KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Poem: 350 words


by Chad W. Lutz
One long drive down I-90 and back
made me realize my life is just the product
of Post-Colonial philosophies
stabbed, repeatedly, both figuratively
and literally, into the hearts
of children, women, and native tribesmen
I’ll only ever visit on government
allotted lands.

My Wakan Tanka, my “great spirit,”
lives inside an electric socket;
artificial wiohiyanpata wicahpi
making it faster, easier to forget you ever existed;
to ensure you live on as caricatures;
the entire histories of your peoples
reduced to sports mascots and trending Halloween costumes.

There’s a part of me that wants to make amends.
I have no idea if my family’s lineage holds any part
in the transplanting of your people to the garbage bins
of the United States, but I’m out here in South Dakota,
to reconnect; to howl stoned silent protests at the full buck moon
in languages I’ll never take the time to learn from a book
I bought at the park visitor center gift shop
that I’ll probably never touch again.

Then I’ll buy a piece of your life’s work:
beaded merchandise dream catchers
and leather pouches sold at roadside rest stops.
Elk-bone necklaces and turtle-shell rings;
I’ll patronize your coffee shops,
and watch your sun dance rituals with
my camcorder running.

I’ll try to wrap my mind around what it’s
like to be herded across the country like cattle,
off lands where my ancestors lived and died
for centuries; what it’s like to be slaughtered
because my people are believed to be murderous
savages, and these assumptions
based solely on the superficial differences in the
languages we speak, the foods that we eat, and the clothing that we wear.

I’ll drive my Smart Car
right into the heart of what’s left of
your lives and feel too ashamed to take pictures,
and when a couple of you approach my vehicle
along a dusty, boarded-up stretch of road
in one of your small villages, the only places
you actually have left that feel like home,
I’ll drive off because my feelings of guilt
are too much to bear; because good
gas mileage doesn’t atone for the dead.
Chad W. Lutz
Issue 6, Fall 2016

was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. A 2008 graduate of Kent State University’s English program, his writing has been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Haunted Waters Press, and Sheepshead Review. Chad still plays ball in his hometown of Stow and currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job-resource site. He also manages an online magazine called

Chad runs competitively and won the Lake Wobegon Marathon in May 2015, setting the course record by nearly three minutes in a time of 2:33:59. He aspires to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

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