William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘A Listening Thing’

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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River Country

We parked in the lot near the immense black walnut tree. Its shade is dense this time of year, the moss on its massive trunk and lower branches still green. We’ve seen it in all seasons. We’ve seen it bare in winter, and in its golden profundity in fall. And it’s clear in its presence that wisdom isn’t something one seeks, because it is here. And only the mind is […]

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Joyous, Loud, and Something Else

Coffee on, I was reading near the open front window this morning at a little after four, when a robin started singing, either from the lush volunteer cedar near the walk, or from the roof, or from the tall juniper directly across from the window and behind the dahlias. I couldn’t quite tell, but its voice was so joyous and so loud, all I could do was stop and listen. […]

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In Season

Strawberries. Blueberries. Blackberries. Cherries. I could spend the next hour experimenting with the order of those four words, to see and hear which looks and sounds best with the color, flavor, and meaning they convey — or the next week, and the next, until berries and cherries give way to melons and peaches. And if I say it’s a listening thing, the falling of water on rocks and the crack […]

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