The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday, Glen Echo, Armageddon Game

The Exaggeration of Despair
By Sherman Alexie

I open the door

(this Indian girl writes that her brother tried to hang himself
with a belt just two weeks after her other brother did hang himself

and this Indian man tells us that back in boarding school,
five priests took him into a back room and raped him repeatedly

and this homeless Indian woman begs for quarters, and when I ask
her about her tribe, she says she's horny and bends over in front of me

and this homeless Indian man is the uncle of an Indian man
who writes for a large metropolitan newspaper, and so now I know them both

and this Indian child cries when he sits to eat at our table
because he had never known his own family to sit at the same table

and this Indian woman was born to an Indian woman
who sold her for a six-pack and a carton of cigarettes

and this Indian poet shivers beneath the freeway
and begs for enough quarters to buy pencil and paper

and this fancydancer passes out at the powwow
and wakes up naked, with no memory of the evening, all of his regalia gone)

I open the door

(and this is my sister, who waits years for a dead eagle from the Park Service, receives it
and stores it with our cousins, who then tell her it has disappeared

though the feathers reappear in the regalia of another cousin
who is dancing for the very first time

and this is my father, whose own father died on Okinawa, shot
by a Japanese soldier who must have looked so much like him

and this is my father, whose mother died of tuberculosis
not long after he was born, and so my father must hear coughing ghosts

and this is my grandmother who saw, before the white men came,
three ravens with white necks, and knew our God was going to change)

I open the door
and invite the wind inside.


I am watching the end of The Fellowship of the Ring with my kids and Adam's friend who had never seen it before when we started the other day, so I will be brief. This Geek Pride Day morning I wrote a review of Deep Space Nine's "Armageddon Game" while Daniel slept late. It wasn't outrageously hot but it was very sticky, so I didn't take a very long walk, though I now have a theory that rain and humidity causes spontaneous generation of chipmunks because we suddenly have dozens in the neighborhood when we just had a few a couple of weeks ago. The weather also apparently causes ants to break into my kitchen to steal cat food, which makes me much less pleased.

We had dinner with my parents -- my mother made seafood au gratin for the non-vegetarians and made Quorn au gratin for me and Adam, which was awesome. Then we came home and Adam's friend called to ask whether we could watch some more Lord of the Rings, so we finished the first extended edition, which looks fantastic on Blu-Ray (though WB's digital copy download system is crap -- none of the download codes worked at first and then I was told I couldn't play the movies because I'd exceeded my viewing rights even though I'd never watched them). Here are some photos from Glen Echo last weekend, including the standing stones:


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