#NoDAPL #StillHere:

Native and Anti-Colonial Craft Against Dispossession

Letter from the Editor     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Contributors

Chanting the Water

Craig Santos Perez

in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all peoples protecting the sacred waters of this earth

water is life becuz our bodies are 60 percent water
becuz my wife labored for 24 hours through wave contractions
becuz our sweat is mostly water and salt
becuz she breathed and breathed and breathed
water is life becuz our lungs are 80 percent water
becuz water broke forth from her body
becuz amniotic fluid is 90 percent water
becuz our daughter crowned like a coral island
water is life becuz our blue planet is 70 percent water
becuz some say water came from asteroids and comets
becuz some say the ocean formed within the earth from the beginning
becuz water broke forth from shifting tectonic plates
becuz we say our gods created water
becuz no human has found a way to safely create water
water is life because we cant drink oil
becuz water is the next oil
becuz we wage war over gods and oil and water
water is life becuz only 3 percent of global water is freshwater
becuz more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water
becuz in some countries women and children walk 4 miles to gather clean water & carry it home
becuz we cant desalinate the entire ocean
water is life becuz if you lose 5 percent of your bodys water your body will become feverish
becuz we proclaim water a human right
becuz we grant bodies of water rights to personhood
becuz if you lose 10 percent of your bodys water your body will become immobile
becuz the water footprint of an average american is 2000 gallons a day
water is life becuz the ocean is 99% of the biosphere
becuz we sign the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea
becuz 200 nautical miles from this coastline is an exclusive economic zone
becuz my wife says the Hawaiian word for wealth, waiwai, comes from their word for water, wai
becuz corporations steal, privatize, and bottle our waters
becuz sugar, pineapple, corn, soy, and gmo plantations divert our waters
becuz concentrated animal feeding operations consume our waters
becuz they use 660 gallons of water to make one hamburger
becuz pesticides, chemicals, oil, weapons, and waste poison our waters
water is life becuz we say stop, you are hurting our ancestors
becuz they say we thought this was a wasteland
becuz we say stop, keep it in the ground
becuz they say we thought these bones were fuel
becuz we say stop, water is sacred
becuz they say we thought water was a commodity
becuz we say we are not leaving
becuz they say we thought you were vanishing
becuz we call ourselves protectors and water warriors
becuz they call us savage and primitive
becuz we bring our feathers and lei and shells and canoes and totems
becuz they bring their bulldozers and drills and paid permits
becuz we bring our treaties and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
becuz they bring their banks and paid politicians and lawyers
becuz we bring our songs and schools and prayers and ceremonies
becuz they bring their barking dogs and private militia and national guard
becuz we bring all our relations and all our generations and all our livestreams
becuz our drumming sounds like rain after drought echoing against our taut skin
water is life becuz our blood is 90 percent water
becuz we can survive a month without food but less than a week without water
becuz every minute a child dies from water-borne diseases
becuz every day thousands of children die from water-borne diseases
becuz every year millions of children die from water-borne diseases
water is life becuz my daughter loves playing in the ocean
becuz someday my daughter will ask us where the ocean ends
becuz we will point to the dilating horizon
water is life becuz our eyes are 95 percent water
becuz we will tell her that the ocean has no end
becuz we will tell her that the sky and clouds carry the ocean
becuz we will tell her that the mountains embrace the ocean into rain
becuz we will tell her that the rain feeds lakes and reservoirs
becuz we will tell her that the water flows into the Missouri River
becuz we will tell her that water connects us to our cousins at Standing Rock
becuz we will tell her about the sacred stone of a mother and child
becuz we will tell her that the Sioux are still there, still breathing
water is life becuz our hearts are 75 percent water
becuz i will whisper to her, while she is sleeping, hanom hanom hanom, my peoples word for
             water, so that water dreams will carry her home


5 Images by Dylan Miner

23a_dylan-miner_-water-is-medicine-water-is-not-a-weapon-of-state-violence 23b_dylan-miner_no-mines-near-sacred-sites 23c_dylan-miner_no-pipelines-in-the-great-lakes-2 23d_dylan-miner_no-pipelines-in-the-great-lakes 23e_dylan-miner_no-pipelines-on-indigneous-lands




Raquel Salas Rivera

translation from Caneca de anhelos turbios

a grenade for christopher columbus

like hominids
in the margins of the word

this i give you, columbus
this cramped ambition
in my empty pockets

i can hear the dogs in the distance
the sirens are calling

because odysseus
i met you
dragging your pedestrian eyes
closed like widows

i met you
before the fonalledas-carriones
pallid miners of ivus
near the plaza
where skeletons rest
at your ferrous feet that lament
the amplitude of stars

between regulations you carry
various persecuted peoples
various economies inferior
to hell

and they’re so full
i’m burnt by smell when seeing the ill-fated
charge me without knowing his ill-fate

ay the vaults
you stole
they stole from you!
ay what poor quadruped executioner!

in the stalls of the bombonera
your academics yearn
your rubber chronicles
your cutis of anti-past

and you say i’m sorry
in the slot machines that repeat
i’m sorry
pay a quarter
and light a candle for my soul

no, my heart
doesn’t have the shape
of a threatened beat
hung from a gunshot
nor is it the exact rosary
of a finger
that makes the sign of the holy cross
with banners and facing walls

my heart doesn’t have the shape
of a pious follower
or greedy sailor

it has a heart shape

and when it wants it takes the shape
of a tailor
a woman
a cane side eye
or a chess game

you are shapeless
you have a hole
that wasn’t
and your face is a gust
of golden wind


3 Digital Images by J Nelson






Room on My Dance Card

Diane Glancy

This audio was recorded by the literary radio show and podcast New Letters on the Air at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


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