William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘The Other Hand Clapping’

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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Dahlias

A long, dry fall. Almost November, and we still have dahlias. Cool, smoky, misty mornings. Spiders asleep in their chosen colors. The other hand clapping. Want less, want not, want nothing at all.   Dahlias Sunday evening after the flower show I dream of two dead uncles. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, September 1, 2009

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The Other Hand Clapping

While writing One Hand Clapping, I once made the funny suggestion to myself that I follow the book with another, and call it The Other Hand Clapping. Had the second book been written, it might have contained the following entry from Recently Banned Literature, which records a chance meeting just as it happened.   The Other Hand Clapping We met in the library lobby outside the Friends store. “Bless you,” […]

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