William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

Icebergs

Well, maybe it’s not exactly like that. After all, writing even a simple sentence is like navigating among icebergs. Each word is that beautiful and dangerous, with almost all of its meaning hidden. And reading the sentence is like waking from a dream to find a snake in your hands. But it doesn’t remain a snake for long. It dissolves into semblance and sense with a glass of ruddy-ripe juice, […]

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Morning Coffee

As always at this early hour, I’m drinking coffee. I love coffee. I’ve loved it since childhood, when the aroma of it perking would invade my bedroom. Yes, I had a bed, and a room. I still marvel at it. At night, the sliding closet door, painted the same color as the walls, had to be closed. If it was open, the things hanging in the closet came to life […]

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Into a Strange Land

This poem is from Volume 3 of Songs and Letters and was written in 2005. There are twenty-four volumes in all. Back then, I did my writing at an old kitchen table from my childhood home. Our youngest son has it now. Since 2009, I’ve been using my mother’s old desk. If I remember correctly, she bought it from a retired school teacher who lived in the next town, about […]

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This Will Be

I’ve been at it so long, I suppose it’s inevitable that often, when I sit down to work, I’m reminded of other things I’ve written. I’ve covered a lot of ground — not always well, certainly, but the old lines and images keep surfacing and reappearing, and it’s not unusual for them to arrive in the form of a lesson. One of the greatest of these lessons is, Don’t be […]

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Roads

Roads

I’ve often wondered where drawn lines end and poems begin. Some will say poems must be made of words. Strictly speaking, that’s true. But I’ve lived long enough to know, I’m made of words too. And when you read between the lines, I read you. Of the photographic self-portraits I attempted several years ago, Roads, I think, is one interesting example. The image first appeared in Recently Banned Literature in 2011 and […]

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Words in a Row

Written very early in the dark on a Wednesday morning, the following lines seem more suitable for a Sunday — with the quiet half-understanding, of course, that there is really, and has only ever been, one day, and that that day has no need of a name. What happens is this: I hitch a ride, and for a while it carries me down the road. I smile when the driver […]

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What Will I Give You?

All these many years later, I no longer ask myself if I’m worthy, or if my poems are good. I ask, Is my life a labor of love? Then I shake my head and laugh. And then I sleep, and then I work. So goes this essay in the dark. So goes my funny little life. So it goes, even without words.   What Will I Give You? Trouble, mostly. […]

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Hope

One thing I love about this poem now, twenty years after it was written, is that it goes forth without a bit of armor — with scarcely a veil, in fact. It lives in sixteen simple everyday words, with no need for pride or courage or anything else to hide behind. Reading it is almost like passing through a tiny town you didn’t know was there. Once upon a time, […]

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Verb or Noun

Every day, I notice how worn our broom has become. I suppose it might take a little longer to sweep the same space, I really don’t know. And when I finish, and the walk and steps are clean, I might be a little older than I would have been had I been using a new broom. Or I might be a little younger. Time, if it exists, is such a […]

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Pigeons Are Old Poems

Empty barns, dry grass by the door. A house once here, Not here anymore. And yet pigeons are old poems, of that I am sure. Pigeons, and grave stones, where once there were words.   Who knows the dreams that lie here buried? About a mile down the road from the house where I grew up, there is a little cemetery situated on a corner knoll where the soil is […]

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