April is National Poetry Month.

"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.

 

"This Time"

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

this time"

 

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 on elf 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 New York, 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.