William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Words’

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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Weightless Wait

If we judge the depth of a poem only by the number of words or lines it contains, we will surely do the same when we read a woman, child, or man; such a waste it is, when we hurry to the end.   Weightless Wait A lacy maple, now orange, red, and yellow, is dropping leaves. Tiny birds arrive. Weightless. Wait. More leaves fall. Brushstrokes. Worn out shoes. A […]

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These States

If words had but one meaning, I would have died long ago and found no rest. Instead, I wept a while, and when it passed, I found this, my gravestone in the grass. It is a dictionary. And my name is filed neatly in the back, beneath Weights and Pleasures.   These States Winter one day, fall the next, sparrows in beds of leaves, birch-bright colors float in cold stone […]

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The Good Life

Untrimmed Edges, Tobias Smollett Novels, London, George Routledge and Sons, 1884.

Truth be told, I’m as content to face a gale as I am to sip rare verse — even when, a moment later, I forget the blessèd words.   The Good Life Let’s say you’re bathing in an eighteenth century English epistolary novel, in which words are soap bubbles, and paragraphs are beads draped by the door, when you hear the footsteps of someone you love cross the floor; The […]

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Mirror Words

An inch or two of rain, and the falls are transformed. How easy it is to walk for miles on uneven ground — up, down, rocks, roots, leaves, ferns, moss, mud. On the hard surface of a residential street, where there are no obstacles, the feet soon tire and the muscles compress like old bed springs; but the trail is a veritable massage and the perfect recipe for dreamless sleep. […]

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Letter to Myself

In my mind, writing for publication is a sacred trust. To approach it as anything less would be a form of abuse. But I think the same can be said of any walk of life, any kind of work. Don’t you? Because, by each and every act, we publish ourselves.   Letter to Myself Yours are meager words circling the drain while the world outside rages on. No books exploding […]

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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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