William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Recently Banned Literature

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits — January 30, 2009

Some of us see ourselves as damaged goods, and wear that image as a badge, or a kind of shield against the world. And even in this stage, we are beautiful. But we are beautiful in every stage; for instance, we are beautiful when we foolishly think we are above all that, and that we are the only ones who know. We are beautiful when we think ourselves insignificant and […]

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Offstage

Offstage — July 9, 2013

You’re waiting in the wings for your turn to go on. You pull back the curtain. The stage is dark. The audience is gone. The time has come. You say your first line. Light is a poem. And somewhere, somehow, someone hears you. June 25, 2020 [ 790 ]

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Like Yours, Like Anyone’s

On good days, I remind myself of a cuckoo clock. There are no bad days.   Like Yours, Like Anyone’s When you take advantage of someone in any kind of dealing, business or otherwise, you may think you have gotten away with something, but you have really only sold yourself. For a few pennies, millions, or a sense of power, you have sold your dignity. You have sold another chance […]

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I Go Sparkling

I know someone who has a beautiful garden, with a barn, a path, many squirrels, and a broom. In the garden, she moves rocks around. And the rocks respond: they summon light and shade, night, rain, snow; and they hold each beyond the winking lives of them. I do the same with small smooth river stones. Today, near our jade plants, at the east end of the flowerbed by the […]

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And the Answer Is

Rain, enough to thrill the garden, but not to silence the scent of the grass seed fields. The delicate maples, red and green. The same towhee, in the same tree, sure each sentence must end differently. Flicker with an earth-brown beak, probing, searching, finding, swallowing. Little boy with a wet new bike, testing its frame against the curb, feeling the vibration in his bones. Funny how some words end up […]

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Kiss Upon Kiss

To the angry and ignorant, even love is a conspiracy. And if indeed it is so, I say, let us all perish by it! “Mysterious Ways” Recently Banned Literature, February 21, 2017   Kiss Upon Kiss Embracing one another, we forgot to hate, and forgot to vote, and were so grateful for the moment, that seeing us that way, our children gathered around, and somehow this set us all to […]

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A Few Nasturtiums

Through an open window in the dark, you imagine what you’ve seen before. Then you hear an owl, who-hooting in the firs. Coffee’s ready. Scarce past four. You imagine not a thing before. And the owl concurs.   A Few Nasturtiums A few nasturtiums where nothing else will grow. Fir needles. Who can count them all. And the tales they tell of galaxies in dew and dust. A calligrapher’s turn […]

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When We Most Need Them

I once read a fairy tale, in which the villain was a terrible monster. Years later, I looked in the mirror. Then I read the fairy tale again. How beautiful, I said. June 3, 2020   When We Most Need Them We all know of ignorant, arrogant, obnoxious, destructive people. But it’s imperative we don’t pollute ourselves with negative thoughts about them — that we say, rather, “This is the […]

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