Banned Clowns & Racist Halloween Costumes

clown-shoes

Check out my latest column up at Indian Country Today Media Network.

Prompted by a creepy clown threat posted on a Colorado student’s Facebook account, along with the onslaught of creepy clown sightings and situations occurring all across the country in two dozen states, several Colorado public schools have imposed a ban of clown costumes and apparel from school property. No big, red squeaky noses, no giant daisy flowers that spurt water, no oversized clown shoes. It’s a very sad day at the circus. MORE…

 

Dakota Access Pipeline: A Rumpus Roundup

This is a piece I wrote and compiled for The Rumpus.

Dakota Access Pipeline: A Rumpus Roundup

By

September 9th, 2016

Protecting the Water. Mni Wiconi. Water is Life.

Over the last few weeks, thousands of Indigenous people, representing hundreds of tribes, have gathered together on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and in other places, to protect the lands, and the waters, and their sacred sites, against the $3.4 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline project, charted by Energy Transfer Partners, and which the tribes call the black snake, would transfer about a half million barrels of crude oil per day across 1,134 miles starting at the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota. The people camped out along the river are not protesters, but protectors. Their occupation on the front lines not only affects the people who live near, but affects several states, numerous communities. The protectors are fighting for all of us. My mother and grandparents were born in Fort Yates, the Standing Rock Reservation. We are Hunkpapa Lakota; my heart holds the protectors’ hearts. I thank them for their courage and diligence. Pilamaya to all who are on the front lines.

MORE…

sacred-stone-camp

Beacon Bards Reading in Seattle

Hello friends, I will be reading in Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, alongside some great poets, on September 14 at 7:00 pm9:00 pm

Please note this event takes place at our temporary home, Hugo House First Hill, at 1021 Columbia Street.

Beacon Arts brings its monthly reading series, Beacon Bards, to Hugo House First Hill. Featuring emerging and established poets, Beacon Bards regularly takes place at The Station Cafe on Beacon Hill every 2nd Wednesday of the month. This night, four local poets will grace our stage to take part in what Paul Constant of The Seattle Review of Books has called “Seattle’s literary back porch.”


David (2)David J. Daniels is the author of Clean (Four Way Books, 2014), winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize, and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Breakfast in the Suburbs (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012) and Indecency (Seven Kitchen Kitchens Press, 2013). He teaches composition in the University Writing Program at the University of Denver.


KeetjeKuipersKeetje Kuipers is the author of Beautiful in the Mouth (BOA Editions, 2010) and The Keys to the Jail (BOA Editions, 2014). Recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her poems, essays, and fiction have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Best American Poetry. Keetje is an Associate Professor at Auburn University where she is Editor of Southern Humanities Review.


Rachel MoritzRachel Moritz is the author of Borrowed Wave (Kore Press, 2015) and five poetry chapbooks. Her second full-length collection, Sweet Velocity, won the 2015 Besmilr Brigham Women Writer’s Award and is forthcoming from Lost Roads Press. Her poems have been published in American Letters and Commentary, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, 26, TYPO, and Volt. Rachel received her MFA from the University of Minnesota and lives with her partner and son in Minneapolis.


Tiffany MidgeTiffany Midge is the recipient of the Kenyon Review Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry for The Woman Who Married a Bear (University of New Mexico Press) and the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Prize for Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed (Greenfield Review Press). Tiffany is a humor and satire contributor for Indian Country Today Media Network, Sovereign Bodies, andQueen Mob’s Teahouse, and is enrolled with The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She holds an MFA from the University of Idaho, and is Moscow, Idaho’s inaugural Poet Laureate.

web announcement here: https://hugohouse.org/event/beacon-bards/

 

Police Reports

Police Reports from the Moscow/Pullman Daily News ~ Compiled by Jody Nicotra, resident archivist, with captions by Tiffany Midge, Moscow’s Poet Laureate

 

police porcupinIt was an average afternoon in Moscow today until all hell broke loose, and the floodgates to the underworld opened its jaws and swallowed the town. No, I’m not catastrophizing. Not at all, why do you ask? Anyway, the porcupine was apprehended, so no need to alert the National Guard and the FBI. WE GOT THIS MOTHERFUCKER UNDER CONTROL, OKAY?!

 

police baby puppy

Wildlife experts and the Child Protective Services were contacted to assist local police in determining if the crying creature was human or canine. While it was concluded through rigorous testing that the creature in question was actually a puppy, and was in fact, not abandoned, authorities could not positively identify whether its owners understood that their “little dude” was a dog, and not a baby.

 

police monkey 1There’s been a rash of reports involving nefarious banana activity recently. Authorities have not ruled out monkeying-around, but in a statement issued to the neighborhood residents, the police said, “the Palouse has never had any issues with free-range gorillas, usually it’s just moose, but lock up your doors and windows tonight just to be on the safe side, you never know if Harambe’s followers might be out for revenge.” The Man in the Yellow Hat could not be reached for a comment.

 

police monkey 2Be afraid, be very afraid. I once had someone leave me a fruit basket as a house-warming gift, which prompted me to call the police immediately. The gifter was taken into custody and is serving a ten-year sentence. You never know with fruit. While bananas are certainly threatening, you haven’t felt your life flash before your eyes until someone hands you some mother-fucking kiwis.

 

police duckI call fowl play! I do not consent!

 

police suspiciousSuspicious? What kind of suspicious? Like creepy-suspicious? Or stranger-danger suspicious? Was the man carrying bananas? Was he wearing a cape? Perhaps he was delivering the mail. Sometimes my UPS guy seems suspicious, who can trust a person wearing polyester brown shorts in the summertime? This report needs to be more specific.

 

police llama Police called to the scene suspected the llama of damaging the plants and leaving its “unknown substance” behind. But this could not be positively determined. In any case, the llama’s owner was contacted and the llama was taken back into custody, so the town can rest easy. WE GOT THIS, OKAY? The llama gave a statement to the police that he was taking a page from Kung Fu, and attempting to “wander” the earth.

 

police clarice sheep

“Tell me, Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?”

 

police fowl  More Fowl play! Clearly these chickens are looking to rumble. But are they Jets or are they Sharks? Bring your children inside, chickens are on the loose! And they’re stray! STRAY, I TELL YOU. For the love of God, where’s Officer Krumpkey?!

 

police coyote mud womanThese reports seem eerily related somehow, if you factor in coyote magic and shapeshifting. A shaman was called to the scene, but he turned into a little bird and flew away.

 

police deer hitThis sounds like a scary children’s book, or a Far Side cartoon involving captive cats, abusive, children-hating, old men, and forest animals left to perish in hit and run accidents. Someone needs to call Gary Larson! While it’s noted that the collision involved no injuries, presumably meaning the vehicle’s driver/passenger(s), it is not stated if the deer was okay. OMG, IS THE DEER OKAY?!

Five Easy Steps to Decolonize Your Cat

decolonize cat

Terese Mailhot, noted cat wrangler and social justice warrior baby whisperer, lent her distinguished expertise by creating a helpful step by step guide to decolonizing your cat. If you love your Frisky, or Cuddles, or Mr. Peebles, please take a moment to read this informative set of instructions. And remember #NineLivesMatter.

Five Easy Steps to Decolonize Your Cat, Who’s Obviously Native

Mr. Pickles has been walking in two worlds. While you can’t undo five thousand years of cat colonization, you can take a few steps in helping him fight the power.

1. Mr. Pickles was his colonizer name. You can name your cat in the language, or name him after a Native actor.

2. Now that Will Sampson has a name, you can start dismantling his internalized prejudice and self hate. Yes, he’s seen ‘The Lion King,’ but has he seen it through a decolonized lens? The whole movie is about neocolonialism and it supports hierarchy. Most of the cats played in ‘Cats’ were white. Coincidence? I think not. He’s going to start loving himself once he breaks down the racist, puritanical, patriarchal ideas on cathood.

3. Let him go back to the ways of his ancestors. He’s got the blood memory of his cat lineage. Let him follow that. If he tears up your couch, consider that civil disobedience, and a commentary on commodity fetishism.

4. Show your cat rebellious cat leaders who don’t subscribe to stereotypical cat beauty standards: Grumpy Cat or almost any Fat Positive cat in the news right now will show him he can exist in his own skin.

5. Let him fail. Staying the course to decolonization is an uneasy road. Cats are sterilized and institutionalized at alarming rates and the pain of that truth is hard to recover from. Let Will fail, and then try again.