William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Short Stories’

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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I’m Telling You All I Know

Story #4, Among the Living and Other Stories, 2000   Until last week, when things were finally settled, I spent all of my spare time riding in the elevator at the Sage-O’Brien Building. Twenty-seven floors, long halls, bad paintings, short, generic carpet, hundreds of offices, doors closed, documents, filing cabinets, cubicles, shoulder-high partitions, stacking desk trays, bulletin boards, pagers, call-waiting, voice mail, e-mail, www-dot-giveusyourmoney-dot-com, the smell of perfume, the smell […]

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Dinner at Four

Story #3, Among the Living and Other Stories, 2000   Every day, I eat dinner at four. I have a broiled steak, with or without potato, with or without rice, with or without salad. Sometimes, when I’m feeling good and hungry, I have all at the same meal — steak, potato, rice, and salad. And wine: one bottle per meal. The wine, which must be very dry, helps me digest […]

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Among the Living

Story #1, Among the Living and Other Stories, 2000 Appeared previously in Armenian translation in Grakan Tert, a periodical newspaper publication of the Writers Union of Armenia.   One thing that bugs me is that at the end of the day, they go home and I stay here. I’m not saying it should be the other way around. I know I’m not ready to leave. In fact, the thought scares […]

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Eight Crooked Short Stories

Around twenty years ago, I wrote some short stories, which, from this grizzled, objective distance, I can safely admire for their humor, truth, poetry, and vigor. Eight are included in my 2000 chapbook collection, Among the Living and Other Stories, which was succinctly described by its publisher as, “Eight crooked short stories of serious alienation.” There’s a tremendous amount of wordplay in that little book of awkward, unhappy, or otherwise […]

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