William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Songs and Letters

November Sky

Before committing these poems and pieces to cyberspace, I go over them again and again, aloud, listening for meaning, listening for ease, listening for rhythm, listening for music, listening for truth. When in my limited capacity I hear them, I open the cage and set the entries free. Some fly off right away. Others stay here in my room, roosting on the bookshelves, or gazing out the window at the […]

Continue Reading →

A Stranger Looking In

Now and then, someone will tell me my work deserves a wider audience. The truth is, I used to feel that way myself, and I tried everything I could think of to enter that magic realm. But the years went by, and the need fell away as I came to understand that the perfect number for an audience is one, and that this relationship we have — yours, mine, ours […]

Continue Reading →

After the Storm

We hear time and again of artists cut down in the eternal youth of their prime — painters, writers, poets, musicians — and wonder at the gifts they leave behind. And I think, thank goodness they did not put off doing the work they were born to do. I feel the same about mothers and fathers, farmers, caregivers, teachers, and everyone else who meets their fears and answers the call. […]

Continue Reading →

Letter to Myself

In my mind, writing for publication is a sacred trust. To approach it as anything less would be a form of abuse. But I think the same can be said of any walk of life, any kind of work. Don’t you? Because, by each and every act, we publish ourselves.   Letter to Myself Yours are meager words circling the drain while the world outside rages on. No books exploding […]

Continue Reading →

The Rain and the Dead

A smidgen of rain. Dry under the trees. The timeless scent of crushed dry leaves. It sounds almost like a recipe. And it is, for paradise, for calm, for peace, for sanity. Where have the lines gone, the edges, borders, and boundaries? To graveyards, every one. Another leaf is down.   The Rain and the Dead We can count storms but not raindrops, wars, but not the dead falling thick […]

Continue Reading →

Sanctuary

Strangely quiet, the geese. No honking, no flapping, no V. — V., as in so many nineteenth century novels the first letters of names and locations are used so as not to reveal the identity of living fictions. He resided in or on V. He returned from V. He looked up; and when his feverish gaze fell upon V., her long hair beckoned to him like a field of ripened […]

Continue Reading →

Death and the Scribe

And if this is a death bed edition, how is it that the bed is piled high with papers and books, leaving no room for the body? And how is that, when I hold up my hand, it seems less flesh than daylight?   Death and the Scribe Old though he was, Death hadn’t the heart to take him, The diligent, muttering scribe. Already, the world had forgotten him, His […]

Continue Reading →

An Orange Question, An Orange Answer

When we remember a place, do we imagine it so clearly that if someone is there now, they will sense our presence, or in some other way be enlightened, moved, or disturbed? And do we know, similarly, that what moves us, isn’t caused by the thoughts or dreams of someone else, someone departed, perhaps, or among the living still?   An Orange Question I wonder — has the owner of […]

Continue Reading →

What Happens Again

There’s magic in the old downtown district — the brick buildings and coffeehouses, the quaint shops and reading rooms, the moss-lined alleys, upstairs dwellings, dance schools, modeling schools, empty rooms full of derelict adding machines and typewriters, kicking through fallen leaves, inhaling the smoke of unseen cigarettes, the past, present, and future a grand composite, each patiently describing the other, self-effacing, a curious blend, the voiceless cough of a homeless […]

Continue Reading →

Morning Coffee

As always at this early hour, I’m drinking coffee. I love coffee. I’ve loved it since childhood, when the aroma of it perking would invade my bedroom. Yes, I had a bed, and a room. I still marvel at it. At night, the sliding closet door, painted the same color as the walls, had to be closed. If it was open, the things hanging in the closet came to life […]

Continue Reading →