William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cemeteries’

A Few More Scratches

So many things live only for a day — flowers, insects, rain, and sometimes people — yet see how different, how strange the world would be without them. Love it all. Never look away. To embrace, rather than resist, the ephemeral nature of sharing one’s thoughts online. Helped, and also haunted by, mechanical memory. The neat, efficient archive (see cemetery rows, honeycomb) is for oneself, for the idle many, the […]

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Peacefully Ignorant

Tiny towns and crossings on the west side of the river: Amity, Hopewell, Eola. Lincoln. Zena. Bethel. On this side: St. Louis, Brooks, Mt. Angel, Bethany. Churches. Barns. Cemeteries. Oaks, firs, winding roads that give way to gravel. Smoke from fireplaces and stoves. Deer. Wild blackberries. When was the last time I wanted something I didn’t really need? It must be the forthcoming Richard Wilbur translations of Molière. And the […]

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Memorial

Reading old dreams — as if the mind, upon entering, were a cave. September 4, 2021 . Memorial My day began in the middle of the night when, after emerging from a tall building that consisted only of stairs, landings, windows, and walls, I met a friend in an open grassy area that might have been a cemetery had there been any graves. The friend, a poet with whom I […]

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Crazy Old Widow

Over the rise, past the cemetery, through the orange grove in bloom, on the Sunday morning side of the barn, the old rusted car your uncle drove, weeds through the floor board, cracks in the wheel knob, heaven’s own smell, the slowest kind of smoke. “Heaven’s Own Smell” Recently Banned Literature, May 21, 2014 . Crazy Old Widow The crazy old widow keeps a vineyard of gnarled old men arms […]

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A Faraway Town

Let us not explain everything, that we may not explain ourselves away, into meaninglessness, or superficiality, which is far worse. . A Faraway Town Between the rows                beside the mounds         above the tombs he knows so well,                                the tombs so dark, the tombs so cool,                 that pull him down                         and bend him ’round one frayed shoelace at a time, one copper-colored eyelet,                a faraway town (without any news)                               where no […]

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Letter to a Friend

Again, in preserving some of these older pieces, I find I must be willing to overlook what I feel are certain obvious weaknesses. In the present case, I do it for memory’s sake, and for its biographical and autobiographical value. My friend’s death when we were eighteen, the time that led up to it and which immediately followed, I count as one of the saddest, most fortunate experiences of my […]

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Thirty-One Hath October

It was good to see the little row of pumpkins leading to the front door of our daughter’s house, one for each member of the family. In the cool, misty morning, without touching them, I knew exactly what they would feel like, their deep grooves, their dry, rugged stems, their warts and lumps. And I thought, ever so briefly, of what it might be like to be a pumpkin whisperer, […]

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And This

The iris bed is ready for winter. The sleepers are settling in, some with space between them, others in full embrace, with backs and shoulders turned to the soft fall sunlight. None, apparently, are concerned about the presence of the two tiny oak seedlings that sprouted earlier in the year, not even those that are two or three inches away. And anyway, that’s just a human measurement; irises and oaks […]

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