William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for July 2018

Dawn

Dawn, n. 1. In summer, the time when one side of a tree is awake, the other side asleep. Some say enlightenment begins this way, then spreads, leaf by leaf by leaf. In winter, when the branches of many trees are bare, they resemble the open arms of loved ones; in spring, belief; in autumn, secrets kept for years. 2. An uncanny explanation of the night. 3. That which follows […]

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The Painting of You

Every now and then, I like to remind people that I’m well aware that by publishing my efforts, I’m really charting my decline. It’s intended as a statement of humor and truth. I don’t fear losing my mind, but maybe I should. It is going. But in which direction? Is it strengthening and gathering force? I’m healthier now physically than when my books were written. I’m also older, grayer, and […]

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2010

Another of my favorites from Primitive.
Since then, I’ve returned to the theme of shared faces time and time again.
And I have been taught, delivered, saved, made by them.

Canvas 63

Canvas 63

Canvas 63

He Took the Morning in His Hands

He took the morning in his hands and said it was an orange. I’d never seen one peeled that way. He offered me a slice of daylight. I remember the way it felt on my tongue. Papa, I said, Tell me, Is this really the sun? He laughed. Yes, he said, As long As we’re young. He peeled it up. He peeled it down. He peeled a house. He peeled […]

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What Others See

There’s one thing I’ve become convinced of over the years: we are all angels, and we are all mirrors.     What Others See Somewhere, in a fairy tale beside a dream, there is a boy who swallows a firefly, and a girl with seven knees. Beautiful knees her jealous mother tries to hide. The firefly lives inside the boy, makes his hair and fingers glow. The boy and girl […]

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2011

We’re better seen from across the room,
better still the intervening field of successive years in wheaten rows,
where lay, concealed, our snow-white bones.

Remembrance

Remembrance, 2011

Remembrance

Lost in San Francisco

Where does a dream end, and the act of remembering it begin? That’s like asking the storyteller if he knows he’s a ghost. The observer is observed, observing the observer, in a succession of night-blue mirrors. And the eyes in them are stars. Some are moving away, others drawing near. And here is the imagined space between them.   Lost in San Francisco, I met a preacher who couldn’t speak, […]

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What They Said About Light

Early each morning, the people quietly arose, then emerged from their cottages with their pitchers to fill them with light. It was wonderful to see them gathered at the well — mothers first with their children, each child with a pitcher of its own, infants with tiny thimbles old men trembling to keep hold, farmers, midwives, poets. There was a wise saying in those days:              First, let us bring light. […]

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November 2016: Poems and Passages

When one posts blog entries almost daily for ten years, there are inevitable changes — in mood, certainly, but also in subject matter, style, and approach. And yet, written as they are by the same hand, they are familiar and recognizable. It’s a bit like visiting a waterfall during different times of the year: now the music is heightened; now the rocks are more exposed; and while the distance from […]

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