I’ve been thinking about how the row of books on the far side of my work table looks like tall buildings in a city. From left to right the imposing edifices are: The Reader’s Encyclopedia; Gentleman, Scholars, and Scoundrels; A World of Great Stories; The Web and the Rock; Dry Guillotine; A Creed for the Third Millennium; The Sound of One Hand Clapping; My Brother Jack; Don Juan; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner & The Vision of Sir Launfal; 48 Saroyan Stories; Selected Poems of Robert Burns; The Oil Jar and Other Stories; The Naked and the Dead; and Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The edge of the table is the horizon. The dusty area in the foreground is an open plain, a fertile field. The dim area in the corner beyond is where the sun has recently set — or is about to rise: I haven’t quite decided. The spider webs are drifting clouds. The dead flies are — wait: there are no dead flies. Too bad. And I don’t know why, but the pale curtain descending represents the dawning of a new age.

Why are there no mountains? Maybe they’ve been washed into the sea. The sea is my imagining. I see a man walking behind a heavy cart with wooden wheels. The cart is pulled by Leo Tolstoy, white-bearded, old, strong. Tolstoy has four legs and powerful horns. Honk! Out of the way! I see Walt Whitman.

Walt is on his way to visit the president — the real president: Abraham Lincoln. But he arrives to find him dead. O Captain! My Captain!

Horses, plows, villages, wells, barns: men and women tending ancient fires: children speaking the language of rocks and trees: layer upon layer, stone upon stone, wise rivers telling secrets to the soil.

The looming buildings are full of books: they are all libraries: the commercial age is dead. Long live insanity, the bird is on the wing.

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

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