William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Dreams

Dry as Dust

A short dream: Without questioning its odd location, I realize that the bookshelf outside on our front step would be more useful inside. There are only a few books on it, while in the house there are enough scattered and stacked about to fill it and more. What strikes me most, though, is the near absence of dust. Why is there so much more dust on the other shelves inside, […]

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Memorial

Reading old dreams — as if the mind, upon entering, were a cave. September 4, 2021 . Memorial My day began in the middle of the night when, after emerging from a tall building that consisted only of stairs, landings, windows, and walls, I met a friend in an open grassy area that might have been a cemetery had there been any graves. The friend, a poet with whom I […]

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Halls Within Halls

Tongue-tied twice by strange dreams, the details of which I scarcely remember, the second ending with my awkward, labored flight about twenty feet above a sidewalk past snowy steps leading to the door of a three-story brick building while in search of the other entrance — the place was familiar: it contained halls within halls within halls — I knew that much, but nothing more, the structure yet to make […]

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Crossing — My Father’s Side

I didn’t learn to type in school. With the help of a book from the public library, I taught myself when I was in my early thirties. Prior to that, I used the time-honored hunt-and-peck system. I’m a fair typist, not a good one. I can type these lines without looking at the keys. But if I need to incorporate numbers, I have to look down. Once many years ago, […]

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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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