William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Books’

First Kiss

This has been a winter of books, and the kind of simple earthly pleasures that are priceless and free — a winter of clouds and ice and sun, of forest paths and waterfalls, of vanilla pages and chamomile grass and moss — a winter of Blake, Thoreau, and Don Quixote, of diaries and letters, and of all that lasts beyond its past and lights the present tense. And it’s not […]

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Winter Work

Book by book I go, dusting, cleaning, reading, examining, inhaling, arranging. A library is a strange, quiet joy. It is good fortune, and in these times, when ignorance is vaunted, heralded, and prized, it is a reminder that wisdom and sanity are still alive in the world. And then when the rain stops, I put on even older clothes and go out and prune the fig tree, which, over the […]

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Ancient Andy Lace and Heavy Metal Pews

Ancient Andy Lace — April 9, 2010

Speaking of past lives, it must be one of mine that brings Andy Lace to mind. As for “Heavy Metal Pews,” I stand willingly accused of variety. And I still have not cut my hair, even though there is time, or something that quaintly resembles it.     Heavy Metal Pews So, John, I hear you guys just finished a new CD. Tell me, how’d it go in the studio? […]

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Moving Books Around

Jonathan Swift 1812-1813

At the moment there’s scarcely room here to sit, leave alone exercise free movement of my elbows. And while this is only a slight exaggeration, I’d best make no sudden moves, or I might topple the tall stacks of books everywhere around me, as the room is in a state of turmoil brought on by my decision to add two more tall bookcases, despite the fact that there’s no obvious […]

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Almost the Same

If this is a book I’m putting together, it’s already the length of a short novel — this in the space of a little more than five months. As meaningless as things like these are, I find them quite interesting. My first novel, A Listening Thing, was written in ninety days. And if I remember correctly, my second novel, The Smiling Eyes of Children, was written in fifty-four. These are […]

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The Good Life

Untrimmed Edges, Tobias Smollett Novels, London, George Routledge and Sons, 1884.

Truth be told, I’m as content to face a gale as I am to sip rare verse — even when, a moment later, I forget the blessèd words.   The Good Life Let’s say you’re bathing in an eighteenth century English epistolary novel, in which words are soap bubbles, and paragraphs are beads draped by the door, when you hear the footsteps of someone you love cross the floor; The […]

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One Hand Clapping — October 16, 2004

This is one of 730 entries that make up the daily journal and massive doorstop, One Hand Clapping. Each entry was published the day it was written on my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know. In that online version, the book was divided into pages by month. Atop each page was the following statement: The purpose of this daily journal is to see if I can find a […]

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Real Time

In the same letter, the friend who told me about the Gombrowicz diary mentioned seeing deer in the quieter, more secluded areas of the campus of the college where he works, and how those lovely creatures live in their own version of time. He meant it in a philosophical way, but it’s also true in the scientific sense. Every species on earth experiences time differently than we do, and sees […]

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Like a Flower

In a recent letter, a friend told me he’s reading the English translation of a diary by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, an 800-page tome published in 2012 by Yale University Press. He found it in Santa Barbara, at a bookstore named Chaucer’s. Naturally, I would like to have a copy, although I probably wouldn’t get around to reading it for thirty years. I’ll be ninety-two then. Will I still be […]

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