William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

Long Story Short

William Michaelian, No Time to Cut My Hair

These days, my hair and beard are long — depending on the light, home to an early winter, or to all four seasons at once, like one of Gramp’s old work shirts, blossom, grape, earth, leaf, frost. I practice simple daily cleanliness, wear clothes to match, and which require almost no closet space. And so I wonder — is my natural unadorned appearance a public invitation to set aside what’s […]

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Autumn Detail

Usually, when cold weather arrives, we move our jade plants into the garage, where they spend the winter with who knows what thoughts — summer, shine, patience, glory, generations and generations of hands. Come spring, when we bring them out again, it takes them a few weeks to get going. Which way do we turn? What is that sound? Is that a squirrel? A worm? The swish of a broom? […]

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Days of Future Passed

William Michaelian — Photo by Tim Hinshaw, 1997

This picture was taken by a late writer-friend, Tim Hinshaw, to accompany my first published story, “Naneh’s Melon Thieves,” which appeared twenty-one years ago in Ararat Quarterly. The print was given to me in 2010 by Tim’s son after his father’s memorial service. The scene is Liberty Street, in downtown Salem. I’m looking west. Some thugs had just stepped off a city bus. Present and accounted for, I was ready […]

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I remember working on a story once for eight days, with the steadily growing realization that it was bad. But I stayed with it, and when the story was finally done, it was even worse than I’d thought. Eight days. Hours and hours. Time spent. Pages and pages, into the bin. It was grand.

 

Canvas 1,227

Canvas 1,227 — November 3, 2018

Eight Days — Canvas 1,227

In Confidence

Based on what I’ve salvaged here thus far, it would be easy to draw a number of conclusions about me; however, I advise against it, even if they seem obvious or reasonable, and even if you’ve known me for years, as a brave handful of friends and readers have. I do not say that you don’t know me; I say, rather, that there is much more to know. What I’m […]

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Seven Almonds

Having written for years doesn’t mean I think I’ve even begun to move and live and work in a realm beyond my limited thinking about the art — if it is indeed an art, and not simply one more thing a human can do to occupy himself while he wonders at the limits of his limitless existence. For instance, a moment ago I finished eating seven almonds, seven being a […]

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Icebergs

Well, maybe it’s not exactly like that. After all, writing even a simple sentence is like navigating among icebergs. Each word is that beautiful and dangerous, with almost all of its meaning hidden. And reading the sentence is like waking from a dream to find a snake in your hands. But it doesn’t remain a snake for long. It dissolves into semblance and sense with a glass of ruddy-ripe juice, […]

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Thoreau

As much as I like and am willing to live with the bits and pieces I’ve chosen thus far to preserve, it’s important to remember, for me, at least, that there are great swathes of writing and piles of drawings that clearly should not, and will not, see the light of day. I don’t mean to say it’s all junk. There are bright moments, mingled with poignant, self-defeating hints of […]

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Now You’re Home

In 2005 I was still using my first computer — a desktop model with an expansive, very comfortable keyboard and a massive, heavy tower with two floppy drives. I bought it in 1993. A 486, it had a 340-megabyte hard drive, 12 megabytes of RAM, and ran Windows 3.1 at an impressive clock-doubled 50 megahertz. I called it “The Workhorse.” Almost as good as my old Royal typewriter, it was, […]

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Ghost and Cathedral

As I look over them now, I think most of the old Notebook entries from my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know, are better off left unread. But a few, like “Ghost and Cathedral,” and the piece I added earlier this year in August, are worth preserving. Already more than nine years old, I might have written it yesterday, so accurate it remains, and so dear the memory. […]

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