Saturday, May 1, 2010


How short the day, how long the expression I have lived — and at journey’s end a primal sunset, then a room that slowly dims on what remains of a conversation only I can hear, and which is defined by wry lunacy — almost typing rye and spelling it rhye for the tired smile it would bring — a few words, a drawing, a poem, each still moving toward the illusion of universally understandable form. To be old is not so hard. I’ve been so all my life — my mother knew, and said so. To be young is to see the world as a god from his deathbed, even as I burn. And there is nothing more unbecoming than a god afraid to learn.

“Unbecoming” is my newest Notebook entry. Old notes are archived here.

In the Forum: organizing train wrecks.


RUDHI - Chance said...

So nice to learn from you, William!!!

Janice said...

William you say so much in so few words and you make me think...whether I want to or not!

Caio Fernandes said...

fuck ! my computer is so slow that after 20 minutes looking to this stupid blank pop up to open i forgot what i read and would say .
and now the filha da puta de merda of word ferification doesn't appear .
i am going to kill someone .

all ways 11 o'clock said...

yes, so few words here William.
but, but the rhy(m)e evokes the longevity yet shortness of life, where we are in the (our own) world.

i believe you a fine thinker.


...i am not going to kill someone. HA!

William Michaelian said...

Ah-ha, Rudhi — in that case, let’s hope they are the right things....

Janice, I don’t know whether to thank you or apologize. Maybe both...

Caio, if I killed someone every time that happened to me, I would be a serial murderer. But I thank you for sharing that wryly personal, poignant moment!

Robert, thank you. But the fact is, thinking has been getting me into trouble all my life (even before I was using a dial-up connection) — all the more so because then I try to think my way out of it.

vazambam said...

Those who forget to think are condemned to repeat it. (Don't forget that)

William Michaelian said...

There. Just tied it around my finger.

Nathan said...

I have a question for you, seeing as you know a-lot about books. I have an 1895 Henry Altemus printing of Emerson's first series of essays. How much do you think that would be worth and what would I want to do to sell it?

William Michaelian said...

Nathan, I paid four dollars for my 1892 Altemus edition of the second series of Emerson’s essays at a local used bookstore. I think it and the volume you mention have been reprinted many times, hence their lower value.

Also, I only buy books. I never sell them. I can’t bear to part with them.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Talk about the "same wavelength"...this poem is in my new book:

Young & Old

I’ve been both. Most will.
Sparrow on the windowsill.
Owl in the tree.
One benefits the other
as nectar feeds the bee.

The immediate of being young:
each event a focused instant.
Like many tiny multi-colored tiles.
The expedient of being old:
the focusing of all these small mosaics
to eventually form a picture
of the losses and the miles.

To be young is to be, to be old is to see.

Copyright 2010 - Ponds and Lawns, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Gary, thanks. Very, very nice...

Vatche said...

Awesome thoughts, William, you're diction always amazes you can say so much with so little. Less is truly more, in your case.

martinealison said...

Mon anglais n'est pas très bon pour comprendre l'ensemble de ce que je peux être capable de lire...

Anthony Duce said...

The words burn away the fog like the sun. sometimes exposing more of what i wished sometime would remain hidden allowing me to stay a little stupid until the very end.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Vatche. I appreciate that. To me, extra words are a distraction that only dilute a piece, no matter how short or long it is.

Martine, your English is better than my French, and of course the online translation programs are useful, but not capable of much subtlety. Still, I think that over time we will come to understand each other. Your paintings are beautiful. I know that’s a very good beginning.

Well, Anthony, you’ve just described my natural state: the fog burns away, only to reveal more fog in the distance. I think my words might be better compared to a flashlight, while your comment serves as the batteries.

ALeks said...

And I just love it,each little vision I get out of your magical words,Im a lunatic not to start painting it right now!!! "..and there is nothing more unbecoming than a god afraid to learn!"
William im moved,thank you again!
Have a wonderful eternity!!

William Michaelian said...

...and eternity begins... right... about... now!

Thank you, Aleksandra, and start painting!

kenflett said...

I really that William, it is strong, but so gentle.

a good sunday to you.

William Michaelian said...

Hi, Ken. Thanks for your kind note. It’s always good to hear from you.

Woman in a Window said...