William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Imagination’

Four Old Canvases

Four Old Canvases — March 10, 2011

I see myself rattling along sleeplessly in a train at night, through unnamed towns and across the wide prairie, alone in my compartment with a large battered trunk full of canvases. I’m on my way to a one-man show in New York. When I arrive and step out on the platform, someone informs me, in an astonished whisper, “New York, sir. It’s gone. Something happened to it, and we’re trying […]

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As the Crow Flies

Lower than the lowest cloud — higher than the highest tree — Brighter than the brightest sun — darker than the deepest grave — What are these thoughts — but almost — not quite — all — or none — of me? What are these things — but imagined — distinguished — company? What are these wings — but the wind’s — divine — philosophy?

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All Together Now

Do I know you as well as I know those I know in the flesh? Yes. Because in both ways of knowing, it’s really my imagination that creates you. Is this a way of saying I don’t know you at all, or that I know you ever so little? Yes. And that, too, is beautiful. Do you know me? Is that something I can ever know? I don’t know. Do […]

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High and Low

A baby’s high chair so high his head’s in the clouds, and, to feed the dear angel, we must climb the nearest mountain through ice and snow with his tiny spoon in our hands — but why do we imagine such things? To explain, I suppose, the ice on our shoes, and the spikes and the ropes. A man’s thoughts so low we must sound the very depths of hell […]

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And What Is This Earth Ship

Back to the falls — but not the same falls, no; never have we seen the water rushing so madly; never have we heard it thundering so loudly on the rocks below; the creek in torrent, fed by laughing streams dancing across the path on one side, and spilling over ferns, moss, rocks, and downed branches on the other; a dusting of snow all around; the temperature about thirty-five degrees; […]

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Someday

All smiles late yesterday afternoon, our twelve-year-old grandson told me that earlier in the day he had looked me up on the internet — I googled you were the words he used. I said, You did? That’s funny, I didn’t feel anything — at the same time realizing that from this point on I would begin to seem a little different in his eyes, as this portion of my life […]

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After the Bath

Maybe it’s not a question of whether, where, or when the flesh and the imagination meet, but how long it’s been since you’ve joined them.   After the Bath you draw with your fingertip on warm naked skin and then call the poem a rose Recently Banned Literature, December 30, 3016

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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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A Warm Muffin and a Fresh Ripe Orange

The weather turns cold, and here I am with my books again — the book of fallen leaves, and of the cloudless night and bright moon — the book of wordless days, and of the failing light in my work room — and glad I am, love, you will be home soon. October 9, 2019   A Warm Muffin and a Fresh Ripe Orange Imagine loving silence and solitude so […]

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You Think You Know Yourself

The assumption that it’s difficult is what makes it so. But then, so does any assumption at all.   You Think You Know Yourself You think you know yourself — then comes a word, a phrase, a night, a moon, an oak in rust on a time-worn hill, leaves, twigs, and cloud-debris, horseless riders faceless until they swing right in front of you — did you dream them or did […]

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