William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for August 2018

Another Song I Know

This is another of the sixty-four very short poems that comprise one of my first published books. I say one of the first, because Another Song I Know and Winter Poems were released by Cosmopsis Books in San Francisco on the same day in June 2007 — released, it might be, like birds, or, better still, like children, whose idea of home changes ever so subtly every day for the […]

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Pigeons Are Old Poems

Empty barns, dry grass by the door. A house once here, Not here anymore. And yet pigeons are old poems, of that I am sure. Pigeons, and grave stones, where once there were words.   Who knows the dreams that lie here buried? About a mile down the road from the house where I grew up, there is a little cemetery situated on a corner knoll where the soil is […]

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Memento

This poem and Canvas 1,183, a drawing made earlier this year, look out and speak ever so softly from facing pages in the Fall 2018 issue of Akitsu Quarterly. Imagine, the journey from pixel to print, made in only eight years — about the same time it takes a snowflake to fall, and ash to turn a poet’s hair gray.   Mountain snow valley ash a hand a pen an […]

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Dreaming of Books

I did something a couple of days ago that I’ve never done before. I bought books online from a shop in England: The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, published in three volumes by John Grant in 1927 in Edinburgh. Anymore, there are very few of these complete sets available. I’ve watched them come and go at prices higher than I’m able or care to spend. This time around. I was […]

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Saving Grace

Almost all of my writing is done very early in the morning. “Saving Grace” is no exception. And yet I remember, or think I remember, that upon its completion, I felt an entire day had passed, and that the day was a lifetime. Such is memory. Such is rain. Such is writing. Sometimes you must leave almost everything out, to keep anything in.   Saving Grace Today it’s the rain, […]

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Pain

It’s that almost in the last verse that stops me. Without it, the poem would be entirely different. As for the truth of the two possibilities, it might be best to dwell on it, or in it, for a century or two; because, as one’s understanding of pain changes, one’s notion of time does as well. In fact, we might come to realize that it doesn’t exist at all.   […]

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Our Old Farm Remembers Us

Some mornings, before it’s light, I think of the first hen down from her roost, standing silently like a ghost in the yard, unseeing, waiting, unsure, solemn, surprised, and a little confused. It’s almost as if she and I have both been pressed into service by an unseen hand, one if not wise, then bemused. So what’s left but to join her? Or maybe we should consider an exchange: she, […]

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Haiku for August

In the brevity of my long experience — reading, writing, breathing, thinking — smoke is one of those magical words that is almost impossible to distinguish from the thing it represents. Like the sting of my youth and the gentle gathering of age, it finds its way everywhere, as color, in scent, in memory. And what I can’t quite fathom on the page because of it, I know the more […]

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And One

Almost all of the poems I write are completed in one sitting. But this does not imply hurry. It simply means that the poem is ready to be written, and that I understand the need to stay out of its way. That’s why I often say, I do not write the poem, the poem writes me. “And One” came about in this fashion very early in the morning on the […]

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