William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

There Is a Story

It seems these older pieces are coming together in a way that makes them read as if they’re being written now, one giving rise to the next in a natural progression. I realize this is my impression. I don’t know if it strikes you that way. But I think this feeling is partly due to the pieces I am writing now — those which stand alone, and those which serve as introductions. I wonder if this is intentional; it seems so at times, but often not. One thing I’m aware of, though, is the inclination, or maybe even need, to tell a story. And from there it’s the easiest thing in the world to imagine your face, illuminated by firelight.


There Is a Story

There is a story in the man with his back to the fire,
and the fresh cigarette between the second and third fingers
of his right hand is part of his hypnotic effect;

when he goes up the chimney and back,
the story turns black;

this is the past;

the cigarette to his lips,
the smoke through his nose,
the bright-tragic eyes;

and I wonder what’s painted up there on the chimney’s insides,
what starry nights and streets lined with huts,
what flowers in the hair, what girls
by the well.

The story runs low; there’s ash on the bricks.
He swallows us all, like Charybdis.
I grow up like this.

The fire spits at the screen.
The fire spits, half-dreamed, dreams.

Recently Banned Literature, September 7, 2014

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Categories: Recently Banned Literature

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