William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Short Fiction’

Paralyzing Definitions

To have a voice the size of a firefly, with the fleeting effect of a falling star. And then there’s the place where you are, when darkness ripens like a plum.   Paralyzing Definitions I met her walking in the woods. It was late fall. We had the trail to ourselves. We were both outfitted for the night, so we set up camp together near a tiny lake just below […]

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The Artist With the Frozen Teeth

How quickly my life is passing — as if each day it finds new means of escape, and is even now leaking out through my hair ends and fingertips — a joyful tingling sensation, light beyond light, darkness of a depth unimaginable — new birth, a second coming of age, my honeyed childhood on fresh warm bread just as the sun goes down — voices; wings; a strange starry canvas; […]

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I Feel Like I’m Falling

Flying and falling in dreams is not uncommon, I know. Although it’s been years, I have fallen and flown in many of my own. But the falling was always a good thing, and the landings lucky, if not sublime — soft meadows, gentle slopes, white clouds — a blessing in the face of unexplained dangers. This story, though, is not about that kind of falling. Then again, maybe it is. […]

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A Lesson to Remember

A Lesson to Remember

The following little story, which reads like a fairy tale — and would be, if every word of it were not true — is an old favorite of mine. Written in 2002 as part of No Time to Cut My Hair, it subsequently appeared in Ararat Quarterly in 2003; in Armenian translation in The Old Language in 2005; and in The Armenian Reporter in 2008. The accompanying image is from […]

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The Old Language

The grapes are ready, two bunches pick’d, and none denied the robin. The hand’s unsteady, the spirit’s quick, the moment’s soon forgotten. August 19, 2019   The Old Language The old man stood near the edge of the road, waiting for his grandson to get home from school. Seeing the bright-yellow bus come in his direction always made his heart glad. Soon the bus would stop in front of the […]

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Van Gogh’s Dream

How strange it all is. Outside the grocery store, there was a large rack holding around two dozen potted sunflowers, each plant with a bright, cheerful bloom. I said to my wife, “If I could really paint or draw, I would make a similar scene, with one addition — Van Gogh, crazed, looking on. And each of his eyes would be sunflowers.”   Van Gogh’s Dream One day, Van Gogh […]

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On Any Given Day

Way back in my story-writing days, which might not yet have ended, it didn’t take much to get me going. For instance, a beginning could be as simple as this: She cooked her porridge without mercy. His dreams were potatoes and onions. And with that, the mean lives of two characters bound by fate were readily suggested. But they wouldn’t be all bad, as none of us are. In all […]

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My Lemon Tree

Fiction, thought, tragedy, love — how beautifully intertwined they are — as when a story is a poem running down your arms.   My Lemon Tree I went out early this morning to water my lemon tree. This year, it is loaded with fruit. There is so much fruit that the lemons are small. Yet they are full of juice and have not been reluctant to ripen. I find this […]

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Ancient Andy Lace and Heavy Metal Pews

Ancient Andy Lace — April 9, 2010

Speaking of past lives, it must be one of mine that brings Andy Lace to mind. As for “Heavy Metal Pews,” I stand willingly accused of variety. And I still have not cut my hair, even though there is time, or something that quaintly resembles it.     Heavy Metal Pews So, John, I hear you guys just finished a new CD. Tell me, how’d it go in the studio? […]

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The Man in No. 27 — A Memoir

Story #6, Among the Living and Other Stories, 2000 Appeared previously in The Rockford Review.   The longer I live, the less I know. The less I understand. What makes people tick? What makes them tock? “We have ways of making you tock.” Isn’t that the punch line of an old joke? A prisoner of war is sitting in a cell. Every second or so, he tilts his head mechanically […]

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