William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘The Other Hand Clapping’

Canvas 389 — As a Cloud

Canvas 389 — May 14, 2014

As a Cloud If I identify with the idea of myself to the point of paralysis, the world becomes a bottle of pills at my bedside, one to be taken every four to six hours for the duration of my illness. My breath is labored, my vision skewed. Visitors leave tsk-tsking and shaking their heads. If I see myself as a cloud, and watch as I change shape and fade […]

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The Senses — Two Poems

If each of the senses is a unique form of intelligence, it would be wise to approach them not as if we are their petty dictators, conquerors, or owners, but as witnesses and explorers. Perhaps we would discover the senses are really not many, but one; or maybe we would learn there are more. Or it might be the other way around, and we are the living testimony of their […]

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Look Again

The simple truth is, I might have died in the act of seeking publicity. That I escaped that tragedy proves my good fortune. But I claim no credit. I lived long enough, is all, to see that self-promotion is a poison or disease that needed to pass out of my system. Whence the immunity? By what process has it occurred? I might ask the wind what it heard, and expect […]

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A Man With a Hammer

The entire range of our emotions and activities, the worlds dreamt, built, and destroyed, the wars fought and the sublime accomplishments — is it not all true to our species? And is it not also true that if we survive, we may one day outgrow our cosmic, troubled youth? Would it not be just as true to our kind to live in peace in a world without borders, nations, and […]

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Dusting — I Love the Little Chores

Love the objects in your care, and hold them dear, for who objects to love, cares more, for fear. “Dusting” Recently Banned Literature, September 20, 2014   Dusting I see objects much as I see words. They demand a harmony of arrangement, a certain space around them, and this in turn relates to the larger space in which they’re contained. A room is a page. A word is a hat, […]

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Enlightenment Is

I don’t have a lofty idea of myself as something apart, say, from the workings of my innards, or the flexing of my tendons and toes as I crawl around the yard pulling weeds, while my ears are engaged in the harvest of birdsong. I once entertained the time-honored belief that I might be an entity distinct from my body, but that belief has since given way to an acceptance […]

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Elegy

The first warm weather, and suddenly the street is full of people who have been in hiding for the last five months, blinking, stretching, squinting, strolling, looking like pale ghosts. Who are these two children peddling by, and why have I never seen them before? Where do they live? I smile. My smile isn’t returned. Instead they stare. And I suppose to them I must look like a hermit down […]

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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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In Confidence

Based on what I’ve salvaged here thus far, it would be easy to draw a number of conclusions about me; however, I advise against it, even if they seem obvious or reasonable, and even if you’ve known me for years, as a brave handful of friends and readers have. I do not say that you don’t know me; I say, rather, that there is much more to know. What I’m […]

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Sanctuary

Strangely quiet, the geese. No honking, no flapping, no V. — V., as in so many nineteenth century novels the first letters of names and locations are used so as not to reveal the identity of living fictions. He resided in or on V. He returned from V. He looked up; and when his feverish gaze fell upon V., her long hair beckoned to him like a field of ripened […]

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