‘God Must Be an Indian’ by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. The above poem was snatched from the essential Survivance zine created by Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D., and R.I.S.E. (Radical Indigenous Survivance and Empowerment).

The work available in this series is vibrant, illuminating and broadly necessary. Please support their projects.

One bit of vocab to spotlight here: KOOKUM, I believe, is a Cree word for grandmother.

After Reading Henri Cole

Wikipedia Poem, No. 793

doves

to form a barrier form a barrier
infect fissile shade lie down
don’t break the line
avoid dehydration stretch
allow the journey to ossify
that’s no cheap metaphor
allow experience to turn time to bone
horny layer
that dreamer’s dozen of dead cells
vicious organelles to form a barrier
form a barrier but hold it true

from ‘On Theme’ by Mary Ruefle

“You are poets, I assume you think metaphorically. Isn’t that the way you read? True or false: the subject or topic of a poem is never really its subject or topic. Robert Frost never wrote a nature poem. He said that. Meaning: there’s more to me than trees and birds. Meaning: there’s more to trees and birds and I know that, so that means there’s more to me, too.”

paculum-spec2-sm

Source:

Wikipedia Poem, No. 329

wiki329-sm

“…there are too many supermarkets, with too many cashiers.” Mark Halliday

          passion passion passion passion passion 
      passion 
          passion 
latin a hostile sense
passion passion 
      passion passion passion passion passion passion passion passion passion passion 
    passion passion 
passion 
        passion 
passion passion passion 
passion passion passion passion passion passion 
      passion passion passion passion 
   passion passion passion passion passion passion 
passion passion passion passion 
passion 
         passion passion 
passion passion 
passion 
passion passion passion passion passion 
anti breathes anemos 
  passing passion passion passion passion 
passion passion passion 
passion passion

Wikipedia Poem, No. 315

wiki315

“That’s another of the Oaxacan / experiences I mentioned, / but the rest are secrets.” Michael Robbins

 

of women over her
support forceful rejoinder
did little to beauty

pageant
for years a determined
90-minute debate

did little to her part
treat dignity
say his facts which she had been him

to deeply admire
his
man whose approval rating of his years

for her charges
of having for her
he called

the years for her charges
of a primary end
I could trade

justice about controversy instead claiming
credit for years
determined

women
aimed at
her cost clashing

Wikipedia Poem, No. 122

skywriting-recalls

“If we bear in mind the fact that tendentious jokes are so highly suitable for attacks on the great, the dignified and the mighty, who are protected by internal inhibitions and external circumstances from direct disparagement, we shall be obliged to take a special view of certain groups of jokes which seem to be concerned with inferior and powerless people.” Sigmund Freud

ONE

of metaphors linked idea of thot 
it be a task beyond political valuation 
Our values old insisted from 

those talent the not meaning torturers must have
disinterpreter To place a task beyond 
political values old insistently 

thinking of our society would death 
This was akin to who sees are 
that connected from those

of Susan Sontag he likes  
the conjunction akin to know better 
But it does not political philosophy in a chain 

when a chain knows betrayal it 
is usually a student as a peccadillo 
or a Writics’ Circle Award 

and accuratextual dignity of human 
unfree society would have its disinterpreter

TWO

and in an ideal plan some might 
He gave, appeared, I said different 
from being Harper’s anecdote violates 

the devoted god within horrified cheerleaders 
including that I find a book slighteous, righteous
a Berlin Prize for years including the devoted god’s 

with friends Oh you’re a heading that way 
reads of power of whether people’s right 
argued must confess for skywriting recalls 

Pizza Preacher fixed broken could pay two dollars 
halves of teachers should be Ezra Pound 
the first economically enjoyed with friends

Oh you could looking for class boys 
then I explained Christinction


Sources: 

Galchen, Rivka, and Benjamin Moser. “Are There Any Unforgivable Sins in Literature?” Sunday Book Review
The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2016. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.

Freud, Sigmund. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. Ed. James Strachey. Mass Market Paperback ed. 
New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1905. Print.