William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Another Song I Know

Ask Yourself

At the rate I’m going, steady though it may be, it will take me several years to finish reading all fourteen volumes of Thoreau’s journal. I hope I have those years. But if I don’t, I’m happy to have had those leading up to them. And when I say hope, I mean I’m willing to live them if they’re given me, and that I understand very well they might not […]

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Epitaph

Love is light in the palm of the beloved, and a bee’s in the dew on the rose. June 30, 2019   Epitaph what strange liquor is this? who poured it into my glass? why do I love its flavor? why can I not resist? Songs and Letters, October 12, 2006 Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

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Changes

The deep voice of a bullfrog — the lilies are so dense, he can cross Goose Lake without touching the water. On the high platform used by the ospreys, the heads of their young can be seen above the edge of their big rugged nest. Three brown rabbits. The cry of a flicker. Fields of daisies. Budding chamomile. In shaded areas, there is one kind of general scent; in sunny […]

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Abandoned

Not that many days ago, I was nearly finished with my evening walk when, at the foot of a driveway of a house for sale, I was met with a single bark by a shaggy, two-toned spaniel. At the same time, I noticed a man occupied at some task behind, and mostly obscured by, an old white pickup. I greeted the dog and bent down to let it sniff the […]

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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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