ANMLY #30 :: Queer Indigenous Poetics

Some time before the quarantine, before the skies were plane silent & helicopter heavy, I approached an Anomaly. I sought to gently weave a space where Indigenous poets & artists who exist outside of heteronormative realms of gender & sexuality could reveal their wisdom & share their hearts with the literary community as a single but diverse chorus of voices. 

As a member of the Atakapa Ishak tribe, a tribe that is largely Afro-Indigenous & Creole, it was imperative to me that this current folio be open to a large range of Indigenous voices, including people belonging to tribes that had signed treaties with the United States as well as people of Indigenous Heritage who exist outside of the bounds of what the Federal Government describes as ‘Historically Intact’ ‘Sovereign Nations.’ It was important to me to allow a multitude of expressions of Indigeneity to coexist honestly together. Here, these poems have no friction.

In my way of looking at things, no western words are capable of describing the beauty of Indigenous “queerness.” We have always existed in a relationship to the universe that transcends the simplistic binaries that have been imposed on people the world over by capricious Empires who seek to commodify the source of life. Even as we thrive within these monstrous modern political structures, we continue to create beauty, a beauty so powerful that its very nature disrupts the fragile confines of Western Imperial Hegemony. We cannot be contained & this volume is proof. But the formula is not to be solved, it is not a formula at all. The proof is in the strength of relationships that each of these poets & artists has to their people, to their humanity & to one another. 

In each their own way, the poems published in this folio have unique medicine & subtle power. Together, they are a testament to the beauty of all Indigenous communities & they sing. They sing across futures imagined in glottal pulses, in the resonances that emerge from ancient relationships to the Earth, to the stars to the beginning of time. They sing futures that others cannot imagine, but will contend with. 

Anomaly was gracious enough to provide the opportunity for this project to have a home. Thank you & to each person published here, may things be good for you & your home & your people. 

tanner menard
July 2020