William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Work’

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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Tell Me, Grandfather

We sit down, we go to work, the work turns out to be play. We stand up, we go out, we face the day.   Tell Me, Grandfather Somewhere, long ago, a village, a woman, a broom. Here, now, this road, this hunger, this sweet-ripe orange. But . . . is there no dragon? Yes, there is, if you wish. And a bottomless well. Does the dragon fall into the […]

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Wild Flowers Imagine the Rain

I suppose it would not be far from the truth if I were also to refer to this growing collection of oddities and notes as my papers, because I am definitely proceeding with the idea that everything that ever was and will be of lasting importance to me can be found in these pages. Each department is its own neatly labeled crate of material. All that’s missing, really, is a […]

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Daylight Journal

There’s an abiding sense that this work will occupy me for the rest of my life, and I can’t help but smile at the meaningful, meaningless, childish pleasure it brings. But there’s no urgency in knowing the process can be interrupted or ended at any moment. What could be more beautiful and natural than a man struck down mid-sentence in a state of dream and delight, or realizing his life […]

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Crowku

Quite often, later in the day, I’m apt to think of something I’d like to write about the following morning. In some cases, the urge is strong enough that I’m tempted to begin right away. But I rarely do. First, I’d rather wait and see if the following morning does come. If it does, and I’m blessed with that bit of good fortune, I make coffee and read Spanish for […]

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Silence

Would I be a good public speaker? Even at my advanced age, I don’t know. I’ve never sought the opportunity, which might be a way of saying I’ve avoided it. And if I have avoided it, I’ve probably done so for the usual reasons: fear of failure, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of embarrassment. And if these are the reasons, they must have their origin somewhere in […]

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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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The Old Life

My never-to-be-published writings really don’t amount to much — a few hundred thousand words at most, represented by two or three thick typescripts, quite a few stories, and dozens of poems. And when I say never-to-be-published, I mean that they are going directly into the flames. They had to be written; how else was I to learn? That purpose served, now they can be thrown away. And while I might […]

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Morning Sounds

More often than not, when writing the first words of the day, I feel I’m returning from a long absence or great distance. Maybe I am. Each sound is a powerful summons. The tables and chairs have grown roots. And the house — is it moving? Am I at sea?   Morning Sounds When their horns echo in the mist, I’m half-convinced the trains have turned to ships. I go […]

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What Better Definition?

It wouldn’t be hard to convince myself that I am in hiding, that I have been in hiding for years, and that I am a hermit or recluse, despite being seen in public every day, and speaking in a friendly fashion with people I meet. One curious thing is that my voice seems to belong to someone else, and that the sound of it seems to come from a great […]

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