Feeling the need to share the title poem from my 2013 book, If We Could Know Our Bones–if we saw how much we’re alike, could we be kinder?
If We Could Know Our Bones
But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty.~Gospel of Thomas
If we could know our bones the way we know our skin, perhaps we’d not dig graves, but build rooms, havens, shrines, for even our enemies, their bodies rescued from the ditch and battlefield, no longer pitched into holes, safe and out of sight, but standing, eloquent and equal in their lines: tines of rib, cradle of skull, clavicle like a little key, memories of movement in femur and fluted tibia, their jaws, hinged and singing, angel light pouring through the basin of each pelvis. Free of water, fat and muscle, perhaps they’d claim us, tell us of sharing even what can’t be known–Os innominatum– those nameless bones.
-Mary Carroll-Hackett, 2013
20 July 2019
If you live in the United States, unless you’re Native American, your people came here from somewhere else.
Make art about your immigrant ancestors.
18 July 2019
“Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth.” ―
Make art about the damage of bigotry, about fighting back against bigots.
17 July 2019
I’m working on some writing that scares me.
Make art about being scared and doing it anyway.
16 July 2019
Make art about or that fights back against racism.
Want to learn what white people can do, using that privilege, to fight racism? Check out Derrick Clifton’s article at Everyday Feminism
“10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism”
Love this book!
Buy Before Language Here!
Susan Deer Cloud, a mixed lineage Catskill Indian, is an alumna of Goddard College (MFA) and Binghamton University (B.A. and M.A.). She has taught Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Literature at Binghamton University and Broome Community College. A few years ago she returned to her “heart country” Catskills to dwell once more with foxes, deer, black bears, bald eagles, and the ghosts of panthers and ancestors. She now lives as a full-time mountain woman, dreamer and writer. Deer Cloud is the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and a Chenango County Council for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. Some of her books are Hunger Moon (Shabda Press); Fox Mountain, The Last Ceremony and Car Stealer (FootHills Publishing); and Braiding Starlight (Split Oak Press). Her poems, stories and essays have been published in anthologies and journals too numerous to name. In order to get out “the voices of the voiceless,” the poet has edited three published anthologies: multicultural Confluence and Native American anthologies I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool), Volumes I & II; the 2008 Spring Issue of Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought; and the Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry. She is a member of the international peace organization SERVAS; Poets & Writers; Associated Writing Programs (AWP); and indigenous Wordcraft Circle. She has served on panels at writers’ conferences and given myriad poetry readings at colleges, cultural centers, coffee houses, and other venues. In between her sojourns in the Catskills, Deer Cloud has spent the past few years roving with her life’s companion, John Gunther, around Turtle Island (North America) as well as on the Isles (Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England) and Europe