William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

New Poems & Pieces

Pilgrim

I am here and I am not here — what better way to describe this early-morning walk through the fog, accompanied by what seems, and what might very well be, my almost tangible presence after death? The sublime vagueness of it, the feeling that, if it is necessary, it must be in unfathomable ways, the dawning of innocence with the coming of age. I will not tarry. Life is the […]

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Specifics

Is the slug in the grass aware of the bee in the garden? An ambulance roars by and stops at a house up the street. Too late. A hearse pulls away. And why, in the time of crisis, did I feel nothing beyond my apple and persimmon for lunch? Why do I not know when a homeless man nurses his frostbitten feet in front of the mission downtown? Are my […]

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Calendar

There is in November, a December way of looking at things. Cold toes in old shoes. Drunken birds, shrill red berries. Yes . . . This is the place . . . And these are your big round spectacles. The garden door is overgrown. There is rust on the hinges. In the creak of the wind on the spring of the latch is the hand of a ghost. Is it […]

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November Song

Raking through the remains of mushrooms, their quiet cities dissolved of themselves, By tine-stroke their gray-purple thoughts entering the atmosphere in clouds, Scattering their soft lumps and particles, promoting their culture and furthering their aims, I am the ghost of the day; see me through your window in the soft yellow light of late afternoon; Tap on the glass and I will look your way — yes, like that — […]

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The Trick

It’s a wonderful occupation, this search for the ordinary, knowing it can never be found. Sixteen days have passed since I noticed a fallen birch leaf riding piggyback on a fig leaf still attached to the tree. The fig leaf is yellower now and with pronounced reddish veins. And the birch leaf, having lost most of its color and diminished in size, remains right where it was. November 6, 2019 […]

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This Deep Love

How can we know each other if we don’t know ourselves? Between these sweet, holy, terrifying glimpses, how? Into each narrow crevice and wide chasm go the stories we tell. By lip and by eye we fill, by wrinkle and tongue. O dear one, maybe this flower will do, this shout ’cross the pond. This deep love in the dark night of our blind spaces.

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Moss, Frost, Tea

It may seem a small matter, chancing to pass the house of a neighbor the very moment he is cursing vehemently in his driveway at six in the morning, his garage door open and garage brightly lit behind him; and it may seem an equally small matter, chancing to pass the same house the following evening and to have the scene repeated, with minor variations — this time he was […]

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Footsteps

Fall tasks, undertaken at a fall pace. Leaves do not hurl themselves to the ground. Eternity is still surprised by a ladybug or late-season moth; admires armored Hemiptera lacing the sunny south wall; cannot resist caressing the buds holding next spring’s apricots. Her breath, the dawn calls clouds. November 2, 2019

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