by Alica Sheyahshe Mteuzi
"Functioning" 8.5 in x 11 in. Watercolor & ink on paper. 2019.
Alica Sheyahshe Mteuzi.
Inhaling cancer, eating wage garnish, swallowing whatever putrid liquor she pours down
her throat, thirsting for her tawdry men. I am inside of an idea.
Tiny holes in teflon for bleeding, where my heart lay dormant, starved, swayed by the
faintest flicker. The glow of a screen, or a candle, or a cigarette. It’s all pageantry.
This cage where death is an illusion or a figment but not an option. Just another lie I was
told. Or you, if you are who you say you are.
If I am who I think I am, then we’re already dead.
This pen of mine is beautiful. A wild woman with braided hair and dirty feet who runs
when she sees me coming. Who somehow lives but does not feel, bleeds but does not
die, and is not love. Is not loved.
Traipsing within these walls is not existing.
Inspired by Amiri Baraka’s An Agony. As Now.
"Future Natives" 20 in x 20 in. Graphite, micron pen, sharpie, and watercolor on paper. 2021.
Alica Sheyahshe Mteuzi.
Bambi is Native. I know this because I am Bambi and I am Native. Non-natives may not define Bambi as Native but I do not exist within the construct of Native-ness defined by non-Natives.
Princess Leia is Native. I know this because I am Princess Leia and I am Native. Non-
natives think of Natives as princesses who chat with bunnies, but not as princesses with the Force.
Native future is Native. I know this because I am the future and I am Native. Non-natives may not think of Natives in the future because it is hard to sell art of a vanishing race if they do not actually vanish.
Alica Sheyahshe Mteuzi (b. San Jose, CA, US) is a filmmaker, visual artist, and writer who draws inspiration from her experiences growing up during the crack / urban Indian / suburban garage hacker eras of Silicon Valley. She is a direct descendant of the stolen children of Alkebu-lan (Afrika), the Kadohadacho (Caddo) people of Bah'-hat-te-no (Great Bend of the Red River), and White Thunder, a Cheyenne holy man who was Keeper of the Sacred Medicine Arrows. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Alica combines Black and Indigenous pasts and futures to create an amalgamation of joy and struggle. Utilizing mediums ranging from enamel to digital media, Alica conjures a lens through which viewers may examine a unique perspective of Black & Indigenous being.