a poem from my memoir with a new audio introduction and reading
I don't know how you do it but you just keep getting better. Thank you!
So very powerful Sherman. I was about a thousand miles away when my mother died. I also deal with some pain and guilt even after 22 years. Perhaps I should try the bird ritual.
Sherman, this is poem of such beauty and depth. I love the way you share the story of the bird and the insights of your therapist. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for this gift of such beauty, I think I shall never forget that bird and if I am lucky, I will remember how to be human again!
This is my favorite thing you've ever written. I vividly remember finishing this book and just sobbing and sobbing. In fact, I made a FB post that day about it. Hearing it in your voice, with your heart on every sound, on my therapy day.....wooooo........talk about emotions. Thank you for this today. The timing was impeccable. This was honey to my soul.
I will join the group in the bird dance, too!
And read your memoir.
I struggle with grieving my parents death. And though I know it hasn’t come easy, your precious gift opens that door a crack further for me to go on with my own grieving.
In case I haven’t said it before, I actually moved to the Northwest 23 years ago after reading as much of your work as I could find.
I just wanted to dwell in a place that held someone like you.
Finding you again in substack makes my email seem miraculous.
Thank you again.
Books help, poetry most of all. My spirit can soar. "Teach their souls to fly..." William Blake, who had his own phantasmagoria...
Such a beautiful poem, your scrupulous tenderness in loving the bird but being indecisive,whether to leave it to be further brutalized by predators or to kill it outright (ruthless but more merciful ultimately--but I couldn't do it) and then the glory of the bird shaking off death and soaring to a temporary heaven... and the link to your mother's death and your guilt... I had not thought about shaking away the tenacious guilt that has crippled me since the murder of my beloved. I try to write it out but never thought of the body's erosion and paralysis, thought it was the mind alone that was the conductor of my existential symphony... I'll try shaking free.. I am rereading YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YIU LOVE ME, a splendid book. I reread THE GREAT GATSBY after your appraisal of it and stand by my initial assessment. None of the characters came alive to me- I cannot share their "agonies or ecstasies", they are all creatures of the Jazz Age (I guess Fitzgerald named the era), light and ethereal, flitting through life without moral density or consequence. "Phantasmagoria" is the descriptor that leapt to mind--later I saw a critic had defined with the same word. Without being obsequious I will say your books are much more meaningful and all your characters come alive, cavorting, prancing, swaggering, weeping off the printed page. I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEXT BOOK. Thank you for sharing your joys and heartbreaks with so many.
One of the best books I've ever started reading. I say started because it is me and my folks. I'm about your age and my parents about the same as yours. I find myself crying every other page, like why didn't my mom advocate for me in my tribal tribulations? she did for everybody else. I think I will finish this winter -- thanks!
So many sublime thoughts in one poem - beautiful.
This one hits hard. I just pulled this book off my shelf. I’ve been waiting for the inspiration to dig. You just gave it to me. 🙏
This is the book that first introduced me to your writing and I have been hooked since then. I truly love your work.
I also was not with my mother when she died. I was not with my mother in so many ways. People who only knew my mother and meet me, tell me I look exactly like my mother. They tell me this when I try to speak...as myself. Maybe I will try the shaking bird ritual some day.