William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

A Song on the Stove

I skipped coffee yesterday. That was a mistake. September 15, 2021 . A Song on the Stove I made some good coffee this morning. The taste varies, you know. I use an old pot. It’s the one my parents used back in the day. No special science, simply a perking paradise of memory and aroma. We’d go camping in the mountains and the pot would go with us. Or company […]

Continue Reading →

Familiar

Sometimes I want to reach out, but I don’t feel like writing, or drawing, or conversing. And so I become a ghost, or a waterfall, or a storm. Chances are, that’s when we met. Recently Banned Literature, November 30, 2010 . [ 1184 ]

Continue Reading →

With Or Without Us

Three vultures atop a dead tree at the edge of Goose Lake. The water has receded; the surface is crowded again with lilies. Around the edge, a dense colony of Sagittaria latifolia, the potato-like tubers of which, according to Lewis and Clark, were prized by the natives and filled their canoes during their watery harvest. Wapato. In bloom and attracting bees on the main trail, the fuzzy pink spikes of […]

Continue Reading →

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? […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 ]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →