William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Winter Trees

“The bird names have trapped me. They exist in a realm of unsolvable mysteries: the realm of nothing more than connotation. And yet I want to know what the bird behind each looks like. Why? I shouldn’t care.”   Winter Trees † Feline huntress, dozing on the grass. Along the fence, a cortège of wary sparrows, each dark face a funeral card. On my lips, imagined bird names:                            Shwittl, Tikipap, […]

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Counting Corners

Somewhere in the 444-page doorstop that I affectionately call One Hand Clapping, there’s an entry in which I am preoccupied with counting all of the corners in the house we were renting at the time. It ended up being an absurd number — but of course all numbers are absurd — at least I have always found them so. But that didn’t stop me from counting. The big rooms were […]

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Dizzy

Just after dark, two women in their fifties, home from work, one out to get her mail, the other stretching her legs on the sidewalk after her drive home — both offer a greeting and a smile — and I feel like a little boy on a merry-go-round, turned by fate’s precious little girls — who kindly do not laugh at me. March 3, 2020

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As the Crow Flies

Lower than the lowest cloud — higher than the highest tree — Brighter than the brightest sun — darker than the deepest grave — What are these thoughts — but almost — not quite — all — or none — of me? What are these things — but imagined — distinguished — company? What are these wings — but the wind’s — divine — philosophy?

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The Lovers

Evening star on His lapel — Moon — her Goddess fingernail — Never saw them dance so well — wonder if they bend this low To see us fall — and feel us feel — or if they know — The dream they dream — is real February 28, 2020

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Call and Response

Things are exactly as they should be — as they must be — all is simply a matter of natural, inevitable succession, as fluid as a river, with the river’s twists and turns — none are right or wrong, better or worse — the river is acting according to its nature, and is fulfilling itself at its own timeless pace, heedless of the sluices and dams in our thinking. Hold […]

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