William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Meaning’

Slowly

Your leaves and her hair. Her limbs, your grassy slope to the stream. Your roots. Her sudden rain. Her sunlit path. Your green. And every thing unseen, slowly. Is this what meaning means? Her hair? Your leaves? And all of it so tenderly? Recently Banned Literature, June 11, 2017 . [ 1114 ]

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The Comedy of Errors

Meaning where there is none, fat as a ripened plum. random note, 2011 . The Comedy of Errors 1. Shakespeare, an early play. 2. The idea that we can improve or fix this vast and perfect universe, or make use of it on our own chosen terms. (See Farce.) May 12, 2021 . [ 1104 ]

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Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m.

A little bit of coffee, a little bit of soap. Hand on the bell cord, eye on the rope. April 12, 2021 . Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m. A young man, of sixteen or seventeen and a stranger to me, leads me to a table, atop which is a curious arrangement of small objects, seemingly of a scientific nature. “If I die,” he says quietly, and with the utmost reverence for […]

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What to Say

What to say, except that words betray their meaning, and that their betrayal is what we understand? This? that even if they were clay, we could never hold them in our hand? † † That is, if the betrayal isn’t ours of them. Recently Banned Literature, April 23, 2013 . [ 1071 ]

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A Faraway Town

Let us not explain everything, that we may not explain ourselves away, into meaninglessness, or superficiality, which is far worse. . A Faraway Town Between the rows                beside the mounds         above the tombs he knows so well,                                the tombs so dark, the tombs so cool,                 that pull him down                         and bend him ’round one frayed shoelace at a time, one copper-colored eyelet,                a faraway town (without any news)                               where no […]

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Revival

Sometimes, as I sit here writing in the dark, I feel as if my hands belong to someone else working just beyond the veil — a parallel realm in which objects roam free of any given meaning, and the sound of a passing train — I hear it now — is that someone’s remembered childhood. “Arrival” Poems, Slightly Used, February 18, 2010 . Revival . . . and now / […]

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Butterflies and Bee Toes

Am I being vague? I don’t mean to be. I love words. And they love me. We’re naturally hesitant, wondering, each time we meet, who will be the first to speak. What should we mean? We aren’t nails hammered through wood. We’re more like butterflies, or bees with pollen on our toes. Documents? Manifestos? We laugh. We can’t all be bibles or epitaphs. Some of us must be free. Recently […]

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Zen the Hard Way: A Drama in One Act

Back in 2008, shortly after this poem was written, it found its way into a classroom, where it created quite a lot of confusion. The teacher who tried to make use of it told me that some of his students liked it, because they knew it must mean something, although they had no idea what it was. Other students were almost bitter in their disapproval, because they were sure it […]

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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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