William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Poems’

The Annotated Proverbs of Hell

Once upon a time, a very long short time ago, I “annotated” William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Written in 2007 during the months of November and December, my sixty-nine mostly odd, somewhat awkward, likely absurd poetic responses to the Proverbs comprise the entire sixteenth volume of Songs and Letters. The Proverbs are from the 1994 Dover edition of Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Here is the sixth: The […]

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How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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God

All the little things — I love how they break and throw off sparks. I was a sower once; in my pouch, there were ten thousand suns. In those days, I was man and woman both. I am still. Hold me to the light. Turn me gently in your palm. Recently Banned Literature, November 8, 2011 . [ 1168 ]

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Ocean, Boat, Sail

Fresh air and a bright blue sky, with just a few thin white clouds arranging and rearranging themselves, all as if there were no fires in the West, or, for that matter, no trouble, land or sea, anywhere in the world. Out of this there comes the loud scolding voice of a crow in close pursuit of a smaller hawk, the birds matching speeds high above the treetops and rapidly […]

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Remember

Everything I eat, everything I wear, everything I use; everything that sustains me and makes my life easier and more comfortable; everything that educates me, everything that stimulates me intellectually and inspires me in the realm of art — these are all proof of how directly my life is related to others, and of how completely I depend on people almost all of whom I will never meet and know. […]

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An Hour from Now

The days are about survival. A man out early, wishing not to be seen, peddles off with my zucchini in hand. It’s all for a good cause: to quiet his hunger. Shall I rush after him? Shall I pretend I can feed him with the hollow fruit of my imagination? Shall I explain to him that he has himself been imagined                                                    in these very lines? Or has he imagined me? […]

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Present Ancient

I am not ancient before my time; I am ancient in my time. July 13, 2021 . Present Ancient The easy print of a child’s handpreserved in plaster held in the presentancient version of his own   sweet mind Recently Banned Literature, June 13, 2013 . [ 1163 ]

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With Or Without Us

Three vultures atop a dead tree at the edge of Goose Lake. The water has receded; the surface is crowded again with lilies. Around the edge, a dense colony of Sagittaria latifolia, the potato-like tubers of which, according to Lewis and Clark, were prized by the natives and filled their canoes during their watery harvest. Wapato. In bloom and attracting bees on the main trail, the fuzzy pink spikes of […]

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You Can See It All From Here

Having been granted this breath, I would be embarrassed to ask for anything more. Without it, there is nothing more. With it, as familiar as it seems, this glorious early morning summer scent is more than I can describe or define. It describes and defines me. It is the cosmic fruit, honey, and grain that sustains. It is the means and the way. Now, if only there is something I […]

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