William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Poems, Slightly Used

Overheard

It might be said that those who laugh at beginners are afraid to begin themselves. But this fear is also a beginning. It might be said that those who rush to lavish praise on masters of their respective callings and crafts, are not aware that these same masters understand that in the face of so much beauty and immensity they are beginners still, and feel this is natural. It might […]

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Sitting At My Mother’s Desk

It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s old, it’s heavy, it’s made of wood. It’s simple, it’s worn, it’s scarred, but it still shines when the light is upon it. She bought it many years ago from a retired school teacher eight miles away in the next town. In the Thirties, before the Second World War, she and one of her girlfriends walked to that town from our town along the railroad […]

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Syllables

What are the great questions? And if I were asked them one by one, what would be my answer? Life, death, God, love, philosophy, religion, good, evil, war — would it merely be a recycled version of what others have said, a hearsay ego-bath arrived at second-hand, or would I offer something entirely new and of the moment, a revelation of an exploration without expectation, ever free in flight with […]

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Day of the Dead

Twenty-six-degrees, and a walk through the frozen neighborhood before sunrise — an exhilarating way to start the day. I was careful, of course, to pick up my feet, ice being what it is, and bones being what they are. On the snowy parts, where cars had not been, the crunch of my footsteps was loud enough to wake the dead, if they were not awake already.   Day of the […]

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As If Buttons Are Eyes

As If Buttons Are Eyes

An early-morning walk in the cold . . . the bark of a dog . . . slowly rising smoke . . .   As If Buttons Are Eyes Before my bath I set out clean clothes gently, now, as if buttons are eyes. From “Morning Notes: Three Short Poems” Poems, Slightly Used, October 24, 2008  

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Harbinger

One way to think of this breath of a poem is as the shortest possible biography of an unknown author still creating this world. But there are other ways, which involve rainbows and clouds, religion, philosophy, hope, loss, grief, triumph, and despair. As for myself, I give thanks for fresh air.   Harbinger One stray crocus, raised like a prophet’s fist. Poems, Slightly Used, March 1, 2009

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The Poet’s Glasses

A few days ago, I paid the relatively modest sum of fourteen dollars and ninety-five cents for two pairs of reading glasses — one for books, the other for working here at the computer. The frames are round. I’ve never worn glasses with round frames before, but I’ve always liked them — not because they make me look like John Lennon, or Igor Stravinsky, or James Joyce, which they couldn’t, […]

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