William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Imagination’

Now

It’s a peculiar thing, the urge, perhaps even the need, to make poems of private, personal experiences you know that others, too, have had. After a while, there gets to be an easy inevitability about the process, to the point that the occurrences of poem and experience often overlap and even seem reversed; sometimes it’s almost as if one is remembering the future, or that the past is about to […]

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Emerson, Thoreau, and a Compost Pile

In addition to the Harlem Renaissance novels and Thoreau’s journal, I have begun reading the two-volume edition of Emerson’s journal published ten years ago by the Library of America. Reading Emerson’s words aloud, as I do Thoreau’s, is more than a daily exercise in tongue and skill; the vibrations in my chest and skull create a conversational, dreamlike, philosophical intimacy that makes me feel we are together in the same […]

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For Better or For Worse

It breaks my heart to see a long-married couple out for a walk together, but not walking together, the man ahead, the woman behind, the assumed command and superiority in his carriage, hers subservient, with neck slightly bent and head held just so, as if fearing to cause his displeasure. And yet they are out together. Why? What are their secret pains, their secret pasts, their secret thoughts? How long […]

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To Imagine Ourselves

Be it mundane or grand, evil or profound, what we imagine becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy: the future we predict, and which we create thereby, is the present we are blessed or condemned to live. Imagination, therefore, is something we must tenderly cultivate and fearlessly explore. Held at bay, driven into hiding, it dwindles and atrophies. We become predictable, lifeless, and poor, and contribute little to the realm of possibility […]

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Desperation

This afternoon I’ve heard an assortment of vehicles stop in front of the house, but each time I’ve gone to the window to look out, the street is empty and no one is there. I’ve heard small cars and big cars; mostly, I’ve heard delivery vehicles. All, though, without exception, including their drivers, have been of a phantom nature. Why they are on this particular street, and focused on this […]

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Reason

It’s probably no more insane to imagine reason, than it is reasonable to imagine insanity. Still, I feel compelled to ask myself: What is my insanity, reason, and imagination to make of such a statement, even though I’m the one who made it? Also: Am I merely being clever, or am I serious? Am I a model student, or a class clown? Either way, or all — I am reminded […]

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Summer Advice

At ten-thirty this morning, the sun makes my arms feel like they’re about to become wings; the shade is the spirit of cool and quiet things. August 24, 2020 . Summer Advice Kiss each other in the shade after you’ve eaten a juicy ripe peach. No shade, imagine the tree. No peach, imagine the taste. No one, no one with a heart out of reach. Poems, Slightly Used, June 1, […]

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The Mad Artist

Fifteen years. Do I really remember this, or does this remember me? . The Mad Artist Yesterday I was waiting at a light when a mad artist quickly sketched a little girl in front of me in the crosswalk. The girl looked up and gave me the prettiest, craziest smile — a smile of freedom and recognition. I replied with a silly grin. This made her eyes shine, even brighter […]

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Sweat the Gold, the Place You Kneel

I moved two tiny oak-sprouts from the garden into clay pots today. One was growing next to the six-foot redwood stake at the end of a tomato row; the other was near the base of our vine. For now I’m calling them the vineyard oak and the tomato oak, the latter at the risk of a little clumsiness for the double-o vowels. The main roots on both were surprisingly deep. […]

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Past Present

The apricots are coloring. I remember early mornings on the farm when the smell of ripening fruit filled the atmosphere — to breathe at that hour meant taking the combined scent of apricots, peaches, and plums deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream. The magic I felt, balanced my practical concerns with the infinite and set me working at a soul’s pace. And though I left behind that life […]

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