William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Diaries’

Pilgrim

I am here and I am not here — what better way to describe this early-morning walk through the fog, accompanied by what seems, and what might very well be, my almost tangible presence after death? The sublime vagueness of it, the feeling that, if it is necessary, it must be in unfathomable ways, the dawning of innocence with the coming of age. I will not tarry. Life is the […]

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Specifics

Is the slug in the grass aware of the bee in the garden? An ambulance roars by and stops at a house up the street. Too late. A hearse pulls away. And why, in the time of crisis, did I feel nothing beyond my apple and persimmon for lunch? Why do I not know when a homeless man nurses his frostbitten feet in front of the mission downtown? Are my […]

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Calendar

There is in November, a December way of looking at things. Cold toes in old shoes. Drunken birds, shrill red berries. Yes . . . This is the place . . . And these are your big round spectacles. The garden door is overgrown. There is rust on the hinges. In the creak of the wind on the spring of the latch is the hand of a ghost. Is it […]

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November Song

Raking through the remains of mushrooms, their quiet cities dissolved of themselves, By tine-stroke their gray-purple thoughts entering the atmosphere in clouds, Scattering their soft lumps and particles, promoting their culture and furthering their aims, I am the ghost of the day; see me through your window in the soft yellow light of late afternoon; Tap on the glass and I will look your way — yes, like that — […]

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The Trick

It’s a wonderful occupation, this search for the ordinary, knowing it can never be found. Sixteen days have passed since I noticed a fallen birch leaf riding piggyback on a fig leaf still attached to the tree. The fig leaf is yellower now and with pronounced reddish veins. And the birch leaf, having lost most of its color and diminished in size, remains right where it was. November 6, 2019 […]

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Moss, Frost, Tea

It may seem a small matter, chancing to pass the house of a neighbor the very moment he is cursing vehemently in his driveway at six in the morning, his garage door open and garage brightly lit behind him; and it may seem an equally small matter, chancing to pass the same house the following evening and to have the scene repeated, with minor variations — this time he was […]

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Footsteps

Fall tasks, undertaken at a fall pace. Leaves do not hurl themselves to the ground. Eternity is still surprised by a ladybug or late-season moth; admires armored Hemiptera lacing the sunny south wall; cannot resist caressing the buds holding next spring’s apricots. Her breath, the dawn calls clouds. November 2, 2019

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Maybe on a Summer Day

Twenty-six degrees. I’m reminded of a similar morning in my mother’s old age, when the furnace stopped working, and how for the entire time during its repair, I chatted with the workman while she stayed in bed to keep warm, snug and unperturbed beneath her grandmother’s quilt, secure in the haze of her thought and non-thought, as if her dementia were a pair of soft comfortable pajamas. Now my wife […]

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Unnumbered Poem

After I finish reading the Library of America edition of Walt Whitman’s complete poems and prose, and when the wind dies down, I think I will turn to Emily Dickinson — 1960, Boston: Little, Brown. October 30, 2019   Unnumbered Poem If each act isn’t sacred, and each moment divine, tell me, then — who are you, and what do you do with your time?

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All of the Dance

What exists is imagined, and what is imagined exists — our demons and gods, our presents, futures, and pasts, our truths, our errors, our facts. Observation, reason, instinct, fear, madness — these are all of the dance. This is my experience, and so this is my guess. It is the ultimate solitude — there can be none greater than my knowing, and none greater than my not knowing. It is […]

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