William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘A Listening Thing’

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 […]

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Icebergs

Well, maybe it’s not exactly like that. After all, writing even a simple sentence is like navigating among icebergs. Each word is that beautiful and dangerous, with almost all of its meaning hidden. And reading the sentence is like waking from a dream to find a snake in your hands. But it doesn’t remain a snake for long. It dissolves into semblance and sense with a glass of ruddy-ripe juice, […]

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The Waiters (Long Live the Revolution)

Canvas 1,226

If there’s a connection between this simple new drawing and the old poem that follows, I don’t know what it is. But seeing it — seeing him — I thought I recognized a denizen of the old street-side cafés, an unknown, unsung member of the Lost Generation. The poem, of course, is utter foolishness, as all poems are that are purposely funny but true, and some days, like today, truer […]

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For My Father

Here is another “yellow poem” from the old age of my youth. My father left us in 1995.   For My Father Of the yellow in a wet fig leaf the ear makes sound of falling rain Poems, Slightly Used, October 12, 2010

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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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Lost and Found

Let’s say you have a little radio about the size of the moon, and that as you dial slowly through each of the craters listening for something that appeals to you, you suddenly realize that each dip, pit, and divot is broadcasting the news and music of a single solitary human life, and that their signals are being bounced from star to star in your brain. And yet, somehow, despite […]

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As Is

About this essay Written in 2015 and first published as a standalone blog, I refer affectionately to As Is as a “free-form essay” without quite knowing what the term means. The piece, divided into nine parts, or verses, is as much poem as it is essay, as much memoir as it is poem, and as much a celebration of life and language as all three. Its several references to Stephen, […]

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A Mouthful of Marbles

At 4:55 this morning I finished the third volume of Los Hijos del Pueblo: Historia de una Familia de Proletarios a Través de Veinte Siglos, por Eugenio Sué. Only one more volume to go. The first contains 1,150 pages; the second, 912; the third, 1,070; the fourth, 962. I read ten pages every morning while having my first cup of coffee. Sometimes, later in the day, when it’s too hot […]

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