William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Family History’

Winter Light and the Old Royal

Winter Light and the Old Royal

Somewhere in the house — I can only guess where — there’s a sturdy flat box meant to hold a ream of paper, with a patterned lid that fits neatly over the bottom portion; this box contains a long story I wrote for adults who are children, and for children who are adults — a sort of Huck Finn lightly fictionalized family history set on the farm where my father […]

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There Is a Story

It seems these older pieces are coming together in a way that makes them read as if they’re being written now, one giving rise to the next in a natural progression. I realize this is my impression. I don’t know if it strikes you that way. But I think this feeling is partly due to the pieces I am writing now — those which stand alone, and those which serve […]

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A Working Arrangement

There is still the funny little matter of what to save and what to throw out. This question comes up every few weeks or years, when the urge arises to gut entire closets with their stacks of storage tubs half-buried in all manner of curious debris — papers, crayons, lamps, fried or obsolete electronics — even old decorative pillows long past their presentable lifetimes. Some decisions are easy. For instance, […]

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Henry

Henry was my great-grandmother Eliza’s husband. I know even less about him than I do about her. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood — I remember my mother saying the fall from his horse that killed him was no accident. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, November 8, 2009

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Eliza

I know little about Eliza, except that she was my mother’s mother’s mother, and that her husband, Henry, who was born in 1835 and much older, died after a fall from a horse. This picture of her was taken when she was sixteen, around 1880 or a little before. My guess is that it was done somewhere in the East, before she and Henry settled in California’s gold country. After […]

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Papa, 1908

Papa, 1908

 

This is my father’s father, from a large photo-portrait taken when he was twelve, about two years after his arrival in this country. Since to a surprising degree this picture shows the way I think, I might attempt more of these strange collages.

Penny Thoughts and Photographs, August 6, 2009

Papa, 1908