William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

And the Answer Is

Rain, enough to thrill the garden, but not to silence the scent of the grass seed fields. The delicate maples, red and green. The same towhee, in the same tree, sure each sentence must end differently. Flicker with an earth-brown beak, probing, searching, finding, swallowing. Little boy with a wet new bike, testing its frame against the curb, feeling the vibration in his bones. Funny how some words end up […]

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We Are Our Own Lens

In light of the sheer immensity of things, any endeavor, however well executed, is bound to seem trivial and small. We write poems, build bridges, send rockets to the moon; yet within this vast expanse, the page is small, the earth is small, the moon is small, the galaxy is small. How powerful, really, would a universal lens have to be to even show we are here? One partial answer […]

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Another Word

You look for love, when love is all there is. You can be numb to love, but you can’t exist outside it.   You say, “What about hate? Hate is not love.” But love wants you well. Hate is love’s bitter pill.   You don’t know, or perhaps you’ve only forgotten: Life is another word for love. It means “I will.”   Recently Banned Literature, May 22, 2011 [ 742 […]

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The Books by My Bed

This is a very old poem, from a lost, undated manuscript, which was later typed on my old Royal and also lost, or likely discarded. Earlier today I found I’d included it in an entry of One Hand Clapping, the lines divided by slashes. It’s a curiosity at best. As no other record exists, I’ll file it here for gentle guests and future laughs. March 29, 2020   The Books […]

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Symbols

Life is the ultimate virus — it kills everyone. It’s also a symbol — of love. March 7, 2020   Symbols Flight and Bird — and then one day Light became Word, And Sky and Heart concurred. [ 687 ]

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Troonk and Hamph

Among other things, in his journal entry for May 25, 1852, Thoreau mentions hearing the first troonk of a bullfrog — a lovely word, although I have for years spelled the sound hamph — this based on my recurring basso profondo imitation of bullfrogs heard while drifting with my father in his twelve-foot aluminum boat down California’s Kings River, in that lazy stretch below the town of Reedley where it […]

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Wealth

It took the whole day yesterday to change — one word. What patience they both had! — and not a shred of jealousy. You first — It’s not my turn — Are you sure? I held the door — the train — left — the station. How lonely the platform! — the night — concurred. February 4, 2020   Wealth n. so little there’s nothing left that wasn’t here before […]

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Shadows on the Sidewalk

For sidewalk, Walt Whitman liked to use the word trottoir. Offhand, I can think of no other nineteenth century American writer who did so — this, of course, based on my faulty memory and limited reading. Word choice aside, one thing I’m noticing this time through his Specimen Days, is that buildings and trains are every bit as alive to him as oaks and sparrows — indeed, in his poetic […]

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Imagine a Word

They’ll say we knew each other, that we spoke to each other in poems, and that when at long last evening fell, we were solemn, we were still. December 4, 2019. Evening.   Imagine a Word Imagine a word deep in its image, and a page in an ice age burning for warmth. Imagine a tongue that is fire, before learning to speak. Imagine the ashes, and what they are […]

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Paradise, Tragedy, Love

Near the river this morning, we walked through beds of maple leaves six or eight inches deep. The leaves are still bright. And there is a pungency about them, for in the moist atmosphere their undersides are already being consumed by the elements. What sticks to our shoes is paradise to a host of our fellow beings, even as we innocently help hasten their end. And so paradise and tragedy […]

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