Summarize the poem "Another One Bites the Dust" by Nila Northsun.

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nila Northsun, a Native American poet and artist, works toward improving the life of the Indian American.  Educated as a social worker, her philosophy has been "To Make Something Out of Nothing."

Her poem "Another One Bites the Dust" portrays a rather despicable character.  Northsun through her social work discovered a segment of the Indian population [although this kind of man can be found in any culture] that she deplores.

The point of view of the poem is third person with the author serving as the narrator.  The poem is written in free verse . Northsun's style is prose-life as she describes a man who has few redeeming qualities. The lines of her poem emphasize the antipathy toward her subject.

The subject of the poem is 24 year old Indian man. 

His physical qualities?

  • good-looking
  • waist-length hair
  • moves confidently
  • small boned and not tall
  • attractive to women

His personalities traits--

  • energetic
  • mean
  • unfair
  • irresponsible
  • lucky
  • addictive
  • immature
  • aggressive

This is a man who has lost his way.

he moves like nobody would stand


his way

like he's a mean mother

Lacking goals or aspirations, he takes life as it comes. His clothing depicts a man caught between cultures: dresses like a cowboy but sheathes an Indian knife.

No one gets in his way. He has fathered three children by three different women. His oldest child is seven, but he knows none of his children and takes no responsibility for any of them.

The unnamed man has wrecked four cars and only broken an ankle. Unfortunately, he has not killed anyone; but his passengers have suffered for his recklessness. 

His fights are too numerous to recount.  Losing, winning--it does not matter because he remembers none of it the next day.  His bloody, scarred body are the only remnants of the night before. He drinks and smokes too much.

His rowdy friends, both white and Indian, seem to mix okay.  However, most of them die young in some kind of bar fight or a jealous boyfriend with a gun or driving drunk. 

This Indian lives life as though there is no tomorrow.  He path, full of action, leads nowhere.

he's really like so many

I've known

they more or less

fit the description

Obviously, the poet has disdain for this kind of man who thinks of no one but himself.  His total lack of responsibility toward his children and their mothers disgusts her.  He hurts others and does not care.  Avoid this man at all costs.