byEdgar Gabriel Silex
"I can report the case of an old prospector - pioneer - miner - trapper of this region [Butte County], who had on his bed even in recent years a blanket lined with Indian scalps. These had been taken years before. He had never been a government scout, soldier, or officer of the law. The Indians he had killed purely on his own account. No reckoning was at any time demanded of him."

--- Theodora Kroeber
excerpt from, Ishi: Between Two Worlds

some remember through daguerreotypes
of Edward Curtis and Walter McClintock
some are consumed by visions
retelling thousand-year-old stories
as if they were recent accounts
some listen to their grandfather's
as others find their memories by distrusting
the shadows of words

some reconstruct mosaic memories
by their reservations     relations and gaps
rediscovering themselves in the displacements
in the exact orders of histories
in the miscellaneous shards scattered throughout

some have learned to remember by not remembering
the presumptions that have multiplied     subdued
and now have dominion over their memories

even through violence and its erasure by victory
even through the refractions of Time
through all the inconsistent reasoning
the horror of remembering is all they seek
in order that they might gain
some indifference

From Through All the Displacements by Edgar Gabriel Silex,
Curbstone Press. © 1995 Edgar Gabriel Silex

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