William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Language’

Walk on Water

A robin chirps, scolds, exclaims in one way, loudly, urgently, but sings from a treetop in another, sweetly, yet with remarkable projection, and you think there must be two kinds of birds making these sounds, not one. The little boy next door explains and describes things in a tongue not always easy to understand, yet you feel and are caught up in his happiness. And then later that same day, […]

Continue Reading →

At the Poem Museum

Like the poem that follows, this collection, too, is a poem museum. At least I imagine it as such. But 1,000 pages? Was that really necessary? I wonder if I will ever know. . At the Poem Museum The other day, I went to the poem museum. There were poems of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some were made of words and others were physical objects, or word-extensions that very […]

Continue Reading →

A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

Continue Reading →

In the Language

We hear it said that words are symbols, as if in a sense they were lined up on one side, with reality on the other, and us in between — dirty things tainted by their own meanings, useful as a daily sort of common currency, but basically crippled as a means of expressing life in its great profundity and mystery, which are best trusted to silence. This is very much […]

Continue Reading →

A Small Boy and Others

The language of Henry James in A Small Boy and Others is a softly spoken dream that gently begs the use of the reader’s own tongue. The dream is in color; it has no corners or edges or sides; it is more like the distance one travels between a robin’s breast and a fully ripe strawberry — the kind of journey a child makes many times each day — even […]

Continue Reading →

Fossil Poetry

The well ran dry. He dug deeper, and deeper, his back to the soft spring rain.   Fossil Poetry I’m tempted to say writing is what keeps me sane, but I think we’d better reserve judgment on that. The opposite could easily be true. Writing might be what keeps me insane. Or, my insanity might be what keeps me writing. Then again, it might be my sanity that keeps me […]

Continue Reading →

Vigil

A day for tea. Not one cup, or two, but three. A trinity. Prophecy? Too, it well may be. An acute form of language, Or memory. Imagined, or worse. A blessing, a curse. A death, a truth, a fiction. A doorway. A wise oak. Surrender. Confession. Birth. March 31, 2020 [ 712 ]

Continue Reading →

Canvas 824 — Patience

Canvas 824 — January 17, 2017

I wonder, is it possible to cultivate a patience so gentle and profound that it outlives the flesh? Or is patience a pond we bathe in, and cannot defile with our death? We were greeted by a friendly, talkative woodpecker yesterday near Goose Lake — a young bird more intent on socializing than carrying on its regular craft and trade. Watching us from a bare trunk not five feet away, […]

Continue Reading →

Holy Water

Language is a river. Cross it, swim it, pollute it, drink from it, bathe in it, use it in rituals, float on it, ride its rapids, sit calmly at its edge. Paddle upstream. Drown, and live to tell the tale. [ 623 ]

Continue Reading →