William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for September 2018

I Can Imagine

Yesterday afternoon, I watched through the kitchen window as a spider tried to move into a web that was already occupied. The rude visitor was slightly larger, but the two looked almost identical and might well have been from the same spring hatch. There was a steady breeze. Sunlight shone on the web, highlighting flecks of autumn debris. Both spiders paused in their encounter when they were disturbed by the […]

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Roads

Roads

I’ve often wondered where drawn lines end and poems begin. Some will say poems must be made of words. Strictly speaking, that’s true. But I’ve lived long enough to know, I’m made of words too. And when you read between the lines, I read you. Of the photographic self-portraits I attempted several years ago, Roads, I think, is one interesting example. The image first appeared in Recently Banned Literature in 2011 and […]

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One Pebble, One Pond, One Croaking Frog

I’m sixty-two. As I age, the desire to work grows ever stronger — the urge, the need, the understanding that it’s as much a matter of health as it is accomplishment — health physical and mental, a kind of spirit-health, which comes of living as lightly as possible on this earth and in this body, this body compromised and informed by years of stress and foolishness, clouded by ego and […]

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Henry

Henry was my great-grandmother Eliza’s husband. I know even less about him than I do about her. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood — I remember my mother saying the fall from his horse that killed him was no accident. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, November 8, 2009

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Desire

I posted an old family photograph earlier this morning, and I think I will post another tomorrow. All in the balance of things. But in between, there is always desire — what it is, and what it does and doesn’t mean.   Desire Inside the flower, down the stem, into the roots — a dark hum: that’s where we learn about desire, that’s where the sun can’t hear what we’re […]

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Eliza

I know little about Eliza, except that she was my mother’s mother’s mother, and that her husband, Henry, who was born in 1835 and much older, died after a fall from a horse. This picture of her was taken when she was sixteen, around 1880 or a little before. My guess is that it was done somewhere in the East, before she and Henry settled in California’s gold country. After […]

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Today I Am a Rock

The arrival of fall has me thinking about our closets again. The urge to dismantle the stacks of crated material, and to throw most of it away, has returned. Some of it, though, I have to keep: the old music books and sheet music from my piano-lesson days, for instance, and drawings our kids made. But the refuse of my writing life is another matter — the old redundant notebooks […]

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Early Morning, Waiting for a Train

We waited a lifetime, as I recall. And as I know now, the rich tragedies I’ve imagined for others have really been my own.   Early Morning, Waiting for a Train A year ago I turned the page, ripe it was, a field of poor man’s cotton marred by weak spots short of meaning, nut grass, gopher mounds, and swales, tire tracks on the boundary trail made in last year’s […]

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Mushrooms

Those bright-white buttons in green grass that remind you of a clown’s shirt and the way everyone laughs at his sadness except an old poet in the back row who swallows hard and says that’s fall for you and that kid in the long yellow bus on his way to love and loss and the moon   And when the neighbor told me he’d scattered some grass seed where the […]

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For My Father

Here is another “yellow poem” from the old age of my youth. My father left us in 1995.   For My Father Of the yellow in a wet fig leaf the ear makes sound of falling rain Poems, Slightly Used, October 12, 2010

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