On a very personal level, I have fond memories of spending a lot of time in the Library of Congress working on my collection of poems ‘Native Guard.’ I was there over a summer doing research in the archives and then writing in the reading room at the Jefferson building.
We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of Black women for each other.
In the end, there is no absence of irony: the integrity of what is sacred to Native Americans will be determined by the government that has been responsible for doing everything in its power to destroy Native American cultures.
I know that my tendency is to be linear, and I’m trying to find ways to subvert that. And so in ‘Bellocq’s Ophelia’ my device for subverting it was to tell the story and then to tell it again; it always circles back to this one moment, and it’s not linear, but it’s round in that way, and much of ‘Native Guard’ is like that.
The United States, you know, people – one of the reasons that it is said that native people received citizenship in 1924 was so that they could be drafted. And they have been extensively drafted.
Since the beginning, Native Peoples lived a life of being in harmony with all that surrounds us.
Writing ‘Native Guard,’ I didn’t know I was working on a single book. I began writing that book because I was interested in the lesser-known history of these black soldiers stationed off the coast of my hometown.
Everyone who’s born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans.