William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Salem’


When we set out in the cold this morning, the body said, Are we sure? We didn’t answer, of course. And when we finished our run, with our feet wet and warm, the body again said, Are we sure? We climbed the steps, let ourselves in. Took off our wet cap, dried our sandals, and propped them against the wall above the furnace vent. Coffee? we said. Gladly, was the […]

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Ghosts and Angels

Walking the downtown streets on a winter afternoon, every brick familiar, Smiling to myself at the sheer number of doors I’ve tried and shops I’ve entered, At each set of stairs leading up from the sidewalk to sundry offices and rooms, And at the strange wealth of memories that come unbidden, The nerves, the tension, the fear (all of it precious and love always near), The glory of press time, […]

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What Happens Again

There’s magic in the old downtown district — the brick buildings and coffeehouses, the quaint shops and reading rooms, the moss-lined alleys, upstairs dwellings, dance schools, modeling schools, empty rooms full of derelict adding machines and typewriters, kicking through fallen leaves, inhaling the smoke of unseen cigarettes, the past, present, and future a grand composite, each patiently describing the other, self-effacing, a curious blend, the voiceless cough of a homeless […]

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I Count the Bricks in Buildings

Reading this poem now, more than thirteen years after it was written, it seems to reveal as much about the process of writing as it does about the little city that has been my home since 1987. I include it here for both reasons. I also include it because I’m a sentimental old fool who loves his poetic children for all they have taught him, and who is exceedingly grateful […]

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