William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Smoke’

Smoke and Robins

If it takes me as long to read Thoreau’s journal as it did for him to write it, I will never finish. I have, however, read the first four volumes. Ten remain. At the beginning of the fifth, he refers to himself as a mystic, transcendentalist, and natural philosopher, and says that in most cases he finds it best, or at least easiest, to let people think otherwise — that […]

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Imaginary Cigarettes — Writing Smoke

Writing Smoke — 2009

Dear one, you asked me how I feel. I’m smoking imaginary cigarettes in a cloud of imaginary smoke with imaginary ashes in my lap. My coffee is almost real enough to coat the tongue and conjure the sound of clattering cups as dreams flash by the windows. Pshhhh — an old man opens the door, smiles at the bottles of ketchup on the counter and at himself for being here. […]

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As If Buttons Are Eyes

As If Buttons Are Eyes

An early-morning walk in the cold . . . the bark of a dog . . . slowly rising smoke . . .   As If Buttons Are Eyes Before my bath I set out clean clothes gently, now, as if buttons are eyes. From “Morning Notes: Three Short Poems” Poems, Slightly Used, October 24, 2008   [ 275 ]

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The Fall Way Home

Of the clump of hyacinths we planted recently in front of the crape myrtle I now call a pomegranate, the Muscari armeniacum jumped out of the ground as soon as we turned our backs. Soon there will be enough to cover an entire hillside. Then I will exchange my pen for a shepherd’s crook, and lead my sheep into their purple presence. Fig leaves, bright-yellow, as big as elephant ears. […]

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Haiku for August

In the brevity of my long experience — reading, writing, breathing, thinking — smoke is one of those magical words that is almost impossible to distinguish from the thing it represents. Like the sting of my youth and the gentle gathering of age, it finds its way everywhere, as color, in scent, in memory. And what I can’t quite fathom on the page because of it, I know the more […]

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