William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


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.



He always answers
when you knock,
and is glad to let you in.

His house is strange,
with many halls
and rooms.

Each contains a mirror
that shows you
where you’ve been.

Each contains a door
that leads you
back again.

To gain your freedom,
your host
must show the way.

Before he can, or will,
you must almost
want to stay.

Songs and Letters, May 17, 2006


From a note written November 5, 2008:

On the second day of February 2007, I received a short e-mail from someone in Canada asking my permission to make copies of “Pain” to hand out at the end of a one-hour “psycho-education session” for sufferers of psychological trauma and chronic pain. I readily consented. He didn’t reply.

Categories: Songs and Letters

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