Indian Country Today Media Network contributor Simon Moya-Smith has hit the ground running. Just days after earning a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University School of Journalism on May 22, one of his fiction pieces was published in Tuck Magazine, an online literature, music and arts forum.
“I wrote this piece a while back, but Tuck wanted it, and, believe me, seeing one of your pieces run almost immediately after graduation is a fine thing," he says.
The story, titled “The Yellow Ribbon on the Trunk” is fiction, “but it’s deeply rooted in historical fact,” he says.
It weaves the tale of the history behind the yellow “Support Our Troops” ribbons so often seen on car bumpers.
The story goes back to colonization. But let’s not give it away.
Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, not only explains the history behind the ribbon, but also touches on the issue of Native stereotypes in mainstream movies and the lack of knowledge about Native culture by the general populace and mainstream media.
His story is funny, but not for a G-rated audience, or even a PG one.
“I write what I want to read, and although I admire the works of Vine Deloria Jr., Joseph Marshall III and other thinkers like them, sometimes I just want to drown in a brusque piece brimming with profanity, sex and noir images. Growing up, I noticed that there were no Native writers who wrote like that. So instead of trying to find them, I just picked up a pen and said, ‘Goddamn it, I'll do it then,’” he said.
“I’m not a sterile writer. I’m profane, and I don’t apologize for my penchant for the bizarre and indulgent. It’s all about personal balance, I suppose. … It's just the way I like it. It’s fun.”
Read his full story here.