National Poetry Month Day 5: Tiffany Midge


Tweets as Assigned Text for a Native American Studies Course

Selected Tweets of @TiffanyMidge

On Sovereignty:

  • T-shirt slogan: Sovereignty Rules!

On Environment & Land

  • White people. The original manspreaders. Manspreading the North American continent since 1492.
  • Indigenous Henny Youngman: “Take my life, please!”
  • I grew up in in a region of diverse geographic splendor called Snoqualmie, which is the Indian word for beautiful mountain colonized by assholes.

On History

  • “Let them eat frybread.” ~ Colonialism
  • Film Pitch: Native woman gets up off couch, drives to mall to buy lightbulbs and a rotisserie chicken. Journey of intrigue and discovery.
  • Settlers put the ‘colon’ in ‘colonialism.’

On Political Activism

  • Bitch, please, Iktome is way more kick ass than your fucking Spiderman.
  • Last night I attended my anger management support group: Idle No More.

On Racism & Social Justice

  • Bank teller at Wells Fargo was wearing a Cleveland Indians, Chief Wahoo ball cap. Casual Friday, or racist Friday?
  • Resolves to say “you know nothing Jon Snow” whenever someone with white privilege condescends to me.
  • A woman I’ve never met asked me if I was Native American. So I told her yes and asked her age and weight.
  • The term “Native feminist” is redundant.

On Identity Politics:

  • “I will fight no more about blood quantum forever.” ~ Chief Joseph reboot
  • When people don’t believe me when I say I’m Native American I tell them about my first kill. That usually shuts them up.
  • What’s your rez cred score?
  • Thinking about enrolling in the Ginger Tribe for the Government subsidized sunscreen.

On Spirituality

  • Just for fun I like to put travel size lotions in donation baskets at church.
  • As a Native American wordsmith, I use EVERY part of the sacred sentence.
  • For $1000 I’ll teach you sacred Native American rituals. The first cleansing rite involves you, a brush, ammonia and my kitchen floor.

On Food

  • Thanksgiving: The Native Americans used EVERY part of the sacred turkey.
  • It’s a rez-dog eat rez-dog world.
  • Saw a bumper sticker that said: “BEEF: Because the west wasn’t won on salad.” For an indigenous person it might as well said “I support genocide.”

On Media & Technology

  • Tele-Vision Quest now in HD.
  • TV show pitch: sitcom about saucy tribal court judge named Ruth, called The Whole Ruth & Nothing but the Ruth.
  • A friend said The Revenant was a war movie, a hero’s journey into the heart-of-darkness. I agreed, Apocalypse Powwow.
  • Film pitch: Blood Quantum Leap, about a Native who goes back in time to mate with full bloods.

On Relationships:

  • Finally got my official home-wrecker merit badge from the Skank Scouts.
  • When another Native person unfriends you on Facebook, you’re like 7-Up, the un-kola.
  • Stands with a Stiffy is a good name for Comanche warrior protagonist who is torn between his people and desire for the fiery damsel Petunia.

On Art & Literature

  • Literary journal I’d like to see: Crabs in a Bucket Review.
  • Two things always present in classic western literature: death & tragedy. By that logic there should be thousands of Great American (Indian) Novels.
  • Honored to announce I am the Distinguished Poet in Residence at the West Pullman Road’s Jack in the Box.
  • My alter ego is publishing a How-to Writing Handbook for Native American Literature and its title is Bead by Bead.

On Representation in Popular Culture

  • “You’re not the Indian Lady Gaga, you know.” “YES I AM!” Runs crying hysterically from room.
  • For Halloween I wore a Disney’s Pocahontas outfit and went as a racist.
  • The Real Rez Wives of Nez Perce County.
  • T-shirt slogan: J.K. Rowling’s my spirit animal.

On Indigenous Lifeways

  • Thomas Builds a Fire is my manic pixie dream girl. 
  • The annual Inter-Tribal Alliteration Powwow was spectacularly replete in buckskins, braids, beads and bustles, no booze and no beer.
  • Luke Warm Water is in my shower and I’m waiting for a plumber to come over. Today, my life is a risqué powwow MC on loudspeaker.

On Fashion

  • “All this talk about the depth and richness of his skin made me think she wanted to make a skin suit from his hide.”

“Yeah. Buffalo Jill.”

  • How do you say “ugly Christmas sweater” in Lakota?

On Pretendians

  • In a future version of The Hunger Games, if Natives are all rounded up, will Andrea Smith volunteer like Katniss, as tribute, to save my life?
  • You really put the ‘vag’ in ‘savage.’
  • Pretendians give off mixed smoke signals.
  • Let’s put the ‘cult’ in ‘culture,’ shall we?

–Tiffany Midge


Custer’s Desktop in Hell

1.  Toupee

2.  A 10-foot long diameter wreath of elephant garlic to ward off evil.

3.  An award plaque of “Best Bowel Movement of 1876.”

4.  Grandma’s urn.

5.  Collection of toenails and nipple clamps.

6.  Pupa casings.

7.  Decorative vase filled with formaldehyde and tonsils.

8.  Buffalo Bill’s pancreas, bronzed and fashioned into decorative book ends.

9.  French tickler.

10.  Mayor’s key to Sin City

11.  First Place Trophy for the Baltimore’s Douche of the Year Look-Alike Contest

12.  Bondage Barbie.

13.  My “Hey Sailor, Want to get Lucky?” baseball cap.

14.  Assorted collection of My Pretty Ponies and Strawberry Shortcakes.

15.  Claymation Smurf action figurines.

16. “The King James Illustrated Pop-Up Bible.”

17.  Cavalry War scalps book markers.

18.  Live beetle larvae.

19.  One “I Honk for Turkish Sailors!” bumper sticker.

20. “The Joy of Cooking Sweet Meats” by Hannibal Lector.

21.  Pamela Sioux Anderson action figure with tomahawk chop and removable Mohawk.

22.  Serial killer trading cards.

23.  Rectal thermometer.

24.  A tuft of chest hair from Joseph Mengele.

25. Photograph of himself.

26.  Photograph of himself.

27.  Photograph of himself.

28.  Photograph of himself.

29.  Photograph of himself.

30.  Photograph of himself.

–Tiffany Midge


Tiffany Midge is the recipient of the Kenyon Review’s Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry for “The Woman Who Married a Bear” (University of New Mexico Press), and the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Prize for “Outlaws, Renegades and Saints; Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed” (Greenfield Review Press). She has recent nonfiction featured online at The Butter, recent fiction online at Hinchas de Poesia, and recent poems featured online at Okey-Pankey and Electric Literature. Her satire appears in Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Raven Chronicles, and Indian Country Today Media Network. An enrolled Standing Rock Sioux, she holds an MFA from the University of Idaho, and is Moscow, Idaho’s Poet Laureate.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →