William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Books’

A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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Cold Beer on a Hot Day

This much I know: if we had a two- or three-story house, I would, with or without a stick-horse, be galloping up and down the stairs numerous times a day. As it is, having to stay inside due to the smoke, I take regular walks over the length and breadth of our dwelling for the exercise. It has become quite the meditation. In the mysterious atmosphere of family heirlooms and […]

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August Days

August days are a recipe for longing: they bring scented dust and dew, the first nocturnal kiss upon veined leaves that are beginning to resemble my mother’s hands. Though much of summer lies ahead, autumn is creeping in, feigning patience with vineyard rows, gently coaxing the fruiting bough, Soft the yellows, purples, reds, soft the folds upon her unmade bed, soft the light on her faded gown, My mother holds […]

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Not Dying

This piece, another entry from Songs and Letters, was written August 3, 2005. The friend referred to is Glen Ragsdale, the artist who did the painting that appears on my book, The Painting of You. You can read a little more about Glen and see his painting here.   Not Dying After my friend told me he was diagnosed with cancer and had been given a year and a half […]

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Remnants of a Dream

Although I was quite poor, somehow, a new shirt had come into my possession. The shirt had beautiful buttons, no two of them alike. Having heard good buttons were valuable, I presented the shirt to a large, pale, flabby man standing behind a counter, hoping to exchange the article for a useful sum of money. The man glanced at the shirt, told me he had all the buttons he needed, […]

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Fossil Poetry

The well ran dry. He dug deeper, and deeper, his back to the soft spring rain.   Fossil Poetry I’m tempted to say writing is what keeps me sane, but I think we’d better reserve judgment on that. The opposite could easily be true. Writing might be what keeps me insane. Or, my insanity might be what keeps me writing. Then again, it might be my sanity that keeps me […]

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The Books by My Bed

This is a very old poem, from a lost, undated manuscript, which was later typed on my old Royal and also lost, or likely discarded. Earlier today I found I’d included it in an entry of One Hand Clapping, the lines divided by slashes. It’s a curiosity at best. As no other record exists, I’ll file it here for gentle guests and future laughs. March 29, 2020   The Books […]

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Counting Corners

Somewhere in the 444-page doorstop that I affectionately call One Hand Clapping, there’s an entry in which I am preoccupied with counting all of the corners in the house we were renting at the time. It ended up being an absurd number — but of course all numbers are absurd — at least I have always found them so. But that didn’t stop me from counting. The big rooms were […]

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