William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Collected Poems

The Enigmatic Child

Maybe you really can make something of yourself, as the time-worn advice goes, or threat, or promise, or admonition, depending on who says it or thinks it and under what circumstances, including you and your own. Maybe you really can become something or someone, a person worthy of respect, and on, and on, and on. I don’t know. It all seems rather strange to me. In a way, isn’t it […]

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My Old Black Sport Coat

Today is our eldest grandson’s eleventh birthday. This poem was written not long after he was born. The coat in question is a thirteen-dollar woolen thrift store affair. I bought it in 2001 to wear to a wedding. It was made in Hungary. I liked it so much, and it held up so well, that I wore it regularly for a good dozen years, until it finally gave out. But […]

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The Second Act

The Second Act

According to my notes, this poem was written long ago after I awoke one morning from a troubling dream I couldn’t quite remember, and with a terrible sinus headache. If the dream was the first act, the poem is the second, and reading it is the third. Or maybe writing the poem was the second act, and the poem is the third, making reading the fourth — unless the poem […]

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Forty Days, Forty Nights

This poem is not about the rain, but it’s probably because of it. In my mind, rain shouldn’t be wasted. But I promise not to talk about it.                         — the rain, I mean. we all know what rain is, what it does, the havoc it wreaks.                         — the benediction it brings. the feeling of sanctity, in all things animate and inanimate, though the latter category doesn’t really exist. A rock […]

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Friends

This poem, too, was written about twenty years ago. If I still have the original typescript, it’s in a crate in one of our closets. Sometime after it appeared on my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know, it was noticed by a writer in France, who took it upon herself to translate the poem into French. “Friends” also appeared in a little magazine called The Synergyst.   Friends […]

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What Will I Give You?

All these many years later, I no longer ask myself if I’m worthy, or if my poems are good. I ask, Is my life a labor of love? Then I shake my head and laugh. And then I sleep, and then I work. So goes this essay in the dark. So goes my funny little life. So it goes, even without words.   What Will I Give You? Trouble, mostly. […]

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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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