"The Warhol Pillows" by Diane Wald is filled with themes of death and mortality, mourning and impending doom. It includes poignant thoughts and deep symbolic fragments that paint pictures of emotional events.
"she who speaks with her whole body
hears the silence"
-from "Widow Widow
Some poems are simpler, and hit the reader straight on with vivid storytelling.
day to day
little changes toward death
don't notice us
or we them
then an oriole flies
into our window
and for a single reason
our bones jangle
it's nothing we say
as the bird flies away
the bird was not harmed
Much of the poetry is sophisticated, yet lends itself to a universal feeling of understanding and relatability.
"In the cool sky over Arkansas,
I saw a rose etched in the sky.
Th smallest airplanes were elegant,
lifting achingly off the fields along the river."
-from "Interview With Lisp"
Some longer poetic prose are stories of dreams, conversations, and break-ups. Others are more succinct, delicately concise. The title poem, "The Warhol Pillows," is one of the longer poems that tells a tale without intention. It details the speaker's observation to her friend, perhaps her lover. The speaker acts as the lover's model for photography, and it is always an experience of peace and joy for both of them. They visit the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and here the poignant signature poem binds the story together. It ends with two powerful stanzas.
"in this his fashionable city, where everything shines
with a clip from some honest and crazy film
where people say just what they mean
without realizing what they are doing."
The poet demonstrates a range of skills, exhibiting various types and styles of poetry. "Three" is a poem told in three parts. It is a story of three men, told by an onlooker. Each man is distinct, as is each section. Between related an unrelated lines, the reader grows to understand just what the watcher sees. The poet's ability to weave a short story shines throughout, such as in "Don and the Family Matter."
Throughout the book, relationships are questioned; those of friends, lovers, couples, acquaintances. Each poem leaves its own mark on what these relationships mean at any given moment.
Smart, modern, and to the point, there is just enough mystery in each poem to make the reader think and wonder, and continue reading.