William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

Crime and Punishment

The idea that there are certain kinds of behavior that must be punished — where has it come from, and why is it so widely accepted? Why do millions of people call for the punishment of corrupt politicians? Why do they desire so strongly to see them punished? And what of the millions of others who emulate and praise their behavior, and see it not as evil, but as good? […]

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Butterflies and Bee Toes

Am I being vague? I don’t mean to be. I love words. And they love me. We’re naturally hesitant, wondering, each time we meet, who will be the first to speak. What should we mean? We aren’t nails hammered through wood. We’re more like butterflies, or bees with pollen on our toes. Documents? Manifestos? We laugh. We can’t all be bibles or epitaphs. Some of us must be free. Recently […]

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Joy

Walking in the direction of low racing clouds lit by the city, I keep pace long enough to take flight — too weightless to be wrong, too dizzy to be right. February 5, 2021 . [ 1011 ]

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Graffiti and Bread Crumbs

My life experience cannot be duplicated. It is too complex, too richly detailed. It is personal, private. It is mine alone. What happens to us, happens to us individually. Triumphs, trials, and tragedies can be shared, but each is felt, interpreted, and remembered differently. Even the death of a sibling, parent, or family friend is not simply one death: the departed not only dies for himself, he dies separately and […]

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Have We Met?

You see that life is uncertain, and yet you wait to love. As if the news is not all in, and you still might be saved from yourself. But that is the news. Love is your unrealized wealth. “The News” Recently Banned Literature, January 30, 2017 . Have We Met? Wherever you go, however seemingly common the situation or place, give your very best most careful attention to the people […]

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The Family Tree

It’s a pity, in a way, that each of us can’t, during the most heightened moments of our righteous anger, suddenly find ourselves surrounded by our ancestors — not just to the extent of our easily accessible family tree, but all the way to the beginning. For surely, in genetic, genealogical terms, we are not who we think we are; we are far different and far more than the knowledge […]

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Religio Medici

In the latter pages of his Religio Medici, Sir Thomas Browne mentions in passing that in addition to several regional dialects, he knows six languages. He does not write so to impress; it strikes me more as an expression of his generous, liberal nature: he sees himself not as the center of the universe as it was then known and understood, but as a fortunate participant in everything it has […]

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One Minute, Two, a Lifetime, the World

One habit to the next without rest, each with its pretty colored shell — see them on the mantelpiece, and there upon your brow — but when you thirst, love, oh! — seek a deeper well! “When You Thirst” Recently Banned Literature, January 7, 2018 . One Minute, Two, a Lifetime, the World I think one of the most revolutionary, transformative acts we can undertake, is to set aside a […]

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I Wonder Where They Come From

We have visited briefly with Ross Freeman three times thus far. I skip ahead now to the end of his story, with the complete text of the closing chapter. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the feeling of friendship is strong upon me, and the end of The Smiling Eyes of Children, among other things, seems to express something of the gratitude I feel for the wonderful people I have met […]

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