12/29/07

Ghosts, Silence and Talk of Many Things

In an unimaginative bistro of this overpriced tourist hotel I saw the double of an ex who has been lost to all of us.
I thought I had seen a ghost.
There they were again, vibrant, where they left off before being taken over by the alcohol spirit.
I didn't take a photo. I remembered why I fell in love.

Heard a few panelists on Tillie Olsen. A tribute. Silences. Yes, I understand silences. What happens between event and word? Between ancestor and grandchild? Between now and now?
It might look something like this:



Back in the room.
Talk of the island of trash, mostly plastic, that is larger than the state of Texas (or is it State of Texas) and has been floating around the Pacific, from China; the number of native women writers who have worked for Mary Kay Cosmetics; thinking of all the names of those who are being left out of the story of native american literature (the silences), hearing of how one of our beloved native poets teaching in a Wisconsin university is being undermined and openly attacked by a colleague who believes that native or black poetry is inferior, or non-existent, and a native woman professor? How do you put that in your images of Indians? And the waters are full of drugs, chemicals, and

I am thankful for the laughter and love of good friends, for the persistence of poetry, despite the silencing by the greedy ones who have found no way to make billions from it.

"May it be beautiful above us, may it be beautiful below us, may it be beautiful inside us, may it be beautiful all around us..."
from the Navajo

So, reporting here, from the thirty-third floor of the Hyatt Regency, downtown Chicago, the end of another end.



Photos c Joy Harjo 2007 11/12th's

2 comments:

Jfrancessmith said...

Joy,
Years ago, when i was growing up in Chicago, and when I was allowed to take the bus and go down to the 'loop', I would walk from one end of State Street to the area shown on your photo here of the Chicago River, 'the in

the inset. 'The absolute Windiest spot downtown,' There were crowds of people walking up and down the streets, I would often see people who very much resembled one I knew that was already deceased. They often were a different nationality, but nonetheless, had a same look, hair, expression, features. So, I know that feeling of "I've seen this person before", it always caused a feeling of awe, how could this person look so much like someone I used to know. When we all get to Heaven, how are we going to recognize each other? Maybe, 'excuse me, do I know you? I'll leave it to imagination, as to what the answer might be. Peace, Joan

Becky said...

beautiful post.