William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

Brevity

I use words to show none are needed. And I smile. “Brevity Loves Company” Recently Banned Literature, February 4, 2018   Brevity As each petal is wise in the purpose and symmetry of a flower, so must be the words we choose, each an action with a will to bloom. Be brave, be brief, beware the power you wield; thoughtless use is profound abuse. Brevity is depth of character, the […]

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You Think You Know Yourself

The assumption that it’s difficult is what makes it so. But then, so does any assumption at all.   You Think You Know Yourself You think you know yourself — then comes a word, a phrase, a night, a moon, an oak in rust on a time-worn hill, leaves, twigs, and cloud-debris, horseless riders faceless until they swing right in front of you — did you dream them or did […]

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First Came the Meanings

To me, one strange thing about living is having a name. Another is so many not thinking it strange.   First Came the Meanings First came the meanings then their names chamomile squirrel supper table the boy himself a pebble down a well loving the hand that let him go Recently Banned Literature, May 10, 2013

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Departure

As much as by touching, reading, and simply having them near, I think any poet would gain by the calm, deliberate practice of describing the scent of old books. To describe, in essence, what can’t be described, and yet must — this is his domain and his charge; to illuminate what is haunting, yet painfully familiar — this is why she was born; and then, when she dies, to haunt […]

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Fewer Words

Q. Do you have any advice for writers? A. Yes.   Fewer Words Fewer words, and fewer still — until you find yourself rich pulp, seed blessed, sweet juice, expressed. Recently Banned Literature, July 13, 2015

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To take a lifetime to write it, even when it appears quickly and suddenly on the page.

To discover how deep are its roots, and how bright its leaves.

To see the space around it, the light behind it, and the shadows it casts.

To listen to it breathe.

To marvel at its strength, in a savage and brutal age.

To die for it, if that’s what it takes.

To read through the fire, and write from the grave.

Canvas 1,207 — May 10, 2018

Canvas 1,207 — May 10, 2018

The Sentence — Canvas 1,207

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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