December 20-26, 2004: Trevino L. Brings Plenty and Craig Kirchner

week of December 20-26, 2004

Trevino L Brings Plenty and Craig Kirchner

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Trevino L Brings Plenty

Bio (auto)

Trevino L Brings Plenty, was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation,
Eagle Butte, South Dakota, April 4, 1976 A Minneconjou Lakota Indian, he
lived on the reservation until age three, then with family moved to
Northern California At age 16, he moved to Portland, Oregon where he now
resides He is 55/64 Lakota; the 9/64 is unknown (probably fur trapper)
Visit Trevino on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Trevino L Brings Plenty and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

How to be an Indian male in the early 21st century

You must be birthed from an Indian mother
She must be in her teens
She must come from an alcoholic linage
And you must say this is so

You will never meet your father
You will grow uncertain about your manhood
You will be angry
This must be so

You will sit in a cafeteria
Greasy fries and cheeseburger before you
You will know all these people
Are all different ideas
All these people will never leave

A bearded white man sitting 20 feet away
Will look you over
He will wonder at your cheekbones
Your long hair in a ponytail
Your dark brown skin
He will want to ask what tribe you are

He will feel sorry for you
And your people’s history
He will imagine you half naked
Like what he saw on T.V last night
And what he has read in his large
Western novel collection

He will hate you
Because you don’t fit his model

You will see this bearded white man
You know he is watching you
You will imagine him in the same
Period clothes as he was with you

You will feel sorry for him
You will sip your water in a clear plastic cup
You will imagine the bearded white man
Wearing buckled shoes, tan nylons, knickers, puffy shirt,
Vest, topcoat, and a large brim hat

You will wonder when his glory days
Ever began, you know he smells foul
The white man has maybe bathed once a year
This was the strange custom of white people

You will start to mimic the way he is eating
And sound out the strange nuances of his language
It will anger you when you look around
The cafeteria and see mostly white people

The white woman 5 feet away wearing a yellow dress
Dipping bread into her soup
She will see you
She will want to take home a dark man

She will hate you
Because her husband is white
Her life is easy
It has to be
She has two white children
She will leave this family
She will use you
She will break your heart
But she doesn’t do this to hurt you
She does this to leave her unhappy marriage

You see this white woman in a yellow dress
Her wedding ring is very expensive
You imagine her wearing a low cut red dress
You imagine her leaving her family
She must be unhappy with her life
You know she is watching you
You know you must end her marriage

You will be in your late thirties
The anger you had all your life
Will eat you alive
You will drink heavily
You will not care
When your mother calls long distance
You will let your answering machine pick her up

You will die from a fatal injury
You will be a dead Indian male in the ground
All the noise you had in your head
Will finally be silenced

No Eyes

1 My grandfather had his eyes stolen He said they were
in the Smithsonian museum The last image he saw
was a blond haired woman
bending over him He was newly back from Japan,
he was still wearing his W.W II uniform He said it wasn’t a good thing,
but he was sadly satisfied his eyes
were set next to his grandparents’ bones
2 My grandfather was a brakeman
in his late teens When he lost his left pinkie finger,
he quit and joined the army “There were a lot of Indians
in the army,” he said “We were seen as American heroes
when we wore our uniforms “
He said,
“Know this grandson,
the people were not all warriors My cousin was a painter and storyteller,
my brother was a fisherman,
my sister tamed horses,
everyone ate food, breathed air, drank water This is the family linage “
My grandfather rolled a cigarette He was wearing sunglasses It was evening just before supper “Every man wants to huff and puff
their warriorness,” he said “But the real work is peace “

Craig Kirchner


I live and work as a consultant on the east coast but consider myself a hobo of the universe Poetry in all forms is essential to me as the only inspiring literature I seem to have time to read I write about what I know best and yet least-myself-in an effort to remove those labels.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Craig Kirchner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


A poem, hmmm,

hugging your newly won
green stuffed Kermit
to your pale blue tank top
and playfully tonguing
his black and white button eye
you take an idea
and you wrap your mind
around it, right?

like they had twirled
your pink cotton candy
around the white spindle
from which you now plucked
sweet puffs of metaphor
as the Ferris wheel stopped
at the top
It’s a little piece of peace
up here,

still a quieter pop, crack, pop
from the shooting gallery
and an occasional whistle
from Tom Thumb
we swung the metal love seat
to the calliope of Lovin Spoonful
and Kermit grinned when
the humid August air
thick with caramel and crackerjack
whooshed your denim skirt
further up your thigh,

providing a whole new view
of the carnival below
which now needed only a title
and a great ending.


As often as not
it floats in,
dehydrated, half-conscious

a Cruesoe made raft,
on Karmic seas
of wandering green waves,
prozac-nurtured tides

in search of some
life supporting port
Occasionally a rocket,
a hot-orange concussion

a shot from an
empty chamber
that fires anyway
if teased
and stroked

to targets that are
never destinations
Eventually it comes
to words

forms, shapes, carriers
full on the fingertips,
songs from tracked
purple veins,
music of the spheres

tea leaves read
in fingerprints of wonder.

Calm Corner

Empathy hung out
with us Friday night on the corner He was older than the guys,
salt and pepper hair,
street-wizened jeans,
and refreshingly articulate
considering the cheap wine
we were sharing
No one knew him
or paid him much mind except me He had broken off
with a neighborhood babe,
was unemployed but had prospects,
and yes,
he could be available
for poker or gin
He said he wrote poetry
and a few songs,
cottoned to free verse mostly,
but lately seemed to
have run out of gas
We all come back to the words though
don’t we?

He took another slug of red,
rubbed his thumb hard across the bottle
and looked me eye to liquid eye
It’s like nipples on fingers,
tongues from the veins When its ripe it seems limitless,
flawless then calm

you know what I mean
He wandered off to another group,
leaving me stupefied,
having pondered
those exact lines just before he showed up
Thinking about how
I probably wouldn’t write
any of this down until tomorrow
and how different
it would all seem then,
an older guy with a beard,
carrying a legal pad
and a pencil
the size of his forearm,
stepped into the light
of the drug store sign,
extended his hand
and introduced himself
as Memory.

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