a goal to blow at least 50 copies through the doors of Fact & Fiction, whether via online purchase or people coming in and buying them in person. As of this writing I think I have 46 more to go. Hopefully I won’t have to be too annoying to make this happen, but I’m willing to go down that dark road if I have to. It isn’t so much to promote my own work, I just want to support independent publishing and see this thing do well. So, if you’re a nature loving person at all, please consider dropping $15 (plus shipping) on this thing. The world will be a better place because of it.

BUY HERE

Thank you!

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Awake in the World

Taking a break from the break I’ve taken from the online world to mention this: Awake in the World: Riverfeet Press Anthology, a “collection of stories, essays, and poems about wildlife, adventure, and the environment, from over forty authors, both U.S. and abroad.” I mention it because I am one of those authors, via an essay I wrote called “A Path to the Wild.”

A short excerpt:

Those summer days fading into nights outside didn’t always lead to bucolic campouts. These were the 70s; my ear for stories of UFOs and cattle mutilations would make me wake wide-eyed with fear should I hear an airplane or, even worse, a helicopter pass overhead in the darkness. With the 1975 release of Jaws, I was frightened to swim in nearby Frenchtown Pond, though I did it anyway, for fear of teeth from the deep. In the wake of that predator-as-villain film, there were a rash of copycats. One was a movie called Grizzly, which I didn’t see, whose ads featured copy describing the beast as “18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!” I asked my dad how tall 18 feet was, and he pointed high up on the side of the house and said, “About that high.” For nights after I lay in my sleeping bag staring at the side of the old place, dumbstruck that an animal could be so gigantic, waiting for it to come and drag me away.

The book has just come available for the pre-release sales price of $13. Support small independent presses and order one, if you are so inclined, HERE. And let me know what you think!

Taking My Own Temperature, Raw and Heavy-Handed

A Confession, with Wishes

It’s time to ‘fess up.
I’m feeling less and less keen
on “finding common ground”
and all that assorted
“give them a chance” bullshit,
and the vague nature
of my pacifism is washing away
with every drop of water
that stings the flesh
of peaceful protestors
on a frigid landscape barely
a day’s drive away
from where I sit fat and warm,
mired in my own
inconsequential dramas.

So here are some truths.
I wish a vessel would burst
in the heart or brain of our
“President Elect” and he’d
drop flopping and dead
in a puddle of shit from
his own vacuated bowels,
and the world would sigh
with relief,
then point and laugh.

I wish every one of that man’s
braindead followers would be
visited in the night
by the spirits of the lost,
forgotten, and brutalized,
– Dickens-like –
to see a possible future where
they and their loved-ones face
the violence and hate
they advocate and cheer,
that each one may wake
soaked and reeking
of piss in their sheets,
screaming into the morning,
“What have I done?”

I wish that the ghosts
of our ancestors
would sweep across the land,
whooping and singing,
and leave behind nothing
but shriveled carcasses
frozen inside the body armor
of every rent-a-soldier
who tramples the bodies
of my friends, lovers, and family,
like the husks of locusts
whose plague ended
when it ventured too far
onto the Northern Plains.

I wish all those fuckers
would suddenly understand
that indeed they are correct:
not everyone belongs here.
But it isn’t the ones
they were thinking of.