William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Reading’

Moving Books Around

Jonathan Swift 1812-1813

At the moment there’s scarcely room here to sit, leave alone exercise free movement of my elbows. And while this is only a slight exaggeration, I’d best make no sudden moves, or I might topple the tall stacks of books everywhere around me, as the room is in a state of turmoil brought on by my decision to add two more tall bookcases, despite the fact that there’s no obvious […]

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A Bedtime Story

Certainly you must like the idea of being a page held fast by a child’s soft thumb, and plied by a mind untried by no trial or grief beyond ordinary hunger and thirst, no fear, no loss, no doubt, or question of worth. Or would you rather be the child you think, you remember, you are, you were? Both, I’m sure.   A Bedtime Story Read it again, Daddy. I […]

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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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And Birds Are Words

In the cool dark this morning there was a disturbance in one of the small trees a few feet from our open front window. A bird called out as if from a dream, in a tone of voice one doesn’t hear during the day. A minute or so later, a towhee spun a few notes, as if to say, I can’t see, but I can hear. This was repeated perhaps […]

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Desk, Bench, Zibaldone

For a good long stretch, I had been chipping away at Leopardi’s Zibaldone, a few lines here, a paragraph there, careful not to wrinkle the bible-thin pages. Since it is made to lie flat, I had been keeping the book open here on my mother’s desk. But the time came recently that I needed the space to accommodate more books: a complete six-volume set of Imaginary Conversations by Walter Savage […]

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