William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Writing Philosophy’

November Sky

Before committing these poems and pieces to cyberspace, I go over them again and again, aloud, listening for meaning, listening for ease, listening for rhythm, listening for music, listening for truth. When in my limited capacity I hear them, I open the cage and set the entries free. Some fly off right away. Others stay here in my room, roosting on the bookshelves, or gazing out the window at the […]

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Weightless Wait

If we judge the depth of a poem only by the number of words or lines it contains, we will surely do the same when we read a woman, child, or man; such a waste it is, when we hurry to the end.   Weightless Wait A lacy maple, now orange, red, and yellow, is dropping leaves. Tiny birds arrive. Weightless. Wait. More leaves fall. Brushstrokes. Worn out shoes. A […]

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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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Letter to Myself

In my mind, writing for publication is a sacred trust. To approach it as anything less would be a form of abuse. But I think the same can be said of any walk of life, any kind of work. Don’t you? Because, by each and every act, we publish ourselves.   Letter to Myself Yours are meager words circling the drain while the world outside rages on. No books exploding […]

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Seven Almonds

Having written for years doesn’t mean I think I’ve even begun to move and live and work in a realm beyond my limited thinking about the art — if it is indeed an art, and not simply one more thing a human can do to occupy himself while he wonders at the limits of his limitless existence. For instance, a moment ago I finished eating seven almonds, seven being a […]

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Icebergs

Well, maybe it’s not exactly like that. After all, writing even a simple sentence is like navigating among icebergs. Each word is that beautiful and dangerous, with almost all of its meaning hidden. And reading the sentence is like waking from a dream to find a snake in your hands. But it doesn’t remain a snake for long. It dissolves into semblance and sense with a glass of ruddy-ripe juice, […]

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I Tell Myself No Stories

There’s something restful and curative in sifting through the old things I’ve written, even when what I find is weak, or in other ways not worth preserving. In most instances, the decision is obvious. In a few, though, I can hardly bear to read to the end, so familiar and juvenile are the errors. As for my ability to judge, I do have my blind spots. In fact, it’s hardly […]

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This Will Be

I’ve been at it so long, I suppose it’s inevitable that often, when I sit down to work, I’m reminded of other things I’ve written. I’ve covered a lot of ground — not always well, certainly, but the old lines and images keep surfacing and reappearing, and it’s not unusual for them to arrive in the form of a lesson. One of the greatest of these lessons is, Don’t be […]

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Roads

Roads

I’ve often wondered where drawn lines end and poems begin. Some will say poems must be made of words. Strictly speaking, that’s true. But I’ve lived long enough to know, I’m made of words too. And when you read between the lines, I read you. Of the photographic self-portraits I attempted several years ago, Roads, I think, is one interesting example. The image first appeared in Recently Banned Literature in 2011 and […]

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Today I Am a Rock

The arrival of fall has me thinking about our closets again. The urge to dismantle the stacks of crated material, and to throw most of it away, has returned. Some of it, though, I have to keep: the old music books and sheet music from my piano-lesson days, for instance, and drawings our kids made. But the refuse of my writing life is another matter — the old redundant notebooks […]

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