William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Meaning’

First Came the Meanings

To me, one strange thing about living is having a name. Another is so many not thinking it strange.   First Came the Meanings First came the meanings then their names chamomile squirrel supper table the boy himself a pebble down a well loving the hand that let him go Recently Banned Literature, May 10, 2013

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Word of Mouth

Earthquakes, volcanoes, and Man — Too much yeast, God said. “Judgment Day” Songs and Letters, April 25, 2008   Word of Mouth Someone who lives well west of us, in the first row of houses overlooking the river, said that the recent high water rose into her yard, but did not reach her house. When the water receded, it left behind all manner of filth from the homeless encampment that […]

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An Accident of Birth

I wake up and it all seems so familiar. I suppose that in another life, I was a buzzard on a fence post. And in another, I was the fence post. But where? Was it here, or on some other earth?   An Accident of Birth On some days, I was born in a scorching valley, to write with a cactus spine that ends in lines of clotted blood, about […]

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Five Years Ago

“William” — January 1, 2014

Truly an exercise in vanity, I liked this self-portrait so much back in 2014, I had a small canvas-print made. On a wall in this room, in a dimly lit place mostly hidden by books, it’s a private daily reminder of my foolish self-absorption, which I can only hope, and am in no way certain, I’ve outgrown. But for all that, the likeness is still a valid record of sorts, […]

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These States

If words had but one meaning, I would have died long ago and found no rest. Instead, I wept a while, and when it passed, I found this, my gravestone in the grass. It is a dictionary. And my name is filed neatly in the back, beneath Weights and Pleasures.   These States Winter one day, fall the next, sparrows in beds of leaves, birch-bright colors float in cold stone […]

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An Orange Question, An Orange Answer

When we remember a place, do we imagine it so clearly that if someone is there now, they will sense our presence, or in some other way be enlightened, moved, or disturbed? And do we know, similarly, that what moves us, isn’t caused by the thoughts or dreams of someone else, someone departed, perhaps, or among the living still?   An Orange Question I wonder — has the owner of […]

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For Emily

Faulty grammar aside, there’s more here than meets the I. But Emily Dickinson? What made me think of her?   For Emily If the past is a flower, and has its seasons and dies, what of the seeds it leaves behind? and what of you, and I, dear butterfly?

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Shore Birds

For the past several days, the valley we live in has been full of smoke from wildfires burning north, east, and south of us. For a short time yesterday, we escaped to the ocean to breathe.   Shore Birds About the ocean, I can’t quite decide. Is it relentless, or does it have something to hide? Is helplessness its plight? Is it mine? A man with a kite — in […]

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