William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Library of America’

Nothing Like Anything

A couple of mornings ago I dug up the garden space. It’s been a very cool, wet April, one of about half a dozen of the coolest and wettest on record. The soil is in wonderful condition, a joyful fact confirmed by an abundance of fat, healthy worms. With luck, despite a continued chance of rain in the forecast, we’ll be able to plant a few things this week or […]

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Each Other’s Creation

Yesterday morning I ran four miles, and when I was done I felt I could have easily run farther. It had rained again during the night and the atmosphere was heavy and moist, with a light fog. I kept a slow pace, free and easy. This morning I ran about a mile and a quarter in a very strong wind. My pace was still free and easy, but much faster. […]

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The Fire Next Time

My reading has slowed to a crawl. I love it as much as ever, and possibly even more, but sitting and I are no longer the friends we once were. The body craves movement, and the more movement I give it, the more free and flexible it becomes. Still, there is James Baldwin. Thus far I’ve read over three hundred pages of his penetrating and insightful essays, and am near […]

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Explain Yourself

Open, honest, illuminating, inspiring, heartbreaking, profound — I am glad to have read James Baldwin’s masterfully written essay, “Notes of a Native Son.” Yesterday morning, upon rising and after the coffee was on, I drank two large glasses of water. This morning I had less than a glass. Sometimes I have one, sometimes one and a half. Day in and day out, all through my growing up years, my father […]

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Early-Morning Streetlight

James Baldwin: Collected Essays, in the fifteenth printing of the Library of America edition — a gift for Christmas from “The Kids.” At one-thirty in the morning, the sound of a raccoon climbing the fence near our bedroom window. Into the kitchen for a sip of water, the cold floor a comfort to my warm bare feet. Streetlights and a dusting of snow. December 26, 2021 . Early-Morning Streetlight For […]

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Peacefully Ignorant

Tiny towns and crossings on the west side of the river: Amity, Hopewell, Eola. Lincoln. Zena. Bethel. On this side: St. Louis, Brooks, Mt. Angel, Bethany. Churches. Barns. Cemeteries. Oaks, firs, winding roads that give way to gravel. Smoke from fireplaces and stoves. Deer. Wild blackberries. When was the last time I wanted something I didn’t really need? It must be the forthcoming Richard Wilbur translations of Molière. And the […]

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Ages and Pages

Yesterday morning we dug the dahlias, and in the afternoon I manured the ground for planting next spring. Fluffed and raised from digging, the space looks like a new grave. This morning, the tubers having been cleaned, separated into smaller clumps, and dried, we tucked them away in peat moss for their winter nap in the garage. The apricot tree is bare and fruit buds for next year’s crop are […]

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Life, Death, Fall

This morning I finished Edward O. Wilson’s Naturalist. After lunch I read in Emerson’s journal about the death of his little boy, Waldo. Two months ago, I ordered Library of America’s forthcoming two-volume edition, Molière: The Complete Richard Wilbur Translations. Today I removed the plants from the pots, barrels, and planters behind the house. I also cleared the gutters, which were full to the brim with birch leaves and fir […]

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Destruction and Joy

Finished early this morning: The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson. The leaves are changing in the canyon. Yesterday morning, all through our three-and-a-half-mile walk from North Falls to Winter Falls, to Twin Falls, and then back to North Falls and on to Upper North Falls, the canopy was dripping from the previous night’s rain. In fact, it was raining, but the rain itself was being absorbed well above […]

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Dry as Dust

A short dream: Without questioning its odd location, I realize that the bookshelf outside on our front step would be more useful inside. There are only a few books on it, while in the house there are enough scattered and stacked about to fill it and more. What strikes me most, though, is the near absence of dust. Why is there so much more dust on the other shelves inside, […]

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