This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Solstice Black, is from Through a Red Place by Rebecca Pelky, released by Perugia Press in 2021.
The Whites of New York
~A Last of the Mohicans found poem What have you left to us of land, what have you left of game, What have you brought but evil, and curses since you came? How have you paid us for our game? how paid us for our land? By a book, to save our souls from the sins you brought in your other hand. ~E. Pauline Johnson (Mohawk) The white men are coming! The white men are coming! A white man leads the way. A good deal sullied, the white man, armed (the gift of the white man lies in his arms). The white man, judging. Whites, the most dangerous of all. The white man loosened his knife. The white man, observing the Indian: I am genuine white, a white man who has no taint, who has the full blood of the whites. My judgment is greater. I am a man of white blood, and being a white- skin, I will not deny my nature. But you are just a man. The white man, shaking his head. What to do with these dumb creatures, muttered the white man (it is rare for a white voice to pitch itself properly). Go, said the white man. The white man prevailed. White blood, blood of the whites. It is not to be denied that evil has been mainly done by men with white skins. White fathers. White usurpers. White flag. Christian whites. White veins. White eyes. White hunter. White uniforms. White warrior. White quarrel. White cunning. White experience. The notions of white men. Fabrication of the whites. Execution, the white men.
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