William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for October 2020

A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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Circles

There’s a circle around the waning moon, the smallest I’ve ever seen. And isn’t it interesting that upon reading the word circle, one immediately assumes and understands perfection? For a circle that isn’t perfect, isn’t a circle. We might say that something is round, but that word admits the possibility that what we’re referring to might be approximately round, as in the round river stones, which we know are not […]

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Long Gray Train (I Pay the Porter)

I woke up in the middle of the night needing a sip of water. I walked down the hall, and as I passed through the dark sitting room, a sentence sprang to mind, or the beginning of a sentence — a phrase, a breath, a sound, a combination of sounds — a powerful suggestion, insistent, dreamlike, meaningful, profound, but I didn’t have the focus to pick up a pen and […]

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Mushrooms and Mildew

Mushrooms and mildew — so much mildew, it’s possible the mushrooms have mildew. The alyssum and dahlias in the front flowerbed are white with mildew. Even the lilac has mildew. But the peppers don’t. Neither do the apricot or fig. I have mildew, but thus far it affects only the cerebrum, so I’m not worried. Such fogs we’ve been having — dense, dripping fogs, street-blackening fogs, window-streaming fogs, leaf-shimmering fogs, […]

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Why I Sing

Some of us are loved into existence. Some are hated into existence. Some are conceived as pawns in a game. Some are born of hope, or grief, others of disinterest, selfishness, ignorance, boredom. Some are born of brutal possession and unbridled lust. And yet, however it is brought about, our arrival is a living symbol which transforms and transcends its cause. And our death? Some of us are loved away, […]

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Light as Light as Light

now the speed of light is something else altogether says a voice in one universe to an ear in another as the sound shines on the face in the space in between “Now the Speed of Light” Recently Banned Literature, October 3, 2016 . Light as Light as Light little lights, glowing in the dark, yours in your dark, mine in mine, make our dark, make our light, dark in […]

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The Overcoat

Shall I insert a novel here, as Balzac might have done? Or go off on a vast historical tangent, as Hugo did in Les Misérables? I could even become repetitively religious like Tolstoy — but I should probably save that for my old age, in case I live that long. Cognac and a fine cigar, then a stroll à la Maupassant, along the boulevard, where everything is so beautiful, ironic, and […]

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The View from Here

An early-morning walk, with the full moon setting behind the firs, the tops of which are obscured by a rapidly accumulating fog. The grass is heavy with dew. And now fog is forming in the street. The beauty of this world, as I love, know, and understand it, would not be possible without the ongoing, ever-renewing cycle of birth, death, and decay. Why, then, would I think of my own […]

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Water, Clear and Cold

The celebration of rain is past. The wind has changed. A great part of the moisture has been reclaimed by the sky gods. The air is smoky again. But it is not as smoky as before, at least here at ground level. Instead, there is a high haze thick enough to keep the sunny fall days several degrees cooler than they would be. One can feel the smoke. The robins […]

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