William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

Day Book

Which should I believe? Which should I trust? Earth’s April, or the April in my mind? The many Aprils, the Aprils of loss, the Aprils of discovery, the Aprils of love? None? Both? All? The Aprils of the foolishest of the most foolish of fools? The April of fine calendars, of which my mother has no need, and knows nothing about? March 11, 2020

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Steps

The worm moon — on such a clear morning, even her robins are visible. March 10, 2020   Steps “When she rests in the apple tree —                             that’s when we’ll harvest the moon.”          And they took great care with the ladder,                      not to               make a sound.   “Son? Do you see her face? Why are you looking down?”          And that is what he remembers,                             this day in the […]

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Four Old Canvases

Four Old Canvases — March 10, 2011

I see myself rattling along sleeplessly in a train at night, through unnamed towns and across the wide prairie, alone in my compartment with a large battered trunk full of canvases. I’m on my way to a one-man show in New York. When I arrive and step out on the platform, someone informs me, in an astonished whisper, “New York, sir. It’s gone. Something happened to it, and we’re trying […]

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Winter Trees

“The bird names have trapped me. They exist in a realm of unsolvable mysteries: the realm of nothing more than connotation. And yet I want to know what the bird behind each looks like. Why? I shouldn’t care.”   Winter Trees † Feline huntress, dozing on the grass. Along the fence, a cortège of wary sparrows, each dark face a funeral card. On my lips, imagined bird names:                            Shwittl, Tikipap, […]

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Counting Corners

Somewhere in the 444-page doorstop that I affectionately call One Hand Clapping, there’s an entry in which I am preoccupied with counting all of the corners in the house we were renting at the time. It ended up being an absurd number — but of course all numbers are absurd — at least I have always found them so. But that didn’t stop me from counting. The big rooms were […]

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The E Train

“The E Train” is part of a very short-lived series of guitar notes. Now, almost eleven years later, I ask myself — which E string? The low, it appears. Or, Lo! It appears!   The E Train Fascinating. The harmonic at the ninth fret can also be played at the sixteenth, and the harmonic at the twelfth fret can be played at the nineteenth. And I’ve learned that if I […]

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Soliloquy

If my past is a fiction, and my present a dream, my future could be anything. If my past is a dream, and my present its awakening, the future has much to explain — And that much must be little, if it means what it seems. Such is the play. Such is the scene. To write is to be written. To speak is to sing. Where the mind fails, I […]

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The King’s English

When I was about ten or twelve, I had a ten-gallon aquarium. In it were zebra fish, little darting neons, tetras, a sword fish, an angel fish, a scavenger, and a bright and very friendly silver dollar — these were their names, at least as I recall them. The angel fish and silver dollar were small when we brought them home, but they grew rapidly, the angel fish becoming stately […]

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Troonk and Hamph

Among other things, in his journal entry for May 25, 1852, Thoreau mentions hearing the first troonk of a bullfrog — a lovely word, although I have for years spelled the sound hamph — this based on my recurring basso profondo imitation of bullfrogs heard while drifting with my father in his twelve-foot aluminum boat down California’s Kings River, in that lazy stretch below the town of Reedley where it […]

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