"The government came to us first in the form of the Cavalry, then the military fort (which is why we are called Fort Mojave), and finally the boarding school. The government didn’t simply “teach” us English in those boarding schools—they systematically and methodically took our Mojave language. They took all the words we had. They even took our names. Especially, they took our words for the ways we love—in silencing us, they silenced the ways we told each other about our hearts. One result of this: generations of English-speaking natives have never heard I love you from their parents, which in their eyes, meant their parents didn’t love them. However, those parents never said, I love you, because it didn’t mean anything to them—it was an English word for English people. There is no equivalent to it in the Mojave language—the words we have to express our feelings, to show the things berserking in our chests for one another are much too strong to be contained by the English word love."
If What I Mean Is Hummingbird, If What I Mean Is Fall Into My Mouth - The Best American Poetry
This is poet Natalie Diaz on language. Phenomenal.
Diaz is blogging all week for the Best American Poetry blog. Get into it.
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
— Harper Lee (via hqlines)
"I’ve lived in Brooklyn for more than a decade. For the first year, I lived in Flatbush. After Flatbush, I moved to Crown Heights, where I am currently. Lucille Clifton said in an interview once, “children—and humans, everybody—all need both windows and mirrors in their lives: mirrors through which they can see themselves and windows through which they can see the world.” Clifton was talking about race—specifically the disadvantages that come with being white and having only mirrors or being a person of color and having only windows. Because the world is what it is, I’m oftentimes staring out windows. It feels good to come home to Crown Heights, get off the train, and see my reflection."
Brooklyn Poets | Nicole Sealey
This interview is in fact, the business. Get into it.