Writers Reading: Janet Rogers

Directional Geometry 101

This was dreamed
into being
the light, the lines
sounds and vibes

I follow roads
that bend like E strings
used to play the blues
and suddenly I understand
all the lyrics

following audio slaves
into towns through cities
dressed and arrested
for pleasure and pity
sound slaves gather
in freedom festivals
celebrations of disconnection

I’m passing, I’m pausing
to pick up clues
I’m hungry
to stop and stay
there’s no way
no reason rich enough
to lure me from the road
I go and keep going

rolling past lovely snow-heavy
limbs, this trip
gives lots of opportunity
to think about tragedy
listening to Mister Young sing

“I am just a dreamer
and you are just a dream”

Freedom Rings High
in the hills
it does not sound like
babies cries but an
avalanche of love
it sounds like the mist
whispering to the mountain
“meet you later”
travelling with no one
but Creator
and the directions made possible
by ancestors

colonials divide the land
in criss-cross

Where did you say you’re from again?

I’m passing Sasquatch land
and I’m passing Big Brother
blocking my view
and I’m passing the night
without you
holding onto freedom
gathered from high on hills
the price is sacrifice and pain

I come from here

and nowhere
does my heart beat
stronger, faster, louder
out of sync with the rest
matching the wild pace
of nature
this is normal

Talking Stick 2011 4

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations band in southern Ontario. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia and has been living on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people (Victoria, British Columbia) since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, short fiction, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poems with music and script writing.

Janet has three published poetry collections to date; Splitting the Heart, Ekstasis Editions 2007, Red Erotic, Ojistah Publishing 2010, Unearthed, Leaf Press 2011. She is presently creating a new collection to be published with Talon Books late 2014. Her poetry CD titled Firewater 2009, gained nominations for best spoken word recording at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the Native American Music Awards. You can hear Janet on the radio as she hosts Native WavesRadio on CFUV fm and Tribal Clefs on CBC fm in Victoria BC. Her radio documentary “Bring Your Drum” (50 years of indigenous protest music) won Best Radio at the imagaineNATIVE Film and Media festival 2011. She was also commissioned to create a radio art piece by the same company that same year.

Ojistah Publishing (Mohawk word for star) is Janet’s publishing label.

ikkwenyes or Dare to Do is the name of the collective both Alex Jacobs and Janet started in 2011. Through the collective they produced a poetry CD titled “Got Your Back” nominated for Best Album Cover Design APCMA 2012 and nominated for Best Spoken Word at the Native American Music Awards 2013. Ikkwenyes won a Loft Literary Prize 2013 from which they will create poetry based performance art that promote the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture.

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