Art in Ojai
Cher's Name

Cher Poems

Diane I promise to you – wherever I am and whatever poem I’m reading from the canon of great poetry being composed even as we speak... if I come across a great poem or a crappy poem that mentions Cher, I will retype it out herein this blog...for you. Because I love you...that much.

It just so happens this is a brilliant poem by Diane Burns, a Native American poet (of Ojibwa and Chemehuevi descent) who passed away last year. Diane won the  Congressional Medal of Merit and attended Barnard College at Columbia University. She was a smart broad. 


Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question

How do you do?
      No, I am not Chinese.
No, not Spanish.
      No, I am American Indi-uh, Native American.
No, not from India.
      No, not Apache.
No, not Navajo.
      No, not Sioux.
No, we are not extinct.
      Yes, Indin.
      So, that’s where you get those high cheekbones.
Your great grandmother, huh?
      An Indian Princess, huh?
Hair down to there?
      Let me guess, Cherokee?
Oh, so you’ve had an Indian friend?
      That close?
Oh, so you’ve had an Indian lover?
      That tight?
Oh, so you’ve had an Indian servant?
      That much?
Yeah, it was awful what you guys did to us.
      It’s real decent of you to apologize.
No, I don’t know where you can get peyote.
      No, I don’t know where you can get Navajo rugs real cheap.
I don’t know if anyone knows whether or not Cher is really Indian.
      No, I didn’t make it rain tonight.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
      Uh-huh. Yeah. Spirituality. Uh-huh. Mother
Earth. Yeah. Uh’huh. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
      No, I didn’t major in archery.
Yeah, a lot of us drink too much.
      Some of us can’t drink enough.
This ain’t no stoic look.
      This is my face.

The poem was transcribed from Songs From This Earth on Turtle’s Back edited by Joseph Bruchac. For more on Diane Burns:


Donna Throckmorton

Igrew up on Sonny and Cheras Cher is a few years older than me. I must say that when her and Sonny broke up, I wasn't sorry. I think that the real talent in that Duo was Cher. And she went on to do her own career.
It made me happy when it came out that Cher's grandmother was a Cherroke Indian. It helped put more of a spot light on indians. Anything that anyone can do to help Indian awareness in my book is okay. They need to be in the spot light, so people can see the blight that they are in. If you would like to support
Indian attention go to For more actives in the near future.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)