Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I am moving.....sorry for the inconvenience but this shit ain't cutting it anymore. I love my blog but blogspot is going to hell! With all their spam comments and non fixing tech people... You can read me here from now on. Thanks for reading....really. I'm crazy and don't know why people read me but they do....and thanks. I might import these blogs to wordpress if I could figure the shit out. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't pity the poor

I watched CNN this morning and they did a special on the poor.
When I say I "watched" it, what I mean is I listened to it. I listen to CNN in my sleep and lay awake after the alarm goes off and don't open my eyes until the snooze goes off again.
So as I was listening to the report on the poverty in America, and all the hatred this nation has for the poor. As if poor was a choice.
There was one lady who was poor all her life and just got stuck in that lifestyle, brought kids in the world, into that lifestyle. Now those kids are living that lifestyle, the statistics of those kids making it out of that lifestyle are slim.
I am poor. My family is poor. We have a roof over our head but we are poor. We have internet that we really do struggle to pay each month, along with all our other bills but we are poor. My children and I have Medicaid and get food stamps and we live in an apartment above my mom. My mom doesn't have health insurance and I wished she did. So many people think you automatically get free healthcare just because you are an Indian, but that's not true. That is true if you choose to live on the reservation but once you move off, the healthcare doesn't exist. And you can ask anyone that lives on the rez, the healthcare isn't the greatest.
I am poor, but not as poor as some people, but according to the charts and graphs, yes I am.
I have met people homeless. I have met people who live either without water, plumbing, electricity, and/ or heat. Some people don't care and will make a home out of a broken down trailer. They try to make it as cozy and comfy as can because it's theirs. Have you ever taken the time to sit and talk to some of these people. I have. I have talked to them, hired them, and had a beer or two with them. I had neighbors who didn't have electricity. Sometimes they cooked on top of their wood stove, sometimes they cooked outside on a grill or a fire pit.
Sure they drank everyday, but seriously their chances of getting a real job, like everyone bitches about poor people getting off their asses and getting a job, were slim. Think of the homeless and poor and their hygiene and tell me you would give them a 9 to 5. They drink because it is their escape from their life as it is now. The hope they have is just to make it through one day to the next so they could scheme again for that next drink to make them forget the real struggle of trying to fit in a world that hates them.
My neighbor could fix any car and put a fence up in a couple of hours. He could light a furnace, winterize your house and whatever other small job was needed. And at times when people I knew stole from my house, such as steaks out of my neighbor would watch my house if I wasn't there.
He was poor but him and his wife would have given me their last cup of coffee.
I am not writing this because I believe the poor need pity. Believe me that is the last thing they want is pity. I am writing this to let you know, don't hate them. They didn't draw a picture of a poor person in 1st grade and say "When I grow up I want to be poor so America can hate me." No, they drew a picture of a singer, a rock star, a teacher, an artist, and in my case, a cashier (for real) too. They had dreams and somewhere along the way, those dreams dimmed until they ceased to burn anymore and the only dream was to exist in this world, as a poor person.
Don't hate poor people, don't pity them, just understand they never wanted to be poor.
After all, not everyone can be as lucky as you are. Remember just because you might have your menu planned for the next two weeks or just for tonight, just because you ain't feeling the hard times that are happening, doesn't mean there aren't people out there struggling on a daily basis.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I said a couple of weeks ago I was homesick.
One of my bros said "in due time."
He meant, of course, when I get off paper, I can go home.
I can go home now, if I wanted to, but I am scared of messing up....drinking....being driven to drink by the surroundings, yes I am that weak.
Then the more I think of it, do I want to go home? I was there for a few short years and hit bottom....that is all possible always.
So when I say I am homesick, I mean the feeling. Being surrounded by your people, the land, the huge huge beautiful sky that is only that beautiful in the Pine Ridge Rez. The feeling of the culture that is so alive as it was a hundred years ago. I am very proud to be from Pine Ridge and to know that we still have our ways. But I am also leery of the new ways, the turning to alcohol and drugs because you can't find work, the turning to alcohol and drugs because you did find work....I used every excuse I had until I had no more. It came down to my addiction.
Yes, I can live on the rez, with my addiction.
The question is, can I do it?
I am not sure about that yet.
I am not sure about moving home yet, not sure of myself yet.
I know things will be different, but that's a given...things change.
Will there ever be those days of sitting around a fire listening to my dad tell stories while we make soup on the fire? I hope so.
Will I ever move into my old house? I don't think so.
Will I ever be able to live there again and still be friends with the ones I was with before? Will I be able to be sober there?
Everything changes all the time, feelings change, things move on....people change. I told a friend the other day, I realized with age, that things changes so much and so fast that if you want to say something, you better say it. Do things you want to and love and live life in the moment....because someday you are going to sit there and realize there is no going back. There is no DeLorean to take you back.
I am happy in this time in my life, if I move, I have my eyes on a small town not far from here....that's if. I fell in love with it.
I am still homesick, yes- I will always miss the rez.
I am also homesick for the past.
But the realization that life changes, was hard but much needed. I am in the moment and loving life as is now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preview~Pointing With Lips

As it got dark out, we could hear the traffic and noises from the pow wow. I don't like going to the pow wow because it is so busy, it's like being in Wal-Mart when food stamps come out, and I just get too frustrated, but I do love being able to sit in my backyard and enjoy the drumming and singing.

I sat, relaxed, and watch my brothers and our kids all run around catching fireflies to make a lantern. Times like these, I love being from the reservation. The kids knew they could get their uncle to tell a story if they got enough fireflies. Mark was great at making up stories off the top of his head. It was definitely very interesting to have a hand in raising him, which always falls in the hands of the oldest sister, no matter what.

When Uncle Mark measured the firefly light and he determined that that was definitely enough light for story telling, he gathered all the kids around.

He takes a swig of his beer and puts it down:

"OK kids, today I am going to tell you of a contest, an event that happens in the district of Two Left Feet." He looks around for drama's sake.

"Where's that at?" One of the kids interrupts and gets shushed from the other kids. They all know Uncle Mark tends to pout when interrupted.
Mark goes on "This is the story of Chepa Big Buffalo and the Mr. Commod Bod championship."
One of the kids said "Nay-oh" but everyone else remained quiet to hear the story.
Mark gets his glazed look that could be from the story telling or from the beer and his voice changes to that of a woman's.

"Would you like more to eat, Chepa?" Chepa's mom, Verna, is standing above him with a skillet full of scrambled powdered eggs and a spatula. There was also fried potatoes and onions simmering in oil in a skillet on the stove. In another skillet the luncheon meat was slowing to a sizzle since Verna had just turned it off.
Chepa was still chewing, he motioned for seconds with his hand. He nodded his head and shoved the plate towards his mom. He knew his mom turned commods into heaven. He has been living at home for all of his 33 years, well except for a couple of stints in JDC and one time when he tried to go to job corps, that didn't work out and Verna had to drive all night to pick him up.
One day, when his rap career got the jumpstart it needed he would buy his mom a house with a brand new six burner stove, he only imagined what she could cook with a six burner stove. The chefs on FoodTV had nothing on his mama. Even though he was almost full his stomach growled.
She was made for breeding commod bods. She was also the manager and trainer for his dad, Chepa Big Buffalo, Sr. who had won the 4th, 5th, and 6th annual Mr. Commod Bod Championship, Chepa was always proud seeing his dad grab the Golden Brick trophy and a hundred dollars cash. (Now the prize was up to $1,000) After his dad would win, he wouldn't come home for a couple of days, when he did there would be a royal fight between his dad and mom. That always resulted in a shiner on his dad for a few days and hickeys on his mom as they enjoyed the Golden Brick Trophy, because it was always all he had left when he came back.
Now that his dad was no longer here, it was Chepa's turn to take over reign as Mr. Commod Bod, he came a close 2nd last year, and third the year before. Each time losing to Lorenzo Belly Fat. Now that Mr. Belly Fat lost a toe in in a cat fishing accident, the title was up for grabs, as Lorenzo sans little toe, lost that Commod Bod swag that won him the title for 10 years straight. He no longer had that "I just killed two buffalo and walked off the rez" look. That same look that gets skins into fights when they move to cities.
So this year Chepa was ready. Ready to take back the title and bring it home to his mama. The same title his father received 17 years earlier and held onto for 3 straight years. He would do his father proud, because this year there was no Lorenzo Belly Fat.
Today was the big day, and despite hanging over, Chepa was ready. He had a few big cans of fortified malt liquor to help him through the hangover, plus he knew if he drank them, he would get that "just right shine" that was required only of Mr. Olympia's and Mr. Commod Bod's.
As fast as Chepa ate, Verna was there to dish out more. He ate faster than someone with a full set of teeth. "More Mama, more of the fried luncheon meat." he growled in between the forkfuls. The USDA approved can of luncheon meat gave a good gleam to his dark skin and it tasted better than SPAM. But the contestants from the body building competitions and weight lifting contests had to buy their shine. Mr. Olympia himself couldn't shine the way Chepa did when he was hanging over and ate a huge commod breakfast. It also helped right now that there was no air conditioning, the one in the window quit working two summers ago.
Finally after his fourth helping of everything, Chepa let out a long, loud belch that sounded like a herd of buffalo running. Then he drank the rest of his big can of malt and let out another loud belch. Buffalo again, running. He rubs his belly for luck and walks out to the clothes line full of white tank tops or "beaters."
"Chepa!" his mom yells out the window "Your going to town shirts are at the other end of the clothesline, those are the whiter ones."
Sure enough, when Chepa looked, his dingiest, most yellowed tank tops were at the end he was standing at. These were the ones he did his hustling in, cutting wood, gathering cans, tearing the copper out of wires, all in the name of a dollar and a dream, a hustle and a scheme. He walked along the clothesline, letting his hand trail through all his beaters. The next set of beaters were not so dingy-kind of white, wearing around the house kind of beaters. The next set were the ones he snagged in, his around the rez, spittin rhymes at a party kind of beaters. Finally the last set that he walked up to to the brightest white, almost torn from the package of three- white, fresh off the Wal Mart shelf-white. These were Chepa's going to town beaters. They were whiter than the tourists that came to the rez in the summer time to "hippy" it up or the ones that came to "save" the souls of the skins rez-wide. Chepa slipped the beater over his head and savored the smell of bleach that came with it. He pulled this over his tezi (belly) and went back in the house.
Once inside, he walked over to the full length mirror and started tying his bandana over his head, representation was everything, if he represented himself right, he might score an agent today. His mom was watching him down the hallway.
"You're so handsome, I don't know why I don't have any takojas (grand-kids) yet." She said to him.
"Don't worry Ma, once I win this, I'm going to use the money to get my rap cd cut, then you will be complaining that you have too many takojas, in every district!" She smiled as she was folding a basket full of his tank tops.
Cheap took one more look in the mirror before he left. His shine was in full force, you would be able to find him on the darkest night in a blackout. His tank top hugged every roll and stretched tight over his belly like a drum. His jeans hung onto his body for dear life. Hanging low where he should have had an ass and no matter how much he hiked 'em up, his butt crack always managed to peek out and give the world a sideways smile.
He gave his jeans one more tug, "I'm ready Ma." He said as he made his way to the front door.
Verna followed him out and handed him his sunglasses, aviators-AIM Movement style, he should have had an earring, dammit, he thought.
"Thanks Ma" He gets in the passenger seat of his mom's car and pulls the mirror down to check himself out with the shades on, he wished he had thick hair to be able to grow braids, maybe he'll try again. After all, he not only plans on winning this title, but hanging onto it for a few years. This contest was on his 10 year plan. The air conditioner in the car didn't work either and even though the breeze from the window was cooling him off, he didn't worry about losing his shine, it clung to him always. He knew once he got on that stage, the sun beating down on him would simmer him and make him shine up like a new penny.
The parking lot was crowded. This was the last day of the four annual end of summer competitions. The first held a couple of days ago was the Commodity Cook Off, Chepa had meant to go, but got lost on his way, hence the hangover. The second one, Miss Chokecherry Eyes was held last night, crowning the winyan with the most outstanding eyes, and ability to remember the traditions of use of the canpos-chokecherries, food of the Lakota. Earlier that day they had the frybread eating contest, using the wojapi from the Miss Chokecherry Eyes competition. And the best was saved for last.
Mr. Commod Bod.
Chepa took his place in the Mr. Commod Bod line, he could already feel his pores emitting the sweat needed to keep the Indian man shine going. Other contestants were already taking their strut around the stage, you could hear some getting booed, some were getting cheered.
Chepa noticed the frybread leftover from the Frybread eating contest, along with big bowls of chokecherry wojapi used for dipping, on a table behind the stage. His stomach growled, even though he was full, he was getting sun drunk from the hot sun and the beers he had for breakfast. He couldn't resist, after WAS fry bread. He started dipping and dunking and growling and mauling the fry bread and wojapi until he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"You're up, man. They're calling you."
Chepa wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, pulled down his tanktop because it had rolled up and walked out on the stage. This contest was his. He walked out with both hands over his head, half eaten-forgotten fry breads clenched in his fists.
"Here he is! The son of the man who won the 4th, 5th, and 6th Mr. Commod Bods! He is back to try it again this year, give it up for Chepa Big Buffalo, Jr!" The crowd mostly boos, except you can hear his mother cheering wildly. Chepa leans into the mic "Soon to be known by my rapper handle, Skillet! Skillet in da house, woot woot! Look for my new cd up and coming 'Big Greasy' to be at the pawn shop soon, and email me at !" He walks away from the emcee and does his strut around the stage with his fortified malt glaze, showboating in front of the judges table, yeah he was sun drunk. After they announced all the runner ups, Chepa had hope that he would win, $1,000 would let him party hard tonight and probably get him a girlfriend. He knew for sure his mom would let him party in his room in the basement, if he won.
"And the winner is.........(drum roll from the drum group).....Chepa Big Buffalo, Jr. Also known as Skillet!" The drum group beats hard on the drum. Chepa goes to do a round on the stage, remembers he still has frybread in his hands, he takes a bite of one of the breads, walks like a rooster across the stage and winks at Miss Chokecherry Eyes. He decides to show off for her, after all she may want to party later in the basement. He stuff the whole frybread in his mouth, then realizes he can't chew it. It's too much, it feels like dough is rising from his insides. He can't even open his mouth, he was dying! His eyes were bulging! "He's choking! He's choking!" He heard his mom yell, oh lord, mama come get me...he thought in his head. One of the other contestants pushed on his gut to attempt the Heimlich maneuver but instead this happened. Chepa exploded on stage. Kleppa-(vomit) everywhere. Everything he ate and drank that morning and maybe yesterday too, when he staggered home in the middle of the night and started a small kitchen fire cooking dog food, exploded everywhere.
He spewed like no one ever saw before.
"Disqualified!" one judge yelled.
"Noooo!" his mom screamed.
All the runners up threw up.
The judges threw up.
The drum group threw up on the drum.
Miss Chokecherry Eyes threw up, well, chokecherries.
Everyone there threw up, barfed, puked, and kleppa-ed until they could no more. Eventually Lester Pretty On Top was the only one in the contest who didn't puke. He was 102 pounds soaking wet, 6 foot 4 and braids like a mouse's tail but he won. He was the new Mr. Commod Bod. But nobody will ever remember who won that year, no body will remember who won the cook off, Miss Chokecherry Eyes, or the frybread eating contest.
All they will remember is the year everyone kleppa-ed.

Mark finished his story with a flair, I love how dramatic he is when he is story telling. Our little brother Misu war-hooped. I gave out a leelee. Mark gave us high fives. And all our kids gave a combined "NAY-OH!"
Creighton started in "Nay Uncle, thats from that movie, that old movie mom likes, Stand By Me!"
"No it's not. True story." Mark says, as he is done giving high fives and sits at the picnic table.
"There is no sucha place as the district of Two Left Feet!" one of the kids chimes in.
"Sure!" Mark says, "It's over there." He points in no specific direction with his lips.

This is the end of chapter 2 of my book "Pointing With Lips: A Week in The Life OF A Rez Chick" A work of fiction, written by me, thanks for reading. © Dana Lone Hill 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm not alone

I came upon a realization, as of lately and thanks to the evil empire of facebook.

For the rest of my life, I am going to have to put up with the fact that I am a felon, from other people's points of view. I mean, you know me, i really don't give a rat's ass what people think of me ever since I smoked weed in a CRX with my Jamaican friend Junior "I have 13 cousins whose first name are Junior" White. Junior always got deep in conversation but talked to me about not caring what other people think of you, which might explain his style.

Anyway, even though I could give a rat's ass, I realized for the rest of my life any opinion, thought, action I do, is going to be judged and weighed against my past. That's kind of fucked up, but it is what it is, you know. Is it gonna make me shut up?

Hell no! Well actually, I am technically not "speaking" but I will type on, oh yes I will.

Turning my whole journey or experience or whatever you call it, (sentence) from a negative to a positive is what I'm working on in my life, in almost every aspect and on a daily. I find myself getting more and more involved with the community, even though I am somewhat anti-social, they ask, I can't resist. I know some ex-cons don't like to talk about the time they did and ask why I write about it, this is just how I deal, ok? Anything and everything I write is a mouse click away if someone don't like it. And if it upsets your apple cart too bad, don't read me....on here or facebook. Simple shit, simpleton.

Either way, I will write about what I want to, I will still have opinions, I don't care if anyone don't "like" what I think, say, or write...I'm not alone, after all, I have children, my ancestors, and I am blessed in that way.

Saturday, August 27, 2011












































Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free To Be Me

*pic is from over my house in the city

I have always known that I had the freedom to be me, to be who I am no matter where I was.
I was able to handle jail, prison, all of it by laughter and my wit, only because that is the only way I know how to be and it got me along so far.

Often, the table I sat at in county jail was always getting warning for "laughing too loud." That wasn't me, I met some crazy ass wonderful women in there. Out of the two county jails, the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City, and the prison itself, I was surprised to find out what took a good toll and tried it's best to kill my spirit was the halfway house. I wrote the poem Wallow there, because I honestly felt as if I walked into an episode of The Stepford Wives. I couln't believe they had all these 20 something Barbie dolls working with us, looking down their noses at us and acting and making us feel as if we were the scum of the Earth, it got to be depressing, annoying, and I felt hatred burning into my soul.

It was the first place I went in the whole journey where humor got me nowhere, even with most of the residents because everyone else there was letting their spirits die too.

One day I was talking to two older federal ladies about food, I LOVE FOOD! Especially soup and frybread, nothing makes you feel more at home than soup and frybread. Then they told me, Wellbriety has soup and frybread. Of course my ears perked up, mouth already salivating, but I was like
"What's Wellbriety?"

It's like a 12 step program, kind of like AA but not really, it's geared more towards Indians.-they told me.
I was game, frybread, I'm there, thats the rez in me, the skin in me, the big girl in me.
So I signed up.
What I found was a place I could be me, every Friday. A place I could hang out with my people, hear and sing our songs, smudge away negativity and air what I need to in talking circle. It was social, relaxing, and supportive. It showed me, that somewhere in this city, I was free to be me.

Not what I was labeled in society.

Not the number I memorized for the last year and a half.

Not how they looked down at me at the halfway house.

Not how the people who interviewed me looked at me when explaining why I was a felon.

I was Dana, the girl who came in quest for frybread....and found a niche where her spirit was happy.

Thanks for listening as I still sing the praises of Wellbriety.


To see the poem Wallow, please send me an add on facebook. Thank you.