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September 01, 2009


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Amazing poem! It exposes so well that blurred line between genius and madness.

On my way to the doctor's office I met Shaindel Beers. She was a guest on NPR/OPB radio. At first it was her voice that captivated me. That was before I heard her read a poem. I was hooked. At the next light signal I wrote her name down (as best as I could spell it) on a note pad.

I waited outside my doctor's office, now 5 minutes late, just to hear another one of her poems, read by Shaindel.

It took me a week to connect with her on Facebook. Within a few days my heart will be reunited with someone I have never met in person, but her words touch my heart as if she was my best childhood friend.

I can't wait to read her book, and share it with my friends.


Lovely poem, thank you for this

I would say that this is an excellent candidate for the TLS poetry babble feature, but it is not sufficiently literate.

BAP, are you kidding? This reads like the worst poor me adolescent poetry. A ripped, or ripping heart, so hackneyed and vapid. The brute honesty of violence attempted here has been rendered trite. There surely exist better examples. Please find them.

Regarding the two previous comments here: Would you people please remain in your own universe in which you imagine yourselves the center? VAPID is indeed a good word to describe your opinions. It is a wonderfully powerful poem. Keep up the good work, Shaindel. You have your own following.

This is a heartbreaking and wonderful poem with an interesting play between smart and love. That line--

And I grew up wondering where smart would get you

--captures the adolescent heart.

And then there's the lovely twist at the end. Well done.

Shaindel Beers raises an interesting question about relationships and the self in this poem: is it better to be smart or to be loved? Interesting that the narrator doesn't feel that both can be had.

I love this little poem full of big ideas. It reminds me of my own child hood. Her other poems are short stories of modern lives with Shaindel's unique social analysis and heart.

Keeping your skeletons in the closet has a whole different meaning in your view of the conventional dysfunctional family--I am confident that functionality is as subjective as pain. Some skeletons remain lost in their dark tombs; not yeilding, or not found, for those who are called functional.
Outstanding work, Shaindel.

Love how this peom ties in a flash of fiction with the very poetic. A nice blend where the last line seals the poetic voice while highlighting Shaindel's message.

A passion for poetry is ultimately heartbreaking. It’s a never ending search for . . . what? A pleasing rhythm? A clever turn of phrase? A fresh metaphor? A heart connection? A tweaked memory? The perfect expression of self or feeling? The view through the keyhole? Of course, all of these and more. Shaindel is, for me, the successor to the Montana poets for whom I yearn. This poem, for me, is of a strikingly different character than her Brief History collection, which was quite unexpectedly plunked down in front of me by a friend in a coffee shop and which I love. As “they” say, we only find what we’re looking for when we’re not looking. For me, this poem courageously wades near the edge of a dangerous, politically incorrect, societal undercurrent: the tension between smart and not-so-smart, between interesting and boring, between bright and dull, between exciting and tiresome. For me, its not an indictment of her parents but a self-conscious defense and an attempt to salvage something good from the wreckage and to express her gratitude for their genes And the fact that I know that’s in there, but can’t prove it, makes this poem resonate with me.

In the almost two years I've been reading this site, I believe this poem has set the record for number of comments. That's a very positive contribution, I think. Here's a link to an article about Shaindel and her work that provides some context for her poem:

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
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