River, Blood, And Corn: A Community of Voices

At River, Blood, And Corn, we are promoting community and strengthening cultures with storytelling, poetry and prose. Established in 2010 by Native writers, our starting point and our goal, is to honor the work and lifeways of Lee Francis III, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, to ensure the voices of Native writers and storytellers are heard throughout the world. 

A variety of writers, backgrounds, communities and viewpoints are presented. Included in our themes are the Elders whose lives informed, instructed, shaped and changed ours. 
While our primary focus is Indigenous writers, we have woven writers and artists from a variety of ethnicities and communities into our pages. Perhaps people of many ethnicities, including recent immigrants from throughout the Americas as well as other parts of the world will find something in this collection that will speak to them with respect to issues of race, identity, culture, community, and representation. 
Thank you to our readers. We are honored and grateful to each one of you.

César Love Poetry

Four Corners 
you share with me a picture of your sunset 
I would give one back to you 
But my balcony faces east
instead, I offer you 
A midnight 
And noon
three corners of the sky 
with your sunset, they are four 
one diamond of the night and day 

In the grocery store aisle
one belly button orange with a scar 
others pristine, unblemished 
others soon to be sold
Between perfect sisters 
one unbidden sphere 
branded by two discolored inches 
not to be held 
not to be tasted
A globe passed over 
oceans never plunged 
forests never inhaled 
landscapes never painted
A world unfathomed 
with a navel and a canyon scar 
is the canyon east or west?
north or south? 
perhaps along her belly 
or across a breast
maybe against her cheek. 

Moonlight at Noon 
The Moon, My Shadow, and I make Three. – Li Po 
I would bake on this planet 
If not for the Moon I invited 
She agreed to let me keep her 
Tucked beneath my blouse 
Her cool face against my belly 

I lounge in her quiet 
I swim in her well 
I bloom in her sanity 
The Moon brought me a friend 
One who used to follow me 
She mimicked my every movement 
At first she flattered me 
Then she mocked me 
Finally, she ran away 
I screamed at her, 
Come back here! 
I tried to put a leash on her 
But she was too smart 
I threw a plum at her 
Of course, she thew one back 
We did this for months 
Then the Moon told me her name 

The Poet’s Tent 
North or South, she travels 
Always with her tent. 
On chosen ground, 
She slides its rods into the earth.
She places cloth on its frame. 
A cloth she imagined 
Something like a Mexican rebozo 
Something like an Amish quilt 
A cloth that exchanges colors 
That switches latticework 
Cloth that vibrates to the heartbeat of deer 
Cloth that answers the whispers of trees
The poet smooths the floor 
She unrolls her carpet 
Psychic knots detach from its tendrils: 
abandoned theories 
dropped desires 
jettisoned memories. 
They pulse on her floor. 
Soon to transform 
Soon to become 
feral opals 
protean metals 
iris crystals. 

She prepares the door 
Butterflies of every stripe arrive 
© César Love. All rights reserved. 
Cesar Love is a Latino poet influenced by the Asian masters. A resident of San Francisco’s Mission District, he is also an editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. He is the author of Birthright and While Bees Sleep. cesarlovepoetry.yolasite.com

For Q

by Kim Shuck 
Pull on a different mountain range 
One leg at a time 
You time travel in poem 
He told me 
I've seen you do it 
We went relic spotting 
More than once 
Through the line up of the '53 Dodgers 
Before his heart was broken 
Before his heart was broken 
Memories never sit as neatly in a prong setting 
As a heart solitaire 
Memories never sit as neatly 
Kim Shuck is the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco Emerita. Shuck is solo author of 9 books, co-authored one, edited another ten and has contributed to a vast array of anthologies, journals, curriculum guides, tours, and protests. www.kimshuck.com

Unpapered: Writers Consider Native American Identity and Cultural Belonging

Edited by Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez 
May 2023 Pre-order

Unpapered is a collection of personal narratives by Indigenous writers exploring the meaning and limits of Native American identity beyond its legal margins. Native heritage is neither simple nor always clearly documented, and citizenship is a legal and political matter of sovereign nations determined by such criteria as blood quantum, tribal rolls, or community involvement. Those who claim a Native cultural identity often have family stories of tenuous ties dating back several generations. Given that tribal enrollment was part of a string of government programs and agreements calculated to quantify and dismiss Native populations, many writers who identify culturally and are recognized as Native Americans do not hold tribal citizenship. 
Unpapered charts how current exclusionary tactics began as a response to “pretendians”—non-indigenous people assuming a Native identity for job benefits—and have expanded to an intense patrolling of identity that divides Native communities and has resulted in attacks on peoples’ professional, spiritual, emotional, and physical states. An essential addition to Native discourse, Unpapered shows how social and political ideologies have created barriers for Native people truthfully claiming identities while simultaneously upholding stereotypes.

Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp

by Alice Rose Crow ~ Maar’aq 
Alice Rose Crow ~ Maar’aq is among the kass’ayagat of the Kusquqvaq diaspora. She is an independent maker based in Anchorage, Alaska. For the Covid-19-year of 2021, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center invited Alice to curate a series of creative interpretations to augment ongoing efforts to examine archived collections. A mutual and consolatory goal is to bring attention and reflection to little known and overlooked elements living within the Anchorage Yugtarvik.3 An inclination is to keep stepping toward broadened and deepened groundedness, mutual acknowledgment, contemplation, engagement, understanding, deep dialogue, and sharing among First Alaskans, relatives, migrants, expats, and allanret4 across generations, languages, and amid evolving cultures, technologies, and world views. 
Her mixed form 2021 collection commissioned by the Anchorage Museum,Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp, is available via the yugtarvik’s website at https://www.anchoragemuseum.org/major-projects/projects/chatter-marks/#journal (scroll down to Journal Issues). 
Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp is also available for direct digital download: 

Denise Low Postings | Supporting writers and their events

Denise Low, former Kansas Poet Laureate, is award-winning author of 30 books of prose and poetry. She blogs at Denise Low Postings with reviews, supporting writers and their events, and co-publishes Mammoth Publications, which specializes in Indigenous American authors.

To my bystanders

by Deborah Jang 
People stand by during attack of elderly Asian woman – Associated Press 
Did you catch a whiff of lilac 
on that warm summer eve 
while we gathered at the bus stop, 
each wandering our mind?
Out the corner of your eye 
did you flinch, did you see him 
rushing twilight, pushing rudely in?
In a flash of recognition, 
did your stomach tell your throat 
what was going down?
Did you see my toes curl fetal 
while I lay sideways 
on the concrete stunned?
Did you freeze in fear and horror? 
Did you look the other way? 
Did you reach down for your phone 
or was it already in your hand?
Were you scared to intervene? 
Did your silence cheer him on?
Was it you who kneeled down 
and whispered something kind 
I didn’t understand?
Did you see my bruised face on TV? 
Did they say my name? 
Did they even try? 
Copyright © Deborah Jang. All rights reserved. 
Deborah Jang’s creative practices include assemblage sculpture and poetry, based out of Denver, Colorado and Oceanside, California. Her debut poetry collection is titled Float True (Shanti Arts, 2020). Her new chapbook is Last Will and Best Guesses (Finishing Line Press, 2022). deborahjang.com

River, Blood, And Corn: A Community of Voices

Promoting community and strengthening cultures with storytelling, poetry and prose.

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