William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


After years of beating the pavement with a long-handled stub, I finally have a new broom. It’s a big rugged thing, with bristles enough to thatch a cottage. Best of all, it’s well balanced, like a good guitar or violin — or like a good mind, that knows where it’s been, and loves where it is.


I am here, in this part of the world. You are there, in that part of the world. And this world is here, in this part of the solar system, in this part of the galaxy, in this part of the cosmos. And this part of the cosmos is here, in our bones, in our breaths, and in our minds.

Now, what shall we do with this knowledge?

Go out, take in the air, and sweep our sidewalks, of course.

And if you don’t have a sidewalk, or your sidewalk is obscured by hunger, poverty, and war, I will sweep mine all the more, with you in my heart.

Borders? Flags? Decrees? I will sweep them into oblivion, and clear the space for children to play.

Yes, I will live my life that way.

I am not an orator. I am not a gifted politician. I am not a constitutional lawyer. I am a simple, almost anonymous sixty-year-old man with exactly no time on his hands.

But I’m good with a broom.

And the truth is, I rather like sweeping. You see, my broom and I are on intimate terms. As intimate as the cosmos, and the palm in which it turns.

Recently Banned Literature, February 7, 2017

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