Guthrie Theater

By Gerald Vizenor b. 1934 Gerald Vizenor
american indian
outside the guthrie
forever wounded
by tributes
high western
movie mockery
decorations
invented names
trade beads
federal contracts
limps past
the new theater

wounded indian
comes to attention
on a plastic leg
and delivers
a smart salute
with the wrong hand

precious children
muster nearby
theatrical poses
under purple
tapestries
castles
and barricades
on stage
with reservation plans

native overscreams
rehearsed
on stage
at sand creek
blaze of bodies
at mystic river
frozen ghost dancers
chased to death
by the seventh cavalry
at wounded knee

culture wars
wound the heart
and dishonor
the uniform
forsaken warriors
retire overnight
in cardboard suites
under the interstates

american indian
decorated for bravery
invented names
salutes the actors
with the wrong hand
at the guthrie

treaties break
behind the scenes
night after night
the actors
new posers
mount and ride
on perfect ponies
out to the wild
cultural westerns
hilly suburbs
with buffalo bill

Gerald Vizenor, “Gutherie Theater” from Almost Ashore. Copyright © 2006 by Gerald Vizenor. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: Almost Ashore (Salt Publishing, 2006)

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Poet Gerald Vizenor b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Gerald  Vizenor

Biography

Gerald Vizenor is of Anishinabe heritage and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. Vizenor was born in Minnesota, but before he turned two years old his father was murdered. He was subsequently raised by his Swedish American mother, Anishinabe grandmother, and extended family in Minneapolis and on the White Earth Reservation.
 
The author of more than 20 books of nonfiction, fiction, and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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