William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Meaning’

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 […]

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The Observer Observed

Is it possible to read about, or listen to, the experiences of others, without filtering them through, or comparing them to, one’s own? I don’t suggest that an unbiased comparison would be of lesser or no value. In essence, that asks the same, or nearly the same, question: Is it possible to consider one’s own experiences non-judgmentally, as other than a series of successes and failures, or a source of […]

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Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest

Rain, in such volume, with such force, and the cedar, unperturbed, a solemn drinker at closing time — yes, what is wisdom worth in this leaky house of mine? September 18, 2019 Hoh Rain Forest July 20, 2010 One saw swans back then. Another, fingers, hands. I saw faces. I see them again. [ 515 ]

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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 [ 416 ]

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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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