William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

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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Verb or Noun

Every day, I notice how worn our broom has become. I suppose it might take a little longer to sweep the same space, I really don’t know. And when I finish, and the walk and steps are clean, I might be a little older than I would have been had I been using a new broom. Or I might be a little younger. Time, if it exists, is such a […]

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Fall

Fall

For each of the twelve hundred pages in my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know (2001-2011), I made a little drawing, occasionally in ink, but almost always with a school pencil, after which I scanned it into the computer and added it manually to the HTML page. Then I uploaded the page to the host server. Without exception, the drawing was done after the writing. The pages were […]

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Pigeons Are Old Poems

Empty barns, dry grass by the door. A house once here, Not here anymore. And yet pigeons are old poems, of that I am sure. Pigeons, and grave stones, where once there were words.   About a mile down the road from the house where I grew up, there is a little cemetery situated on a corner knoll where the soil is a light, sandy gray. Surrounded by a plain […]

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Dreaming of Books

I did something a couple of days ago that I’ve never done before. I bought books online from a shop in England: The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, published in three volumes by John Grant in 1927 in Edinburgh. Anymore, there are very few of these complete sets available. I’ve watched them come and go at prices higher than I’m able or care to spend. This time around. I was […]

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Now and Then

About twenty years ago, I wrote a story about an old woman who died in a library. Had I taken this approach, maybe it wouldn’t have been rejected so many times — not that this piece is necessarily any better, but one never knows. Of course, twenty years ago this approach would never have occurred to me, as back then I was still struggling with occasional bouts of sanity. In […]

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An Hour from Now

Here’s another poem I’d forgotten about entirely, but it strikes me as one I should save. Appearance, sound, meaning — all are in harmony. And try though I might, I can’t find an unnecessary word. This goes to the heart of my writing philosophy, in poetry and prose alike. In economy, there is wealth. I see too that “An Hour from Now” was written just a few days before the […]

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Shore Birds

For the past several days, the valley we live in has been full of smoke from wildfires burning north, east, and south of us. For a short time yesterday, we escaped to the ocean to breathe. About the ocean, I can’t quite decide. Is it relentless, or does it have something to hide? Is helplessness its plight? Is it mine? A man with a kite — in this light, gray […]

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From a distance, he probably looks like an old tree stump
in a drained lake bed, but from here, a bust preparing for takeoff.
Or maybe he’s just landed? Half thought, half drought?

Canvas 1,225

Canvas 1,225

Canvas 1,225

Sweet Blue Smoke

Let me tell you, it’s no easy thing coaxing these out of the brambles. You’d believe me, if you could see the blood on my arms, and the thorns. Now, let’s say you aren’t here, and that what’s happening to you is what’s happening to everyone, and that they aren’t here either, and that this is togetherness, and that togetherness is another word for solitude, and that solitude is so […]

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