William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Another Song I Know

The Old Life

My never-to-be-published writings really don’t amount to much — a few hundred thousand words at most, represented by two or three thick typescripts, quite a few stories, and dozens of poems. And when I say never-to-be-published, I mean that they are going directly into the flames. They had to be written; how else was I to learn? That purpose served, now they can be thrown away. And while I might […]

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Morning Sounds

More often than not, when writing the first words of the day, I feel I’m returning from a long absence or great distance. Maybe I am. Each sound is a powerful summons. The tables and chairs have grown roots. And the house — is it moving? Am I at sea?   Morning Sounds When their horns echo in the mist, I’m half-convinced the trains have turned to ships. I go […]

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Almost the Same

If this is a book I’m putting together, it’s already the length of a short novel — this in the space of a little more than five months. As meaningless as things like these are, I find them quite interesting. My first novel, A Listening Thing, was written in ninety days. And if I remember correctly, my second novel, The Smiling Eyes of Children, was written in fifty-four. These are […]

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After the Storm

We hear time and again of artists cut down in the eternal youth of their prime — painters, writers, poets, musicians — and wonder at the gifts they leave behind. And I think, thank goodness they did not put off doing the work they were born to do. I feel the same about mothers and fathers, farmers, caregivers, teachers, and everyone else who meets their fears and answers the call. […]

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Sanctuary

Strangely quiet, the geese. No honking, no flapping, no V. — V., as in so many nineteenth century novels the first letters of names and locations are used so as not to reveal the identity of living fictions. He resided in or on V. He returned from V. He looked up; and when his feverish gaze fell upon V., her long hair beckoned to him like a field of ripened […]

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Four Short Poems in Greek Translation

The poems offered here are from my book of sixty-four short poems, Another Song I Know, published by Cosmopsis Books in 2007. The translations and transliterations are the generous, fine work of poet and friend, Vassilis Zambaras, author of numerous poems, as well as Sentences, Aural, Triptych, and other collections. Vassilis and I met online in the blog world in 2008. Within days, I felt we’d known each other for years […]

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Morning Coffee

As always at this early hour, I’m drinking coffee. I love coffee. I’ve loved it since childhood, when the aroma of it perking would invade my bedroom. Yes, I had a bed, and a room. I still marvel at it. At night, the sliding closet door, painted the same color as the walls, had to be closed. If it was open, the things hanging in the closet came to life […]

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Hope

One thing I love about this poem now, twenty years after it was written, is that it goes forth without a bit of armor — with scarcely a veil, in fact. It lives in sixteen simple everyday words, with no need for pride or courage or anything else to hide behind. Reading it is almost like passing through a tiny town you didn’t know was there. Once upon a time, […]

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He Knows

This poem was written April 20, 1999. I don’t know why I didn’t send it to more magazines back in the day, because it was published all three times I offered it. Who knows — maybe an alert editor will see it here and ask to publish it. Or maybe he or she will simply smile, and wonder what the other editors could have possibly seen in a poem so […]

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Another Song I Know

This is another of the sixty-four very short poems that comprise one of my first published books. I say one of the first, because Another Song I Know and Winter Poems were released by Cosmopsis Books in San Francisco on the same day in June 2007 — released, it might be, like birds, or, better still, like children, whose idea of home changes ever so subtly every day for the […]

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