William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

New Poems & Pieces

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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For Emily

Faulty grammar aside, there’s more here than meets the I. But Emily Dickinson? What made me think of her?   For Emily If the past is a flower, and has its seasons and dies, what of the seeds it leaves behind? and what of you, and I, dear butterfly?

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What Happens Again

There’s magic in the old downtown district — the brick buildings and coffeehouses, the quaint shops and reading rooms, the moss-lined alleys, upstairs dwellings, dance schools, modeling schools, empty rooms full of derelict adding machines and typewriters, kicking through fallen leaves, inhaling the smoke of unseen cigarettes, the past, present, and future a grand composite, each patiently describing the other, self-effacing, a curious blend, the voiceless cough of a homeless […]

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One Sunday in October

Sometimes, if it’s read slowly enough and with love, even a poem that’s deeply flawed, such as this one, seems not so flawed after all. And when we think of people as poems, and approach them in the same way, it’s positively medicinal.   One Sunday in October Just enough rain to sprout mushrooms, then wave upon wave of mold. Un cuervo, mi mente, un matorral. How a boy in […]

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Between Us

An exchange of letters, perhaps? Postcards? Wishes? Dreams? Or what shall it be? Autumn leaves?   Between Us Walking in the mist reminds me that wherever I go my face arrives before me, so that when we meet again, love, my secrets will all have been revealed.       .             .       . . And then             will I       be healed . . .

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Morning Coffee

As always at this early hour, I’m drinking coffee. I love coffee. I’ve loved it since childhood, when the aroma of it perking would invade my bedroom. Yes, I had a bed, and a room. I still marvel at it. At night, the sliding closet door, painted the same color as the walls, had to be closed. If it was open, the things hanging in the closet came to life […]

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One Pebble, One Pond, One Croaking Frog

I’m sixty-two. As I age, the desire to work grows ever stronger — the urge, the need, the understanding that it’s as much a matter of health as it is accomplishment — health physical and mental, a kind of spirit-health, which comes of living as lightly as possible on this earth and in this body, this body compromised and informed by years of stress and foolishness, clouded by ego and […]

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Mushrooms

Those bright-white buttons in green grass that remind you of a clown’s shirt and the way everyone laughs at his sadness except an old poet in the back row who swallows hard and says that’s fall for you and that kid in the long yellow bus on his way to love and loss and the moon   And when the neighbor told me he’d scattered some grass seed where the […]

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Words in a Row

Written very early in the dark on a Wednesday morning, the following lines seem more suitable for a Sunday — with the quiet half-understanding, of course, that there is really, and has only ever been, one day, and that that day has no need of a name. What happens is this: I hitch a ride, and for a while it carries me down the road. I smile when the driver […]

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Said One Mountain to Another

Clouds, but no rain. It’s not that they’re stingy. Or early. Or late. Gray is their way of saying they have more thinking to do. And the time that it takes is the look on your face when we’re waiting, love. Such is fall. And somehow, we remember it all. And we will. And we are. And we do.

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