beaded trout

The River Flowing Down Deep Inside Me

So, is it cool to be indian, again? I know
But is it cool, is it cool? Sometimes even
Just uttering the word, indian and
People would suddenly stop looking
At me or feeling and
Think angry bleak thoughts with
Tom-toms beating in the
Background story of my life
The other day folk spoke of Standing Rock
The movement how righteous it was
Because water is sacred and
Earth is sacred down deep
Inside me, I felt a river flowing
Gurgling as it passed over the stones
And crevasses snowmelt in effluence
From my brain down to the core and
One man said it was all a ruse a
Trap to deflect what was really going on he
Caught a flicker of color from
The beaded earrings I wore and flushed
As he stared hard and said
How can you be native you
Were born here
Deep inside there were women crying
Out to the motion the stars the
Great Spirit crying out for balance in
Our circle in our lives my liver
And heart the soles of
My feet are they indian? I know
There's that word, again. And
A woman at work, she smiles a lot and stands
Behind the door to her office she
Asked me how I knew to speak tagalog so I told her
I told her about my Great-grandfather
African, Indian a Buffalo Soldier
Great-Grandmother a mestiza from Illocos and then
She seemed angry as she
Asked me, how? How
I wondered like when the Sicilian
Playing indian in the movies said it
Woodenly with arthritic gestures
How? Don't embarrass me, sister with your
Question and so my response
Was How do you think because
Chuckling now, if you do't know I
Can't help you. Oh no, I mean from which side?
She threw at me, and I swerved to the
Left to avoid her darts and arrows. Is it
Cool to be indian, again? On the sidewalk
Going up Market Street, is it cool? Can
I carry that old copy of God Is Red into
The ever-changing coffee shops on 24th Street will
The indian inside me deflect the rolled eyes and withering
Glances the mean-faced blondes trolling for real
Estate and husbands cast my way but, is it cool?
Down deep inside me there is
A river with grasses along it's banks and
Mice running so fast their feet
All a whirl mindful of hawks and
Raven peering into the other side is
That where the indian has gone? Please
Tell me now, so that I can know it's just
I want to walk in balance again, so
Is it cool? Is it cool?

Lorraine Cathey


contents of issue 10

How to explain
Melinda Luisa de Jesús

The Great Flood
Tommy Parrie

Shotgun
Michelle Pichon

The River Flowing Down Deep Inside Me
Lorraine Cathey

Untitled
Ella Callow

Oka/Di'loo
Rain Prud'homme_Cranford Gomez


Lorraine Cathey Biography

Lorraine Cathey is a Tsalagi -Illocana from the Bay Area, who studied at Mills College, and Stockholm University. S e has been witness to the vibrational aspect of the creator in all things, and thus finds evidence of the creator everywhere. Lorraine can often be found chatting up tourists, and redirecting them towards the wonder that is her native home.


Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.