Susan Deer Cloud


Susan Deer Cloud

Susan Deer Cloud, an alumna of public ivy Binghamton University, is a Catskill Métis Indian of Mohawk, Blackfoot and some Seneca lineage.  Currently Susan is an MFA student in Creative Writing at Goddard College, her tribal home away from home.  She has received various awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Chenango County Council for the Arts Literature Grant, First Prize in Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition (twice), Prairie Schooner's Readers' Choice Award, and Native American Wordcraft Circle Editor's Award for her multicultural anthology Confluence.  Deer Cloud's work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.  Her poetry collection The Last Ceremony (2007) and her Native anthology I Was Indian (2009) are also FootHills publications.  In 2008 Deer Cloud served as guest editor for Spring Issue of Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought; she is currently an adviser to YMR.  She lives peacefully with Wu Wei, her Persian cat, and Poetry, her one constant lover, in a second floor yurt in a rainy city in Iroquois Country.  
You can write to Susan Deer Cloud at …..        

From the book:

Car Stealer

My mother told me to stay away from you,
the boy who stole cars.  In our town
everyone called you Car Stealer.
Half century later I still don't know
your first name.  Last name, yes ~
Mohawk name a well known chief holds.
But for me, Car Stealer, it will always be
your name alone.  It will be that boy
of twelve, fourteen, sixteen burning
rubber down School Street where I
watched from white pine I used to
climb.  “Hey, Sexy Susie,” you laughed
through one of many rolled down windows,
“come on, Babe, go for a ride with me!”
I gazed down, hugging the pine
the way maybe you ached for me
to embrace you, but what did I know?
The silky pine needles teased
my face trying not to smile when
you blew me crazy kisses, roared
between my parents' house
and brick school we both hated.  
Car Stealer, did you suspect
I thought you beautiful ~ skin
color of Catskill clay, hair black
as manes of wild horses I cried for?
Hair streaming past defiant shoulders
before the white boys made long hair
a fashion statement!  My mother
warned me, so I never learned the deeps
of your flesh, scent, touch except rough
bark, sap, sun-heated needles tattooing
your thefts into my virgin skin.
Car Stealer, one day you stopped
speeding down our narrow street.
My mother claimed they locked you
in a place for juvenile delinquents.
I stole out to the road, believing
she lied, waiting to hear “Sexy Susie”
sparkling like chrome off your tongue,
ready to hitch a ride in a red convertible,
top down, our entangled hair
tearless trails in the wind.

Car Stealer is a 40 page hand-stitched chapbook - $10.00

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The Last Ceremony

Georgia O'Keefe once wrote about her yearning to "kick a hole in the universe." Susan Deer Cloud does just that with these poems that make a stand in a way similar to that of her Native ancestors. Her words soar, her music and vision carry you into new universes that favor freedom, exuberance and beauty beyond all heartbreak. For that reason this Indian woman's poetry will be lasting.
Ruth Stone

From the book:

(for Lance Henson, Ron Welburn
             & Sara Littlecrow-Russell)

I am not going to pretend.  The only ceremony
we had left to us was taking rides in a dented
Chevy on dirt roads no city slickers could find.  
The only ceremony left to us was stopping
at a path we mountain Indians knew about,
stepping behind one another, hands brushing
the bent ferns.  The ceremony never stolen
was walking a stony trail to a cliff, where
we made our stand with oaks, spruces, maples,
a few surviving hemlocks.  I am not going to lie.
We still had a family, in some ways a tribe.
But our prayer was staring across valleys
at Catskill peaks answering us
with blue.  

My brothers, once I dreamed
of Cheyenne stallions and Cherokee fire.  
My sister, once I cried for Chippewa bear medicine
when they cut my tongue.  Can I pretend otherwise?  
The last ceremony left to me is riding  
the broken horses of love off cliffs.


Marlon Brando Dies at 80     
Half-Breed at Ten Years Old, the Great Depression      
Her Pocahontas      
Suzy Doll      
Welcome to the Land of Ma'am      
You Really Have      
Old Man      
Wonder Bread        
First Time       
Your America, My Turtle Island     
Sexiest Tribe in America     
Before Christmas That Year      
Shadow Dream      
Winter's End White Dream      
Riding with Gold      
Driving Home Tonight      
Bering Strait Binary Star      
The Last Words      
White Dress       
Raven Goes to College     
When I am a Tree      
I Wish I Had Written This Poetry      
The Dirt in the Gallery Across from the Old Whorehouse      
Whale Watch      
Holocaust Museum      
Vincent Van Gogh Writes to Jeanne Louise Calment      
Yellow Girl, I Give You      
Fear of Bag Ladies      
When My Oldest Brother Turns      
Buffalo Nickel Makes Return      
Why I Love Being an Indian      
After Reading Your Snow Poems      
Moon Seeing      
One Good Indian Man      
Bear Medicine      
Rock Hard     
Rock `n Roll Ravens      
The Only Ceremony We Had Left To Us      

The Last Ceremony
is an 88 page hand-sewn paper book with spine - $16.00



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