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---Book one---

--- Book Two ---

Twin books from the creator of TuTu Hockey

trace. lara. hentz

Native American Studies | Creative Non-Fiction

Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte © 02018 Trace Lara Hentz (01956— ). All rights reserved.

This TWIN book is a collection of factoids, thoughts, quips, code, quotes, photos, thought bombs, creative
non-fiction, Native American history and prose. And it’s short.

Musqonichte translates Blue Sky.

Photos by t l hentz… Quotes sourced.


ISBN: 9781731074010

First Edition
Advance Praise
"Prepare yourself for a short journey into a long reality.
Do yourself a favor and read and reread with an opening mind.
This author knows of what she writes....."
—Author-poet-medium MariJo Moore

Right on. Right on. Right on. With clarity of heart and soul, Trace Laura Hentz writes poetry and
prose that resonates and illuminates the unfortunate typical burdens of our time. Mental
Midgets is filled with an astute perspective that is missing from mass media stories. Through the
resonance of her writing, those of us who feel weighted by the burdens of our era, Hentz’s
words help lift us up as we feel less alone and less singular in our attempts to reassert the values
for non-greediness, non-racism, and non-bullying in our multicultural society.
As well as perceptive observations of the tRUMP crisis, Hentz writes of our enduring indigenous
spirit that lives on and on even as the impact of centuries of human rights abuses against Native
American peoples remain intertwined amongst us. Hentz writes of the spirit, love, and light that
holds us together; within ourselves, with one another, and amidst our beloved ancestors.
—Poet Anecia Tretikoff

Writer KC Redding emailed: I like the format of Midgets, the way each work sneaks up on you
by yelling in your ear first. Kind of reminds me of walk softly, big stick words...

She lifts mostly directly through her poetry in “Masks” and “I Shook” and “When a trickle…
becomes a river.. then a flood” and “I Wasn’t Ready For Her To Die” and most powerfully in
“Ghost Shell.” It’s hard to leave the impact of her words behind. – Poet Laura Weldon

Has my brain shrunk already? —Jake’s dog walker, Rhode Island.

Can you hear me now?
We humans are made Mental Midgets for a purpose.

First it’s funny … then it’s not and then it hurts.

Tick Tock—electronics are actually shortening our life.

CODE: Our Shrinking Brains

(and covfefe)

For your personal safety

Wear GOLD HATS of King Priests

With fresh local honey
The tools we think we are using also use us: They push us around, make us
think new things, do new things, even be new things. Language is no different, of course,
although in its supremacy and ubiquity, it is even more elusive, difficult to perceive. The very
words you are looking at right now are like compact little cryptograms—a written
convention, talking back at you in codes. Poetry is language speaking for itself. —Jamie Allen
Neil Young
“I'm not sure that everything I write is mine,” the musician claimed. “I think some of it just
comes through me. Writing is not like thinking: thinking involves logic, and when I'm writing a
song, I try not to judge what I'm doing until I'm finished. I try to be open and follow the muse
wherever it goes. And if it's not around, I don't push it. There's no sense in trying to fan a flame
if there's no flame.”

Do you speak in code?

Here is another reason why communication between people is so darn difficult. We all have
differing backgrounds, experiences, preferences, biases, needs and wants—and all of these
things affect how we string words together to express our thoughts. This is the reason why
several people who have heard the same person speak will take away very different messages.
Each person listens through her own filters of experience and may apply different meaning to
the same sets of words, or may place different levels of importance on one part of the message
over another. —Author Catherine Wakelin

Pig Latin is a pseudo-language that is another way of speaking in code. It's a little more common
and a little easier to deduce. "Pig Latin" would become ig-pay Atin-lay.

(I’m AceeTray)
Mental Midgets
(everything in six words or less)

“You’ll be dead in an hour.”

“I hired someone to be me.”

It’s done. It’s over. It’s time.

Don’t stop. Drive thru the barricade.

Greed overcame common decency.

Murder? Judges condemned them to suicide.

Doctors threw themselves off tall buildings.

Skyscrapers, hospitals, scenes of the crime.

Wives, children, yachts, mansions: empty.

Mom (demented) left me everything, broke.

Why’d you do that to him?

You broke me. Straight into bankruptcy.

He stole everything, including your money.

Now you’re dead, you obviously know.

They want us all dead, right?

You cannot grow spiritually this way

Injustice is their way of control

Globally... locally...centuries of dishonor

Welcome to the soul factory

(Image: tesla 369)

Nine words
(everything in nine words)

you do not know

what? what

you do not know

I am abnormal normal not

i break rulers rules apart

i bend spoons minds backwards

hope is skin-thin paper-thin

hope is waterproof tear-proof gone

hope cracks creaks buckles

lost all my hope

“It’s Snark-Tastic” —Lorelai Gilmore

I won’t gaslight you here.

Really truly bigly, our brains are shrinking. Is that a question? No.

Think with your heart.


(then visit the Long Now Foundation online)

So if I'm not working on something—something is

working on me…
You elect a racist for a revolution? Really?
Who is the “Other?” Me? You? This is not an immigration issue. It’s a white supremacy issue.

Since the invention of the internet and the tragedy of 9-11, America has a big ol’ crazy
emergency …with much shorter attention spans due to cell phones, facebook, twitter,
instagram, snapchat and all other social media … this\that\the other is not normal.

It's a mindless, formless, nameless demon that feeds on fear and other negative emotions
summoned by social media. And, of course, there's the demonic zeitgeist, which is being fed not
only by social media but the increasingly-darkening cast of pop culture. —Christopher Knowles
(author of Our Gods Wear Spandex)

[[[Russians send ELF waves 'softening people's brains?' Is this even a question?]]]

You can quote me:

“…nothing’s more bitter than sweet words tasting short” —t l hentz

You can quote him:

“…a war is being waged on all that I hold dear...” —patterson hood
Bad inventions:

(The big brains invented junk but didn’t imagine or plan for a big fail):

Space junk . Robots . Weapons of mass destruction . Barrels of Military Waste . a.i. . Opioids .
Nuclear Reactors. WiFi. Columbia Gas explosions . 5G. Agent Orange. Asbestos. Plastics.
Napalm. Fentanyl.

DoomsdayClock: 2 minutes to Midnight

“Trump is in “Beast Mode” —2018 Elections TV comment

Dirty Street Fights break out in the Halls of DC. There is no honor among thieves.
Dire Warning
“…it’s a miracle we’ve survived this
far…” —Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now (11-5-2018)

Among the many other threats global warming poses to the planet, around half of the world’s
estimated 100 million species (most of which remain undiscovered) face extinction.
It happened years ago… but I can still feel myself outside the Pequot Museum on a
bench and the reservation wind is really blowing and John Trudell is speaking about his
album Blue Indians, and his latest tour.

I knew I’d have to read what he said a few times after I listened to the tape I
made. John Trudell was deep, so deep, with level upon level of meaning in both his
spoken words and lyrics. I’d hear him, then I’d process more after a second or third
listen… I can’t forget what he said about power and responsibility—you’ll read what he
said in this interview. With the next presidential election whirling around us, it’s hard
not to feel powerless. But we are not powerless.

From my notes, I was glad when Trudell explained how belief (as in religion belief) takes
the place of thinking. I jotted in my notes, “Don’t believe – THINK. We put a whole lot of
energy into HOPE and BELIEF and that energy falls into a void and disappears…. You
BELIEVE so you don’t have to think…… You HOPE so you don’t have to truly act – it’s a
sedation (drug). Nothing changes, religion is brainwashing the consciousness of people
desperate to believe…. this just puts the mind in a prison…

“Violence, terror and traumas has defeated tribal belief systems from tribal Europe thru
today… and then the traumatized blame themselves….. and the beast continues to get
bigger. The answer is NON-COOPERATION and a clear thinking human being….”

Trudell didn’t waste any words.

Poet, activist, prophet, American Indian Movement (AIM) founder, actor and recording
artist John Trudell (Santee), made a concert stop with his band Bad Dog, at the
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in May (2000).
Trudell uses words as medicine, so his political and poetic abilities created the new
album Blue Indians, on Dangerous Discs records, released in 1999, his ninth album,
produced by Jackson Browne.

“I called the album Blue Indians because there is a kind of spiritual and cultural genocide
perpetrated on everyone that is poor in this country,” Trudell said. “The advance of
technology has put all of us on a kind of reservation. These are the people who can’t educate
their children, or afford health care. They’ve been robbed of life, which is what happened to
Native people, so in that context, we’re all Indians.”

The “spoken word” artist said he didn’t set out to be a poet or writer. After an unspeakable
tragedy took the lives of his wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother, back in 1979, he
started writing. The fire that killed them was declared an accident by the FBI who declined to
investigate. This happened just 12 hours after a group marched to FBI headquarters in Wash.
DC, where Trudell delivered an address on the FBI’s war against Native Americans. He burned
an American flag in protest of racism and class injustice. To this day, Trudell believes
government operatives set the blaze, “It was murder. They were murdered as an act of war.”

After 1971, Native men and women formed the national American Indian Movement, in
response to the horrific conditions on reservations and the many unsolved murders. Trudell
served as National AIM Chairman from 1973-79. During that time the FBI compiled a 17,000
page file (covering Trudell’s activities from 1969-80).

Of some 60 pages obtained through the Freedom of

Information Act, describing Trudell as a major threat to
national security, the memo said, “Extremely eloquent –
therefore extremely dangerous.”

Writing has helped Trudell keep some sanity and continue to survive. In 1981, he published a
book of poetry “Living in Reality” and by 1982 combined music and poetry, with the help of his
musician friends Jackson Browne and future collaborator Jesse Ed Davis, a Kiowa from

When asked how he deals with anger, Trudell told one reviewer, “I look at it as healthy. It’s like
sadness. There’s a reason we’re given certain feelings. I think anger is necessary to our survival
and reality, but now we live in a technology reality where people are programmed not to accept
their anger. I think we can use it as fuel for clarity, focus and accomplishment. Anger doesn’t
have to be a distorting experience.”
In May 2000, the band played songs from the album Blue Indians, while Trudell spoke his poetic
lyrics. About promoting the album, he said later, “We don’t tour like other bands. We hit the
road sometimes for a week, or several weeks. It’s more practical for us.”

I met John at LCO in 1999 and he signed it!

In concert, Trudell referred to humans as being mined, like resources, such as minerals, and
reminded us we are indeed composed of the earth’s materials. After the concert, he explained
the effects of mining humans, “The feeling of powerlessness that this society has, I think is a
result of mining humans because the people do feel powerless. I think no clear, coherent
thinking people, would accept as normal the conditions that they have to accept. So, the only
reason I can see that people would accept the inequities, are because they feel powerless to
deal with them. The powerlessness may disguise itself as rage, or racial hatred, or sexism, it
may disguise itself in many ways, but basically the common thread is a feeling of powerlessness
among the people.

“That means all the aggressive attitudes basically get internalized. I think that’s the obvious
result of being mined as an individual. If they are being real with themselves, no pretending, no
justification or rationalization, how many people feel that they have any real power?

“How many people feel powerless to deal with situations put in their life? It’s got to do with
perceptional reality. If you use our intelligence as clearly and coherently as we can, I think we’d
understand that we are not necessarily powerless. But we don’t know how to relate to power,
or recognize it, therefore we don’t know how to exercise it.”
And, Trudell said we can’t accept this idea of being mined because we can’t recognize it or see

“We’re not taught about our personal relationship to

power. We’re not taught about our relationship to the Great
Spirit. Recognizing power is what you have to do. When
you recognize it, you exercise it. You can’t take back what
they have already taken but you can stop the taking of your
power, once you recognize it.”

On the importance of prayer, John said he prays for balance. “Prayer is often a misused
word. There are people who pray for things to make them happy so I don’t know if they’re
really praying. Then there are people who pray for the welfare of others. Some people don’t
pray so much for their own individualized ego, but understand that prayer is a way of thinking in
harmony with the Creator. Praying is a way of participating with the Creator.

“Prayer that is based upon thought and feeling, then that prayer is participating. Prayer that is
based upon need and emotion, that prayer is not participating in a synchronized manner,
because it’s based on the ego’s need and emotion.”
“Responsibility is the
way to fulfillment,
when one recognizes
and exercises their
responsibility, this is
how one is to be
free. It’s a way of
reconnecting with
power for us as

On his own life, Trudell said, “I see as clearly as I can. The objective is for me to be as real to
myself as I can possibly be. The more real I can be to myself, the more real maybe I can be to
other people. It’s a challenge.”

(Published in the Pequot Times.)

We lost John in 2015.

Tyrants hate critics.

Some crooks hack people to death.

There will be blood.

This is war.

(My photo: Earth is in Prison)

We wear the measure of our beauty

We wear our disappointment

We wear the words and opinions of others

We wear our parent’s opinions

We wear our grandparent’s smiles

We wear our neighbor’s gossip

We wear optimism and fear

We wear inner turmoil

We wear our partner’s words of love

We wear our children’s needs

We wear our kindness

We wear our anger

We may wear masks of arrogance

We may wear our pride

We may wear our indifference

We wear our lives: some hard, easy, sad

We wear our promises, oaths, titles

We wear ourselves out

© 2013
They smell phony

They look phony

They act phony

They don’t notice

that we notice

They are insecure

Phony people aren’t sure why

they are here

So let me get this straight.

You’re building a prototype of a mega-destroyer and nuclear submarine and yet you have
people starving at the docks while you go off to find an enemy to bomb?
Wait, what?

I insist

I forget

I insist

I forget

I insist

(That’s exactly why [you and me and we] are a mental midget)
“That, in my opinion, was the most diabolical aspect of those old-time big brains: They
would tell their owners, in effect, ‘Here is a crazy thing we could actually do, probably, but
we would never do it, of course. It’s just fun to think about.’ And then, as though in trances,
the people would really do it––have slaves fight each other to death in the Colosseum, or
burn people alive in the public square for holding opinions which were locally unpopular, or
build factories whose only purpose was to kill people in industrial quantities, or to blow up
whole cities, and on and on.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos

From the Bolsheviks, to Hitler and the Third Reich, to Mao Zedong, to most
tin-pot dictators across the Middle East and Africa, there has ALWAYS been
an organized group of money men and think tanks fueling the careers of
the worst politicians and military juntas of the epoch.
—Brandon Smith

(No sugar-coating anything)

Desultory Heroics BLOG

All Wars are Banker’s Wars.

The dark pathologies of the uber-rich, lionized by mass culture and mass
media, have become our own. We have ingested their poison. We have
been taught by the uber-rich to celebrate the bad freedoms and denigrate
the good ones. Look at any Trump rally. Watch any reality television show.
Examine the state of our planet.

e will repudiate these pathologies and organize to force the
uber-rich from power or they will transform us into what they
already consider us to be—the help. —Chris Hedges
They are going to SHELL it

They are going to EXXON it and BP it

They bought the politicians

They bought the votes

They brought the catastrophe

They brought the end...

My photo: Ghost Shadow

My Photo: NY Street

Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk writes about his beloved friend and
photographer Ara Guler, who died in November 2018:

For those who, like me, have spent 65 years in the same city — sometimes without
leaving it for years — the landscapes of the city eventually turn into a kind of index for
our emotional life. A street might remind us of the sting of getting fired from a job; the
sight of a particular bridge might bring back the loneliness of our youth. A city square
might recall the bliss of a love affair; a dark alleyway might be a reminder of our political
fears; an old coffeehouse might evoke the memory of our friends who have been jailed.
And a sycamore tree might remind how we used to be poor.
My photo: Carpet Ghosts

NOW right?

“Remember then: there is only one time that

is important—Now! It is the most important
time because it is the only time when we have
any power.”
This quote is from Leo Tolstoy’s What Men Live By, and Other Tales, and it serves as a fitting
prompt for us all to direct our attention to what is actually happening in our lives in this
Is it just me?
Is it just me?

No but a good poet would never let a good catastrophe go to waste.

Is it election fatigue?

Massively… lingering grief, pops of anger, booms of brilliance followed by surreal disbelief,
brain-numbing confusion causing bad insomnia and a bad stomach with a burning desire to give
up and leave the planet… It’s global.

Did we just elect a non-politician who we thought would help the middle class?


Didn’t he have to be filthy rich to win?

Apparently so.

Won’t greedy heads of corporations with the government’s help kill the planet?

Some say they already did.

Did Mr. (non-politician) President just appoint the most corrupted rich people (The 1%) that he

I bet convicted felons Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff would have been his Cabinet picks too.

Will We-the-People find justice suitable for corporations?

Sure, if we start banishing people and companies for corruption.

Did the 1% unknowingly build their own gold-plated prison bunkers?

They still don’t see it that way.

Will there be anything left of America after this president and his people are arrested, and
We can’t eat money and they can’t be buried with it. We can’t drink oil.

Is it too late?

Your guess is as good as mine.

© 2016


Up is down, down is Up
The rich are preferred

For high office

This corruption stinks to high heaven

We are all going to need

healing for the ghastly after-effects of

Remember: Suffering is the Sport of Empire.

There is no Empire without Religion.

After game show host Orange Man, #45

real estate developer-in-chief resigns…

Avoid me —something old is coming up.

Call it: Exorcising old demons.

plans plans plans

I have plans.
I'm saving plastic Wonder Bread bags.
Wonder Bread is called Ghetto Bread in Harlem.
I even dreamt how I'm going to upcycle the bags.
(I started a giant wheel)
Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe not.
But hey, the years leading up to 2020 are unknown,
and instead of screaming at the TV (again) (and driving Herb to drink)
or trusting people who say all will be OK,
even better than we expect,
that #45 will give us what we want,
the truth,
the hidden shit, mind-blowing evidence, ending all conspiracy theories,
then I'm waiting.

I'm waiting to hear something smart come out of his mouth.

The First Time

We believe too many lies

We don’t even question stuff

History is a cycle, repeating over and over

That is, if we don’t learn stuff right the first time


How long have we been here?

The true history of humanity is hidden from us to hide their theft.


“It’s nice to know that literature unmasks insanity.” —San Francisco poet Joie Cook

You have to work out where your place is. And who you are. But we're all spirit. That's all we
are, we're just walking dressed up in a suit of skin, and we're going to leave that behind. —
Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan

White men can be any color. It’s about superiority. —Eddie Benton-Benai, Anishinabe author

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension,
cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not
by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It
has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the
banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited
in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot,
stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. —Michael Moore (2011)
...this is typed on a machine and read by
strangers who I do and do not know. We are
DEVOLVING. Kids can’t write a complete
sentence or take their eyes off their phones.

Prime example: the president who tweets.

We think in 140 280 characters.





I am known to binge-watch HOARDERS. It's not appealing or appetizing, but rather
stomach-turning sad. Why do I do this? To remind myself we are not what we OWN. All
of us must learn to grieve better... You know—CRY CRY CRY and PROCESS...

Almost every hoarder has suffered a loss of a family member and never finished
grieving... hmmm... it's not rocket science, folks. Learn to grieve...
Oh, by the way—my *MOB* Nickname is: SMILEY!
Geez! This is accurate!

Go get your mob nickname at the Mob Museum: HERE

Ponder this:
Politicians work for corporations: Big Ag, Big Meat, Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Frack, Big Bank, Big
Coal/Mining. They are (selected).

Corporations are not persons. They have no conscience.

Laws are written to protect the corporation, to crush the little man, plunder and murder with
centuries of dishonor— we’re looking at Indigenous theft globally.

Who Stole Hawaii? A corporation.

Sanctions hurt people, not war lords and despots. Sanctions help corporations rob resources.

Cycling and recycling ideas and history: look at Eugenics, Immigration, 1924

America is a nation of immigrants, right?

Goldfinger in the White House—can James Bond save the world from #45? The plot: Drumpf is
Goldfinger, poisons his crew and escapes with his bodyguard (named Odd Job) to a private

There has always been a divide: colonizer- colonized.

Nordic Aryan Supremacy? Nazi’s are back? They never left.

(There is no such thing as “race.” It was invented.)

Suffocating Paternalism?

We are already paying taxes for our healthcare.

Look up the word CURSED.

The Media talk you to death.

Fear spreads like a plague everywhere.

FEAR MEN threat-talk NUKES —children watch hopeless and suicide.

Everyone has a responsibility to create safety for children.

A deadly, drug-resistant fungus (cancer-causing) has arrived in the US.

How will history remember failed leaders —when innocent Koreans are nuked or when we all
die? When the people of Yemen all die? When the people of Palestine are all dead?

Dangerous Dog Hearings in So. Hadley?

There is a lot of crazy in this world.

US politicians could spend the next 50 years and never repeal all the racist laws on the books.

Rich people actually smirk at the opioid crisis? As more died, they’ll be more for them, more of
everything. The weak and pathetic die. Corporations are happy. 100 people die every day from
overdose. Funeral homes kill and make a profit.

Rampant mental illness? Greed is deadly and a disease.

The 45th President with no vocabulary skills? Someone mailed him a dictionary.

Public Shaming? How? Grab assets, remove citizenship, BANISH them to another land, bank
assets and secret accounts are also seized, CHEAPER than prison and they are outta here….

Maybe Paraguay and Argentina will take them like they harbored the criminal Nazis.

You do know that Jesus was a Jew, right?

The US makes (list a country) the enemy so they can bomb you back to the Stone Age? How
many more bombs do we need?

America, what hasn’t happened?

The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers.

Are big stadiums and gladiators coming back?

You do know that mermaids kill people, right?

dedicated to Musqonocihte

What do you see when you look up?

“We could not understand the invaders, or their
numbers, or what they wanted. Not at first. We
tried everything. We could not understand them.
We tried to make peace, as best we could.
Communicating, language was always a problem.
They took captives so we took captives. They shot
us where we stood. We shot back. They hunted us
like wolves and deer. They hid our bodies, and
sometimes they left us exposed to rot. We
negotiated all the time. We didn’t win their trust.
The invaders shaped this land with fences, and with
atrocity. People do not understand what happened
here. They did not see the violence, the guns, the
murder, the brutality. The invader hunted us north
and south, in every direction. They called us
Indian Territory… Colrain, Massachusetts
After I moved to Massachusetts I drove to Colrain and their historical society in 2005, asking
about a Pequod/Pequot writer named William Apess. They knew zilch, nothing. I bought their
massive history book with no mention of Indians, an old map and a calendar.

In 2018, I went back to see a plaque dedicated to the life of William Apess (1798–1839), a
Pequot Indian, Methodist preacher, and widely celebrated writer, born in Colrain, a few miles
from where I live now. Historian Professor Author Drew Lopenzina organized everything,
including the plaque. A few years back I met with him over lunch to talk about Pequot history
when he was writing his book Through an Indian's Looking-Glass, A Cultural Biography of
William Apess, Pequot, New insights, one of the most prolific and important early Native
American writer.

Drew’s book is about Apess’ writings and life and provides a lens so we can comprehend the
complex dynamics of indigenous survival and resistance in the era of America’s early
nationhood. In my neighborhood. In your neighborhood.
I froze today (10-13-02018) in Colrain.... so was it worth it? Standing there with the descendants
of New England’s invaders, mass murderers – who I call serial killers?

I shook at the cold we survived so many generations ago. I shook and remembered the land we
stand on is Pocumtuck territory.

A spirit came home with me that day.

A useful link:

Have you heard of the Sokoki, Niantic, Nipmuc, Paugussett, Pennacook? They are just a few of
the erased-on-paper, still alive tribes in New England. They might your neighbor. They might be
your ancestor.

(Feather Photo: Death To Stock Photos)

(Plaque Photo: Herb Hentz)
I Shook
I shook on Saturday October 13
I shook at this ceremonial occasion being forced to stand outside
I shook in 40 degrees and rain
I shook on hallowed ground
I shook no one’s hand
I shook that Pequod William Apess once stood there (and this day was to recognize his
contributions and writings)
I shook looking around at descendants of the invaders and their armies
I shook at the locals who gunned their trucks when they passed by
I shook outside the historical society who didn’t know about Apess
I shook at their denials, with no comprehension, no remorse
I shook that historians erased an entire population
I shook my head © 2018

By any means necessary, we have stolen land, commited genocide, exploited low-wage workers,
all of that to become one of the wealthiest nations in the world. And it’s a fact and a truth that
we want to sweep [this history] under a carpet and whitewash [it].
—Native author and philanthropist Edgar Villanueva

If they couldn't murder Indigenous people, they invent other ways. They write the history.

In 2016 I gave a book talk about my anthology STOLEN GENERATIONS at the local community
college. (Thanks Hope.) There were many people who sincerely want to understand what is
truth, what really happened around here, what they didn't learn in school... from an Indigenous

I told the audience my talk should have been titled: "We're not supposed to know."

(His)story— that is the division we are seeing everywhere. There is plenty we are not
supposed to know. So, what is truth?
I sent a letter to the Turners Falls Mascot
Committee so they might reconsider its

Dear School Board:

I have just a few things about the Turners

Falls mascot issue and local history.

This issue is not a surprise. The community

near Great Falls doesn’t know the history.
Who exactly wrote the account of what
happened in Turners Falls? Let’s be clear. It
was not the Pocumtuck or Wampanoag or
any of the other tribes who lost their lives
on that fateful day.

Time after time, war after war, history is told (or not told) by the victor, the winner of the

When I interviewed leaders of the Eastern Pequot years back, I wanted Connecticut to know its
own history, largely unwritten, hidden. Marcia Flowers said, “we’ve been cleaning people’s
houses for the past 300+ years.”

Indian people knew it was best to be invisible. Many still feel this way: invisible.

Pequot scalps? The bounty was $100 in colonial times. $100 is like a million dollars today, right?

Why don’t we all know this?

We’re not supposed to know.

This issue over mascots makes it clear. We argue over history. If it creates conflict, this is
exactly how the oppressor and oppression works.

We in North America are literally educated to be ignorant of the true history. It’s a blood-
soaked path in the pioneer valley and westward. Fictions were crafted by the nation builders
who used war/massacre/colonization on the First Nations Indian People yet these facts were
diminished or erased. Hiding truth and history only perpetuates continued racism and

Your Indian mascot doesn’t honor anyone but reveals our ignorance.
(Trace is the former editor of the Pequot Times, Foxwoods Spirit and Ojibwe Akiing.)

If I could write a history of Empire that starts at the very
beginning, I’d show it as a film (no student tests or grades
or memorizing anything). Just sit back and watch, my
“captive” audience…  We’d have balance with my plan.
The loser would get his story too. Let the viewer watch.
Colonizers have won too long with just their version (like
their cleaned up version of Columbus Day). All the big
things, white lies, we’d cover and uncover both sides. But
you see how secrecy works in their favor?

By the time we know what they are doing, it’s too late. Too
late to object, too late to stop them. We just didn’t know
that history builds on what we didn’t know.
When a trickle… becomes a river…then
a flood

…When People of the First Light saw ships and strangers disembark

…When the conqueror ran out of the woods firing loaded guns

…When they loaded us onto slave boats in shackles

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When an Indigenous mother loses her child at gun point

…When her child is kicked in the neck by a nun as punishment

…When her child dies in residential school, buried in an unmarked grave

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When a black sedan enters the rez , children run and hide

…When a Cree adoptee has a Bat Mitzvah and is told Indians are savages

…When a Navajo adoptee is taken at a hospital and disappears, raised by Mormons

Then a trickle becomes a river, then a flood of blood and tears.

© 2016/2018
find home
I was too little to know
Too small to guess
this was too big
that I couldn’t swim
My paddle was small
but fit into my head
I’m heading home
Far away from these strangers
who called themselves
mom and dad

© 2016
Ghost Shell
I dream of this, the weight,

a tortoise shell on my back, a heavy hull.

Did I choose its protection? I was asleep.

No one ever said, “You can drop it now” or

“It’s safe to drop that, you’ll be ok.”

Maybe the shell did protect me at one time

when I needed armor.

Maybe it isolated me for reasons

I do not know or understand.

It was heavy and hard to balance.

When I woke up, I could feel its weight.

I can still feel it, like a ghost,

like an arm or leg amputated.

Somehow it still signals my brain,

“Protect yourself.”

Maybe my mother put this shell on me before she left me.

Maybe I inherited it, like a talisman.

Maybe the shell was what women in my family wore to survive.

All I know is I was born with it.

© 2010
Indian radar?
I went to Boston to an international adoption conference at MIT many years ago. I
planned to meet up with BJ Lifton, the most infamous adoptee author. I met her, short
and sweet, meet and greet. Then I went to the lunch room and not knowing anyone, I
sat with a guy who also happened to be adopted… and get this, a Native American
adoptee just like me. Holy Synchronicity!
He told me he was raised in upstate NY and used to hunt in Michigan with his adoptive
dad... on the same land as his tribe.
Meeting him, I call this Indian radar.
No matter where you go, you WILL find other Native people... they are EVERYWHERE!
Bitter, jealous. That was me, a kid.

No confidence, I plowed ahead anyway.

Those voices got louder and louder: TRY!

You wouldn’t want to be me, no way.

Identity is constantly evolving, continuing, pulsating, pulverizing.

What is real, true? I couldn’t tell.

Family, school, more school, job, job.

In the absence of identity, humans struggle.

They bought one

The “wanted” one

They wanted a white one

They wanted a smart one

They wanted an exotic one

They got one (maybe more)

They "saved" you they said

Sure, they wanted to love you

Sure, they’d love you just like their horse and dog

Sure, if you gave them trouble, they’d whip you

Sure, you’re supposed to be perfect

They found you in an ad. In a magazine. In a catalog.

And if you didn’t turn out,

If you weren’t perfect, they’d reject you,

they’d return you or rehome you.

And it would be your fault, too.

Some ran.

I ran once.

I was threatened to be whipped,

sent away when I was brought back.

This wasn’t home, this was owned.

You think you’re living in the present

but the past is right behind you like a
shadow. —Jeanette Winterson
Your God doesn’t forget

The only Indians

You want to see

hang in pictures

on your walls.

You can’t hunt us and kill us anymore

So you regulate

and legislate us

to death.

Your history class

leaves out everything before 1865.

So unaware of what happened,

You are unwilling to disguise your ancestral hate.

It’s no wonder

You know so little about Indians;

You can’t recall your great-grandfather’s massacre or a famous war,

Only George Armstrong Custer (and they didn’t even write that right.)
“Those damn Indians,” herded like zoo animals to reservations,

barely visible for generations,

we were never expected to survive,

let alone thrive.

But we grew, our reservations grew.

History belittles out evolution.

Some still prefer the noble myth

(unless you work at one of our casinos.)

You must feel it, that sense of dread,

That an apology will never do,

praying over the graves of my grandfathers.

We know the power of storytelling,

Heya, heya.

Your God doesn’t forget…

© 2011 (revised from 2006)

I Wasn’t Ready for Her to Die
I told her I wasn’t ready.

I said I needed her. (I begged and pleaded gently.)

She knew she was my best friend, my relative.

Ellowyn made my wedding dress.

Every time I called, she told me stories, hard stuff, family stuff,

and she made me laugh

every time she called me ka-la-la.

My sister-relative waited years for a kidney transplant.

She knew her body was sick

I knew it was true

But denied it.

I didn’t want to believe it.

She always spoke truth and

She spoke Lakota to me.

She taught me,

Cautioned me,

Educated me…

She didn’t have to.

I will be her friend

In this world, and the next.

© 2018… for Ellowyn Locke, my heart, my relative

Ellowyn passed on Dec. 7, 2016

I self.migrate here, from there

I drive unfettered multiple times to multiple states to multiple addresses

I cross unchecked boundaries, through invisible state lines, past fenced farms and gated

I am free so I self.relocate here, since I am free to relocate anywhere in America

I bring boxes filled with memories, with enough to rent a storage unit

I arrive unscathed, unhurt, but not exactly state-approved

Does Massachusetts care that I am here?

I self.migrate with papers, with proof, without arrest

I raid my fiancé’s space, his territory, his living room

I marry him, and I marry his identity and my identity and take his name

I register my car, get my driver’s license, and register to vote

Would this happen if I was from Iran, Nigeria or Guatemala and not from Wisconsin?

Does Massachusetts care that I am here?

Does it matter that I am a Connecticut-transplant, a journalist, formerly employed by a tribe?

Cameras pointed at cars would be able to find me eventually

How long will it take for me to become a local? How long?

How many years?

Does Massachusetts care that I am here?

I find descendants here of many generations, of bloodlines not my own

How long before I am questioned? © 2017 (Finalist in Greenfield’s Poet Seat Poetry Contest)
The Legacy of Cosmic Glue
…what I call the download

Her hands are gentle, firm

Not frail, fingers of aha

wisdom, grip earned, sun burned

And as she places those warm hands upon you

hugs you to her

It is then she remembers

her child tiny just like you

And the touch from her parents, and her grandparents

In those days when she visited them

Ancestral love is in her touch, a download

Of her memory

Of her knowledge

Of her experience


(and whether or not you are aware)

(Even if you don’t remember)

That love becomes yours

Ancestor after ancestor after ancestor

Handed down… cosmic love, cosmic glue

(This download is secret and one of the most precious in this world) © 2017
The silence is so loud

No matter what I tell you

You still don’t want to see

Would you rather I lie to you

Than change what you believe

What a funny way to listen

With your head against a cloud

You refuse to answer me

The silence is so loud
© 2004
Mentally I can do this

Big giant sticks

Bigger thicker yarn

But my hands won’t fit

Scribble here
Doctors in Quebec Will Soon
Prescribe Museum Visits as
Mad Men
How can so few rule so many?

How do they control us?

Is this a chess match for the controllers:

We are puppets, pawns, playthings.

Big bullies in military uniforms can simply push a button

and blow us all to pieces.

Mad Men use our fear.

Fighting over bread and jobs and fires,

they keep us so poor we can’t think straight…

Instead of us watching them and us asking them,

“Why do we need to be a superpower?”

We’ll have a new crisis, new conflict:

"Who are we fighting next?"

Primitive-man? Some don’t even have weapons.

Drones, really?

Taxes are for military development, not daycare.

Controllers simply conquer powerful men.

In a poor country,

control means control the message, no free press,

They control history, and us

Mad men work on leader’s weakness, always

creating new enemies, stimulating egos and greed.


They’ll use words like settler, invader, terrorist,

So they can get your kids to fight their battles,

Colonized we are…

By bad men, mad men, the axis of evil.

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

Earth’s Funeral
Great Mystery called

a gathering in the Milky Way galaxy

Let us all celebrate the souls of the departed,

the human, beast, ocean, mountain, prairie, glacier

in a celestial mourning…

Ascended cosmic chiefs gave eulogies

with drums, dancing and feast

at Planet Earth’s funeral.

Our earthly experiment was remembered,

To honor the victims of despots and dictators.

Its inhabitants destroyed by avarice and technology of its own making.

They remembered those who lived on the most dangerous, self-destructive planet in the
solar system,

whose souls and struggles will be remembered.

Then our ashes and stardust were scattered

among the stars

where we shall live as light for all eternity.

© 2012

“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” —Dakota proverb

And the funerals begin…
Small communities, cities, towns,

Cancer deaths,


And tying them all to one

Slow deliberate


My brother told me about the mold,

He and his wife were renters…

They said it was in their walls, and both got the same cancer,

Brain cancer she had first… the doctors used radiation and chemo so

Now her brain is mush, really fried,

She is like an old woman, my brother said,

And then he had surgery, lung cancer,

They got it all and he told me his lung was growing back,

but the cancer spread to his brain too…



© 2016
It requires needles, test tubes and blood

It requires a Polaroid picture

But my father Earl agreed

But he couldn’t pay any DNA lab five-hundred-bucks

He doubted my mother was telling the truth

She was barely bulging with four months of me when she left

Chicago bar-hopping was better than answering phones

Finding her out late (again) at 2am, he told her to go

I beg my soon-to-be ex for money

I beg he’ll pay for the plane ticket too

DNA will fill in the blanks of their tumultuous affair

Of some kind of love that dissolved with youth

And end the adoption mystery

that split me into particles

Plant a Flag
Who are these colonizers?

they plant a flag

they send in military

they kill rebellion

they create poverty

they demand taxation

they harvest resources

they sell and rape the land

they install government

they construct fences and boundaries

they build mansions

they enslave and conquer

they call the colonized "terrorists"

© 2013
Shadow people
We’ve all seen them in the shadows

As children we see them as monsters

They feed on our essence, our innocence

Hideous, they play us like puppets, creating

havoc, desperation, despair, fear

All to eat a human happy meal of our pure energy

They are our masters

They are our manipulators

I want my grandchildren to know

So they can raise their light

And use discipline to be in awe, aware, able, free.

We Wait
We are the remnants of great warrior nations

We are living reminders of bad dreams and broken treaties

We are descendants of a people robbed of ancestral lands

We are remnants because the government wanted to destroy us all

We are survivors after they broke up our families to break our spirit and take our land

We are still here after decades of battle and death

We are still sovereign

We are still Indian even if we were taken as children and assimilated

We lost our mothers and they lost us

We were little children abducted to boarding school and to white families who adopted us.

We live across America and Canada now

We wait to be repatriated

We wait for an apology that may never come

We wait for our naming ceremony

We wait to be recognized and welcomed back as tribal citizens

We will reclaim our language and ceremonies

We have been given no other choice

We will wait and wait longer

We are remnants and descendants of the last great warriors

We still wait.
Starved Into Submission
Now is the time, we are the ones we have been waiting for... —Hopi Prophecy

My entire childhood I had plenty of food. This is not true for all humans, I know. Look at the
news across the world, like in Gaza. When it comes to writing about adoption or world events, I
know I’m doing something right if I am afraid.

I spent most of my life afraid of upsetting people, avoiding that. Some might say that is low self-
esteem but I think being afraid, fear itself, is a call to action. If you are afraid, then you know
you are doing something right. You are challenging yourself and breaking down your thoughts
into something you can fix or not.

I could not change what happened in my childhood but I could change how I looked at being
adopted. I could drop judgment. I could stop blaming my adoptive parents and my natural
parents. I could turn “being adopted” into something good—or try to make my life and other
lives better.

I heard Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now describe how the occupiers of Palestine are using
food insecurity to keep Palestine children alive but not enough to thrive! Too little food and
starvation can be used as a weapon of war—with long-term consequences. Brains and bodies
are affected long-term.

That is exactly what has happened here on American soil. YES! The American government only
feeds American Indians junk with commodities (boxed or canned food and very little
vegetables). The diabetes epidemic is living proof it’s working. Plus there are not enough jobs
to feed ourselves. That way we Indians will be too weak to protest reservation living conditions.
That way we’ll stay depressed or immobile. That way we’ll self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.
That way many of our men will be imprisoned. That way we won’t be in the way when the
government and industry wants to take more resources like copper, coal, uranium and shale
gas. Reservations were purposefully isolated so American (and Canadian) governments could
totally control what we received—especially food, blankets, housing, medical care, etc.

Governments still keep Indians poor. The occupiers claimed they wanted Indians to be farmers,
settle in one place, but not exactly on “farm-able land.” Think of the Badlands, a dry arid
remote place, not exactly farmland.
Most of us Lost Birds who were adopted out didn’t have food insecurity or starvation growing
up. It was not something we had to worry about. SplitFeathers/Adoptees need to realize the
WAR is still being waged on Indians in many subtle ways. And if we use our minds in a good
way, and come together, maybe WE can tackle food insecurity on reservations that still exists!

Maybe just maybe being adopted out was destined to give us the mind and ideas and courage
necessary to feed our tribal families who have been occupied and starved into submission.
RedMan through the eyes of Many
Don't waste words.

Or spin webs around us.

...words too precious

...medicine too powerful

Vision brings many

Words that have

no description or color.

Few know this.

Things may still be funny.

Humor is not always spoken.

Red Man, through the eyes of many

chooses few (words)

Laughs always

© 1992
We must be quiet enough

To hear our own song

From creation to vibration

Emotions have tones

Can words heal?

They can…

Can words transcend the

Hour, minute, or day?

They can…

I send you love

Because I can

From every fibre of my being

resonating a sure feeling of gratitude

how everything will be in balance

It’s not the amount of words

But what is felt in writing them

That’s the alchemy

Like a prayer:

Love one another

It’s that impossibly simple.

stones hold stories

My Photo: Hyannis 2012

The New Missionary
No amount of money will ever bring back

Jesus, Buddha, or Allah

no amount of money or tithe

will deliver you from their hell to their heaven. . .

The new missionary preaches

god-fearing christians burned pagans at their altars,

and created a fear that still burns hot,

and they gave us a hell that only they can ascend.

TRUE STORY: Solving a mystery

For more than a few days in 2014, I had ROSE in passing thoughts - I thought it might be my
Grandma Rose from childhood. The word ROSE was insistent, popping in my head and I could
not figure out why!

Now I know.

I have many ancestors from Rose, New York. I never knew about this place or these direct
relatives. The ANGLE family (on my Thrall side, my mother’s side) are some of Rose's first
settlers. I was working with a genealogist Karen on discovering my mother's family tree.

My greatgreatgreatgreat grandparents would be: William P. Angle and Elizabeth Congdon

The town was first settled around 1805. The Town of Rose was created in 1826 from the Town
of Wolcott. About 1840 a mass delusion took over the local inhabitants, and they came to
believe that a treasure of gold and jewels was buried within the town. In spite of many secret,
nocturnal excavations, nothing was ever found.
A band of worshipers who called themselves "The Neversweats" sprang into existence in the
Jeffers settlement a number of years ago. "They met in the Spink school house and talked in
unknown tongues." They made several conversions and evoked considerable interest, but
discarded all organization, creed, or ceremony. Without these they soon dropped away as
quietly as they had come into notice.

It's becoming apparent I descend from some pretty amazing (or maybe scary) people...

Life is what shapes our thoughts. The Old Ones visit you in dreams to guide you.
We met at a birthday party of a Pequot tribal member in October 1999. He claims I interrogated
him. I recall I asked him where he was from...thus begins our love story. We dated five years - he
lived in Massachusetts and I was in Connecticut. Herb proposed three times, he tells everyone
this. We finally married on September 24, 2004.
I leave you with this: all my relations
Edgar Villanueva is Chair of the Board of Native Americans in Philanthropy and an enrolled
member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina:

All my relations—Mitakuye oyasin, as the Lakota say, meaning: we are all related,
connected, not only to each other humans, but to all the other living things and
inanimate things and the planet, and also the Creator.

The principle of All My Relations means that everyone is at home here. Everyone has a
responsibility in making things right. Everyone has a role in the process of healing,
regardless of whether they caused or received more harm.

All our suffering is mutual.

All our healing is mutual.

All our thriving is mutual.

About the Author
Trace Lara Hentz (made an honorary member of the Talligewi Sovereign Nation) is an award
winning journalist. Her memoir One Small Sacrifice (2nd edition, 2012) was retired in 2018 and
she plans to work on it more and un-retire it eventually. Known for her in-depth interviews for
national Native newspaper NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY, she won many awards, authored
many academic papers, and co-edited the acclaimed book series Lost Children of the Indian
Adoption Projects. []

In addition to her own chapbooks of poetry, Sleeps With Knives and Becoming (both titles
retired), Trace has also contributed to a number of publications: “What I Know” in Spirit in the
Woods; “The Silence is So Loud” in Invoking the Muse; “Your God Doesn’t Forget” displayed in
the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee in 2006; “Your God Doesn’t Forget,” “People
Waking Up,” and “Heart-shaped Ass, beauty in pounds” in Yellow Medicine Review; “Jump” in
Rabbit and Rose; “Earth’s Funeral,” “Swallow Manifesto” and “Heart-shaped Ass” in I Was Indian
Vol. 2.; and “Swimmer” in 30 Poems in November.
Ghost Shell placed second in national poetry contest in July of 2010. Written in May and
submitted on June 23, 2010 to the Goodreads “Poetry” Contest, the poem took second place
among 6 finalists on July 2. Goodreads and the “Poetry” judges Wendy Babiak, Andrew Haley,
and Ruth Bavetta selected six poems as finalists and the July winner was determined by online
votes. Their newsletter is distributed monthly to more than 2.5 million people.

Her poem “Swallow Manifesto” was published in Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits,
by Chris Felver, in 2017.

She has contributed writing to Last Real Indians and Dissident Voice.

Trace launched the publishing collective Blue Hand Books launched in 2011, to pay it forward,
and assist other Native authors to publish their works. [].

She is a multi-genre author, poet, journalist and activist. Her work is heavily focused on Native
Americans and Native American adoption issues. []


Trace (formerly DeMeyer) lives at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains in Greenfield
Massachusetts with her fisherman/bowler husband, a retired college administrator, Herb Hentz.
My thanks
Thanks to the Village that raised me

And for all the people who love all the world

Because of my ancestors, I opened my adoption in Wisconsin, a closed record state. It took

almost 20 years to find my people and my answers. My ancestors are Shawnee-Cherokee-Cree-
Mixed, which makes me a breed like many other NDNs. My Harlow clan has an annual pow
wow. Thanks to the Harlow Girls for everything.

I live in two worlds. One is a world of people and one is the world of books.

My deepest thanks to MariJo, KC, Kim, Anecia, John, Jessica and Cathy Bilyeu, and everyone who
read an early draft of Mental Midgets and Musqonocihte.

Herb, you are so so so deep, so beautiful, and you make me so happy. Your “scurrilous” wife
loves you to the moon and back.

Other Books:

One Small Sacrifice

Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects

Called Home: The RoadMap

Stolen Generations

Sleeps with Knives

Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts concerning the Universe
(with MariJo Moore)