William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Writing’

I Count the Bricks in Buildings

Reading this poem now, more than thirteen years after it was written, it seems to reveal as much about the process of writing as it does about the little city that has been my home since 1987. I include it here for both reasons. I also include it because I’m a sentimental old fool who loves his poetic children for all they have taught him, and who is exceedingly grateful […]

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Words in a Row

Written very early in the dark on a Wednesday morning, the following lines seem more suitable for a Sunday — with the quiet half-understanding, of course, that there is really, and has only ever been, one day, and that that day has no need of a name. What happens is this: I hitch a ride, and for a while it carries me down the road. I smile when the driver […]

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Imagine a hard-working composer paging through his music,
relieved and thinking he is done, coming upon this in his score.

“Dear Lord. What am I writing for?”

“The high notes and low notes, of course.”

“And which, pray tell, are you?”

“We? We are the many. We are the few. We are you.”

 

Music Lesson

2010
#2 Pencil on 4 x 6 Index Card

Music Lesson

Music Lesson

Music Lesson

September Poems

Canvas 870

The ancient texts of solemn trees. Bird tracks at my feet. Late-night lights in the widow’s house. Lichens on headstones. Thrice-woven wool. Galaxies that resemble scattered straw. Notebooks filled. A wealth of steam. The luck of rice. dew in the dust on the old man’s mailbox he reads his letters twice

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Saving Grace

Almost all of my writing is done very early in the morning. “Saving Grace” is no exception. And yet I remember, or think I remember, that upon its completion, I felt an entire day had passed, and that the day was a lifetime. Such is memory. Such is rain. Such is writing. Sometimes you must leave almost everything out, to keep anything in.   Saving Grace Today it’s the rain, […]

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Our Old Farm Remembers Us

Some mornings, before it’s light, I think of the first hen down from her roost, standing silently like a ghost in the yard, unseeing, waiting, unsure, solemn, surprised, and a little confused. It’s almost as if she and I have both been pressed into service by an unseen hand, one if not wise, then bemused. So what’s left but to join her? Or maybe we should consider an exchange: she, […]

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And One

Almost all of the poems I write are completed in one sitting. But this does not imply hurry. It simply means that the poem is ready to be written, and that I understand the need to stay out of its way. That’s why I often say, I do not write the poem, the poem writes me. “And One” came about in this fashion very early in the morning on the […]

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The Oaks — Dream as Poem, 2012

From a note written at the time: It’s interesting to me that my attempt to recall and preserve this dream — the doing so of which seemed important because of the presence of my father — would take this form, rather than that of a narrative, as so many of my other dreams have done. The fact is, that is what I first set out to do, but the images […]

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Edwin and the Rattlesnake

I think I remember hearing many years ago that my grade school friend and neighbor, Edwin, was bitten by a rattlesnake in the foothills east of our little hometown in California. But I have no idea who might have told me, and I haven’t seen Edwin since before then. The last time was in 1975, in the bowling alley at the student union at the university in Fresno. He was […]

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November 2016: Poems and Passages

When one posts blog entries almost daily for ten years, there are inevitable changes — in mood, certainly, but also in subject matter, style, and approach. And yet, written as they are by the same hand, they are familiar and recognizable. It’s a bit like visiting a waterfall during different times of the year: now the music is heightened; now the rocks are more exposed; and while the distance from […]

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