William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Work’

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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A Working Arrangement

There is still the funny little matter of what to save and what to throw out. This question comes up every few weeks or years, when the urge arises to gut entire closets with their stacks of storage tubs half-buried in all manner of curious debris — papers, crayons, lamps, fried or obsolete electronics — even old decorative pillows long past their presentable lifetimes. Some decisions are easy. For instance, […]

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One More for Finnegan

Am I serious, or joking? Do I ask this in fun, or do I really not know? Am I neither? Am I both? Laughter comes from a deep well. Tears are melted snow. Smile at my funeral, smile when I go. And smile at this grave fool’s work I do, especially so, especially so.   One More for Finnegan It’s one more for Finnegan, Then we go on home. Michael […]

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November Sky

Before committing these poems and pieces to cyberspace, I go over them again and again, aloud, listening for meaning, listening for ease, listening for rhythm, listening for music, listening for truth. When in my limited capacity I hear them, I open the cage and set the entries free. Some fly off right away. Others stay here in my room, roosting on the bookshelves, or gazing out the window at the […]

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A Stranger Looking In

Now and then, someone will tell me my work deserves a wider audience. The truth is, I used to feel that way myself, and I tried everything I could think of to enter that magic realm. But the years went by, and the need fell away as I came to understand that the perfect number for an audience is one, and that this relationship we have — yours, mine, ours […]

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Stream of Consciousness

It’s easy for me to be alone, a natural thing, as inevitable as a stream in its bed, first the stream, then the bed, and then the other way around, each by and for the other. And when, after its long descent, a leaf falls in, and that leaf is you, that too is a natural thing, and for a time we are mirrors.   Stream of Consciousness He didn’t […]

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After the Storm

We hear time and again of artists cut down in the eternal youth of their prime — painters, writers, poets, musicians — and wonder at the gifts they leave behind. And I think, thank goodness they did not put off doing the work they were born to do. I feel the same about mothers and fathers, farmers, caregivers, teachers, and everyone else who meets their fears and answers the call. […]

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