William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

New Poems & Pieces

Winter Light and the Old Royal

Winter Light and the Old Royal

Somewhere in the house — I can only guess where — there’s a sturdy flat box meant to hold a ream of paper, with a patterned lid that fits neatly over the bottom portion; this box contains a long story I wrote for adults who are children, and for children who are adults — a sort of Huck Finn lightly fictionalized family history set on the farm where my father […]

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Offering

Wealth and fame? I sought them in my own simple way, but not for their own sake; I was willing to be rich and famous if it meant earning a living. And as I have neither, it’s useless to say or to guess what I’d do if I did. I’m also fairly sure I once feared them, which is another way of saying I once feared myself, which is another […]

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So Much Like Now

Apples, persimmons, and a silent bamboo wind chime, between your mind and mine. And oranges, you reply in kind. And it takes time, we find, to peel December.   So Much Like Now When you find this grave in the ragged ground, remember me to Winter. So much like now, it was cold the day I died: cold when a carriage rattled by, cold in bright Missouri, cold in Kansas […]

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I Am Forgiven

I’m sailing down the road burning fossil fuel, fouling the air with exhaust made by my noisy, powerful engine, slaughtering countless insects, the occasional bird, rabbit, cat, deer, and dog, when I suddenly realize what an insane, barbaric thing I’m engaged in — all of this destruction at my hands while sitting in comfort and calm, with dials glowing, gauges, fabric, plastic, leather, and shiny knobs. I am a murderer, […]

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Mind Over Matter

When I’m in a room full of people and everyone is talking at once, I often find myself in a kind of bodily hum, a state of vibration that is both pleasant and painful, as, say, a rock in a riverbed might feel when the spring melt has begun and it’s exposed to a new wave of sensation and song. The state is suspended when my attention is required in […]

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What Better Definition?

It wouldn’t be hard to convince myself that I am in hiding, that I have been in hiding for years, and that I am a hermit or recluse, despite being seen in public every day, and speaking in a friendly fashion with people I meet. One curious thing is that my voice seems to belong to someone else, and that the sound of it seems to come from a great […]

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The Smiling Eyes of Children

Not until I’d written the last word of what follows, did it occur to me use the title of my unpublished novel. But that letter has been read — by a few, a very few — and will be safely forgotten unless someday someone summons it into the light. Come forth Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job.   The Smiling Eyes of Children Let’s say you’ve come […]

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Did You Know?

My personal history, as such, is less important to me the longer I live. The memories are abundant, and my recall is still fairly reliable and clear. I am glad of that. But I don’t dwell on it, or in it, as I once did, and as my parents and their parents most certainly did. It’s almost as if, on the day we first met, we were already going in […]

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Weightless Wait

If we judge the depth of a poem only by the number of words or lines it contains, we will surely do the same when we read a woman, child, or man; such a waste it is, when we hurry to the end.   Weightless Wait A lacy maple, now orange, red, and yellow, is dropping leaves. Tiny birds arrive. Weightless. Wait. More leaves fall. Brushstrokes. Worn out shoes. A […]

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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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