Archive: 1. Cussin'
I fell in with Oglala Lakota brothers at Pine Ridge Reservation. This helped me through some of the most harrowing terrors of writing The Hummingbird's Daughter, and gave me a couple of my favorite short stories--not least of which is the NPR "Selected Shorts" perennial, "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses."

Better than all this, of course, if friendship. And of my friends, DuaneBrewer is the best cusser. Cussing is a fine art, and I enjoy it. I was told by an angry book club maven in Pasadena, "If you had used language in my house like you use in Hummingbird, you would have been punched in the mouth." My first thought was: wow, what a spiritual place your house was! All I could think to say to her was, "It isn't about your house, it's about somebody else's house."

In 1991, Duane unleashed my all-time favorite curse. A curse thunderous in its outrage, mad in its locution, hilarious in its funk. Damn! He was rockin'! I hope to quote it on my death-bed. It is a great American poem. He said:

That guy
is a low-life
et up
dried out
box of Kentucky
Fried Chicken.

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