William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Writing’

One Hand Clapping — October 30, 2003

Eventually I’ll run out of material worth saving. It might be a few weeks or months from now, a year or two or ten — I really don’t know. And the reason I don’t know is that I’m going about this project in such a random manner. I write as the spirit moves me, and when that spirit reminds me of something else I’ve written, I dig it up, and […]

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Thoreau

As much as I like and am willing to live with the bits and pieces I’ve chosen thus far to preserve, it’s important to remember, for me, at least, that there are great swathes of writing and piles of drawings that clearly should not, and will not, see the light of day. I don’t mean to say it’s all junk. There are bright moments, mingled with poignant, self-defeating hints of […]

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Into a Strange Land

This poem is from Volume 3 of Songs and Letters and was written in 2005. There are twenty-four volumes in all. Back then, I did my writing at an old kitchen table from my childhood home. Our youngest son has it now. Since 2009, I’ve been using my mother’s old desk. If I remember correctly, she bought it from a retired school teacher who lived in the next town, about […]

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I Tell Myself No Stories

There’s something restful and curative in sifting through the old things I’ve written, even when what I find is weak, or in other ways not worth preserving. In most instances, the decision is obvious. In a few, though, I can hardly bear to read to the end, so familiar and juvenile are the errors. As for my ability to judge, I do have my blind spots. In fact, it’s hardly […]

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Now You’re Home

In 2005 I was still using my first computer — a desktop model with an expansive, very comfortable keyboard and a massive, heavy tower with two floppy drives. I bought it in 1993. A 486, it had a 340-megabyte hard drive, 12 megabytes of RAM, and ran Windows 3.1 at an impressive clock-doubled 50 megahertz. I called it “The Workhorse.” Almost as good as my old Royal typewriter, it was, […]

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Ghost and Cathedral

As I look over them now, I think most of the old Notebook entries from my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know, are better off left unread. But a few, like “Ghost and Cathedral,” and the piece I added earlier this year in August, are worth preserving. Already more than nine years old, I might have written it yesterday, so accurate it remains, and so dear the memory. […]

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Roads

Roads

I’ve often wondered where drawn lines end and poems begin. Some will say poems must be made of words. Strictly speaking, that’s true. But I’ve lived long enough to know, I’m made of words too. And when you read between the lines, I read you. Of the photographic self-portraits I attempted several years ago, Roads, I think, is one interesting example. The image first appeared in Recently Banned Literature in 2011 and […]

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One Pebble, One Pond, One Croaking Frog

I’m sixty-two. As I age, the desire to work grows ever stronger — the urge, the need, the understanding that it’s as much a matter of health as it is accomplishment — health physical and mental, a kind of spirit-health, which comes of living as lightly as possible on this earth and in this body, this body compromised and informed by years of stress and foolishness, clouded by ego and […]

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Today I Am a Rock

The arrival of fall has me thinking about our closets again. The urge to dismantle the stacks of crated material, and to throw most of it away, has returned. Some of it, though, I have to keep: the old music books and sheet music from my piano-lesson days, for instance, and drawings our kids made. But the refuse of my writing life is another matter — the old redundant notebooks […]

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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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