Vintage DB 101: Denise K. Lajimodiere’s “Bag Balm,” DB 11

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If you’re familiar with “Bag Balm,” you know it’s a salve that can do wonders for dry skin, but you probably wouldn’t expect this viscous yellow goo to inspire poetry. That’s why Denise K. Lajimodiere’s piece, “Bag Balm” is such a lovely ode. Seemingly about an everyday object, this poem tells the story of the extremely important role Bag Balm came to play in the life of the narrator’s grandmother, a native American woman, when she was under attack by raiding soldiers. This clever, surprising poem was published in our first semi-annual edition of Drunken Boat, №11, Winter 2010.

“All hail the chartreuse can of lanolin
good for all tits whether attached to
the four legged or the two.”

Denise K. Lajimodiere is the author of one book of poetry, Dragonfly Dance. Lajimodiere’s poems have appeared in Yellow Medicine Review and North Country. She was named an Associate Poet Laureate of North Dakota. She composed a poem for the Sporting Words theme of the Poet Laureates gathering in Indiana. She was born on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa reservation where she is an enrolled member. She holds a doctorate degree in Educational Administration from the University of North Dakota and is currently working as an assistant professor in Educational Leadership at North Dakota State University. A long time jingle dress dancer, she enjoys traveling to Pow Wows throughout the US. To purchase a copy of her book, you can visit her Amazon page.

Click here to enjoy “Bag Balm” and other poems


This post was originally published December 22, 2016 on by Rose McNeill.

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