William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

One Hand Clapping — October 30, 2003

Eventually I’ll run out of material worth saving. It might be a few weeks or months from now, a year or two or ten — I really don’t know. And the reason I don’t know is that I’m going about this project in such a random manner. I write as the spirit moves me, and when that spirit reminds me of something else I’ve written, I dig it up, and if it seems worth saving I save it, especially if it shines light on the writing at hand. In that sense, Poems, Notes, and Drawings, like One Hand Clapping, is itself a daily journal. That said, sometimes the process is reversed. I stumble on an old story or poem I’ve written, and it inspires me to write something new. But whatever which way (in algebra we call this w x 3), I find the process agreeable. Still: the day will come when I’ll either have to declare the project done, or be thrown back entirely on my own poetic resources. Or is that where I am now?

October 30, 2003

This bright day is meant for joy and madness. Leaves swirl in the icy wind. They gather by the door, where they whisper and wait to come in. This is not quite what we had in mind. And the old neighbor’s garden by the field, by the road, framed by unpainted outbuildings — brown folds of expired growth, spires of weeds, bright-yellow chrysanthemums — is a poem unto itself. Thus ends morbid caution, for a time, for a time. The harsh lines of sanity are erased — the roads, the sidewalks, the precise lawns, the accidents of beauty never allowed to happen, for fear of happiness or loss of control. The voices are many. The ghosts are near. They gather by the door, where they whisper and wait to come in. How I have longed for their return.


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