Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An hour from now

The days are about survival. A man out early,
wishing not to be seen, peddles off with my zucchini
in hand. It’s all for a good cause: to quiet his hunger.

Shall I rush after him? Shall I pretend I can feed him
with the hollow fruit of my imagination? Shall I explain
to him that he has himself been imagined

                                                     in these very lines?

Or has he imagined me? No one knows,
no one tells. But it almost looks like rain.

I watch him peddle off — again,
and again, and again.

In seeing him, I am fed
by what I imagine.

Just as I imagine that I am fed.

It takes time to grow a field of grain;
but despair will devour anything,
right down to the last
acidic polyp.

Try with all your might. Lay yourself down,
cover yourself with peat and bracken.

Life comes from nowhere, yet it happens;
or it forgets where it started, and so begins again,
like every song worth singing.

An hour from now, there could be sun
on his spokes. Who will be hungry then?


manik sharma said...

congratulations on the book..I have not yet travelled through enough dark tunnels to tell you how i feel the ten years would have been for you...disregarding but with respect the time you would have put in the book...My journey has only started and it will indeed be a harrowing one...We don't know other ways i guess...But when you see someone climbing towards the top ,be it slowly like you..You feel there are clear paths in the forests below...i don't pray..but i hope you live to see the day..and share it with us...

William Michaelian said...

Thank you. What we don’t know, Manik, we can imagine. And if I don’t live to see the day, you and others can live it and imagine it for me. More importantly, for yourselves. And sometimes there’s fog at the top, just as there is below. Down is up; up is down. We’re lucky to be here at all.

Anonymous said...

That was great,

and you know you're going to be here,
as long as you want to be...

: )

William Michaelian said...

That thought alone will make it all worthwhile. Thanks, Brad!

Joseph Hutchison said...

In seeing him, I am fed
by what I imagine.

Wonderful! As the whole poem is. And full of surprises: "acidic polyp"! From now until the end of the English language, I'll be your poem will be the only one that pops up in a Google search of that phrase....

And congratulations on the novel. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Joe! “acidic polyp” — where do these things come from? What I get a kick out of here is the thought that Google will be around that long. I, too, am fed by what you imagine.

Old 333 said...

That was very good. Thanks for it, William.

And congrats on the novel!!

Old 333 said...

That was very good. And congrats on the novel!

Stealing zucchini - desperate times. Usu. can not give away....

Old 333 said...

Whooops! Editing turned into reproduction somehow. Two comments for the price of one! Third one free!

William Michaelian said...

Who was that masked man?

Thanks, Peter!

-K- said...

I don't know where to begin. I know we send a lot of messges back and forth to each other but I certainly hope this doesn't have an obligatory feel to when I say how good I think this poem is.

Life comes from nowhere, yet it happens;
or it forgets where it started, and so begins again,
like every song worth singing.

An hour from now, there could be sun
on his spokes. Who will be hungry then?


Also, in my experience, not too many readers of poetry appreciate how the visual appearence of a peom as well as the line breaks effect the experience of a poem.

These aspects are so subtle here that they might not consciously register. Here they add greatly to pacing as well as the mood which seems to be a soft whisper of melancholy.

I could go on about the selection of the words, not what they mean but how they sound. None are harsh or guttural.

Wow...glad I took the morning off from work.

William Michaelian said...

I am too. In a few words, you’ve pretty much summed up my writing philosophy, poetry and prose alike: simply that sound, appearance, and meaning must work hand in hand. I’m not saying I always succeed, but to the agree that I do, there is harmony among those elements. Music is at the heart of it. We respond by instinct. To appreciate them, we don’t need to know how a painting, a building, a tree, or a song are made. We don’t even have to know how we are made.

No obligation at all. Just the pleasure of your company.

erin said...

how lucky you are that someone should steal the food that you grow. how lucky you are to grow the food. how lucky you are to imagine, to have rich soil. how lucky we are to know you.

sometimes when i read you i feel like i am soil itself, a pit of it in your hand. you use your absent method, which is to say simply you use your being, and you crumble me. plants will not grow in pitted soil anyway.

and what you say of life, my god, life comes from nowhere, yet it happens. life can not help itself, can it? it is forward momentum. it can not be undone. it just is. just as this table is a table and that man is a man and these are your words.

(or is it? i wouldn't even mind being wrong.)


William Michaelian said...

Being right is important to some — so important that it’s a disease. So important that they can’t see, feel, or imagine the freedom there is in being wrong, in not knowing, in things being out of their control. Of course, I could be wrong about that.