William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Dreams

The Impossible Dream

I record dreams as truthfully and faithfully as I can. In terms of accuracy, how successful I am varies from one attempt to the next, fiction and memory overlapping as they do. The form also varies. Some are set down in straightforward prose; others as poems; not a few are drawings and are rendered without words at all. There are even times when I do not realize I am recording […]

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Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m.

A little bit of coffee, a little bit of soap. Hand on the bell cord, eye on the rope. April 12, 2021 . Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m. A young man, of sixteen or seventeen and a stranger to me, leads me to a table, atop which is a curious arrangement of small objects, seemingly of a scientific nature. “If I die,” he says quietly, and with the utmost reverence for […]

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Mortality: Three Short Poems

The rain isn’t falling in huge amounts, but there’s enough of it every day to keep things glistening and drenched. There are piles of ice storm debris to attend to, but getting to them leaves deep footprints, where miniature lakes form, not in the shape of Italy’s boot, but in Oregon’s mud-and-moss-encrusted hiking shoe. And so that work waits — or, rather, the worker waits, while the debris does what […]

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The Hobo’s Ice Jar

An ice storm. Large and small, the trees and shrubs, draped with icicles and encased in ice, are bowing, weeping, cracking, breaking. Flights of geese. Flocks of birds. February 13, 2021 . The Hobo’s Ice Jar An old scraggly hobo asked for water. But my wife and I had no water, because we were in the process of clearing out the kitchen. The cabinets were empty, the faucet was missing. […]

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Lemon Sun, Pomegranate Blood

Dream, memory, and the written word — in my experience, these overlap to such a degree that it would be useless to ask which has the most powerful influence on the others. Imagine three very old, sympathetic sisters. Finally, one of them dies. The surviving two follow her to the cemetery, and the conversation between the three of them continues there. . Lemon Sun, Pomegranate Blood The little unpainted house […]

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Change Your Face

A very rough night — but I did intercept the pass; and if only the field were not so far below, I could have run to the goal line, instead of laboriously treading air until my much delayed, unnoticed, unheralded arrival. Such are the rewards of greatness. More disturbing, however, was the haunted figure intent on changing faces, the last of which was the full moon. Change your face, I […]

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Robin

Last night I dreamed I saw a bright, beautiful robin, with striking marks around his eyes. He stood before me in the grass. He did not say. I did not ask. December 24, 2020 . [ 967 ]

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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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