William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for July 2019

My Second Language

Oh, the things I break into dazzling little pieces. Oh, the faith you have in rainbows. “Love Story” Poems, Slightly Used, February 3, 2011   My Second Language English is my second language, Earth my mother tongue. Near a wild rose on a goat track, An avalanche of sun. A blind afternoon, Guessing about love. I said, “The map is torn.” You said, “Yes. But not ruined.”

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Three

As mirrors, we serve as invitations to the depth we contain. To observe completely, the observer must be absent. But not nonexistent. Let him be outside, admiring the flowers. Better yet, let him be the flowers. She was a snowstorm. He was a pair of little bare feet. They met in the street.

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Spirit-Ship

There are two houses in the neighborhood with star jasmine growing on a trellis by the front door. The plants are in full bloom, and their scent’s so strong, walking through it is like being in a dense fog. Indeed, it seems odd the particles aren’t visible, for one’s spirit-ship is immediately lost on the jasmine sea of it. And yet, passing by in the evening, or early in the […]

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Lilies, Heron, Pond

The lilies in Goose Lake are now so vibrant and dense, it’s impossible to distinguish their hunger and thirst, their vital processes, their sap, their marrow, from the water that supports them. One is quite literally the other. The same can be said of the atmosphere immediately above: they have taken quiet possession of the gentle, unsuspecting sky, as a child its mother when she bends over the cradle. The […]

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High Tide

Yesterday afternoon, from the front window, I watched a pair of sparrows feeding on the tiny flies, if that’s what they are, in the heavy crop of purslane at the shoreline-edge of the garden. But I think they might also have been eating the purslane itself, because several times one or the other tugged at a leaf with energy and enthusiasm. But only now, after many hours have passed, and […]

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The Fifth of July

bumblebee across your path child laughing in the bath so ends the war just like that “Just Like That” Recently Banned Literature, April 30, 2016   The Fifth of July And here are the solemn graves of all the braves afraid of love and peace.

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The Hurry-Up Side of Your Face

You are not happy. You want nothing more than to be happy. You are willing, even, to think you are happy, and to tell everyone how happy you are, even if you are not happy. But doing so makes you sad, and it saddens those whom you tell. Thinking you are happy, you are not happy. You are sad. You are sad, until, one day, a miracle happens, and you […]

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Ask Yourself

At the rate I’m going, steady though it may be, it will take me several years to finish reading all fourteen volumes of Thoreau’s journal. I hope I have those years. But if I don’t, I’m happy to have had those leading up to them. And when I say hope, I mean I’m willing to live them if they’re given me, and that I understand very well they might not […]

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The Circle Is Small

The Circle Is Small — July 18, 2013

Do I see what I think I see and hear what I think I hear, or are these towhees my thoughts, suddenly taking form and substance? The friendly birds arrive from nowhere while I’m watering the geraniums. Just a few feet away, the male hops from the moss into the birdbath and starts splashing; the female sings from the birch above. And what of the geraniums themselves, and the moss, […]

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Epitaph

Love is light in the palm of the beloved, and a bee’s in the dew on the rose. June 30, 2019   Epitaph what strange liquor is this? who poured it into my glass? why do I love its flavor? why can I not resist? Songs and Letters, October 12, 2006 Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

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