Monday, April 11, 2011


During the fight against the Briggs Initiative, I had the chance to hear many legendary lesbian poets and writers, among them Chrystos. One bio states “Chrystos (born 7 November 1946) is a Menominee rights activist and poet. Prior to being published, she worked as a home caretaker, and an activist for Turtle Mountain Band of Chipewa, Norma Jean Croy (involved in a firefight with police), and Leonard Peltier. Born in San Francisco, United States, Chrystos is a Lesbian- and Two-Spirit-identified writer who focuses on themes revolving around the violence that adjoins everyday life in many urban areas. She also tries to incorporate an awareness of universal currents in her works, introducing a diverse mixture of characters and ideas. Her first published work, Not Vanishing, concentrates on a Native American woman and the environment she returns to after work, a life shielded from mainstream cultural understanding.” The prose poem below is a sardonic look at the white stupidity which encourages denial regarding the European theft of North America.


We have been conducting an extensive footnoted annotated indexed & complicated study of the caucasian culture hereafter to be referred to as the cauks for ease in translation.

The most important religious ritual, one central to all groups, is the mixing of feces & urine with water. This rite occurs regularly on a daily basis & seems to be a cornerstone of the culture's belief system. The urns for this purpose are commonly porcelain, of various hues, although white is the most frequently used. The very wealthy rulers have receptacles of carved onyx or malachite with gold-plated fixtures. We have been unable to determine what prayers are said during this ritual because of its solitary nature & the fact that the door to the prayer room is always shut.

The main function of the majority of non-city dwellers is the production of an object called a lawn. Numerous tools for the cultivation of this lawn are sold in the marketplaces. It appears also to have a sacred character, as no activity occurs on it & keeping short green & square is a constant activity.

The main diet of the culture is available from pushbutton machines or orange plastic small markets & was found by our researchers to be completely inedible. It is truly amazing what the human animal can subsist on.

Another prominent feature of the cauks is the construction of huge monuments built in clusters in the villages. These are not living quarters but are used about five days of the week for a ritual involving papers which appear to be sacred, given the life or death quality with which they are handled. The papers are passed about, often with consternation & eventually cast away when the spell is complete.

The mechanisms for healing disease appear to our eyes to be woefully complex & at the same time, inadequate. People who are seriously ill are quarantined in jails of pale green or white & often used to feed machines which appear to run on human blood.

Children who are born deformed in any way are usually confined to jails built for the purpose. The elderly are also jailed, there being no value system of respect for them. Those passing through transitions are called "crazy" & also jailed. Animals from distant lands again are jailed. In fact, there is some discussion of an alternative theory of central religious belief -- that the actual spiritual purpose of the culture, is to jail as much as possible. Extensive use of fences is the key argument for this theory.

Our data is as yet incomplete. We hope by 1992 to have a more comprehensive overview, at which time a traveling exhibition of artifacts (including exhumed bodies to illustrate their burial practices) will tour for the education of all. Their attitude toward all non-cauk peoples is extremely hostile & violent. Many of our researchers have been massacred and yet, in the interests of science, we persevere.

© Chrystos, from "Dream On", by Press Gang Publishers, 1991.

No comments: