Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Trickster

Coyote has fascinated me for many years. He is the trickster of Native American mythology. I am most familiar with his antics in the Nez Perce tradition.

Coyote was the central character in my first novel, Keeping Private Idaho, though all these years later I fear that reference was a bit too oblique. I’ll probably revise it a bit for the Kindle version, which I hope to bring out this year shortly after publishing the Anjels book.

In the Coyote stories he can be about anything he chooses to be, which makes him a multi-dimensional character. Yet, he’s true to his trickster nature and that is usually his downfall. Coyote tales explain the world. We learn from his mistakes.

I wrote the following when friends started falling one by one to dementia. It is just the sort of thing that would make Coyote dance.

I Forget

The Trickster no more plays his pranks on badger and on toad.
Today his tools are snapped synapses and binary code.
He nibbles on our memories or steals them complete.
He rearranges furniture as part of his deceit.
He shuffles through our credit cards and hides our Prius keys.
He strips the names from faces, lets the words loose in the breeze.
Coyote was never funnier than Alzheimer’s disease.

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