William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

My Old Black Sport Coat

Today is our eldest grandson’s eleventh birthday. This poem was written not long after he was born. The coat in question is a thirteen-dollar woolen thrift store affair. I bought it in 2001 to wear to a wedding. It was made in Hungary. I liked it so much, and it held up so well, that I wore it regularly for a good dozen years, until it finally gave out. But […]

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A Stranger Looking In

Now and then, someone will tell me my work deserves a wider audience. The truth is, I used to feel that way myself, and I tried everything I could think of to enter that magic realm. But the years went by, and the need fell away as I came to understand that the perfect number for an audience is one, and that this relationship we have — yours, mine, ours […]

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Long Story Short

William Michaelian, No Time to Cut My Hair

These days, my hair and beard are long — depending on the light, home to an early winter, or to all four seasons at once, like one of Gramp’s old work shirts, blossom, grape, earth, leaf, frost. I practice simple daily cleanliness, wear clothes to match, and which require almost no closet space. And so I wonder — is my natural unadorned appearance a public invitation to set aside what’s […]

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Days of Future Passed

William Michaelian — Photo by Tim Hinshaw, 1997

This picture was taken by a late writer-friend, Tim Hinshaw, to accompany my first published story, “Naneh’s Melon Thieves,” which appeared twenty-one years ago in Ararat Quarterly. The print was given to me in 2010 by Tim’s son after his father’s memorial service. The scene is Liberty Street, in downtown Salem. I’m looking west. Some thugs had just stepped off a city bus. Present and accounted for, I was ready […]

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I remember working on a story once for eight days, with the steadily growing realization that it was bad. But I stayed with it, and when the story was finally done, it was even worse than I’d thought. Eight days. Hours and hours. Time spent. Pages and pages, into the bin. It was grand.

 

Canvas 1,227

Canvas 1,227 — November 3, 2018

Eight Days — Canvas 1,227

Questions

With November upon us, I thought I would point to November 2016: Poems and Passages, an entry I posted in Essays and Collections not long after launching this website. It was hardly noticed at the time, and I think that the few who did see it were probably put off by its overall length. But the individual entries it contains are quite brief, with the exception of one or two […]

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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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Four Short Poems in Greek Translation

The poems offered here are from my book of sixty-four short poems, Another Song I Know, published by Cosmopsis Books in 2007. The translations and transliterations are the generous, fine work of poet and friend, Vassilis Zambaras, author of numerous poems, as well as Sentences, Aural, Triptych, and other collections. Vassilis and I met online in the blog world in 2008. Within days, I felt we’d known each other for years […]

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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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What Happens Again

There’s magic in the old downtown district — the brick buildings and coffeehouses, the quaint shops and reading rooms, the moss-lined alleys, upstairs dwellings, dance schools, modeling schools, empty rooms full of derelict adding machines and typewriters, kicking through fallen leaves, inhaling the smoke of unseen cigarettes, the past, present, and future a grand composite, each patiently describing the other, self-effacing, a curious blend, the voiceless cough of a homeless […]

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