Ecstasy in the Sky
     Can't remember. Must have been sleeping upside-down.

Landscape with Dead Dog
     World's saddest sauerkraut. No one would believe how long we stopped there, how long the sound of her last breath reverberated. No one knows it then or will know it now.

The Woman of Fashion
     A scrambled-egg hat, six feathers from six swans, molted naturally, of course--in fact feathers hard to come by. She walked down into the pachysandra garden and there were geese there, plenty of Canada and blue geese, but no swans.

Landscape with Auto
     1958 lavender Dodge hard-top convertible, white roof, pale turquoise stripe. 1958 farmland glory: two steeples, stand of thick linden, woodpecker, hound dog, mouse. Sun setting over and over again, then rising.

The Banished King
     Well it was sad because we frankly always liked his glory. Word had it he was not like the other kings--kind to his spouse, his jewels, his horses. We liked him and we sent him away.

Disorder on the Table
     This can be the worst, and then again an entertainment. I think of our plastic-tablecloth-covered cherrywood dining table and the fabulous clutter upon it. Topped by a Chinese vase filled with flowers of the colors of the vase. Topped by a Chinese glory, like the poor banished king.

Strolling Woman in a Red Hat
     And like the Lady Strolling with Umbrella, she is remembering old movies, thinking of fringes. In truth she has been my favorite all along. Under that red hat a woman I long to know better.

The Busy Life
     "I don't want to come back to you, really. I'm too busy, really. You don't want to come back to me either. Really. It's not just such a busy life but a grand one and I'm busy and grand on my own." Overheard. Underheard. Herd.

Red Hat, Eyes Lowered
     My friend the Strolling Woman in a Red Hat is back and O I am so happy to see her! Her eyes are lowered not because she is unfriendly, but because she is trying very hard to remember her dream, the one in which the person named R was reciting something lovely he'd memorized, and just at this moment she would prefer not to make contact with you, thank you.

Personage in Butterfly Wings
     Probably these will never work for flying, but they're very attractive, if heavy. And on a windy day it would really be something, and on a calm day you could just sit on a flower stem if it wasn't too flimsy, just sit there and remember metamorphosis.

Everyone Wants To Be

     As marvelous as the cobbled warm water, the blue background, the tender sponge, the marbled nail-brush handle. As marvelous as the sloughed-off skin, the cuticle moons, the cuticle stars.

The Marvelous One
     I was happy with her, at any rate. Up in the humid morning to face the same square of wool. Heroic, really, and every now and then more so. And if it turned out nobody knew what she meant, what of it.

Diane Wald | Screen Five
Contents | Mudlark No. 10