William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Old Photographs’

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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Henry

Henry was my great-grandmother Eliza’s husband. I know even less about him than I do about her. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood — I remember my mother saying the fall from his horse that killed him was no accident. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, November 8, 2009

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Desire

I posted an old family photograph earlier this morning, and I think I will post another tomorrow. All in the balance of things. But in between, there is always desire — what it is, and what it does and doesn’t mean.   Desire Inside the flower, down the stem, into the roots — a dark hum: that’s where we learn about desire, that’s where the sun can’t hear what we’re […]

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Eliza

I know little about Eliza, except that she was my mother’s mother’s mother, and that her husband, Henry, who was born in 1835 and much older, died after a fall from a horse. This picture of her was taken when she was sixteen, around 1880 or a little before. My guess is that it was done somewhere in the East, before she and Henry settled in California’s gold country. After […]

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Papa, 1908

Papa, 1908

 

This is my father’s father, from a large photo-portrait taken when he was twelve, about two years after his arrival in this country. Since to a surprising degree this picture shows the way I think, I might attempt more of these strange collages.

Penny Thoughts and Photographs, August 6, 2009

Papa, 1908