William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Short Stories’

A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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Cold Beer on a Hot Day

This much I know: if we had a two- or three-story house, I would, with or without a stick-horse, be galloping up and down the stairs numerous times a day. As it is, having to stay inside due to the smoke, I take regular walks over the length and breadth of our dwelling for the exercise. It has become quite the meditation. In the mysterious atmosphere of family heirlooms and […]

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Old Grandpa Moon

The poet who worries about not being read forgets one thing: his face accompanies him everywhere. moonlight on the vine and the sweet grapes left behind by that old raccoon . Old Grandpa Moon The whole great countryside was asleep. The night was clear and cold, and the stars were winking above the farmhouses and fields. But inside an old stone cottage, there was one little boy who could not […]

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Poor Sarkis

Although I too have gone to seed, the birds still prefer the sunflowers. In this world it is not enough to have a big head and limbs. There is an art to being stationary. The spiders, though, are tempted. So are the bees. The lacewings. The crane flies. The breeze. The crane flies. Whither, stranger, dost thou roam? Have you news from home? And he soars, and spins, and cries, […]

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The Grapes Are Early This Year

Our grapes, nearly ripe, were mostly ruined last night by a raccoon. At least two-thirds of the crop was on the ground, along with several leaves, the berries shattered from the bunches and scattered around. We had checked on the vine late yesterday evening and all was well. Then, early this morning, I noticed several places around the house where the animal had dug, the telltale holes being unmistakable. We […]

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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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