William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for July 2018

On the Eighth Day

On the eighth day, a starving poet awakened to find his poems had turned into fresh, warm loaves of bread. Delighted by his change in fortune, he placed one of the loaves in the middle of his work table and cut into it with a knife. But the bread did not smell like bread. It smelled like a eucalyptus tree after a fall rain. And so he tried a different […]

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Letters and Figs

It was too hot yesterday evening to walk any great distance. I went to the first stop sign, turned right, then went to the next stop sign to where the fig tree is. The tree has swallowed the sign. There are ripe figs against the white letters. Letters and figs. I opened the mailbox and found one fig from my uncle, one letter from my aunt, and one stop sign […]

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Brothers — A Dream in Greece

November 25, 2009 My friend and I were in an elevator and when the door opened we stepped out into his village in Greece. The ground was lush with soft green grass. There was dew on the grass, and a drowsy blue dragonfly on his coat. There was a small gathering of people. They were his friends and relatives, but there were also some strangers present. In halting English, a […]

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Two Dreams

October 28, 2010 A child’s doll has died. At his request, I ask his mother for permission to conduct a funeral service in a language no one understands. This she grants. The doll is in a shoe box, beneath a fastened lid. Sunlight finds us in the street outside. A lone trumpet: inside the box, the doll begins to sing.   December 21, 2010 My grandfather, alive again and in […]

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I Find Him Eating Butterflies

I find him eating butterflies. They’re beautiful, he says. If I eat enough of them, I’ll be beautiful too. He stuffs a monarch in his mouth, fuzz clinging to his lips. I hear the flowers weep. He begins to eat them too, stray petals on his shoes. A hummingbird arrives — dips her bill into his eye, takes a long, melancholy drink. What to think — is he crazy, or […]

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Dream Baby

I met a young father holding a baby. I had no idea who they were. I took the baby in my arms, held him up against my shoulder, and spoke gently to him. He smiled. I don’t remember what I said, but I think it was something simple and silly, but true. It’s been quite some time since I’ve held a baby — not a thought one has every day. […]

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The Calling

When I was fifteen, I showed my sophomore English teacher several of my very first poems, which I had written out by hand. He read them eagerly at his desk and said, “Bill, this is poetry,” as if nothing in the world could have pleased him more. He was twenty-four, had just begun his teaching career, and, in the revolutionary spirit of the times, liked to experiment in his class […]

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Drawing and Poem

Canvas 960

This drawing and poem came into being one year ago today. They were published separately on Recently Banned Literature, and subsequently shared on Facebook. Canvas 960 is one of my favorites. But I feel that way about a good many of my drawings, especially after I’ve forgotten them, which I almost always do, and then happen upon them again. Old friends? New? Both. All.   and this is the world […]

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