William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Dreams

A Small Boy and Others

The language of Henry James in A Small Boy and Others is a softly spoken dream that gently begs the use of the reader’s own tongue. The dream is in color; it has no corners or edges or sides; it is more like the distance one travels between a robin’s breast and a fully ripe strawberry — the kind of journey a child makes many times each day — even […]

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Remnants of a Dream

Although I was quite poor, somehow, a new shirt had come into my possession. The shirt had beautiful buttons, no two of them alike. Having heard good buttons were valuable, I presented the shirt to a large, pale, flabby man standing behind a counter, hoping to exchange the article for a useful sum of money. The man glanced at the shirt, told me he had all the buttons he needed, […]

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Blue Jeans And

We are in the gardening time of the year. And we are the garden. And the harvest is near. April 30, 2020   Blue Jeans And In the waking part of my dream, I’m on my knees in old blue jeans, planting flowers. In the sleeping part, I crumble sweet-aromatic soil in my hand, and, like a wise old chocolatier of a man, hold it up to the nose of […]

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Ten Years

Just before waking this morning, I saw an old friend who died in 2010. We were in a used bookstore. I said, “Were you asleep?” And he said, “The truth is, I’ve been sleeping far too much lately.” Recently Banned Literature, January 5, 2013   Ten Years Whether they return in the flesh or as memory, old friends often have a ghostly, disorienting way about them — especially those who […]

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I Feel Like I’m Falling

Flying and falling in dreams is not uncommon, I know. Although it’s been years, I have fallen and flown in many of my own. But the falling was always a good thing, and the landings lucky, if not sublime — soft meadows, gentle slopes, white clouds — a blessing in the face of unexplained dangers. This story, though, is not about that kind of falling. Then again, maybe it is. […]

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Acapulco

My wife and I are picking our way through a narrow passage cluttered with stepladders, paint cans, and bits of old unfamiliar machinery; finally we squeeze through a partly blocked doorway into a dingy hotel lobby where we are unexpected and obviously not welcome; we are surprised ourselves, for we do not remember making reservations; the view through the front window is bright, colorful, and completely artificial — a series […]

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The Ancients

The dream I was going to write this morning has evaporated. Last night, it was so vivid when I awoke that I was sure I would not forget it, especially since I stayed awake for several minutes afterward. Or was that interval of waking also part of the dream? Just as I finished writing the last sentence, I heard a cat screeching somewhere in the darkness. There — there it […]

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Fishing

Sleep is a boy fishing on the last day of summer — then school begins.   Fishing I am fishing now, in a stream that has followed me down from the big sky at night, muddy and rippled with stars. My shoes are dreaming on a rock, full of fine wet sand. My clothes have begun to doubt me, but my hat is a mile wide, a meadow yawning in […]

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Portent

The flesh in dreams is as real as it seems. And this is a dream. Bookmark, Page 455, Poems, Notes, and Drawings   Portent I heard a sound, turned, and saw my father approaching through the mist. He was smiling, as usual. “Your mother told me to come and get you,” he said, “so here I am. Are you ready?” I told him yes, that I was ready, and that […]

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