Bone Light

Bone Light

by Orlando White



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Bone Light by Orlando White

Orlando White explores language from a Diné (Navajo) perspective. One idea that interests him, inspires him to think and write, is the idea of the English language as a forgotten language.

Imagine if we as a people, all people in the United States, are speaking an Indigenous language rather than English; that the English language exists merely as a language of the colonial past. White explores and experiments with this particular colonizing language, because that language remains a kind of cultural/intellectual/social threat to Indigenous thought, as English was imposed to dehumanize Indigenous peoples from their culture, language, and consciousness.

White's Diné perspective poetically reveals audience notion of linguistic dehumanization within the Bone Light volume. Non-Natives, throughout American history, have documented the Indigenous Americas using the dominant written word of English. Thus, as an artist, White writes what he writes to document as well, but also to create something a bit more beautiful (intriguing) than harmful (erasing). White is not attempting critique of the English language; he is working with it to gain a better understanding of viewpoints, veritably creating a relationship by way of exploring language.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597091350
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 02/15/2009
Edition description: 1
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Orlando White is Diné (Navajo) from Sweetwater, Arizona. He is of the Zuni Water Edge People and born for the Mexican Clan. He received his A.A. and B.F.A. in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his M.F.A. from Brown University. He is a recipient of a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, a Zora Neale Hurston award from Naropa University, and many other poetry scholarships from the Idyllwild Arts, Napa Valley, and Taos summer writing programs. He has been involved with many mentor programs and has taught creative writing to elementary, high school, and college students in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, New York, and Rhode Island. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Red Ink Magazine, To Topos, 26 Magazine, and Ur Vox

Table of Contents

CONTENTS  TO SEE LETTERS                                                                                                       7.

THE i IS A CRICKET                                                                                                  11.

 BONE LIGHT                                                                                                                                                  12. SENTENCE                                                                                                                 14.

ATS’ÍÍSTS’IN                                                                                                              15.

FILL IN THE BLANK                                                                                                 16.

LIGHT BULB EYE                                                                                                      18.

DISSOLVE                                                                                                                  19.

CIRCLE SHAPE                                                                                                          20.

OPEN DARK                                                                                                              21.

HUMAN CLOCK                                                                                                        22.

FROM SKIN TO BONE                                                                                               24.

BLEACH INK                                                                                                             26.

BLANK CIRCLE                                                                                                         27.

ON THE ZERO’S EYE                                                                                                            28.

SKIN OF LETTER                                                                                                       29.

SKELETON                                                                                                                 30.

SQUARE LIPS                                                                                                                        32.

IMPERATIVE                                                                                                             34.

BONE MILK                                                                                                               37.

IMAGES OF MYSELF                                                                                                 39.

BLANK SKULL                                                                                                          40.

LOWER CASE i AND j                                                                                                41.


i WITHOUT j                                                                                                               42.

i-j                                                                                                                                 43.

ANALOGY                                                                                                                  44.

i NEXT TO j                                                                                                                 45.

ARS POETICA                                                                                                                        46.

DOT FLY                                                                                                                    48.

DISCOURSE                                                                                                               49.

MEDITATION                                                                                                             51.

QUIETUS                                                                                                                    52.

WRIT                                                                                                                           53.

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