William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

Ambassadors of Silence

If you want to change your life, change your vocabulary. Then, use it only when you must. . Ambassadors of Silence I don’t find words. Words find me. And what do they say? We come as ambassadors of silence. And then they drift away. Hence this white space, and this light space, today. And the wish that you see it that way. Recently Banned Literature, March 4, 2017 . [ […]

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How Your Speech

After some time away, I’ve drifted back into Emerson’s journal, where, after reading for a while today, I found myself on Page 590 of the first volume of the two-volume Library of America edition. This time around, the searching sweetness of his observations makes me feel like a butterfly or hummingbird; his hesitations, confessions, and insights are flowers. It’s a springtime, summertime reading. Our grapes are in bloom. After losing […]

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What to Say

What to say, except that words betray their meaning, and that their betrayal is what we understand? This? that even if they were clay, we could never hold them in our hand? † † That is, if the betrayal isn’t ours of them. Recently Banned Literature, April 23, 2013 . [ 1071 ]

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Butterflies and Bee Toes

Am I being vague? I don’t mean to be. I love words. And they love me. We’re naturally hesitant, wondering, each time we meet, who will be the first to speak. What should we mean? We aren’t nails hammered through wood. We’re more like butterflies, or bees with pollen on our toes. Documents? Manifestos? We laugh. We can’t all be bibles or epitaphs. Some of us must be free. Recently […]

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At the Poem Museum

Like the poem that follows, this collection, too, is a poem museum. At least I imagine it as such. But 1,000 pages? Was that really necessary? I wonder if I will ever know. . At the Poem Museum The other day, I went to the poem museum. There were poems of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some were made of words and others were physical objects, or word-extensions that very […]

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Until We Meet

Maybe I should burn all of the others and keep this one. January 17, 2021 . Until We Meet What if we think of words as bells, each with a sound that’s just arrived from a great distance — across fields, down mountains, over graveyards, swept along alleys and streets, and of we who ring them as angels without names? Songs and Letters, September 24, 2008 . [ 998 ]

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The Family Tree

It’s a pity, in a way, that each of us can’t, during the most heightened moments of our righteous anger, suddenly find ourselves surrounded by our ancestors — not just to the extent of our easily accessible family tree, but all the way to the beginning. For surely, in genetic, genealogical terms, we are not who we think we are; we are far different and far more than the knowledge […]

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Granite Verse

The winter light, the old books and photographs, pierce me through and through. I move among them with my teacup like a ghost. I do not bleed from my old wounds. They might be kisses, for all I know. Words are like that too. They never say themselves. They do not know how. Yet they rule the world, each a tyger burning bright, each of heaven, each of hell. Shakespeare […]

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Crude Approximations

The little mimosa by the cedar has six leaves, a rich orange, leaning towards red. The tiny birch less than two feet away also has six — the top three are green, the fourth is yellow-green, and the two near the ground are yellow. The color references are crude approximations. Set in the wilderness as they are, among grasses, ground covers, mushrooms, and a scattering of needles, cones, and other […]

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