William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Reading’

June Rain

Like April, and again like May, June has been a cool, cloudy, rainy month — much more so than what is considered normal, but of course normal is nothing but an average of the dry years and the wet years taken together. Last June, for a stretch of several days, we had to cover our cucumbers and dahlias with sheets to protect them from record high temperatures, which registered, at […]

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A Bell

I find, not for the first time, that I have little to say, and even less that seems or feels worth saying, or that I haven’t already said before. I could, of course, go into the far, dark side of personal minutiae, and record how many glasses of water I drink and what I eat each day; how many pages I read in books and online and their artists and […]

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Nothing Like Anything

A couple of mornings ago I dug up the garden space. It’s been a very cool, wet April, one of about half a dozen of the coolest and wettest on record. The soil is in wonderful condition, a joyful fact confirmed by an abundance of fat, healthy worms. With luck, despite a continued chance of rain in the forecast, we’ll be able to plant a few things this week or […]

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Each Other’s Creation

Yesterday morning I ran four miles, and when I was done I felt I could have easily run farther. It had rained again during the night and the atmosphere was heavy and moist, with a light fog. I kept a slow pace, free and easy. This morning I ran about a mile and a quarter in a very strong wind. My pace was still free and easy, but much faster. […]

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The Fire Next Time

My reading has slowed to a crawl. I love it as much as ever, and possibly even more, but sitting and I are no longer the friends we once were. The body craves movement, and the more movement I give it, the more free and flexible it becomes. Still, there is James Baldwin. Thus far I’ve read over three hundred pages of his penetrating and insightful essays, and am near […]

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Explain Yourself

Open, honest, illuminating, inspiring, heartbreaking, profound — I am glad to have read James Baldwin’s masterfully written essay, “Notes of a Native Son.” Yesterday morning, upon rising and after the coffee was on, I drank two large glasses of water. This morning I had less than a glass. Sometimes I have one, sometimes one and a half. Day in and day out, all through my growing up years, my father […]

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The Old City

If I am correct about the year, I first read Dostoevsky in 1984, on an airplane bound for Israel and the old city of Jerusalem. I had bought a paperback copy of The Brothers Karamazov, not quite aware at the time that I was beginning at the end, with what is considered the great writer’s crowning achievement. I read for several hours from Los Angeles to New York, and then […]

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Peacefully Ignorant

Tiny towns and crossings on the west side of the river: Amity, Hopewell, Eola. Lincoln. Zena. Bethel. On this side: St. Louis, Brooks, Mt. Angel, Bethany. Churches. Barns. Cemeteries. Oaks, firs, winding roads that give way to gravel. Smoke from fireplaces and stoves. Deer. Wild blackberries. When was the last time I wanted something I didn’t really need? It must be the forthcoming Richard Wilbur translations of Molière. And the […]

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Ages and Pages

Yesterday morning we dug the dahlias, and in the afternoon I manured the ground for planting next spring. Fluffed and raised from digging, the space looks like a new grave. This morning, the tubers having been cleaned, separated into smaller clumps, and dried, we tucked them away in peat moss for their winter nap in the garage. The apricot tree is bare and fruit buds for next year’s crop are […]

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