William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Another Song I Know

As I Recall

A few days ago, a red-tailed hawk swooped past the window and landed in the small bare maple opposite the front door. Not a very large bird, it was still too big for its chosen perch. With each move it made, it was poked and brushed by twigs. Finally it braved the maze and dropped to the ground. After investigating the muddy dahlia bed, it flew off across the driveway […]

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Curious

If thoughts left visible trails, then perhaps more of us would see how we are bound by them. Imagine a web at once dangerous and beautiful, so dense it darkens the sky — cloud rooms, passages, caves, precipices, dungeons, veils — and that this is not only between us, but between ourselves and a deeper understanding of how we really can fly.   Curious When I open the blinds, spirits […]

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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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