William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for April 2019

Love Letter to the Universe

A letter arrives which you eagerly answer. But the sender needs no reply. So you turn the words you have written. And you burn them on the other side.   Love Letter to the Universe I was going to write this letter a century ago, but I wasn’t born yet, so I didn’t. I had to wait instead. Finally, when my impatience got the best of me, I was born, […]

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Memory

Caught in a thunderstorm running home from the vineyard with their hoes crowned by chickweed where metal meets wood the two held fast by a nail sealed with blood   Memory If memory is a bridge, what does it cross, how long is its span, and how high above? If it is a graveyard, whose bones does it contain? If it is a church, who is nailed to the cross? […]

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Better Blind, Than Blind

If I am not grateful in the knowledge that I will die, and possibly suffer untold, nigh unbearable pain between now and that time, then of what worth is my gratitude for my relative good health, and for an abundance of fluffy clouds, fresh air, and sunshine? Can such conditional gratitude really be gratitude at all? And yet even that is a start, I suppose. If I am alive in […]

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Silence Best Describes the Circle

It’s been years since I’ve taken a pill of any kind. In my experience, pills, particularly those meant to lessen or drive away pain, create their own set of conditions and demands, until they finally cause more pain than suggested them in the first place, as well as other side effects. And so now, if I happen to hurt, I simply go on about my business. I do my work, […]

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Scars

High water has driven the homeless from their encampment on the west side of the river. In that place alone, they number in the hundreds. They turn up everywhere — downtown, in parks, under bridges, in the public library, in the hospital half-starved and with nasty infections. Moss grows on asphalt. Daffodils make way for tulips. How high is high moral ground? What is it like to live there? No […]

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As Much Love

The rude, crude person who grates on your nerves, and who, perhaps, has even entered your family circle like a bull in a china shop — what are you to make of him? How are you to survive the onslaught of his ignorant, opinionated noise, and the upheaval he brings to your digestion? You cannot avoid him, and you certainly cannot change him, nor would you try. You take a […]

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Morning Call

Clocks are a great human tragedy. A faithful sun, enough for the rest of creation, is not enough for us. Imagine a play in which all of the actors carry clocks — through love scenes and in displays of assumed moral courage, both hands occupied, fingers absentmindedly caressing the worn shells of those insistent, demanding objects as if they were pampered pets — while the audience nervously taps its feet […]

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Jung and Easily Freudened, Specimen 1

I used to have dreams about work not done. I was behind on the farm, I was late, the necessity and importance of the job had completely slipped my mind. An example: suddenly it was April or May, and I realized I had forgotten to prune ten whole acres of vines. Always, or almost always, the dreams culminated in a feeling of guilt and shame. It has been many years […]

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Blossom, v.

See how the fig tree declares her passion before her leaves are on, how the dogwood, winded down, is bridal in her bloom, how the birds, busy in your branches, have shaken you, and flown. “Revelation” Recently Banned Literature, April 22, 2014 Twelve Poems, Poets International   Blossom, v. Carry me in, carry me out — you, a shoe, and I, a wet petal on your sole.

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A Fairy Tale Pirate

In a sky so still, sparrows, like steam from a kettle, or arrows, that know where old gods go when they fly. “In a Sky So Still” Recently Banned Literature, May 20, 2014 Twelve Poems, Poets International   A Fairy Tale Pirate There is, these days, the habit of reading aloud the journal of Henry David Thoreau, which affords a better hearing of that extensive part of him which he […]

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