157 Comments
Feb 14Liked by Sherman Alexie

as always you yourwords always please me

Expand full comment

Something so precious, tender and mighty about being read to. Thank you for your voice.

Expand full comment

thanks for this important poem

Expand full comment

Speechless after my reading of this one.

Expand full comment

Never thought about it, but it's beautiful and true:

... some of the old traditions

were never destined to become

the new way of being.

Thank you

Expand full comment

I love the ways of senses-sentiment-reflections, circling back. So beautiful!!

Expand full comment

And now, for whatever reason, I'm somehow envisioning a timeless talk show hosted by RUe McClanahan and BARBara Walters - the RU/BARB Show ... which would be pretty weird, since they've both passed on ... And yes, I rue this comment.

Expand full comment

One wonders why/how 'rhubarb' became a synonym for fight/beef/brawl.

Were there altercations in the garden over said veggie?

Expand full comment

I love rhubarb. I have a rhubarb pie recipe from my mother who is gone now for a quarter of a century. It is just rhubarb, sugar, heavy cream, and the crust. No one else in my family likes it so I have to eat the whole pie by myself. I'm a diabetic but I have an insulin pump.

Expand full comment
Nov 22, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

Great poem. I can taste the deliciousness of that sandwich, grilled with love.

I loathe rhubarb. It's like paint stripper.

One Nan used to make it with quantities of sugar, still astringent enough to make your mouth pucker.

She also cooked 'sweet breads' which sounded like fluffy comfort carbohydrates. The dismay and horror when I found they were animal thymus glands. That Nan was an ace salmon fisher. Big black waders. Her special spot on the river. Jars of preserved salmon lining the walls. Fiercest person I've ever met.

Expand full comment
Nov 22, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

Nailed it once again. Some "things' /meanings/ 'OTHER'minterpretations not meant to indure , never mind assign identity meaning.

Expand full comment

So lovely! I've saved this post so I can copy it (I mean, "honor it" as Octavia Butler would say). Thank you for writing your beautiful words.

Expand full comment

I hate rhubarb! When I was a kid in the late 80s, there was a commercial for a herbicide that killed velvet leaf. The ad showed a sinister-looking vine crawling through windows. Around this time, I leaned rhubarb leaves were poisonous and had a dream that married this new knowledge with the velvet leaf ad: rhubarb thrust through the floor and grew so tall it lifted the house off the foundation. After that, I wanted nothing to do with it and would cross to the other side of the street if I saw a big rhubarb patch in someone’s yard. Those big veiny leaves nodding malevolently in the breeze horrified me, and the plants that had gone to seed horrified me even more. It didn’t help that my dad picked a stalk and chased me into the house with it. I hid in the closet and when I opened the door, there he was, waving a big green leaf in my face! To this day, I won’t eat it, and have destroyed entire muffins that I thought had rhubarb in them. Having said all that, I miss my grandma too, even though my rhubarb phobia annoyed her.

Expand full comment

Been a fan of your prose for a long time. Now beginning to enjoy your poetry.

Expand full comment
Nov 21, 2023·edited Nov 21, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

Sitting at the table top with gram. Those are the best memories. Poor little Sherman, I can imagine all that vividly. Both my grandmothers were good to me, I'm glad yours was too. White ppl not so much. And that's where we differ. Growing up, Indians were always a refuge. I don't think I could have survived without it. This poem is now bringing me back to violent assimilation practices. I was forced to sit at the kitchen table for hours because I couldn't stomach beets. With a very real threat of violence. First I was loved and free, a happy chatty little girl. Then I was taken away and had to endure physical and emotional torture. The academics are now coming up with definitions for all this. They came up with the term psychological torture. And I can vouch that it is a good and accurate term. And is why I have a passionate hate for #Pretendians. That scary hate is because I have an authentic need to see real Indians not just in acadamia, but more importantly, in the arts. It's also why I have a hard time forgiving Karens. And so I will leave that to someone else. Cheers.

Expand full comment
Nov 21, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

You crisscrossed the county: hard working you. Live life on your terms. I’m a fan. We have room for you in Florida

Expand full comment