Monty Campbell Jr.
A Large Dent
in the Moon

Monty Campbell, Jr.

Cover art by Devin Antonio Hedman

Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry
Susan Deer Cloud, Editor

Erupting from the junkyards, dead eyed alleys and psycho-babble of our raped and compromised Turtle Island, Monty Campbell, Jr., incandescently stands for truth in all its flawed magnificence. A Large Dent in the Moon is a clarion call to non-Indians and Indians alike to get it together before we drown in a tsunami of exploitation, lies and mediocrity. Monty Campbell is a wichasha wakan for our times.  I've had the great fortune of reading through his book three times now and each time I was left shattered, awed and breathless.  May these poems be the first of many such incantations.
                                                                     Paul Hapenny

This first book by Monty Campbell, Jr. makes a large dent, indeed.  Careening around every corner the reader finds startling metaphors, precision line-breaks, and enough poetic arsenal to supply NASA's next mission.  Monty's “music slides / through the genetic / garbage of a / Rochester alley…” His poems are Manifestos / written on / cell phones / portraits of / everyday / struggle” and “Rez Photos” where “all the skin is brown, / weighed / and forgiven…”  These poems are alternately sensual, despairing, angry, hopeful, but always crafted with love out of three decades of survival on the real side of America's tracks.  If Lou Reed is correct that it takes a “Busload of Faith to get by,” here it is, achieving lift-off.
                                                                     John Roche

From the Introduction:

.  I think that never have I read work by an indigenous writer in which so much is said about the beauty of Earth filtered through palimpsest-images of city, ghost streets, train tracks, and litter forced upon Turtle Island and our planet altogether.  It is beauty conveyed through loss.  I literally hurt when I read Monty's poetry.  Yet, as I state in my blurb, Monty's poems have led me to understand something about love which I never understood before.  When you read this book, I trust you will get why I cannot paraphrase any poems herein; doing so would strip the tropes, deep song, and enfolding spaces of their haunting realness, evocations and dreamscapes (if not nightmare-scapes).  It would do dishonor to that love.
Susan Deer Cloud

From the book:

On the Cliffs

The ground,
an expanse of
snake lairs
spreading carnage
against the sunset,
time is vanished tonight,
coyotes keep the minutes,
wind encompasses
lazy eyed wanderers,
down in the canyon
are ancient footprints
covered by a wild cat's
tire tracks,
I hear the crack of
glacier sculpted walls,
scented of ceremony,
a whispering river
into the ears,
Lakota song
to the broken heart...
can't evade this moment,
luminous, silken
star formations
blinking messages back
and forth to New York,
back to birth and before,
into any soul
who would listen,
I understand now, why
so many songs have
been written.

On Ancient Land

The cat tails hide
Cayuga ghost warriors,
I look to the sky world
to repent,
corpses of trees
decompose in a marsh
next to a wide shaven field...
this used to be Mohawk corn,
the oldest of my sisters,
but now, beyond the trees
in the distance,
crushing the earth,
are stacks of rusted out cars
with numbers painted
on their sides.

Poet Monty Campbell is a member of the Cayuga Tribe of the Six Nations. He grew up in and around Gowanda, NY, the Cattaraugus Reservation and Rochester, NY's inner city. He currently lives in Rochester, NY. He has recently been published in the indigenous poets anthology, I was Indian (FootHills Publishing, 2009) and Simpatico, On the Road (Simpatico, 2009). He most recently read on a native writers panel at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC.

Artist Devin Antonio Hedman graduated from the University of Buffalo with an MFA in computer art and a minor in Art History.

“I create art to tell a story left open to the interpretation and imagination of the viewer, the creation is meant to be dependant on personal experiences and convictions without direct definition, a story without direction and imagery a reflection to ones soul.”

A Large Dent in the Moon is a 56 page hand-stitched paper book with spine - $14.00.

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