William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Short Stories’

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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Delirium Detail

A full pint basket of beautiful ripe fruit — I picked the last of our blueberries yesterday. In the evening, the first flight of geese. The gentle summer continues. By the front step, on the big rhododendron, next spring’s flower buds have already formed. Before lunch, I ate one slice of a fresh, sour, Gravenstein apple. I could feel the juice on its way down, spreading a tart panic. It […]

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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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Little Children

The body, in its wisdom, carries the mind along. The mind carries the body. Each is in, and of, the other: the mind is in the body, the body is in the mind. When the mind falls to rust, the body becomes an historical monument, an old cracked liberty bell, venerable, purposeless, inspiring sympathy and awe. When the body falls to rust, the mind becomes a storyteller whose face is […]

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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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Do Not Be Crippled by Reason

I no longer have the arrogance to believe I will live beyond this word, this thought, this sentence. And as for being understood, that hardly seems important. Do I understand myself? Am I even meant to be understood? And if I think I am understood, does that mean I am? And is that really desirable? I go on writing and publishing. None of it is for me to decide. After […]

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Long Story Short

William Michaelian, No Time to Cut My Hair

These days, my hair and beard are long — depending on the light, home to an early winter, or to all four seasons at once, like one of Gramp’s old work shirts, blossom, grape, earth, leaf, frost. I practice simple daily cleanliness, wear clothes to match, and which require almost no closet space. And so I wonder — is my natural unadorned appearance a public invitation to set aside what’s […]

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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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