William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Essays and Collections

November 2016: Poems and Passages

When one posts blog entries almost daily for ten years, there are inevitable changes — in mood, certainly, but also in subject matter, style, and approach. And yet, written as they are by the same hand, they are familiar and recognizable. It’s a bit like visiting a waterfall during different times of the year: now the music is heightened; now the rocks are more exposed; and while the distance from […]

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As Is

About this essay Written in 2015 and first published as a standalone blog, I refer affectionately to As Is as a “free-form essay” without quite knowing what the term means. The piece, divided into nine parts, or verses, is as much poem as it is essay, as much memoir as it is poem, and as much a celebration of life and language as all three. Its several references to Stephen, […]

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Letter to Walt Whitman, and Walt Whitman’s Reply

Following are companion entries from the first volume of Songs and Letters, written and posted on consecutive days in April 2005. I don’t pretend they are important in any way, or even very good; heartfelt, yes, and certainly revealing; but as to what they reveal, I will humbly, gratefully leave to you. Gone are the days wherein I would be embarrassed by something I’ve written. Ample are the times I […]

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The Poem I Wrote Is Glad It Missed the Train

About these poems The poems grouped here were written in a nine-day period near the close of 2007 and comprise the whole of Volume 17 of Songs and Letters. To me, each word they contain is a kind of love letter. Is it any wonder, then, that, by the very act of reading them, I imagine you tying a ribbon around the whole sweet bundle?     The Oldest Poem […]

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The Asylum Poems

About these poems The Asylum Poems came into being in 2007 while I was taking care of my mother, who was battling Alzheimer’s Disease. The cycle of twenty short poems comprises the whole of Volume 15 of Songs and Letters, a much larger work begun in 2005 and completed in 2009. The poems were written early in the morning at my mother’s house, in a small bedroom facing the overgrown […]

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