Reality Show

Might as well include the final version of the Reality Show lyrics. Another new song on the forthcoming CD.


Nizhoniigo no hey nay
Nizhoniigo no hey wa ney
Nizhoniigo no hey nay
Nizhoniigo no hey wa ney

How do we get out of here?
Smoke hole crowded with too much thinking
Too many seers
And prophets of prosperity
We call it real

What are we doing in this mess of forgetfulness?
Ruled by sharp things, baby girls in stiletto heels
Beloved ones doing street time
We call it real

What are we doing napping, through war?
We've lost our place of in the order of kindness
Children are killing children
We call it real.


What are we doing forgetting love?
Under mountains of trash, a river on fire
We can't be bought, forced or destroyed.
Just what is real?


Nizhoniigo no hey nay
Nizhoniigo no hey wa ney
Nizhoniigo no hey nay
Nizhoniigo no hey wa ney

Nizhoniigo: Navajo (or Dineh) which means movement of beautiful within and without

The Last World of Fire and Trash/Final lyrics

Here is the final draft of the lyrics of one of the ten tunes of the new CD. This was the first song I wrote using Band-in-the-Box and the versatile Garage Band program from Apple. Both are useful programs for songwriters.

Also note there was an earlier version of this lyric. It has been through several revisions. Most of my creative work goes through revision, some more extensive than others. This is why I have shied away from blogging...I prefer to let the work develop in private, perfect it, then let it free.

c Joy Harjo/Katcv Publishing ASCAP

I don’t know anything anymore
or if that cricket is still singing
in a country where crickets are banned.

I’m Indian in a strange pastiche of hurt and rain
smells like curry and sweat
from a sunset rock and roll restaurant.
A familiar demon groaning with fear
has stalked me here, ruins poetry, then
his swollen pride commandeers.

So long, goodbye, oh fearful one.
My desires had turned into a small mountain.
Of dirty clothes, sax gig bag, guitar
books, shoes and grief
that I packed and carried
from one raw wound to another.

Beneath the moon rocking above Los Angeles
or outside the stomp dance fire of memory,
I told him, you can choose to hate me
for going too far, or for being a nothing
next to a pretty nothing like you.

I can’t get betrayal out of my mind,
out of my heart
in this hotel room where I’m packing for home.
I’ve seen that same face whirring
in the blur of a glass of wine
after the crashed dance,
the goodbye song
in the last world of fire and trash.


The most dangerous demons spring from fire
and a broken heart, warning of bittersweet aftershave
and the musk of a thousand angels.
And then I let that thought go running away
because I refuse to stay in bondage
to an enemy, who thinks he wants what I have.

The last council of peace was disrupted by this fearful beast,
as I fled from the house of my mother
through this severed country.
I turned my cheek as my head parted through a curtain of truth
and erupted from the spirit world to this gambling place--

And I send prayers skyward
on smoke.
Release this suffering.
Let the pretty beast and all the world know peace.

I refuse to sum it up anymore; it’s not possible.
I give it up
to the battering of songs against the light,
to the singing of the earnest cricket
in the last world of fire and trash.


On the road again

Performed last night at Edmonds Community College to a warm and exciting audience including many many local native peoples. Didn't know that Seattle was the relocation city for the Blackfeet back in the fifties, which was why I was greeted by so many Blackfeet there near the water. Read poems, sang, played some of the new tunes. There's a powwow there this weekend, the 18th Annual Powwow hosted by the American Indian Student Association at the Seaview Gymnasium in Lynnewood, WA. Also a powwow this weekend at UCLA. Will see you there if I am out of the studio in time.

Please note too the new publication, first issue of the UCLA native student law journal: Indigenous People's Journal of Law, Culture and Resistance. It's an impressive effort, includes articles by Abby Abinanti, Duane Champagne, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Michele Companion, and R. Hokulei Lindsay, poetry by Sara Littlecrow-Russell, Mehealani Kamauu, and Cecilia Vicuña, and artwork by Nadema Agard and Elizabeth Whipple. You can order your very own copy for $20 (second class postage) by writing: IPJLCR Business Manager, UCLA School of Law, Box 951476, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476.

The Nisqually poet Duane Niatum showed up too, much later after a late start from Tacoma. He's still writing and is looking for the perfect teaching position.
He was responsible for the first publications of many known native poets.

Will put a new song up on the site in the next week for your listening pleasure. Stay tuned.


In the studio, on the road

It's an seasonably hot early evening in Los Angeles. Working in the studio on the new tracks here in Los Feliz. The Oneida funny man Charlie Hill was in yesterday jamming on a funky new Round Dance song. Carolyn Dunn, Mvskoke, of the Mankillers added her gorgeous voice to the vocals. (See the photo in our photo album.) We were all part of the entertainment Thursday night for the California Indian Education Conference at the Westin, along with Arigon Starr, Floyd Westerman and others. (If I had the names of the "and others" I'd include them here. I never liked being listed as "and others", but am and was always grateful for a place to be.) Right now we're editing, "The Last World of Fire and Trash", one of my favorite new tunes. Features Jay Bellerose on drums, Jennifer Condos on bass and Harry Orlove on guitar. Look for the preview of Native Joy for Real in mid to late May.