William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Recently Banned Literature

Canvas 444 — Jerusalem

Canvas 444 — October 8, 2014

Though he doesn’t look like him, he reminds me of someone in Jerusalem, chanting in rooster’s voice behind the tomb, ’mid incense-cloud in cage-like room, Spirit moored in tattered robe, soiled well along the road, with dandruff, food, and candle wax, a kind of holy grime and filth, or prophet’s gold, Where I met him in the gloom, when again I was as now, not quite young and almost old, […]

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Canvas 1,040 — Evening

Canvas 1,040 — September 28, 2017

The longer I live, the more like a dream the past becomes. I look at what were once the looming figures of my childhood, and they seem shrouded in mist; the mist is kind to them; it softens them; their bright outlines are hidden; the light has changed; it is as if, relieved of their bodies, I have been given their souls. October 7, 2019. Evening.

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Ladybug Light

We have never seen such a wealth of mushrooms. The entire neighborhood is covered with them. They have sprung up along borders, beneath hedges; they have erupted in flower pots and lawns; they crowd the sidewalks like bubbles on the rim of a glass. At the same time, as if to reveal their darker side, the older ones have already begun to rot. At a glance they look like stranded […]

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In Light Of

Someone says the bright new mushrooms shine like lanterns by the walk. . . . the moon?   In Light Of Twenty-six degrees this morning. I wonder what I would do if I were a star? Shine like the rest of them, I suppose. And perhaps be gone by the time my light is seen in this faraway world. Lantern is a word I love. I wonder how old I […]

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At the End of a Wooden Handle

If man were meant to fly, he would have been given wings. And then the teacher died, never quite imagining. Dear old, poor old soul — and so they buried him in poetry.   At the End of a Wooden Handle This glorious day, right where you find it, at the end of a wooden handle, (picture a tool no one understands or remembers how to use) part butterfly part […]

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All Ye Who Enter

In 1851, in a journal entry written in late-September, Thoreau writes in its own separate paragraph the following sentence: The poet writes the history of his body. This statement, or observation, occurs seemingly out of the blue, between references to the growth pattern of pine trees and the tendency of a certain kind of grass to burn slowly and steadily without flame. In Part 2 of Clarel, his 18,000-line poem […]

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Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest

Rain, in such volume, with such force, and the cedar, unperturbed, a solemn drinker at closing time — yes, what is wisdom worth in this leaky house of mine? September 18, 2019 Hoh Rain Forest July 20, 2010 One saw swans back then. Another, fingers, hands. I saw faces. I see them again.

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Burning Candle

Burning Candle — March 5, 2010

Lunch. I’d just fallen asleep on the floor in the back room when I heard a strange noise — the sound of a hanger, perhaps, falling for no reason from the wooden rod in the closet and banging against a bracket on the way down, or of a penny committing suicide by throwing itself into an old cider jar half full of its tragically expired brethren. Awake for the nonce, […]

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