Academic journal article TriQuarterly

A Rudimentary Lesson in American Indian Journalism

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

A Rudimentary Lesson in American Indian Journalism

Article excerpt

It was a bitter moonless night in that time of year some Lakota called "Moon of the Popping Trees." At thirty-five below the dogs were kicked out the front door. They steam-streamed the frozen lawn nd whined violently to be let back in. The air was so dry that we boiled water to breathe hints of summer.

At thirty-five below I left my beloved couch and entered the distant bedroom of my distant woman. The cats and dogs surrounding her bed glared momentarily and then welcomed a source of additional heat. Back to back we formed an ancient butterfly encased in ice but slowly melting. Joined at the spine, in fetal positions we breathed quietly in desperate hope. I knew we were both praying for sleep but the gods were not listening. In the automatic ritual of release our hands went about their business until they took recess and dangled cigarettes in the dark.

Later, when she began to snore, I rose to see millions of whispering snowflakes forming burial mounds over our unstartable cars. I mixed a huge seven and seven and descended to the basement to write a news story due that morning. Immediately dyslexic, I got progressively worse until the fumes of Liquid Paper fomented the Muses to rebel from unconsciousness. …

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