William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Expected to Know

This is a Wednesday that feels so much like a Friday, one is sure Sunday is near. But what if I’d never seen a calendar, and had no idea what they were? What if I didn’t know names had been given to the days of the week? For me there would be no week, no month, no year, only seasons. There would be the kind that are short, which pass in the course of a night or a day, and which are sometimes few and sometimes many; and there would be the kind that describe the journey of the earth as it makes its way around the sun. I would, in effect, be like a bird or a deer, like a tree or a river, or even a mountain. But of course I am these already, even as, in your eyes, and in mine too, I appear to be a hairy old human looking at a computer screen — a preposterous development which seems the most natural thing in the world, as impossible as it is inevitable. And yet despite all this, I’m expected to know what day of the week it is, what month, what year. I’m expected to know the name of the city in which I live, the name of the street that passes in front of the house. There are countless things I’m expected to know. I’m expected to know the time, my weight, and at least the approximate temperature. I’m expected to know numerous passwords. But none of these things make any difference. They aren’t really worth knowing. They’re merely an indication that I’m part of an overwrought society living an overwrought life in an overwrought stage of humanity, all of which makes me overwroughten — unless I can keep in touch with the bird and the deer, the tree, the river, the mountain. As long as I see that I am these things every bit as much as I am a hairy old human, I will have a place in this world. And that place is the world. See?

July 29, 2020. Afternoon.

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Categories: Everything and Nothing, New Poems & Pieces

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