Travis Hedge Coke winds down into the spitfires of language and naming and claiming and oppression and self-indictment, individual and cultural, in his essay, "Identity Indictment".
Excerpt: Indianicity ain’t a word. Nativeness is almost semantically null. Authenticity is a come on, a tease. I like self-identifying as NDN because it sounds like a word, but it isn’t a proper word, and it isn’t the one it sounds like, either. You will be found out by your cousins, your sisters, mothers, your sons and neighbors. Maybe you will find yourself therein, as well. That’s you, as in all of you, not only the Native poets, for no matter how neurotically we divvy up the world and desperately claim separations, there’s more mixing than there is divides. The ground and the air are intermixed things, and on this Earth, one always pulls you closer to it, and the other is constantly surrounding you, forever touching your skin, your mouth, and your blood.
To read the entire essay and all of the others, order the anthology here: