William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Recently Banned Literature

An Hour from Now

Here’s another poem I’d forgotten about entirely, but it strikes me as one I should save. Appearance, sound, meaning — all are in harmony. And try though I might, I can’t find an unnecessary word. This goes to the heart of my writing philosophy, in poetry and prose alike. In economy, there is wealth. I see too that “An Hour from Now” was written just a few days before the […]

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Sweet Blue Smoke

Let me tell you, it’s no easy thing coaxing these out of the brambles. You’d believe me, if you could see the blood on my arms, and the thorns.   Sweet Blue Smoke Now, let’s say you aren’t here, and that what’s happening to you is what’s happening to everyone, and that they aren’t here either, and that this is togetherness, and that togetherness is another word for solitude, and […]

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Show and Tell

In his dream, he wandered the narrow, winding streets of an ancient city. Along the way, he saw an old blind woman selling nuts and grains, and a young boy carrying fresh warm bread to customers as yet unknown to him. Hearing his footsteps and smelling the bread, the woman bade him stop; this he did, bowing theatrically, as was his wont. Speaking in a singing sort of way, he […]

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The Other Hand Clapping

While writing One Hand Clapping, I once made the funny suggestion to myself that I follow the book with another, and call it The Other Hand Clapping. Had the second book been written, it might have contained the following entry from Recently Banned Literature, which records a chance meeting just as it happened.   The Other Hand Clapping We met in the library lobby outside the Friends store. “Bless you,” […]

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He Took the Morning in His Hands

He took the morning in his hands and said it was an orange. I’d never seen one peeled that way. He offered me a slice of daylight. I remember the way it felt on my tongue. Papa, I said, Tell me, Is this really the sun? He laughed. Yes, he said, As long As we’re young. He peeled it up. He peeled it down. He peeled a house. He peeled […]

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November 2016: Poems and Passages

When one posts blog entries almost daily for ten years, there are inevitable changes — in mood, certainly, but also in subject matter, style, and approach. And yet, written as they are by the same hand, they are familiar and recognizable. It’s a bit like visiting a waterfall during different times of the year: now the music is heightened; now the rocks are more exposed; and while the distance from […]

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