William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

Work Notes

I love how a trace of rain transforms a garden, even one that is already doing very well. I see the same in the neighbors and in myself. Our greens are more vivid and intense in the charged atmosphere; our purples and reds draw notice from the hummingbirds. I wonder now if, in all my years of writing, I have ever used the word aura. I think not. But it […]

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Melody

However patiently and faithfully I try to record the quotidian, I find it becomes charged with memory and dream, as if these states of mind or being are infused with a fine mist, like that which heightens the illusion of any natural scene. Set down the most common of items, and it buds and flowers before the sentence ends.   Melody Words are living things. Sometimes, through ignorance and arrogance, […]

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Together, Alone

Beautiful, singing words — somehow you end up stacked like bricks. “Poet’s Lament” Songs and Letters, October 13, 2008   Together, Alone As deep as a worm, as radical as a plow. May it serve as a proverb for now. A church and its graveyard, at the convergence of roads. A cart ’neath an oak, in the hollow of a palm. A poet with a shovel, near the end of […]

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Word of Mouth

Earthquakes, volcanoes, and Man — Too much yeast, God said. “Judgment Day” Songs and Letters, April 25, 2008   Word of Mouth Someone who lives well west of us, in the first row of houses overlooking the river, said that the recent high water rose into her yard, but did not reach her house. When the water receded, it left behind all manner of filth from the homeless encampment that […]

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Love Letter to the Universe

A letter arrives which you eagerly answer. But the sender needs no reply. So you turn the words you have written. And you burn them on the other side.   Love Letter to the Universe I was going to write this letter a century ago, but I wasn’t born yet, so I didn’t. I had to wait instead. Finally, when my impatience got the best of me, I was born, […]

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Fare Thee Well Hello — Still Friends

We experience the falling away of friends — not those claimed by death, but by circumstances, of those suffering disappointment in themselves or in us, or both, or some form of private, quietly held anxiety or embarrassment, or of those who have succumbed to weariness, habit, or boredom. Some we have known in the flesh, others through correspondence. And it seems all, whom we thought we understood so well, we […]

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Between Us

By and through the medium and miracle of words, some of us have come so far in imagining each other that I think one of our greatest gifts and advantages is the very unlikelihood we will ever meet in the flesh. This is much less an antisocial view than a matter of looking upon our relationships as we do a changing sky full of painted clouds, or flowers breaking into […]

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Winter Work

Book by book I go, dusting, cleaning, reading, examining, inhaling, arranging. A library is a strange, quiet joy. It is good fortune, and in these times, when ignorance is vaunted, heralded, and prized, it is a reminder that wisdom and sanity are still alive in the world. And then when the rain stops, I put on even older clothes and go out and prune the fig tree, which, over the […]

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In the Half-Lit Damp I See a Face

In a dream last night, I was visited by one, or two, or three white-haired gentlemen I apparently should have known, but who were only vaguely familiar. They knew my name, but I did not know theirs. They seemed to be waiting for me to remember. Finally, I confessed I was at a loss, upon which one gave me a hint, a rather long and mystical-sounding title of a musical […]

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Did You Know?

My personal history, as such, is less important to me the longer I live. The memories are abundant, and my recall is still fairly reliable and clear. I am glad of that. But I don’t dwell on it, or in it, as I once did, and as my parents and their parents most certainly did. It’s almost as if, on the day we first met, we were already going in […]

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