William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Writing’

Canvas 792 — Montaigneity

Canvas 792 — November 25, 2016

On any given day — and all days are given, and never to be taken for granted — what I think, what I know, and whatever conclusions I reach are of such a temporary nature that I can hardly see how they might be useful to another. They are born of what I might call the Montaigneity of the moment, and serve as matches held up in the darkness of […]

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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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Given

A winter afternoon spent trying this word and that word and erasing them both, until the room I am in is given to darkness — even death agrees — if not with the method, then at least with the progress.   Given Suddenly a ripe plum and how her sweet flesh aches in the mouth in memory of melted snow running down a country road

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Between the Lines

The private struggles of a writer, his burdens and cares, are like those of anyone. At the same time, he is given a choice: he can write about them, or not write about them. The choice itself is a burden, for one is no more wrong or right than the other; both are right; both are wrong; one is an affront to his fellow humans; the other is an affront […]

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Wolves

Writing poetry all night. Some call it dream. Some call it sleep. In the morning the paper is blank. Snow has covered the ink. The graves. The hollow reeds. The bird tracks. Then you wake.   Wolves I sweep the floor, but not beneath your feet. Your brow defends the shadow fallen there. Frail sun leaves ice unscathed and windows cold. Another winter just begun, bolder than the last. Remembered […]

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The Trick

It’s a wonderful occupation, this search for the ordinary, knowing it can never be found. Sixteen days have passed since I noticed a fallen birch leaf riding piggyback on a fig leaf still attached to the tree. The fig leaf is yellower now and with pronounced reddish veins. And the birch leaf, having lost most of its color and diminished in size, remains right where it was. November 6, 2019 […]

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Good Fortune

A parsley leaf survived the wash. Soap, hot, cold. Spin, rinse, spin. Scent, fresh, green. As if these were little things. September 17, 2019   Good Fortune You say this morning you will write a mountain range; and then, when evening comes, a ladybug crawls across your blank white page.

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If this is the letter O,
I can only wonder about the rest of the alphabet,
and what brings on these spells.

The Letter O — August 26, 2019

The Letter O — August 26, 2019

In a Vast White Space

A little boy, with a little apple and sticky hands,
busy the spirits about him, busy the wind,
many the voices, solemn, joyous,

in a vast white space,
written in plain white words,
a white ball chased by a wide white hound,

an alphabet of snow,

and you, with your funny little arrows,
ink-tipped, turned upon yourself,

in a vast white space, an apple,
turning red.

Recently Banned Literature, June 2, 2014

(written on the nineteenth anniversary of my father’s death)

The Letter O — In a Vast White Space

Passager

With practice, there comes trust and confidence in one’s own footing; a rocky path and its frequently changing grades is a joy and a meditation; there is no need to survive or prove or conquer; there is only the path, and there is not the path, but a kind of spirit-communion and spirit-passing; a presence, and not a presence. The same may be said of drawing and writing, or of […]

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