Unfettered: Good Night,Good Luck

This essay was written in 2016, when the Edmonton Journal cut its staff so severely, part of the Postmedia move to ‘consolidate’ newsrooms across the land.  I didn’t publish it then; an acquaintance who works in journalism pointed out that it was a raw moment for everyone ‘in the field’ and not the time for…

Transit of Alexandra

Fuckin they’re on Native Time. I ain’t scared Ma, I’m mad. Fuckin chicken shit! I’m shaking cause I’m mad, Ma, that’s how mad I am! Two sets of footsteps, one a halfbeat behind. She catches up to Ma as they pass me, raging about white cunts on stolen land they’s just borrowing this place we…

Blue Seed Pattern, 1987

for Trish Sewell and MM What if we stayed up all night? This was long years before Seoul Tokyo, beloved Kyoto singing Daijobu! with the genki boys down on Kawaramachi-dori down by the hot coffee machines.   What if we walked the city? This, after years walking the long browed hills of the north only the…

2012: Wolf Work

it’s 2012 national arts council meets here to know the land they serve i am invited to a reception no poem commission, just to be face of our mayor’s personal commitment   laureate memo: always carry poems are easy to conceal mind you, the law of theatre applies here; if you see a poet it…

2011: Uses of Poetry

it’s 2011 i’m the City’s Poet chosen to laud us to declaim us, to name us exhort us, inflame us   actually, people often ask me what does a laureate do?   it is not, i assure you a position designed to discover just how bitchy, back-stabbing and vain poets can really be, for how…

1987: Harmonics

it was 1987, and my creative writing class had created for me a community, stevie and mokina; outside the academy’s walls, we’d drink tea cheap beer, potato skins, and we’d walk stevie and i, we would sometimes sing together but we couldn’t harmonise. it was as if we were designed in different keys. he lived…

Looking for Us: Adventures in Reconciling Edmonton

This summer, i was invited to be part of a great project, with a great team of women. Reconciling Edmonton, proposed by Historian Laureate Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, brought together 2 Aboriginal women – myself and Miranda Jimmy – and 2 ‘Settler’ women – Danielle, and Artist-in-Residence for the Office of the City Clerk,  Jennie Vegt. Our mission:…

Because We Are Human

The wind danced with us, the sky offered a stern and vigilant grey face. I walked downtown along 97th (Namao/LaMeiYu as it may yet be renamed), buckled tight into coat and boots, and braced for this grim event. Today, i joined the nationwide protests against the egregious acquittal of the man who murdered Cindy Gladue….

The Drunken Bicycles

The drunken bicycles off Kiamachi green zen flag weeds   And there, below the High Level Bridge shopping carts slow migratory chevrons   In every heart a notch where first rays light in every single heart   This was my river while your eyes watched the water this was my river frozen still will spring…