William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Names’

Naming

The robin has left her nest. She was such a brave, patient little bird; likely it was her first attempt at motherhood. Her nest is a perfect work of art: a primitive weave, a deep and noble interpretation of dry grass and mud. It holds only one egg, dull, pale, almost transparent blue, beautiful even in its infertility. The extreme heat, the neighbor’s fireworks — it must have been difficult […]

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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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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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Now the Little Crocus

I have never been tempted to change my name. But as comfortable with it as I am, I can easily imagine setting it aside — all of it, first, middle, and last — not to replace it, but to do without a name entirely. I can also imagine doing without mirrors. In their own way, mirrors are as dangerous and destructive as guns, and being addicted to one’s reflection might […]

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To Live in Such a Way

Of this window, two things, knowing they are one: your breath on icy glass, bright spirits as they pass. “Of This Window” Recently Banned Literature, January 4, 2016 . To Live in Such a Way To live in such a way as not to break this sweet silence. Cherub on a limb. Fluffy wren. Snowflake. Winterwake. If you ask her where she’s been, she will sing again. Make that your […]

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Someday

All smiles late yesterday afternoon, our twelve-year-old grandson told me that earlier in the day he had looked me up on the internet — I googled you were the words he used. I said, You did? That’s funny, I didn’t feel anything — at the same time realizing that from this point on I would begin to seem a little different in his eyes, as this portion of my life […]

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First Came the Meanings

To me, one strange thing about living is having a name. Another is so many not thinking it strange.   First Came the Meanings First came the meanings then their names chamomile squirrel supper table the boy himself a pebble down a well loving the hand that let him go Recently Banned Literature, May 10, 2013 [ 416 ]

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Yesterday we had the good fortune of visiting the Grove of the Patriarchs
in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. Ancient red cedars and firs.
It was ninety-five degrees. Their bark was cool to the touch.
Old people there, and infirm. Little children with wide eyes and walking sticks.
The crossing of a suspension bridge one or two at a time.
A woman with a cane, a man with a long white beard.
Both were dusty, sweating, and smiling.
The Grove of the Patriarchs. The Grove of the Matriarchs.
Words. Names. Do we really need them, with so much patience around?

Canvas 1,223 — August 9, 2018

Canvas 1,223 — August 9, 2018

 

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Canvas 1,223 — Cedars and Firs