My next artistic challenge is to smoke two cigars. I was given the assignment by my wife, who needs the cigar ash to spruce up the finish on my great-grandparents’ oak dining table. The trick is this: using a bit of cooking oil, a paste is made with the ash and then rubbed onto the table as a mild abrasive, which takes up the marks and stains made by glasses, salad splashes, and noodle-drips.

What makes it an artistic challenge is, first, writing through the smoke, and, second, writing the smoke. Writing smoke calls for our best skills and interpretative powers as we render that which about us is hardest to explain: our unpredictable leaps of spirit, our sorrows, and our pain.

Smoke is memory made visible. It’s the future in sinuous shades. Writing it down before it disappears is what keeps us uncertifiably sane.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

Main Page
Author’s Note
A Listening Thing
Among the Living
No Time to Cut My Hair
One Hand Clapping
Songs and Letters
Collected Poems
Early Short Stories
Armenian Translations
Cosmopsis Print Editions
News and Reviews
Highly Recommended
Let’s Eat
Favorite Books & Authors
Useless Information
Flippantly Answered Questions
E-mail & Parting Thoughts

Top of Page
Old Notes
Current Entry