William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

Monuments

We live in a house full of old furniture, old books, old photographs, old dishes, old pots and pans, and sundry heirloom antiques. Wouldn’t it be strange if we were to populate it with smart devices — a term itself meant to last no longer than what it was coined to sell? Isn’t it better to speak to each other and to ourselves than to an array of gadgets and […]

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My Father Walking, and Twenty-Four Other Things

It occurred to me recently that I walked more than a thousand miles in the immediate neighborhood during the past year, and several hundred more on state park trails — in terms of sheer distance, roughly halfway across the continent. This is hardly a profound realization. But though it was made in small increments, the journey itself was far from mundane. And a journey it remains. Another year and I […]

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Ten Years

Just before waking this morning, I saw an old friend who died in 2010. We were in a used bookstore. I said, “Were you asleep?” And he said, “The truth is, I’ve been sleeping far too much lately.” Recently Banned Literature, January 5, 2013   Ten Years Whether they return in the flesh or as memory, old friends often have a ghostly, disorienting way about them — especially those who […]

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My Father’s Shoes

My Father's Shoes

I will never consider myself educated; the idea is laughable; and if the time ever comes that I honestly can, it will likely be too late to serve much purpose. As it is, I’m not even sure I know what I know, my life being the dream that it is. I confess a school boy’s understanding of the alphabet; and I’m fairly certain that if I go at it slowly […]

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Shadows on the Sidewalk

For sidewalk, Walt Whitman liked to use the word trottoir. Offhand, I can think of no other nineteenth century American writer who did so — this, of course, based on my faulty memory and limited reading. Word choice aside, one thing I’m noticing this time through his Specimen Days, is that buildings and trains are every bit as alive to him as oaks and sparrows — indeed, in his poetic […]

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Ghosts and Angels

Walking the downtown streets on a winter afternoon, every brick familiar, Smiling to myself at the sheer number of doors I’ve tried and shops I’ve entered, At each set of stairs leading up from the sidewalk to sundry offices and rooms, And at the strange wealth of memories that come unbidden, The nerves, the tension, the fear (all of it precious and love always near), The glory of press time, […]

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Mending

The life of a memory, carried from childhood into old age. The lives of many, interwoven, and the fabric they make. The cloth wears at the edges; has holes; takes on stains. Here is a new one . . . and now death intervenes!

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When I Stand

Closing out this quiet round of winter record-keeping, the present offering follows “So Many Angels” and “Between the Ivy and the Big Rhododendron.” I wonder what the old cemetery looks like now, and if it remembers me. A crazy question, I guess. Of course it does.   When I Stand When I stand, I marvel at the almost-feeling where my appendix used to be. It’s as if its ancient forgotten […]

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Between the Ivy and the Big Rhododendron

Captured in the same breath, so to speak, as “So Many Angels,” I wrote and published two things the following morning. Both strike me as worth preserving. This is the first.   Between the Ivy and the Big Rhododendron Yesterday morning in the kitchen we were talking about our old cat, Joe, and how at peace with the world he was in his declining years, which he spent in our […]

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So Many Angels

I love how an old poem like this will suddenly bubble up, seemingly from nowhere. I had forgotten about it completely when an angel-friend shared it online a few weeks ago. And it may well be that she has forgotten that by now. And forgetting recalls another art — that of letting go.   So Many Angels So many angels in our lives — the doctor, the mailman, the cashier, […]

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