The news this morning:
"Diane Burns, Poet and Artist, passed on into the spirit world late on
December 22 after a short illness.
Funeral plans are pending.
Diane Burns was born in 1957. Burns 's father is a Chemehuevi and her
mother is an Anishinabe. Her poetry is known for its humor and honesty.
Books by Diane Burns: Riding the One-eyed Ford. Fantastic First Work,
Diane Burns' first published set of poems had, at that time, firmly
established her as one of the up and coming young Native American female
poets of her generation.
Sure You Can Ask Me A Personal Question?
Diane Burns (Lac Courte Oreilles- Cheemehuevi)
How do you do?
No, I am not Chinese.
No, not Spanish.
No, I am American Indiuh, Native American.
No, not from India.
No, not Apache
No, not Navajo.
No, not Sioux.
No, we are not extinct.
So thats where you got those high cheekbones.
Your great grandmother, huh?
An Indian Princess, huh?
Hair down to there?
Let me guess. Cherokee?
Oh, so youve had an Indian friend?
Oh, so youve had an Indian lover?
Oh, so youve had an Indian servant?
Yeah, it was awful what you guys did to us.
Its real decent of you to apologize.
No, I dont know where you can get peyote.
No, I dont know where you can get Navajo rugs real cheap.
No, I didnt make this. I bought it at Bloomingdales.
Thank you. I like your hair too.
I dont know if anyone knows whether or not Cher is really Indian.
No, I didnt make it rain tonight.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
Uh-huh. Yeah. Spirituality. Uh-huh. Mother
Earth. Yeah. Uhhuh. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
No, I didnt major in archery.
Yeah, a lot of us drink too much.
Some of us cant drink enough.
This aint no stoic look.
This is my face.
From:IndigenousNewsNetwork@topica.com digest, issue 864
My poem/song, the Real Revolution is Love features Diane, from a visit we made together to Nicaragua in the mid eighties. I'll never forget flying down to Nicaragua to take part in the Ruben Dario Poetry Festival. Poets came in from all over the Americas. We were ushered through customs, taken to our rooms, then to the coffeehouse where the festivities had started with readings to celebrate this huge gathering on behalf of poetry and a revolution of truth, of love. I'll never forget how excited I was as we approached the coffeehouse, to see that poetry here is beloved and revered art, and I will never forget my surprise as the door opened and there was Diane Burns, far from New York City or Wisconsin, letting us in. I said something about the surprise of seeing her there as the gatekeeper (it was witty) and we laughed.
It was at that conference that she and _______ were married by Ernesto Cardinale, even though both were already married to other people. I missed that part. Had to leave early.
I may have seen her once more, in Oklahoma for the huge poetry gathering in 1992. I remember being concerned. I've always looked for more poetry from her. Her voice was honest, funny and her poetry made echoes throughout the native literary community.
We will miss her.
May your spirit fly free from hurt, from pain.