150 Comments

Very beautiful wistful poem. We imagine other people's lives and families to be less complex than they are.

Since the blood alcohol levels for drivers were reduced dramatically, kids no longer sit outside the pubs in my country. Many of the rural hotels s have closed unless they offer food and good coffee. They used to be a place where the disparate community could interact...mixed bag. Predators and friends shared a space and behaviour and booze intake was moderated to an extent.

Now it's much cheaper to drink heavily at home in front of the kids.

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So Powerful. A quantum leap from - "the grass is always greener on the other side" but also right along side. Thank you

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Beautiful poem. ๐Ÿ’•

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I would have described this poem as luminous until I read the last lines. Now I say it is bright with pain and also beauty. Thank you.

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Jun 6Liked by Sherman Alexie

Sherman, this is such a rich powerful piece. Thank you so much!

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Jun 5Liked by Sherman Alexie

oooh wee... all of us are damaged goods in out own special way. A good lesson on compassion.

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What a beautiful poem about loss and loneliness and our (mis)perceptions of others' good fortune. The ending is so strong.

What's equally impressive is the community of poetry readers who love your work and responded so thoughtfully to it. You are building a communal fire of inspiration around which people sit and see each other as human. What an exceptional gift.

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I am reminded of a quote from a book I read in an anthropology course in college: โ€œWe are a clan species in unnatural solitude.โ€

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Jun 4Liked by Sherman Alexie

This is incredibly poignant. Thank you.

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Jun 4Liked by Sherman Alexie

I have been in such a dark, dark place. Broken kindling - it finally sunk in this morning after many readings: I'm not alone. Burning fires can be beautiful and warm. Thank you so much.

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Jun 4Liked by Sherman Alexie

Wow. I was a Jewish kid who went to East High School in SLC. That made me kindling for hell, apparently. Iโ€™ll keep you posted.

The word โ€œluminousโ€ has been ascribed to you before. Your Indian hair, in particular. Hereโ€™s the story.

When I lived in SLC I had the pleasure of hearing you read at the beautiful, then new, library downtown. (That was my Temple, by the way...sans golden angel.) During the Q&A (how do you do it???) a woman asked why you cut your beautiful, long, luminous, black hair. You asked, very politely, bless you, if she had read your book. She answered that she had. You were deciding on an answer and I said to her, โ€œread it again.โ€ You and I made eye contact (I was behind her) and you said, directly to me, โ€œthank you.โ€ You and I smiled at each other. A brief, memorable moment of humor and understanding between pieces of kindling.

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Your poem, this startling poem, caught me up in a swirl of feelings. Hasn't left me. I've come back to listen more times than I'll admit. Haunting, beautiful, full of truth's strength, tenderly sad...all the comments multiply into us all holding hands---

How could it be so backwards and forwards? When she told you her wishes and you said, "No", my eyes began to fill, and every word after that darted me full of holes. Because how can 'luminous' ever mean anything else, now?

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Someday Iโ€™ll figure out why your poems go directly to my heart. Or maybe I wonโ€™t. But they do.

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Hey Man, I was introduced to you when you read that Carver story about rehab in the New Yorker (could tell you really enjoyed reading the line where he asks the guy's wife for a kiss). I like the way you read it, like you loved it and Carver but also like it was yours, your love of the piece somehow like ownership. Great poem. Makes me think of WCW though I'm not sure why. Wonder how different the effect would be if it was written out in a paragraph (not suggesting) but there is something about being forced to read the the simple truth read slowly, bit by bit that's powerful. Slowing down the eye. I got more to say about it but that's already too much-- pleasure to read you.

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Oh My!

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This is so powerful! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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