William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Books’

The Annotated Proverbs of Hell

Once upon a time, a very long short time ago, I “annotated” William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Written in 2007 during the months of November and December, my sixty-nine mostly odd, somewhat awkward, likely absurd poetic responses to the Proverbs comprise the entire sixteenth volume of Songs and Letters. The Proverbs are from the 1994 Dover edition of Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Here is the sixth: The […]

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Standing and Crawling

I am on my feet; the laptop is resting on four sleeved volumes — two containing the work of Nora Zeale Hurston, and the others, nine novels from the Harlem Renaissance. The left side of the computer is above and partly hides my old Royal typewriter. To the right, The Life of Langston Hughes. Behind them, Plutarch’s Lives. Behind them, the complete writings of Robert Browning. And behind all that, […]

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With Or Without Us

Three vultures atop a dead tree at the edge of Goose Lake. The water has receded; the surface is crowded again with lilies. Around the edge, a dense colony of Sagittaria latifolia, the potato-like tubers of which, according to Lewis and Clark, were prized by the natives and filled their canoes during their watery harvest. Wapato. In bloom and attracting bees on the main trail, the fuzzy pink spikes of […]

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Shelter

We do not have to understand each other to love each other.And without love, we will never understand. June 20, 2021 Shelter December 16, 2009#2 Pencil on Index Card Primitive: Selected Drawings in Pixel, Pencil & Pen 2010 . [ 1140 ]

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A Book and Boy

The first verse is a faithful telling of something that happened which my eldest grandson has likely forgotten, and which I had forgotten too, until I rediscovered the poem. The verses that follow are still happening. . A Book and Boy A book and boy in his lap, a farmer tellshis grandson how a big combine cuts the wheat,and loaves of fresh-baked bread come outthe other end. They compare hands. […]

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One Last Thing

May your customs be glad ones. May they be without form. May each be forgotten once it has served. . One Last Thing One last thing before I say hello: here is a flower. It cried out at first, but on you it no longer seems alone. Hello, my love. Hello. Collected Poems Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007 . [ 1034 ]

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A Child’s Christmas

A great many years ago, my mother accidentally dropped a copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám out of the library window. About thirty years later, I saw it on my brother’s bookshelf. She’d inscribed it to him as a gift! . A Child’s Christmas Whence this peace falling into this upturned palm? . [ 970 ]

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As It Is Written

I have pruned orchards, and rows and rows of vines. Mud on the ladder, frost on the ground. This makes me different somehow. Cold toes. Orange peels. The bright fur coats of faithful hounds. Now my pen has wooden handles, with a blade at the end. In the fog, its voice makes the strangest sound. November 29, 2020 . As It Is Written After a long day’s work, the writer […]

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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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