William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for October 2018

In Confidence

Based on what I’ve salvaged here thus far, it would be easy to draw a number of conclusions about me; however, I advise against it, even if they seem obvious or reasonable, and even if you’ve known me for years, as a brave handful of friends and readers have. I do not say that you don’t know me; I say, rather, that there is much more to know. What I’m […]

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After the War

Yes, where there’s a monster, a mob will form. Some will throw stones. Others will cheer the monster on. This will be accompanied by systems of outraged justice and law, hypocrisy, and war. And yet through it all, there will be those who love. They will not be part of the mob. They will not steal. They will not kill. They will not be indignant or righteous or loud. And […]

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The Rain and the Dead

A smidgen of rain. Dry under the trees. The timeless scent of crushed dry leaves. It sounds almost like a recipe. And it is, for paradise, for calm, for peace, for sanity. Where have the lines gone, the edges, borders, and boundaries? To graveyards, every one. Another leaf is down.   The Rain and the Dead We can count storms but not raindrops, wars, but not the dead falling thick […]

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Seven Almonds

Having written for years doesn’t mean I think I’ve even begun to move and live and work in a realm beyond my limited thinking about the art — if it is indeed an art, and not simply one more thing a human can do to occupy himself while he wonders at the limits of his limitless existence. For instance, a moment ago I finished eating seven almonds, seven being a […]

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Yellow Fever

In the park by the river, a walk through the old walnut grove. Yellow now. Yellow cottonwoods, too. Yellow brambles. Yellow squirrels. Yellow chatter. Yellow nuts. Yellow holes. Yellow mounds. Yellow talk. Yellow love. Yellow clouds.   Yellow Fever Fig leaves so bright, the birds don’t sleep at night. Poems, Slightly Used, October 23, 2009 [ 169 ]

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Strangely quiet, the geese. No honking, no flapping, no V. — V., as in so many nineteenth century novels the first letters of names and locations are used so as not to reveal the identity of living fictions. He resided in or on V. He returned from V. He looked up; and when his feverish gaze fell upon V., her long hair beckoned to him like a field of ripened […]

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Death and the Scribe

And if this is a death bed edition, how is it that the bed is piled high with papers and books, leaving no room for the body? And how is it that, when I hold up my hand, it seems less flesh than daylight?   Death and the Scribe Old though he was, Death hadn’t the heart to take him, The diligent, muttering scribe. Already, the world had forgotten him, […]

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A long, dry fall. Almost November, and we still have dahlias. Cool, smoky, misty mornings. Spiders asleep in their chosen colors. The other hand clapping. Want less, want not, want nothing at all.   Dahlias Sunday evening after the flower show I dream of two dead uncles. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, September 1, 2009 [ 166 ]

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As Any Thing That Is

I’ve lived in Oregon for more than half of my sixty-two years, yet rare is the day I don’t think about the place of my birth. And there are numerous dreams. Back in 2014, this one became a poem. And yes, there really were nights like this.   As Any Thing That Is Another night in the old hometown. The streets we used to roam. The lights are out. There […]

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