William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for June 2019

Van Gogh’s Dream

How strange it all is. Outside the grocery store, there was a large rack holding around two dozen potted sunflowers, each plant with a bright, cheerful bloom. I said to my wife, “If I could really paint or draw, I would make a similar scene, with one addition — Van Gogh, crazed, looking on. And each of his eyes would be sunflowers.”   Van Gogh’s Dream One day, Van Gogh […]

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War

An impartial reading of history reveals that with few exceptions, what is considered good diplomacy is really nothing more than pressing one’s advantages and driving a hard bargain. But these mean business principles are hardly something to take pride in, and the so-called fruits of their gains only strengthen the chains that bind us. There is no honor among thieves. And there is certainly no more dignity in their legalized […]

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On Any Given Day

Way back in my story-writing days, which might not yet have ended, it didn’t take much to get me going. For instance, a beginning could be as simple as this: She cooked her porridge without mercy. His dreams were potatoes and onions. And with that, the mean lives of two characters bound by fate were readily suggested. But they wouldn’t be all bad, as none of us are. In all […]

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Preface to the First Edition

The spirit of a book? The flesh of a man? The book is flesh. The spirit is man.   Preface to the First Edition Each time I pick it up, I find this book has changed. So many bends in the road, So many landmarks. Death. Rejuvenation. Bloody thorns and hollow skulls. The whisper of inspired stones. The velvet hush of stars. The crush of tattered ages. Garments torn that […]

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That We Write Each Other

I make no distinction between our online and flesh experience; wherever we are, whatever we are doing, this is the room we are in; this is our meal between us; this is our joy, and pain, and grief, and doubt.   That We Write Each Other That we write each other in this way fulfills a very old promise. And the promise is this: that those of us not met […]

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No Foothold

My first thought this morning: If I slept like a rock, it is a rock that dreams. My second thought: If I slept like an angel, it could mean anything.   No Foothold No foothold on the brooding rock, or memory of the climb, only joy in stepping off, and these awkward wings of mine. Recently Banned Literature, August 7, 2014

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The Time of Year

It’s easy to think nature is subdued in cities and towns. But turn your head for just a moment and the pavement is cracked and the cracks are full of weeds. Walk through any neighborhood a time or two and you begin to see wood fences rotting, metal ones rusting, house siding softening, paint peeling, and rooftops covered with fir needles and moss — at least such is the case […]

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Still Here

A peal of thunder so loud and so near, the windows rattle and the house shakes. Or, to put it more succinctly, a skyquake. To happen upon a spring while walking through meadow and wood, and to find strawberries bubbling up from the ground. Or, to put it more succinctly, a mindquake. Suddenly awakening upon the completion of one’s sixty-third trip around the sun, to the voice and touch of […]

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Heartbreak

An evening sky, deep, dark, and rich with gray-chocolate thunderclouds. Puddles are always large enough for the sky they hold. A walker’s definition of heartbreak — Starlings enough to carry me off, yet I am the one who is feared. And then, suddenly, they do, and I am the one who is scared. May 19, 2019

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Orchard Nights

When we returned, the night-scent was on our clothes and in our hair. This morning, our limbs are bare.   Orchard Nights Blossoms are lights — think once, they’re nice, think twice, they’re gone — then watch the thoughts fall, until they’re not thought at all.

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