William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Understanding’

A Poetry of Unwritten Laws

If I see life as something imperfect in its design, I guarantee my own unhappiness. If I embrace it as it is, on its own terms, I become a participant in its mystery and wonder. As judge and jury, I will never be able to set things right. The thought that I might make improvements to an arrangement so grand that it effortlessly, even casually, includes an inexhaustible number of […]

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A Dewy Understanding

A slow run, the last sliver of moon just rising, the streets quiet and calm. With the arrival of the summer heat, our former high temperatures are now the lows, even as the days, little by little, grow shorter, and the cloudless, starry nights, as if by their own magic, add unto themselves. The grass in front of the house has yielded again to clover. The bare feet rejoice in […]

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Questions and Answers

If I don’t fully understand the question, then what good will my answer be? Yet I think I understand, and answer with confidence, even when I’m as wrong as a chunk of wood in a fancy cocktail, or a rusty cucumber in a bag of nails. Even worse, I believe myself, and make an art of my haste and ignorance. Many times over the years, I’ve read, and heard it […]

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Not You

Is this really a certain day, of a certain month, in a certain year? Perhaps, if that is what one believes. And yet, it has been shown that one can, and will, believe anything — for instance, that peace and joy are a destination that can be arrived at through the intellect, when it is clear that those who choose to do battle on those grounds wear themselves out searching, […]

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To End and Begin

Everything I write is meant for an audience of one. I address no group, large or small, and I don’t spray my words scattershot with the idea that if I aim high enough, they’re sure to hit someone. No, I’m still the farm boy I’ve always been, with a homemade slingshot and the nearest clod. And if you happen to be the one I clobber, I apologize. In person, I’m […]

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Dress Rehearsal

One of the blessings of memory is the opportunity it gives us to go back in our minds and apologize to those we have thoughtlessly made suffer, and promise them such a thing will never happen again. And though at first it may seem contradictory, the blessing is especially great when the person we are addressing has already passed on. When the wrong is acknowledged and the apology and pledge […]

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Loose Ends

When I was born, I was given a genocide. I was also given a dear dead uncle who had killed, and been killed, in war. I was given simplicity, poverty, hunger, and joy. I was given anger and disappointment. I was given pride and competition. I was given physical and psychological pain. I was given fear. I was given honesty. I was given laughter. I was given play. I grew […]

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In the Interim

If I had no knowledge of clocks and calendars, how old would I be? If there were no one to tell me, would I be any age at all? But I do know. And since I do, I ask myself how this knowledge has shaped me. Has it limited my understanding? Has it expanded it? Has it done neither, or both? Moreover, I did not seek this knowledge. Like so […]

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