In “The New Apartment: Minneapolis,” Hogan’s dislike of the city dominates. The poem begins with Hogan describing her new apartment’s unpleasant features: creaking, burn-scarred floorboards, no view of the moon, the way in which the building “wants to fall down/ the universe when earth turns,” and the way it “still holds the coughs of old men.”
Hogan meditates upon the Indian people who lived in the building before she moved in and recalls “how last spring white merchants hung an elder/ on a meathook and beat him.” This beating of an elderly Indian man who was accused of stealing a bottle of disinfectant from a local store makes her feel at war. In one interview, Hogan claimed that Minneapolis was an extremely racist city; she pointed out that the beating became public only because one of the police who investigated it was an Indian.
As the poem continues, Hogan remembers earlier wars “and relocation like putting the moon in prison/ with no food and that moon already a crescent,” identifying the Indian peoples with the crescent-thin moon at the time of their forced relocation to inhospitable lands. Hogan, though, warns that they will grow large and strong again, as the moon grows full.
Despite this warning and her anger over the treatment of Native Americans, Hogan does not forget that city society, like all other societies, is made up of individuals, seemingly suspended in air “through the walls of...
(The entire section is 449 words.)